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Sea Life Tower (Weymouth)

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1 Review

Address: Festival Pier / Weymouth / Dorset DT4 8DX / United Kingldom ‎

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      08.07.2013 14:46
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      Sea-Life Tower, Weymouth.

      About the Tower
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      Weymouth Sea-Life Tower is located a short walk from Weymouth beach and enable you to enjoy 360 degree views of Weymouth Bay, Portland and the Jurassic Coast. The tower reaches 53m (165ft) above the resort and turns as you are seated so you won't miss a thing. The tower is taller than Portland Bill Lighthouse, The Taj Mahal, Tower of London, Angel of the North, Weymouth Jubilee Clock and also taller than a T-Rex Dinosaur. Although the tower is actually a total of 174 feet tall the pod that you sit in to see the view goes no higher than 165ft. On clear days you will be able to see over 26km which is over 16 miles enabling you to see Portland, Lulworth and beyond. The foundations of the tower go 18m into the sea bed and the gondola is lifted by 1800m of cable. The tower is a new attraction that opened in 2012 and is run by the Sea-Life Adventure Park which is a short journey from Weymouth Beach. The Land Train runs regularly to and from the Sea-Life tower from the Lodmoor Country Park which is where the Sea-Life Adventure Park is located. There is plenty of parking at Lodmoor Country Park. Alternatively you can get a bus from the Country Park to the seafront and the Tower is a short walk from there.

      I was on holiday in Weymouth for just over 1 week and I had seen people go up the tower many times during my stay here. Although me and my mum wanted to go on it, we wanted to wait for a clearer day as a few of the days were quite misty. We didn't see the point in going on the tower on a misty day as the view wouldn't be as good as it would on a nice, sunny day. As my week in Weymouth was coming to an end me and my mum only had a few days to go on the tower so picked a day to do it which was a few days before we left to come home. Although I am not a huge fan of heights I have been on the London Eye and on a Helicopter before so I was sure that I would be fine on this. If anything it would be the going up that I didn't like. As it wasn't the school holiday's we didn't have to join a long queue of people like you probably would during busy periods and the school holidays. You can pre-book tickets for the tower to avoid disappointment on the day.


      What can you expect to see?
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      There are a large number of things to look out for but I have included some of the main thing below. Please note these are just a few things to look out for but there are many other things as well.

      * The White Horse which was originally sculpted into the limestone of Osmington Hill, just north of Weymouth in 1808. The figure is of King George III, who regularly visited Weymouth.

      * Durdle Door is a natural Limestone Arch located near Lulworth Cove. It's privately owned by a family but is open to the public.

      * Nothe Fort is situated in Nothe Gardens, on the shore beside the northern breakwater of the ex-military Portland Harbour, and at the mouth of civilian Weymouth Harbour. The coastal defence was built in 1872 to protect Portland's harbour, which was then becoming an important Royal Navy Base.

      * Tout Quarry is abandoned but has now been turned into a Sculpture Park and is used to display an amazing collection of carvings and artefacts.

      * Sandsfoot Castle is one of Henry VIII's Device Forts, which is also known as Henrician Castles. It was built around 1541 and is to the west if Weymouth, Dorset opposite its contemporary Portland Castle. Together the two forts put the whole of Portland Harbour and the roads within range of their artillery, thus protecting shipping from foreign raiders and preventing an invading landing force from forming up offshore. Most of the caste has fallen into the sea; how-ever there are still ruins which have been listed as Grade II since late 1953.

      * Chesil Beach is one of three major shingle structures in Britain. The beach is 18 miles long, 660ft wide and 50ft high. The beach is part of the Jurassic Coast and World Heritage Site. The beach provides shelter from prevailing winds and waves for the town of Weymouth and the village of Chiswell, which would otherwise probably not exist.

      Prices
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      Individual (adult or child) - £22.50 door price or £15.50 online price.
      Under 3's go free.
      They also offer discounts for group of 10+ people, Annual Passes and Schools/Birthday discounts.
      We actually visited the Sea-Life Adventure Park and got free tickets for the Sea-Life tower so we wouldn't have to pay to go on the tower. I would be going on the tower with my mum as my dad didn't want to go up and my sister and her boyfriend went up the tower earlier on in the week.

      The Tower
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      We went walked up to the ticket office where you can purchase tickets from & showed them the free tickets that we had. We were also asked if we wanted a guide for £1.50 which shows you what to look out for when you are up the tower. My mum wanted one of these. After obtaining our tickets for the tower we joined a queue of about 3 people. The staff member at the front took people through in their groups (in this case it was just me and mum) and you were then asked to sit on a bench where they would take your photo. You had to look surprised and wave your hands in the air. You could also lift your feet of the floor if you wanted to as well. After this we were given a ticket which had our photo number on which they would bring up at the end of the trip. We walked round some metal fencing and joined the other people whom were waiting to get onto the tower.

