A postcard from Weymouth Beach

Postcard Series

Golden sand, full of dogs, donkeys and people, in that order…..

Formation of Weymouth Beach

Weymouth Beach is a wide, long arc of golden sand, stretching from the Pavilion Theatre towards Bowleaze Cove. From approximately the Jubilee Clocktower northwards, the beach increasingly contains pebbles. Some of these are thought to arise from weed-rafting. Fine and medium sand make up the wider, softer end of the beach (outside Aaran House).

Whether it is January or August, Weymouth Beach is always beautiful

These sands derive from tidal (reverse-)flow and wave action scouring the seabed in the Bay. Adding to this are sediments from the River Wey and Jordan. These sediments “washed up” against the harder outcrop at Nothe and formed the original strand. Extensions to the Harbour piers reinforced this sedimentation process. This broadened the beach near the current position of the Theatre.

Weymouth Beach – Best in Britain

The result is that the Beach comprises a safe, shallow bathing environment, with soft fine sand, ideal for making sandcastles and sunbathing. The Beach was a major factor in the development of Seaside Resorts and coastal holidays, following visits by King George III. It is possibly the most important attraction for visitors to Weymouth.

Donkey rides on the Beach
Donkey rides on the Beach (Westhill Donkeys)

The Beach was crowned “Best Beach in Britain” and one of the best in Europe in 2017, and it is easy to see why.

Volleyball on Weymouth Beach
Volleyball on Weymouth Beach

Beach Attractions

Among the attractions on Weymouth Beach, we have Donkey rides, a Helter Skelter slide, miniature golf, bungee rides, pedaloes and one of the last Punch and Judy shows in Europe. There are up to 27 concessions along the front, including shops, Sand World sculpture display booth and two cafes. The Beach is regularly cleaned during summer and there are RNLI lifeguards, First Aid, Lost Children services and Beach attendants available.

Santa Christmas Run on Weymouth Beach 2019

Hundreds of Santas, Fairies and Elves chase Pudding along the Beach – (Archive photos)

This year, the annual Chase the Pudding event (Santa Christmas Run) took place on the 15th of December. It followed the usual route from the Pavilion to the Bandstand Pier and back, along the Beach. However, in a novel departure, there was a Mrs Pudding to run alongside Mr Pudding, as the Santa hordes gave chase. Many spectators viewed the proceedings from the Esplanade.

The Santa Christmas Run Charity this year was the Will Mackanness Trust, in aid of watersports provision for local youngsters. We believe there was a record entry this year, with over 300 Santas, Elves, Reindeer and Fairies chasing the Puddings. As usual, the winner becomes next year’s pudding> We are now looking forward to the annual Christmas Day Swim in Weymouth Harbour. Further ahead, there is the Beach Volleyball Classic in somewhat warmer weather, among other events almost every week.

Weymouth Classic Beach Volleyball – UKBT – July 2019

The UKBT Classic Beach Volleyball competition took place this year from 24th to 27th July, on the main beach, just yards from Aaran Guesthouse along The Esplanade. Despite being snowed under with guests at this time of year, we were able to dash out and grab a few photographs of the proceedings. (We publish this on 18th September – that’s how busy it has been!)

Information from http://www.weymouthbeachvolleyball.co.uk/classic-2/event-details/ tells us that Weymouth hosted the first ever British Beach Volleyball event back in 1983 and has hosted the Classic ever since (more data can be found by clicking the link above). (See our YouTube Channel for related videos).

There was music all day and hundreds of spectators were seated at the grandstand, constructed on the Beach. Local sponsors were Domvs (estate agents). Thousands of people watched (free) as the centre court and outside games continued. Weymouth is probably the best place to see this premier UK sporting competition, with added advantages of plenty of delghtful smal guesthouses and, equally important, great pubs and restaurants, immediately nearby.

Cornish Pilot Gig Boat Racing demo on Weymouth Beach

Cornish Pilot Gig racing has become a popular sport recently. Gig racing clubs have sprung up all over Dorset and the South West since around 2000. On Saturday, we saw 19 Gig boats from towns along the Jurassic Coast taking part in demonstration races, with casual and team competitors of all ages. The boats launched from the Beach, with most spectators viewing from the Esplanade.

In addition to the gig races, there were numerous other events taking place around Weymouth. These included separate live music venues at the Town Bridge and across the Harbour in Hope Square. There were numerous stalls along the Harbourside on the South Bank as well as Celebration of the US Memorial Day on the Esplanade. There was a funfair on the Pavilion Forecourt and Fireworks in the evening to celebrate the new Town Council. We are now looking forward to the Classic Beach Volleyball Tournament in a few weeks time.

Bright for Sight fun run – Saturday night 13th April 2019

Bright for Sight run has previously been held on Boscombe Beach in Bournemouth and now, they have come to Weymouth. Our first such fun run was held on Saturday night, starting at 8:30pm, alongside the Pavilion Theatre, and along The Esplanade. We strolled across the 50 yards or so to watch the start. Runners were dressed in bright colours and wore flashing lights, wherever they could.

