“ Address: Hope Square / Weymouth / Dorset / DT4 8TR UK / Telephone: 01305 777622 „
Brewer's Quay is a small shopping centre situated on the site of the old brewery, which still in fact operates as a micro brewery of which you can take a tour. It incorporates many different shops, mainly of the gift variety but also a lovely little delicatessen and a cafe, a pub and a tourist attraction (the Time Walk).
There are various shops selling glassware, candles, cards, crafts, chutneys, beers, toys, collectors items and educational gifts among others. Some really nice decorations at Christmas time.
The cafe is quite small and quite simple, but is in a nice environment and the quality of the food seems good when I have tried it (recommend the steak baguette!).
The pub is the Excise House, it often has live music in the evenings and also has a small bowling (skittles style) alley and serves quite decent pub grub at good prices. There is a separate section for diners, though you can eat anywhere in the pub. Drink prices are reasonable. They have tables outdoors in Hope Square and it's a lovely place to sit on a summer's day, there are often other events happening in Hope Square itself such as the seafood festival or the jazz festival.
Time Walk attraction
Quite a comical (possibly unintentionally) attraction which involves a plastic cat in various guises taking you through a walk through the history of Weymouth from the Black Death (which was introduced to England by rats on a boat coming into Weymouth harbour) through to King George's regular seaside visits and into more modern times. Historically this is actually very interesting but there is something rather hilarious about a talking cat dressed in various historical outfits...
Each October there is a large and successful CAMRA beer festival with entertainment and usually over 50 different beers, many local (ticket only). There are often caroling events at Christmas time as well.
Brewers Quay is situated by the harbour in Weymouth, on the Dorset coast. Traditionally a brewing factory, Brewers Quay is now one of the greatest tourist attractions that Weymouth has to offer.
It's imposing exterior of red brick takes you back in time, and this continues as you enter the building and stroll along its twisty corridors, with the sloping ceilings. Entering from the front you have the Excise House on your left, which serves excellent pub food throughout the day, and usually has live music playing at the weekends. On your right is the entrance to the Timewalk Exhibition.
The timewalk is an experience like no other, it takes you on a tour of Weymouth's history, all narrated through the eyes of a cat, and her friends. The walk covers periods such as the black death, and does contain smoke effects, and loud noises, which some young children may find scary. The walk also covers the visits of George the 3rd, who used to visit Weymouth to bathe in the sea, and goes up to the brewery closing in 1985.
Upstairs there is the Discovery, which is a science museum, aimed at children, although adults will find it fascinating as well. This deals with various aspects of science, and the website advises that a visit could take between one and two hours.
Beyond these attractions, Brewers Quay is home to many specialist and unique shops, selling unusual, and often handmade products. These range from cards, to jewellery, to leather coats. One shop which is definitely worth a visit is the sweet shop, where they sell a variety of homemade truffles, and chocolates, as well as all of the old, traditional sweets. These are stacked in jars behind the counter, and the assistants will measure them out for you.
There is also a lovely shop which sells local produce, as well as luxury treats likeflorentines. This shop is excellent if you are looking for something local and unusual to take home.
Just outside Brewer's Quay you have the harbour, where boat trips leave, and a multitude of seafood restaurants, although these are not cheap. You are also only a short walk from the Nothe Fort, which is a military history attraction. There are also several pubs, most offering outdoor seating.
--- Location ---
Brewers Quay is a small yet beautiful shopping centre based in Weymouth, Dorset. It is located on the other side of the harbour from the town centre on Hope Square which is a really nice place to go for an afternoon drink (be it tea or beer!).
Nearby are Weymouth's historical and often picturesque harbour and the Nothe Fort, both of which are great places to walk on a nice day. The area is also residential and there are some quite nice local flats, apartments and houses nearby. Being a local myself I can say that they are pretty friendly pending on how much they've had to drink in the outside pub benchs but I've never seen any trouble there.
--- History ---
Brewers Quay is embedded with history; originally Weymouth was split into two communities; Melcome Regis and Weymouth with Brewers Quay at the centre of what was Melcome Regis. There were 3 breweries in Hope Square over the years but the Devenish Brewery (Brewer's Quay) was the largest and most productive of all of them. In 1821 the brewery was leased and later purchased by William Devenish with business continuing through both world wars until 1985 when it brewed its last batch. Actually, in the summer of 1940, business was actually temporarily stopped when a bomb damaged the brewhouse and surrounding buildings. In it's heyday up to 30 horses delivered the beer to local pubs and houses and the stables at the back are still visible today. Unfortunately after pressures to expand and the need to replace old equipment this meant that the business operations were transferred to a more modern plant in Redruth, Cornwall. Thus it closed as a brewery in 1985.
Today Brewers Quay is a remodeled brewery that houses many shops, a museum and a restaurant, much of the reminders of its brewing heritage has been preserved to give a nice historical elegance to it. I personally love this shopping 'village' for many reasons to be explained and I frequent this place, as a local, each and every opportunity I get. If you are going to visit this wondeful place, I recommend Christmas as the perfect time.
