With its golden sands and seafront entertainment, Weymouth is the quintessential Dorset beach resort.
Set in the middle of Dorset's stunning coastline, Weymouth has everything you need for a British beach vacation or camping holiday. Head down to the sandy beach to swim or build sandcastles, grab some fish and chips to eat as you stroll along the pier, or have fun at the seafront amusements. You can even ride a donkey along the beach or watch a traditional Punch and Judy show. South of town, the Isle of Portland has castle ruins and smugglers’ coves to explore, and Chesil Beach is a hotspot for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and other water sports. For camping, choose from beachside holiday parks or escape the crowds at quiet farm campsites.
Weymouth lies at the heart of the UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast, where jagged sea cliffs tumble down to sandy beaches and rocky coves. Head east to marvel at the Durdle Door, Dorset’s most iconic landmark, or continue past Chesil Beach to see the golden cliffs of the West Bay or hunt for fossils at Charmouth beach. Hikers will be in their element here, and there is plenty of choice for camping along the coast.
Bordered by steep limestone sea cliffs, the peninsula known as the Isle of Purbeck curls out around Poole Harbour. This is the dramatic finale of the Jurassic Coast and the South West Coast Path, and highlights include the white cliffs of Old Harry’s Rocks and rock pools of Kimmeridge Bay. If you prefer water sports to coastal hikes, the sheltered waters of Poole Harbour are ideal for kayaking, jet skiing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
The Jurassic Coast continues west into East Devon, where coastal hikes and fossil hunting are the main activities. Inland, the sloping farmlands and forested valleys of the East Devon and Blackdown Hills AONBs provide endless options for hikes, bike rides, and horseback rides. Come in spring and summer to admire the wildflowers, discover Iron Age ruins hidden in the hills, or stop at a country pub for a traditional Devonshire cream tea.
Summer is peak season in Weymouth, and the beaches get busy in July and August. Book campsites well in advance if you plan to visit at this time. The best weather for camping and outdoor activities is from April through October. Don’t be put off by the idea of a winter visit—coastal views can be even more dramatic when the winds pick up, and although it can get chilly, the weather rarely hits extremes.