The beach in Weymouth stretches for 2.5 miles around the Bay. At the Pavilion Theatre end, the sand is fine and golden. Because of the gentle slope and shallow waters, Weymouth Beach is ideal for families and safe for children.
Weymouth Beach is the venue for dozens of annual events. Therefore, in Spring we have the Kite Festival and Civil War enactment.
[caption id="attachment_1753" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Civil War enactment[/caption]
In Summer there is the D-Day landing, Veterans Parade, Historic and MIlitary Vehicles. Because of the digging work needed, the beach is temporarily closed during the displays.
[caption id="attachment_1919" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Military Vehicles on Weymouth Beach[/caption]
Autumn brings fireworks, beach volleyball and motocross. Winter events include the annual Santa Fun Run. In between, we have the Biathle and Iron Man events as well.
[caption id="attachment_1920" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Volleyball on Weymouth Beach[/caption]
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.
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.
The UKBT Classic Beach Volleyball competition took place this year from 24th to 27th July, on the main beach, just yards from Aaran Guesthouse. 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!)
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 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.
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 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. 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.
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 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)
Intermediate riders heading for the Beach straight
Riders passing the Sandworld display area
Riders sculpting sand their won way
Junior 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.
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.
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.
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.
Veterans Day takes place every June in Weymouth. Most years, there is a re-enactment of the D-Day battles. Troops disembark from Landing Craft , wade ashore and fight mock gun battles on the beach. They then build a temporary bridge on the beach and drive tanks and lorries across it. A number of military vehicles display on the Pavilion Theatre forecourt and parade along the Esplanade. On the Sunday, hundreds of veterans from all the armed forces and auxiliaries engage in the Service at the War Memorial, before marching down the sea front to the Pavilion. Because all this happens right in front of Aaran House, we have a grandstand view.
Veterans Day Parade
For some reason, in 2016, they decided to use “pirates” as the enemy formation on the beach. Anyway, our heroic troops soon overcame the resistance. The march past took place next day and ended right by our front door, as usual.
It is always a stirring sight to see the Old Soldiers marching past, displaying their medals and the whole weekend is one of many Weymouth Events not to be missed.
Old Soldiers march past