      The pod which you sit in to go up the tower wasn't full when me and my mum went in. As we entered the pod we followed each other round and took a seat on the silver coloured bench. The bench goes right around the pod and also has a back rest as well so you can sit comfortably when in it. There are glass windows all the way around to enable to you get a really good view when you are up the tower. I noticed there are also 2 silver coloured rails that you can hold onto if you wish when sitting down in the pod. The pod is air conditioned which was a relief as me and my mum went up here on a sunny, hot day. There were only about 15 of us in the pod, although it does hold more. This day wasn't particularly busy due to it not being the school holidays. I imagine during half term week and the summer holidays that it gets much busier in here. Before the pod made its way up the tower a member of staff whom was standing at the entrance doors spoke on the microphone and told us that we would shortly be making our way up the tower. You must stay seated for the duration of the trip and you are not allowed to eat, drink or stamp your feet. I had to admit that I was a little nervous as I'm not a huge fan of heights; how-ever I really wanted to go on the tower. The member of staff also gave us some information about the tower and would notify us when we were half-way way up the tower.

      The pod started making its way slowly up the tower (I will put my hands up now and say that I didn't like the going up at all). I closed my eyes, clung to the seat and asked my mum to tell me when we were at the top. The tower took a short while (about a minute) to get to the top of the tower which is when the staff member informed us we were at the top. Once the pod was at the top of the tower I was fine and could look out and appreciate the views that it had to offer. The pod then started to turn slowly giving everyone a 360 degree view of Weymouth and the surrounding areas. It's actually surprising how high up you actually are. The view was stunning and Weymouth beach and the surrounding areas looked so beautiful.

      As the pod made its first turn the member of staff told us what we could see and what to look out for. After this she was quiet which enabled up to take in the beautiful views. Whilst up there I could see a number of different things shown on the map we purchased including The White Horse, Nothe Fort, Chesil Beach, and Weymouth Beach from one end to the other and much more. Due to it being slightly misty we couldn't see Durdle Door which is the Limestone Arch. Everything else looked beautiful & I loved when we were above the sea as it looked lovely and the water looked so blue. It made me feel as though I was abroad. The bench in which you have to sit on for the duration was actually quite comfortable which surprised me as to look at it doesn't look that comfortable at all.

      The member of staff informed us that we would shortly be making our way back down the tower. Although this was quicker than it was going up it wasn't too quick. The pod slowed down the closer to the bottom of the tower it got. We then exited the tower and walked through to an area where you could look at the pictures on the screen which were taken of us before going on tower. You can purchase 2 different types of photos or you can purchase key rings & magnets of your photo. One of the photos is you sitting on the top of the tower and the other photo is of you on a Sea-Life balloon. The photo of me and my mum on the tower looked much better so my mum decided she wanted a print of that one which cost £8.00. This seemed rather pricey; how-ever it would be a good reminder/memory of the experience. There were a few members of staff in this area all of which were helpful, polite and very chatty.

      Overall Opinion
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      Although I was scared going up the tower (more scared than my mum), I was fine once I was up there and I really enjoyed the beautiful views. The views were stunning and were truly breath-taking and amazing. It's the type of view I could look at for much longer. The whole experience took at least 15mins, which included going up and coming back down in the tower. During the time up the tower you get a really good view of everything around you and can even see a better view of the harbour. When looking at the tower you don't actually realise how high it us until you get up there and see what looks like toy cars and people beneath you and around the outside edge of the tower. Although the pod is air conditioned it was still rather hot in there so if it's a warm day then you will probably only need a vest top and shorts in here. I was meant to take some binoculars up with me whilst up the tower but I forgot so I had to make do with what I could see with my eyes which was still a lot. I do think the full price of £22.50 for a ticket Is quite pricey so I would definitely recommend getting a discount voucher online. This was an amazing experience and one that I would definitely do again as I don't think you would get bored of this no matter how many times you did it. I would definitely recommend this to anyone visiting Weymouth, and I guarantee you will enjoy every minute of it as you take in the views and beautiful sights of Weymouth and the surrounding areas.

      Additional Information
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      The Sea-Life Tower is open daily from 10am. The tower normally closes at 5pm, but it's an hour later in the summer, and a few hours earlier on certain winter dates. You can find out more information on the calendar which can be found on their website. The last ride is 15mins before closing. You should allow 30mins to queue and ride if you have booked tickets online. The queue to get tickets on the day could take longer.


      (review also on ciao)

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