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Looking to buy a motorhome in your local area? We are the local specialists and offer a wide range of motorhomes across a range of sizes and prices. We have motorhomes for sale in Blandford Forum, Wimborne Minster and Poole. We offer campervans in Wareham, Wool and Fortuneswell. Check out our range of motorhomes in Weymouth, Puddletown and Dorchester.
Weymouth /ˈweɪməθ/ is a seaside town in Dorset, on the English Channel coast of England. Situated on a sheltered bay at the mouth of the River Wey, 11 kilometres (7 mi) south of the county town of Dorchester, Weymouth had a population of 53,068 as of 2018. It is the third largest settlement in Dorset after Bournemouth and Poole.
The history of the town stretches back to the 12th century and includes roles in the spread of the Black Death, the settlement of the Americas and the development of Georgian architecture. It was a major departure point for the Normandy Landings during World War II. Prior to local government reorganisation in April 2019, Weymouth formed a borough with the neighbouring Isle of Portland. Since then the area has been governed by Dorset Council. Weymouth, Portland and the Purbeck district are in the South Dorset parliamentary constituency.
A seaside resort, Weymouth and its economy depend on tourism. Visitors are attracted by its harbour and position, halfway along the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, important for its geology and landforms. Once a port for cross-channel ferries, Weymouth Harbour is now home to a commercial fishing fleet, pleasure boats and private yachts, while nearby Portland Harbour is the location of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, where the sailing events of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games were held.
Weymouth gave its name to Weymouth, Massachusetts.
Weymouth is built on weak sand and clay rock which in most places along the Dorset coast, except for narrow bands at Lulworth Cove, Swanage and Durdle Door, has been eroded and transported away. This weak rock has been protected at Weymouth by Chesil Beach and the strong limestone Isle of Portland that lies offshore, 3 kilometres (2 mi) south of Wyke Regis. The island affects the tides of the area, producing a double low tide in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour. The maximum tidal range is small, at around 2 metres (7 ft).
There are two lakes in the borough, both designated Nature Reserves by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)—Radipole Lake in the town centre, and Lodmoor between the town centre and Preston. Radipole Lake, the largest nature reserve, and mouth of the River Wey before it flows into Weymouth Harbour, are important habitats for fish and migratory birds, and over 200 species of plants. Radipole is an important tourist attraction; it and Weymouth Beach are situated very close to the main town centre. There are 11 Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the borough, which cover an area of 1,979 acres (801 ha), and there are 37 other Nature Conservation Designations.
Situated approximately midway, Weymouth is a gateway town to the Jurassic Coast. The 155 kilometres (96 mi) of the Dorset and east Devon coast is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site which is important for its geology and landforms. The South West Coast Path has two routes around Weymouth and Portland—one around its coast, and one along the South Dorset Downs, which reduces the path's length by 31.0 kilometres (19.3 mi). The steep ridge of chalk, locally known as The Ridgeway, separates Dorchester and Weymouth.
Weymouth is the largest town in the area, larger than the county town of Dorchester, which lies 11 kilometres (7 mi) to the north, and hence is a centre of activity for the nearby population. Weymouth's esplanade is composed of Georgian terraces, which have been converted into apartments, shops, hotels and guest houses. The buildings were constructed in the Georgian and Regency periods between 1770 and 1855, designed by architects such as James Hamilton, and were commissioned by wealthy businessmen. These terraces form a long, continuous arc of buildings which face Weymouth Bay along the esplanade, which is home to statues of Victoria, George III and Sir Henry Edwards, Member of Parliament for the borough from 1867 to 1885, and two war memorials.
In the centre of the town lies Weymouth Harbour, separating the two areas of Melcombe Regis (the main town centre) and Weymouth (the southern harbourside) from each other. Since the 18th century they have been linked by successive bridges over the narrowest part of the harbour. The present Town Bridge, built in 1930, is a lifting bascule bridge allowing boats to access the inner harbour.
The sand and clay on which Weymouth is built is very low-lying—large areas are below sea level, which allowed the eastern areas of the town to flood during extreme low pressure storms. In the 1980s and 1990s a sea wall was built around Weymouth Harbour and along the coast road in Preston; a rip rap groyne in Greenhill and beach nourishment up to Preston have created a wide and artificially graded pebble beach, to ensure that the low-lying land around Lodmoor does not flood. The defences at Preston, the extended ferry terminal and the widening of the esplanade have changed the sediment regime in Weymouth Bay, narrowing the beach at Greenhill and widening the sands in Weymouth. A study conducted as part of the redevelopment of the Pavilion complex showed that the proposed marina will contribute slightly to this effect, but sand dredged out of the marina could be used to make the beach up to 40 metres (130 ft) wider.
