Camping in Weymouth

Weymouth coast
So, this is how far I have come in 1 year, starting from the end of July 2015 to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, I have returned for my latest stop back at the western coasts of Dorset at Weymouth Bay. It has been quite an adventure, even more so than all the other trips so far only because this time I actually took it up a notch and camped for the first time in UK in the wild... Well, not quite wild wild, it was in the middle of a field in a well equipped camp ground. But that isn't to say it wasn't still something of a thrill to hike for miles and sleep out in the open under the starry night in a tent...

My trail so far...

Weymouth harbour

Queen's jubilee clock at the Esplanade
Starting out at about 8 past 8 in the morning from my abode, Dunbridge, our first port of arrival was the Weymouth train station, changing once at Southampton and arriving in about 2 hours and 30 min. The plan was to see the Weymouth beach, stroll through the harbour, tour the fancy town, hike a little in the coasts while on our way to Portland, hike some more to the lighthouses at the southern tip, return to Weymouth, and then get to the camp grounds before night fall and retire for the day.


Foot trail
We walked straight from the train station towards the Esplanade and in to the beach. The Esplanade itself is quite lovely with Georgian architecture and the splendid view of the jurrasic coastline.

The subway
Pretty Georgian terraced house
The beach life was teaming with sun bathers as it was a lovely day indeed. The beach is an arc of sand that stretches up to 3 miles along the Jurassic coast, just minutes from the town centre and the harbour. At the southern end of the beach is the pier that homes the pavillion theatre and the sea life tower from where the jurrasic skyline can be viewed. 
Weymouth beach
 We promanaded about half the stretch of the beach towards south before making a turn towards the historic Weymouth harbour through the town centre.  The town centre is a shoppers haven with shops and restaurants for everyone. There are also many public toilets free to use at various locations through out the city.

City centre
Pub
Pretty Weymouth
Floral bliss
Pastel houses
Weymouth harbour is quite beautiful to start with, of course it helps that you come at the time of bloom and sun. But the houses themselves are coloured in bright and pastel hues, with arreys of european yet british style architecture aligned along the waterfront. What captivated me the most was how much the canal gave me the feeling of being in a european city like Amsterdam. I have always loved to be near the waters, and this place reminded me just why I do so.

Harbour view
Marina
Pastel harbour-scape
Marina waterfront
Beautiful boats at marinas
Sea otter
Pastel seafront houses
Pastel and toy trains
Before carrying on with our trek to Portland, we made oursleves light by dropping off our back-packs at a very friendly and newly opened vintage and vinyl record store and cafè (Revolution, please give them a shout) and only took the bare essentials for a day hike like snacks, water, swim wear if we needed any, sun screen, and camera, and giddied ourselves up to walk all the way to the Isle of Portland. We took the scenic coastal route which gave us a lovely opportunity to enjoy the seafront and also make a few stops at some of the highlights such as the Sandsfoot castle.

Sandsfoot Castle 

A rumbled ruin of a small castle in a garden at the seafront with an absolutely enchanting view of the blue Portland harbour in the English channel. We strolled into the garden to have a quick closer look at the ruins and the seafront.
Sandsfoot
Weymouth waterfront
Sandsfoot waterfront
Water lily
Seafront
 
 View from Sandsfoot castle

From here, we continued onwards on our coastal walk along the seafront all the way to Portland via the shingled strip of barren land connecting Weymouth to the isle. The walk was a little tedious as anyone who has walked on small pebbles would know, and to do that for about an hour can get a little tiring, but we took our lunch break by the sea and of course, the freshness from the sea-spray kept us going quite well. 

After a bit of lolly-gaging at the shingled land strip we got to the isle, and from there we hiked (and partly bused) all the way to the southern most tip of the isle, Portland Bill lighthouse, where we spent about 2 hours before returning to Weymouth. 

More about Portland in details in my next post... 

White horse Osmington campground

After our hike in the Isle of Portland to the lighthouses, and a bus trip back to Weymouth, we got our backpacks back from the cafe and looked for a nice place to eat pub dinner. We walked across the bridge and found ourselves a lovely pub to get our grubs on. Feeling particularly english, we fed ourselves with a nice meal of fish and chips, and pies. Yum Yum! 

From there on, we proceeded for our little hike up to the camp ground about 1 hour 20 mins walk towards Osmington. However, on our way we got a little lost and took a wrong turn, taking us through trecherous route of thorny bushes and campsites, which delayed our arrival by 30 more mins. But eventually, we made it there, walking across holiday parks, the small village of Preston, trekking through sidewalk-less roads, and a few sheep filled farmlands... The camping groud in UK are unlike the ones I have been to in my younger years, they are well equipped clear fields with immaculate shower rooms, toilets with fitted sinks, and drinking water facilities. White horse camp ground charges £10 pp.

Foot trail to the campsite
Osmington white horse field
White horse sign
As a child back in my boarding school, camping had been an integral part of our annual group curriculum, together with miles of hiking and hours of wilderness... To do the same after 12-13 odd years has been quite a revelation.

Eastern coast of Osmington 

East coast
3 hours of hiking, with a few beach breaks, from White horse camp ground to Weymouth train station via the eastern coast of Weymouth from Osmington. We took an easier route that didn't require walking on perilous roads without sidewalks and got us straight on to the coastal footpath. Once at the seafront, we walked a few miles towards the east before turning around and basking at the beach until the rain came and made us scurry on. From there, we carried on westward towards Weymouth harbour, where we stopped at the leisure park for some ice cream and coffee, also to take shelter from the rain that came right when we reached the cafe (talk about good luck). Once fed and rested, and the rain had subsided, we retraced our footsteps along the shores to the city. Once in the city, we didn't terry any further and headed straight for the train station as we wanted to get back home early-ish (before sundown).
Returning trail
View of Weymouth from Osmington
Osmington
        
Beautiful sea view enroute to Weymouth

 And so ended the weekend adventure camping at the lovely west coasts of Dorset. Hope you enjoyed it and would like to give camping a go... I will be posting all about our hike at Portland in my next post so please keep an eye out :)