--- Food and Museums ---
Inside the old brewhouse are many shops with products ranging from cards to teddy bears. As you enter the main entrance you immediately see a pub called 'The Excise House' on your left, on your right is 'The Timewalk', a museum tour that guides you through Weymouth and the brewhouse's history. The Excise House is a very traditional and old pub which still shows a lot of its past in keeping with the theme of Brewers Quay. It boasts an extensive food menu and a number of fine ales along with the more modern Corona and WKD bottles. This place gets exceptionally busy around Christmas and New Year due to the amassed crowds of shoppers, tourists and locals. I have been in here many times on a night out or just to play on the pool table, each time it has been enjoyable and pleasant. The prices are average to any pub which is nice because it could charge more being so close to the shops.
The Timewalk is a very enjoyable and interesting museum that literally walks you through Weymouth history. From smugglers to King George the Third it illustrates the time with plastic models and an entertaining visual and audio commentary. I have been many times on a school trip or in my own time and loved it each time. I heavily recommend this if you are interested in the local history - both for adults and children.
Another Museum I unfortunately havent been to but heard great things about is the 'Weymouth Museum'. It is free and perhaps more for adults rather than children. It was part of the Timewalk until 1999 but has since become separate. The museum is full of prints and paintings from all kinds of eras such as that of King George the Third and during the Second World War. This place is somewhere I intend to go to soon and I will update this accordingly!
Another place to eat is the Courtyard Restaurant. I have never eaten there so I am afraid I cannot comment on it but the restaurant itself is very open to the surroundings (not sectioned off) so I wouldn't recommend it for a proper meal but more a tea and scones kind of place! Very quaint and pretty with plants and waiters and waitresses all dressed up traditionally. The prices too look average for cheap restaurant or tea room. They also do party bookings for upto 55 people.
--- The Shops ---
If you keep walking past both the Timewalk and the Excise House then straight in front of you is the entrance to a really nice arts and crafts shop. With products ranging from didgeridoos to wind chimes and coming from all over the world, this is a very unique shop. I have been in there many times and gotten ideas for future flats. My brother has also frequented it to get things like josh sticks and incense. It's quite a large store with a very continential feel to it, the staff are always friendly and polite and pretty knowledgeable about the products they're selling. Connected to this shop is another that sells primarily candles and ornaments. As soon as you walk through you are hit with a very distinctive smell of combined lavender, vanilla and other delicate candle smells. I really like this shop and again it is good for getting home ideas or gifts for parents and friends but most definately for women. For my parent's wedding anniversary I purchased a very nice Silver plated photo frame for them and they loved it. It was priced very reasonably and they had plenty of other options available to me.
Further connected to this shop is an amazing sweet shop! This has a mixture of traditional sweets and cakes as well as modern day sweets such as Jelly Belly JellyBeans. Slightly expensive but it is still great for ideas of gifts for friends and family. Opposite this shop is a shop that sells primarily local beers and ciders, some established brands but they also make a point of selling new brands also. They also have a great selection of fudges, cheeses and Jams. This is another good place to get gifts for those who really like food or perhaps those who prefer local and traditional style food. I particularly like the tea selections and bicuits. I have bought those more times than I should of! Another favourite shop of mine is a locally made card shop. Most are hand made and have a good sense of humour, some are very animal orientated and very pretty whilst others have a bit of a local feel to them (i.e. fishing or walking). I particularly like the postcards with famous nearby sights such as the cenre abbas giant, portland bill and corfe castle. Great place to buy cards months in advance; I really recommend the humour section. This is a small shop but with plenty of varieties of cards and wrapping papers.
Upstairs now and there's a shop called 'Nostalgia' which has collector items of comics, toy cars, games and other old school items. Ranging from Warhammer to Captain Scarlett memorabilia to 1900's 'Beanos' and 'Dandys'. This is a great place to walk around and reminisce about the old days no matter what age you are. Products are placed precariously so be careful about what you touch. The shop is set out more like a car boot sale but some items are a lot more expensive than others. I could probably spend a good part of an hour or two in there reading the books and playing the toys! Plus if you're a collector you may find something to add to your collection.
Finally there is a very big shop that is essentially a sort of Weymouth gift shop, with personalised calenders and ornaments; this is certainly worth a look whether you are visiting or local to the area. There is a good blend of product themes such as the habour ornaments and other sea related items with maps and guides to Weymouth and Dorset.
Those are my favourite listed abover and ones I have personally experienced. Others include; an autographed photo shop (from Elvis to Freddie Mercury), a Winnie the Pooh children's toy shop, 'Discovery' (a science toy shop with interesting books and gadgets) and many others for all sorts of interests and preferences. Those ones are best to go in by yourself to check out.
--- In General ---
The Shopping Centre is a very interesting place, best suited for people who like odd things and m 'bits and bobs'. It is perfect for a nice pleasant walk away from the hectic and busy shops of Weymouth Town Centre. Don't foget it isn't just shops and it can be used as a museum, party venue, restaurant or just for a quick cup of tea. It was a great idea to transform the old brewery into this and I hope it stays running for a long long time, continuing to pick up bits of culture and history along the way.
Their website is also very handy and worth checking out: www.brewers-quay.co.uk/