Located on the banks of the River Stour, Blandford Forum is the most complete, small Georgian town in England. This town has stunning architecture, a charming parish church and wonderful market place. It is also home to one of Dorset’s breweries – Hall & Woodhouse. In the early 18th century, fires decimated much of the town, but it was largely rebuilt and is a wonderful example of Georgian architecture. Most town centre buildings date from this early period and were designed by the Bastard brothers, noted architects of the time. The Fire Monument in the Market Place acknowledges its fiery past and a visit to the Blandford Museum tells the intriguing story of the rebirth of the town. Surrounding the attractive market place is a variety of independent shops and boutiques, cafes, restaurants and pubs. You will also find a mix of brand names and independent retailers along West Street, East Street and Salisbury Street. Don't forget to check out the shops found in the side streets and alleys including Barnack Walk, Hardys Yard, Georgian Passage and Tabernacle Walk. For a local 'tipple' pay a visit to the Hall and Woodhouse Brewery and shop where you can buy bottles of famous Badger Beer. There are also a number of indoor and outdoor markets in the town throughout the week. The historic town of Blandford has a wide variety of places to eat and drink ranging from independent coffee shops and cafes to the local brewery – brewing award winning Badger beers since 1777. There are pubs, bars and bistros too, so there is plenty on offer for all occasions and budgets. Many are now offering takeaway options for delivery to your door or to grab and go for a picnic in Dorset. The Great Dorset Steam Fair takes place annually on the late Bank Holiday weekend and is an amazing, fun and action packed day out for all the family. It’s the World’s largest heritage and cultural event and is a must for anyone interested in how people lived, worked and played in bygone years. With over 2,000 exhibits including an old time steam funfair, it’s a huge, colourful festival that celebrates our national heritage. Blandford Fashion Museum, located in Lime Tree House, a beautiful Georgian building, contains a wonderful collection of fashions dating from the early 18th century to the 1970's and includes day wear, evening wear, wedding dresses and accessories. Nearby Kingston Lacy is a lavish family home in rural Dorset countryside, built to resemble an Italian Palace. There’s plenty to see, from grand, beautifully detailed carvings, to intimate family souvenirs and even strange curiosities such as an ‘I owe you’ note from a king. See paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Titian and Brueghel and the largest private collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the UK. Enjoy a summer picnic on the lawn or let the children run wild in the nearby play areas. There’s plenty of space to explore on this 8,500 acre estate. If you want to get out and about there are plenty of lovely walks in and around Blandford. The North Dorset Trailway is a splendid walking and cycling path that runs along a dismantled railway line from Stalbridge to Spetisbury via Blandford with regular views of the River Stour. If you'd like to walk a little further, the White Hart Link walking route links the 5 North Dorset towns in a 50 mile circular, passing through many pretty villages and idylic countryside.
Poole is a bustling tourist resort in the east of Dorset and is well known for Europe’s largest natural harbour, award winning blue flag beaches including the world famous Sandbanks Beach, a bustling quayside and a beautiful historic old town. Nestled between Bournemouth, the Isle of Purbeck and the Jurassic Coast, Poole is a fantastic base for exploring the rest of Dorset. Poole's harbour is a haven for sailors, wildlife and watersports and is a gateway to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Poole is also home of the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and their training college with hotel and restaurant is located right on the harbours edge. Explore the treasures of Poole’s historic quayside, delve deep into the heart of the old town where sea captains and pirates once stood and immerse yourself in Poole’s fascinating history. Poole Museum, the Cockle Trail guided walk, treasure hunt and Poole Trail interpretation panels will help unravel Poole’s past for explorers young and old! Why not take to the water and enjoy some amazing watersport facilities. Poole Harbour’s safe, shallow waters are ideal for trying one of over 25 water based activities. Try your hand at windsurfing, sailing, a powerboat ride or you could try catching your own dinner on a chartered fishing trip. Poole’s traditional working Quay is the gateway to its stunning harbour and islands. A great place to sit back and relax in one of the many cafés and bars on the waterside, watching ships, fishing boats and luxury Sunseeker yachts leave the harbour. You could also hop on a Condor Ferry from the nearby port for a day trip to Guernsey. Just a short walk from Poole Quay is beautiful Poole Park, offering activities for everyone including