The event was sponsored by Frith’s Opticians and raised over £1300 for Charity. A number of local businesses contributed and individual runners also raised sponsorship money. There were two distances, 5 km and 10 km. We hope this run will be back again soon and become a regular event on the Weymouth calendar.

Aaran Guesthouse You Tube playlist

YouTubePlaylist

You Tube Playlist

Here, you can view a few videos of Harbour and Beach events in Weymouth, mostly filmed on our doorstep. See other videos in our YouTube Channel, including Christmas Day Harbour Swim, Raft Race, RNLI Historic Boat Parade, Beach Volleyball, Santa Fun Run (Chase the Pudding), Iron Man events, Beach Kite Festival, Motor Boat Racing, Weymouth fishing fleet , Ice skating and much more. The cover image from the You Tube Playlist shows the old Condor Ferry, as it returned to Weymouth following a gap in operations. This is our most popular video. Other videos show Beach Motocross, Harley Davidson Parades, Waterfest and Seafood Festival.

Bonfire Night fireworks on Weymouth Beach – 2018

Bonfire Night Fireworks in Weymouth Bay

Bonfire Night fireworks have been a continuing tradition in Weymouth for many years. The bonfire was lit at 7:20pm. Aamazingly, next morning the remains were collected by Weymouth Council for reuse (as far as possible). The fireworks started at 7:45pm. The small pilot boat was the centre of about 15 minutes of fiery and sparkly mayhem as the fireworks lit up the clear night sky.

About 10,000 people on the Esplanade watched the display with many also enjoying the chips and drinks available from several stalls along the Esplanade. Many others watched from sea-facing rooms in their guesthouses. We filmed a few short clips from our front doorstep – overlooking the whole Bay and all the pyrotechnics. The massive bonfire itself was just 100 yards away along the Beach.

As in previous years, the event was free . It is just one of the host of great events to be seen from any of the lovely little sea front hotels and guesthouses on Weymouth’s Esplanade. (See https://www.whgla.org.uk for Guesthouse details)

Beach Motocross, Weymouth, Sunday 28th October 2018

Beach Motocross – Weymouth – 28th October 2018

Lions Club Beach Motocross

Intermediate riders heading for the Beach straight

Intermediate riders heading for the Beach straight

Riders passing the Sandworld display area

Riders sculpting sand their won way

Riders sculpting sand their won way

Junior riders nearing lap completion

Junior motocross riders nearing lap completion

Junior motocross riders nearing lap completion

The view from our rooms –

Weymouth Lions Club organised the annual Beach Motocross race on 28th October this year. The weather was a little colder and windier than the Beach Volleyball a couple of months earlier, so we elected to view the race from our guest room 1, above the crowds lining the Esplanade. (See our YouTube Channel for previous images and videos).   Soon, we shall see the annual Chase the Pudding event, where 100’s of Santas, Elves and Fairies line up to catch the Pudding for Charity.

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Several thousand spectators braved the chill to watch a record 364 competitors take part in races for Seniors, Experts, Intermediate and Junior riders. There were countless thrills and spills. Many fallen riders jumped back on thier machines only to fall of at the next jump. It was mayhem but out of the chaos great skills emerged and some well-deserved winners thrilled the watching crowds. (For results and more detailed information – see http://www.amca.uk.com/motocross/motocross-reports-results/2428-2018-amca-weymouth-beach-moto-cross?mylaps=type,run,runid,5160932 .

The event raised £1800 for Weymouth and Portland Lions Club and an estimated 20,000 visitors watched the races – FREE ! We would also like to add our congratulations to regular Weymouth commentator, Paul Hardy, on his well-deserved retirement.

(For previous years, check out our earlier post – https://www.aaranhouse.co.uk/beach-motocross/

Donkey rides on Weymouth Beach – Westhill Donkeys

Donkey rides on Weymouth Beach

We are now nearing the end of the Summer Season, so it seemed appropriate to mention the Donkey Rides. The rides have been delighting children (and Parents) for many, many years. The donkeys come from Westhill Farm, under new stewardship since 2011. The tradition has continued since the 19th century. The rides take place near the "Boat" beach cafe, at the Southern end of Weymouth Beach and just 100 yards from Aaran Guesthouse. The course takes riders 100 yards along the sands and back again. We think parents enjoy  watching just as much as their kids enjoy the riding the donkeys.

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Aaran House – right on the sea front

View from Aaran House front door

Sea front flower bed 5 yards from Aaran House

Sea front flower bed 5 yards from Aaran House

Sea front guesthouses viewed 10 yards from Aaran House

Sea front guesthouses viewed 10 yards from Aaran House

The sea front in Weymouth stretches right along The Esplanade and right past Aaran House. When you step out of our front door, 5 paces brings you to the flower beds. From there, you can see all around, as in the short video above. In front, there is the 2.5 mile beach, the sea and the Bay, sweeping round to white cliffs. Left, there is the town frontage, consisting mainly of Georgian buildings, like Aaran House.

If you walk the 20 yards to the beach, you can turn round and see Aaran House and the other Georgian guesthouses. We all offer spectacular views and a warm welcome. Behind us is the historical and picturesque Harbour, always busy with fishing boats, yachts and tall ships.