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~ About the Harbour ~
Weymouth harbour is one of the most picturesque harbours in Europe with the 17th century waterfront home to some of the finest pubs, restaurants, family attractions and architecture. The harbour itself has lots of history to it linking it to the Black Death, Spanish Armada and the Civil War. The harbour has 2 main parts to it as well as the ferry terminal. A bridge linking the ports of Weymouth and Welcombe Regis was first built in 1597. Since then it has been built a few times from the swing bridge to a drawbridge which is what operates today. The drawbridge is otherwise known as the Town Bridge and opens at two hourly intervals allowing ships and boats to pass under it which are too high to pass when the bridge is shut.
~ The Harbour ~
I have been to the Harbour a few times and love it here. There are lots of bars and restaurants located along both sides of the harbour which allows you to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful views. As well as plenty of bars and restaurants there are seating areas in which you sit and watch the boats go through the bridge when it opens and watch all the fishing boats come in and out of the Harbour. Of course this area is mainly for fishing boats, how-ever there are other boats here that can take you out on boat rides. These include Speedboat rides, Fishing Trips, A ride to Portland Harbour and you can also go Mackerel fishing too. When the weather is nice this is a truly, beautiful place to sit and relax and take in the sea air. I have walked around the harbour so many times looking at all the beautiful boats and fishermen coming in with their daily catch of fish and crabs. You can walk right round to the other side of the harbour when the Nothe Fort is. You are allowed to fish from this far side of the harbour, and many people catch crabs and other fish from here. There is a small ferry which goes across one side of the harbour to the other which saves about a 15/20 minute walk. This is only about £1.50 for an adult and it's a small wooden boat with a man who rows you across. I have never used this as I like the walk; how-ever I have seen a lot of people on it. You do get a lot of Seagulls in this area due to all the fishing boats, how-ever there are actually signs stating you not to feed the Seagulls as they cause a lot of mess. There are holiday homes in and around the harbour that you can stay in for a few days or a week when visiting Weymouth, some of these are beautiful and I can't think of anything better than waking up to see the beautiful harbour every morning.
Pubs/Restaurants - Along each side if the harbour is a range of different pubs and bars. Most of these have seating areas outside in which you sit and take in the beautiful view of the harbour. One particular nice pub is called Rendezvous; they sell a great range of beers, wine and other spirits as well as a range of great tasting food. There are of course take away restaurants which sell Fish & Chips. There are a few local shops around this area selling gifts and general items such as groceries.
Mackerel Fishing - My boyfriend wanted to go Mackerel fishing one day. This trip went from the harbour and was a total of 1 & 1/1hrs long. I was actually dreading this as I really didn't think it was my type of thing. There were a total of 8 people on the fishing trip. The boat was a nice size and the man in charge of the trip was very polite and chatty. We went out of the harbour and into the bay and he put some lines out. We all had a line each and he taught us how to tell if there was a fish on the line or not. I caught the first fish which I was really impressed with. The sea was very choppy and the boat did move around a lot and this made me feel a little uneasy how-ever the experience was great and between us all we caught over 50 fish which he bagged up and gave us to take home.
Ferry Terminal - The ferry normally goes from Weymouth harbour over to the Jersey. This how-ever is currently going from Poole as they have repair work going on so you can't currently get the Ferry from here at the moment. If you walk round to the opposite side of the harbour you can actually see them working on this area which is loaded with different cranes and construction vehicles.
Fishing - Me and my boyfriend went right round to the other side of the harbour to see if we could catch anything one day. I sat there with a crab line and he had purchased a fishing rod from a local fishing shop which is located a short walk from the harbour. We also purchased some bait and a bucket for anything that we caught. There are lots of places along the harbour which sell crab lines for about £2.00. I managed to catch 2 crabs which I was pleased about as it was the first time I had ever done this. My boyfriend didn't catch any fish, how-ever we learnt after our fishing trip that it's very rarely that people actually catch the fish in this area as they seem to eat anything and everything so are rarely very hungry for anything that's put on the end of a line. We had to pay about £7.00 per person for this trip.
Lifeboat Station - Weymouth's Lifeboat station is located in the Harbour and you can walk past the Lifeboat and the station itself. Here you can find out other information about the Lifeboat and you can also donate money to go towards Lifeboats. I have only ever seen the Lifeboat go out once, but it's fantastic to see.
The Bridge - The Bridge, also known as the town bride lifts every 2 hours to enable boats to go through that are too small to fit underneath it. I have seen the bridge go up many times. This stays up for a good 5-10 minutes at least until all the boats have gone through. When this happens you can see some beautiful boats, and very occasionally the people on board will wave to you. If you visit the harbour this is something that you must go and see.
~ Overall Opinion ~
Weymouth harbour is a beautiful place to go and visit if you happen to be in Weymouth. Me and my boyfriend went to the harbour at least 4-5 times during our week stay here and didn't get bored at any time. When I go back to Weymouth again, I want to try out the Speedboat ride or another one of the trips they do from the harbour. My nephew also loves going to harbour as he loves watching all the boats come in and out and especially likes watching the fishing boats. The harbour is also beautiful in the evening, when everything is lit up. It's very peaceful and so picturesque, and I often went down here in the evening with my boyfriend for a walk. I highly recommend a visit to Weymouth harbour and I'm sure you too will love it there.
~ Other Information ~
During the Olympics for 2012, they will hold the sailing events in and around Portland and Weymouth harbour. This means that there will be some restrictions on where you can go and you may not be able to walk all the way to other side of the harbour as I did when I visited here. I highly recommend to visit the harbour after the Olympic events.
There used to be a lovely small shopping centre here called Brewers Quay, this has now been closed as they plan to build a hotel where this beautiful shopping centre once was.
(review also on ciao)