water sports on the lake, crazy golf, Poole Park railway, soft play, ice rink and play areas. The largest arts centre outside London, The Lighthouse always has a great line up of live shows, theatre, events and exhibitions for culture lovers. Sports lovers will not be disappointed, have a night out with friends at the greyhound racing track or get the adrenaline going watching the Poole Pirates speedway both at Poole Stadium in the Town Centre. And just outside the town is Tower Park Entertainment Centre - with ten pin bowling, American Pool, Cineworld Cinema, Gala Bingo, Splashdown Waterpark and a whole load of restaurants. It's family fun all round. Poole Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world (Sydney, Australia being the largest). The best views and photo opportunities can be observed from the water. There are also plenty of opportunities from Poole Quay and Sandbanks Jetty to jump on a boat trip for an enjoyable cruise around the harbour or across to the National Trust's Brownsea Island - the largest of the harbour islands, home of the scouting movement and a variety of wildlife, including the rare red squirrel. Poole Quay Boat Haven is a modern, purpose built haven, conveniently situated at the eastern end of Poole Town Quay, comprising of 125 fully serviced berths for visitors, with modern facilities available on the quay and the restaurants, bars and town within walking distance. You can travel around Poole Harbour and beyond on the Purbeck Breezer buses, which are open top during the summer months. You'll get great views from the top deck across the harbour, so just sit back while someone else does the driving. When arriving in Dorset by ferry from the Channel Islands or France, Poole offers a warm welcome and is the ideal place to start your holiday before travelling around Dorset and the South West of England.
The villages of Bovington and Wool are home to some of Dorset’s most loved attractions. Nearby is the Tank Museum with interactive displays, Monkey World and its unique collection of primates and Clouds Hill - the former home of T.E. Lawrence (also known as Lawrence of Arabia) which is now owned by the National Trust.
If you like walking, the 7 mile Lawrence of Arabia Trail starts at the Tank Museum and follows the story of T.E. Lawrence, taking in where he worked, lived, died and is now laid to rest. The route is mostly flat and you can break your day at Moreton village where there is a tearoom and a pub so you can stop for a drink or something to eat.
Wool is a small, quiet village which is well connected - the village has its own train station on the London Waterloo to Weymouth line and is on the route of the Jurassic Coaster bus (X54) linking Poole to Weymouth via the Saxon town of Wareham. The River Frome runs through the village and on its banks is the 17th century Woolbridge Manor where ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ spent her honeymoon in Thomas Hardy’s novel of that name. There are a number of village shops, 2 pubs (and another a short distance away) plus a small country market selling local produce held every Thursday at the D'Uberville Centre on Colliers Lane.
To the east of Wool village are the remains of the 12th century Bindon Abbey (now a Wellness Retreat), with the market town of Wareham and the world famous Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door all within a short travelling distance.
Puddletown is a small crossroads village close to Dorchester that retains a magical sense of times past. Formerly called Piddletown, for its proximity to the River Piddle, legend has it that Queen Victoria insisted the name was changed before a state visit. There is little evidence for this, however, and the village, which in Victorian times had the status of a town, held onto its original name until the 1950s. The word piddle is a Saxon word meaning clear water. Puddletown rose to fame in the 19th century as the fictional 'Weatherbury' of Thomas Hardy's Wessex novels. In reality it was where is grandfather and great-grandfather were born, and it is nearby High Bockhampton where Hardy himself was born. The thatched cottage where Hardy was born in 1840 was built by his grandfather is now owned by the National Trust. Hardy's cousin (and some say lover), Tryphena Sparks, also lived in Puddletown. Tryphena, who died during childbirth, was the inspiration for Hardy's poem 'Thoughts of Phena at her Death'. The village is an attractive mish-mash of thatched and slate roofs with a very well-preserved old church that boasts a Norman font and a 17th century gallery. The graves of the Martyn family, who owned two manorial houses close by, fill the south chapel.Nearby Athelhampton was once owned by the Martyn family and is reputed to be one of the finest examples of a 15th century manor house in the country. The privately owned house is set in 160 acres of parkland and gardens and is open to the public. The formal gardens feature fountains, pavilions, fine topiary and an octagonal garden designed by Sir Robert Cooke.Athelhampton is also alleged to have not one but several ghosts. These include a black monk, headless man and a grey woman!