Something Weymouth doesn't do very well is its provision of a traditional seaside resort pier. There is a pier, completed in 1933, which is mostly a commercial one, built to service the ferries and cargo vessels, and what is called "The Pleasure Pier", but all that really consists of is a piece of concrete jutting out into the bay with a cafe and public toilets.
Personally I like this minimalist approach and whilst I've never visited the cafe nor used the loos there's something louche about this pier that no other in Britain can capture - it's a sort of real dead end.
There are plans to totally redevelop the site which include building a modern hotel, apartments and marina complex along with enhanced public spaces, a restaurant quarter, an upgrading of the ferry terminal and a revamp of the Pavilion Theatre at the landward end.
These certainly look interesting but work was intended to start in 2009 and ideally to be completed in time for the 2012 Olympics. However at the time of writing not a lot seems to be happening and the developers website doesn't have anything up-to-date in its press section.
Watch this space or visit www.weymouthpaviliondevelopment.co.uk
There are actually two Royal Oaks in town, one on Dorchester Road and this one here on Custom House Quay. I don't know anything about the Dorchester Road one but this one seems a friendly enough pub and has a great location on the quayside.
Unfortunately on the grey May Monday that I visited the place was devoid of customers apart from one other guy sitting outside but I got a warm welcome from the barmaid and then almost fell over as she handed me my pint and asked for £1.95 for it!! I haven't had a beer that cheap for a long while, well not in the UK anyway. Perfectly good pint of beer it was too, although I've forgotten which brewery it came from, and I too went outside to enjoy the quayside bustle.
This really is a pleasant place to sit outside and relax, watching the world go and it does have its little quirky moments such as the group of four who joined us. These were archetypal grockles who arrived with their fish and chips from the takeaway up the road and just sat down at one of the tables and proceeded to open them and start to eat them. (BTW a "grockle" is a visitor to the Southwest who doesn't seem to have a clue as to how to behave, respect local customs or even appreciate the local pace of life).
The barmaid popped out and asked if they would like some drinks. "No, no, we're just having our lunch." was the reply from one of the women.
"But these are pub tables madame and if you're not buying anything from the pub then you can't just sit here and eat something that you've bought from elsewhere - there's plenty of public seating all along the quayside."
The grockles seemed very upset about this but moved on anyway, muttering and grumbling about the lack of hospitality.
Me I thought the barmaid had been more than reasonable and told her so and shared my story about a pub I used to work at.
"One morning when I was having a fag break before the pub opened half a dozen cars pulled into the car park. From these disgorged about twenty people who proceeded to start kitting themselves up with walking gear. One of the guys called over to me and asked if it was OK to use the car park as they were going for a walk and would come back for lunch about 1 o'clock.
I of course replied in the affirmative, an extra twenty for lunch sounded like a nice piece of extra business, and sent my lad across to the local shop to get an extra couple of loaves of bread for sandwiches whilst I trayed-up and put in the oven an extra half-a-dozen baking potatoes.
One o'clock arrived and the hikers duly returned. They sat themselves down in our beer garden and then proceeded to pulll out their Thermos flasks and unwrap their sandwiches.
So we had a laugh about that and I had another beer - shame she was about 30 years too young for me ;)
Favorite thing: Weymouth has quite a compact town centre with its harbour and river running through the middle and its beaches skirting the coast. The streets are simply laid out and easily walkable without getting lost but if do need them there's plenty of these useful maps at strategic locations around the town and on the promenade. These show all the main attractions and have a "You Are Here" marker for orientation purposes.
Apologies for using this slightly out-of-date pic as the TIC has now moved from its central location to the Pavillion at the western end of the beach but all the facilites and contact details are still the same.
This friendly TIC is open 7 days a week and offers all the services you could ever require including accommodation assistance, the usual freebie leaflets and maps (as well as local guides and maps for sale), advice on attractions, theatre tickets and public transport info.
The website is well worth a visit click HERE and has downloadable brochures as well as loads of useful information.
If you are the sort who likes at statues, and learn of the historical culture of areas, then I guess it's a must that you see the statue of King George III in Weymouth. If you are the sort who likes to see historical monuments ill maintained and covered in bird excretion then your quids in!
Back in the day ol' King George used to regularly visit Weymouth after he had fallen in love with the beautiful seaside resort. He would come and stay in the Prince Regent and enjoy soothing baths in the sea. As a dedication to his fondness of the town a statue was erected in his honour.
In addition a huge White Horse depicting KG riding in to Weymouth is famously located on a hill up towards Dorchester. Unfortunately, in their wisdom, the horse was shown riding out of the town. Madness! (See what I did there? A little pun on the madness of King George. Aren't I just great!.... Don't worry I've got my coat.)
Hope Square hosts an array of worthy sites for the traveller. There is the famous Brewers Quay which hosts many shops and resteraunts as well as the Timewalk which offers an insight in to the history of the town. In addition there is the Nothe Fort just up the path, a number of dining venues, historic tudor houses, horse and cart rides and last but not least plenty of pubs!
The Red Lion is your more traditional pub, with a local, but friendly atmosphere and a cheap and quick, but highly satisfying food menu. The Excise House is a bigger, more commercial establishment with live music, bowlingo, a dining area and family room. There is also Old Rooms, Galley Bistro, New Rooms, Kings Arms, ISO Bar and others all in close proximity.
I really can't remember a great deal about Weymouth, the two things that do stand out in my memory though are the clock tower on the promenade and the sand sculptures on the beach.
The sand sculptures are amazing and must have taken alot of time and patience to build.
You have to drive over the bridge and up up up to the top of Portland. It is always cool and windy but the views are fantastic.
Fondest memory: The wind lashing my face whilst birds hang on to the rocks.