I think I’ve really underestimated how good for you a weekend away from the hustle & bustle of everyday life can be and you really don’t have to travel far around the UK to find some absolutely beautiful locations for a night or two to make you feel like you’ve travelled further and had a proper break!
Luckily in the South of England where we live we’re only a couple of hours away from some of the most beautiful stretches of beach the UK has to offer so at the weekend we booked an AirBnb, packed our bags, loaded up the bikes on the roof-rack and headed down to Weymouth for the night for a little adventure.
We arrived on Friday afternoon around 1pm and we were so lucky to have incredible weather for the whole duration of our mini-break, the sun was shining and we couldn’t wait to offload the bikes and get going but first we checked into our AirBnB. We chose a lovely static caravan (for nostalgia’s sake mainly, neither of us had stayed in one since we were children) and it was perfectly clean, had a large seating area with a big TV, two bedrooms & a shower-room/bathroom.
After we’d checked in we got straight on the bikes and began our ride into Weymouth town centre, the caravan park we stayed in was a little distance from the town, perhaps a 10 minute drive but cycling in took us about 40 minutes along the coastal path to avoid cycling down the main roads – we took a couple of wrong turns on the way but it was worth it for the sea views!
We got lunch from Fish n’ Fritz which is #1 in the Weymouth area and it didn’t disappoint – we sat and ate our battered sausage, chips, curry sauce (for Rob) and gravy (for me) on the beach before we hit up the arcade! After lunch we cycled back a shorter route through town and chilled for the evening as we wanted to be up early the next day to keep exploring!
On our second day we had quite a lot planned, we wanted to head over to Portland Island which is adjoined to Weymouth by a single bridge in and out, there’s a lot to do on the island and we will definitely be making a return visit sometime soon to stay on the island.
We parked in Chesil beach car park which was popular but has a lot of spaces, we then cycled across the very windy bridge to Portland marina, we cycled along the promenade to our first destination; Portland Castle!
I’d made a note to visit the castle before we left for the trip so knew it was definitely a must-do for us as we love history and it’s an English Heritage site so if you’re already a member you’re in luck! We’re not so entry was £7.50 each for us.
Portland Castle was one of Henry VIII’s gun forts & was then turned into a house later down the line so it has a LOT of interesting history, especially surrounding it’s time as a defensive fort. The tour is very good with a free audio guide, lots of posters to read and interactive features as you make your way around. You can do the tour at your own pace & as we liked to stop and take in the sea views & the odd picture it probably took us around 45 mins-1 hour.
Note: if you’re cycling around Portland like we did, there’s nowhere near the Castle to safely lock up your bikes so we were allowed to keep them inside the Castle grounds just outside the reception window so they could keep an eye.
Next stop on our trip was the Castletown D-Day Centre, we only found out about this place from a poster we saw on the beach the day before but wow I’m so glad we discovered it!
Rob is a huge history buff with a particular interest in World Wars so we were really looking forward to going back in time for an hour or so and this attraction did not disappoint. Entry is £7 for adults with family and concession tickets available and it’s worth every penny.
The D-Day centre is fully interactive which is incredibly cool, you can get in the majority of vehicles, hold guns, try on helmets and backpacks and there’s plenty to read about as you go round. There’s so much to see and do there and we really enjoyed our time there which you can see from the photos we took!
Note: Don’t miss heading up to the German bunker on your way out for some more interactive displays and some Nazi memorabilia – it’s a real step back in time!
We absolutely loved Weymouth and especially Portland Island and I’m already excited to head back there next spring/summer again to explore more of Portland Island!