“ Address: Lodmoor Car Park / Weymouth DT4 7SX / United Kingdom „
About the Vintage Bus Running Day
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I appreciate this kind of event isn't going to be to everyone's taste's but I thought I would write a review about it as I recently attended the Vintage Bus Running Day this year. The Vintage Bus Running Day is held in Weymouth, Dorset every year where it has been running for a total of 7 years now. The event is usually held in the month of June on a Sunday and normally starts around 10am and ends at approximately 5pm. During the bus running day you can view all the various different buses and also take short or longer trips on them to the surrounding areas of Weymouth. All the buses run from the Lodmoor Country Park which is where the Sea-Life Adventure Park is located meaning there is plenty of parking there. Many of the buses are static; how-ever there is an adjacent bus departure area where you can take trips on the buses. Some of the vintage buses run to Portland Bill, where you can see fantastic views of Chesil Beach as the bus climbs up through Portland and to Bowleaze Cove giving the chance to ride along the full length of the seafront. Most of the buses running on the day travel along the Esplanade giving people some fantastic photo opportunities to those who can't get to the Country Park to see the buses. One of the vintage buses runs to and from Weymouth Train Station giving easy access to the from Lodmoor Country Park for visitors coming by train or leaving their car in the local Swannery Car Park which is near the train station.
The Bus Running Day
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We were staying in Weymouth for a holiday so it was only a short walk to the main town and the beach. My parents and me decided to take my nephew to the bus rally as he didn't get chance to go last year due to the poor weather. To walk to Lodmoor Country Park from the town would take a good 20-30mins so we all decided to get the Land Train which runs from the sea-front up to the Country Park. We got on the Land Train half way along the sea-front and paid for a single trip up to the country park which cost us £1.00. We thought this was reasonable and it saved walking up there which would probably tire my nephew out. I hadn't yet been on the land train either so I got a chance to experience what this was like. The land train drops you on the opposite side of the Sea-Life Adventure Park so all you have to do is cross the road (there is a pedestrian crossing) and then you are at the Country Park. The buses were located towards the back of the car park out of the way from all the other cars that were parked there. The area in which the buses were was actually fenced off so cars couldn't enter this area. There were sections between the fences that you could walk through to the buses. It's free to go and see the buses and to take pictures of them. My nephew got rather excited when he saw all the different colours and types of buses that were all parked neatly in rows. We started on one side of the car park and looked at all the different buses, some of which were much older than other. There were double decker buses and older buses which were single deck and also the type of buses my dad used to drive when he worked as a bus driver when he was in his mid-twenties. My nephew asked me to take a few pictures of him with the buses so he could put them in his scrapbook which he was doing about his trip to Weymouth. My nephew looked rather small next to some of the buses. There were buses coming in and out of the car park which you could go on for a ride if you wished. I am unsure of how much this was as we unfortunately didn't go on one of the buses. We made our way to the 2nd row or buses where there were some more modern looking buses and open top bus. Although most of the drivers sitting in or around the buses you weren't allowed to go on the buses which I thought was a shame. All the buses looked really clean and in brilliant condition. We did manage to peer through a few of the bus windows and they looked very clean inside. A lot of the older buses have high windows so we couldn't see into these unfortunately.
As well as the buses in the car park there were also various stalls selling a range of different items. The first stall we looked at contained hand-made cards all which had buses on the front (perfect for a bus fanatic), they were also selling non bus items such as books. There was a large area on this stall which also contained a range of collectable and toy buses to purchase. There must have been well over 50 different types of buses and my nephew pointed out an Arrive bus that he wanted. I told him that we would look at the other stalls first and then come back to that one. There were at least another 3 stalls which sold a range of different items including books, collectable buses and other toys. One stall also had a huge collection of photographs of different buses. They were all listed in alphabetical order so you could find the picture of the bus you wanted. My nephew wanted a picture of the modern buses that run in Weymouth so I looked under First Direct and found a lovely photo of the bus. He also wanted photos of a London bus and a few others. These were priced at 50p each which I thought was reasonable. Some of the pictures were done in black and white which gave an old feel to them. We went back to the first stall and I purchase a bus for my nephew which was priced at £15. My older nephew then helped me to pick a bus for my younger nephew who would love a new bus to play with. I also did this to make it fair as well as I couldn't buy one nephew a bus and not the other one something. We picked a lovely Red Bus which is a bus that runs in the Surrey area. This was a slightly cheaper bus priced at £10. We had another brief look at the buses before leaving the car park and visiting the Sandworld Sculpture Park which is located in the same area. We then got the land train back to the Esplanade which cost us another £1.00 each. There is a small Cafe located at Lodmoor Country Park where you can purchase a range of different drinks and refreshments. There are also public toilets here as well.
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This type of day won't appeal to everyone and will probably appeal to males than it will to be females. I didn't mind taking my nephew here to see the buses, especially as he missed out on it last year due to the wet weather. Me and my nephew really enjoyed seeing the buses, especially some of the older one's which you only see at events like this. All the buses looked great and looked as though they were in brilliant condition. Me and my dad would have loved to have gone on one of the buses for a short trip, how-ever my nephew didn't want to which is why we didn't go on one. I think it is a shame that you can't sit on the buses or see what they are like inside, how-ever for this I suppose children would have to be supervised and they probably don't want to risk any damage done to the inside of the buses. They had at least 20 different buses here and at least another 5 which were coming in and out from taking people on short trips. Although there were only 4-5 stalls here selling different things they had a good range of items if you are interested in buses or know anyone who is. I think this event is brilliant as it's free to look at the buses and take pictures of them. The only down-side to the bus running day is that the buses can get extremely busy. When we were on the Esplanade we saw a few of the old buses go past and all the seats had been taken up from people who wanted to ride on the bus. The other downside to the bus running day is that if the weather is poor there is no shelter or cover. One year when we attempted to go here the weather was awful and there were only about 4 buses at the event and there weren't any stalls selling goods. If this is your type of thing then I would highly recommend it to others, after all it is free to look at the buses.
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Address: Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth, DT4 7SX
(review also on ciao)