Weymouth

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Weymouth
latitude= 50.613
longitude= -2.457
map_type=Dorset
population = 51,880cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=343610 | title = Weymouth—Dorset For You | publisher = Dorset County Council | accessdate = 2007-08-03] ref label|estimate|A|A
shire_district= Weymouth and Portland
shire_county = Dorset
region= South West England
constituency_westminster= South Dorset
post_town= WEYMOUTH
postcode_district = DT3, DT4
postcode_area= DT
dial_code= 01305
os_grid_reference= SY6779
london_distance= 195 km (120 mi) ENE
static_

static_image_caption=Weymouth, Wyke Regis and Portland Harbour from the Isle of Portland

Weymouth (pronEng|ˈweɪməθ) is a town in Dorset, England, situated on a sheltered bay at the mouth of the River Wey on the English Channel coast. The town is convert|13|km|mi|0 south of Dorchester and convert|8|km|mi|0 north of the Isle of Portland. The population of Weymouth is almost 52,000.

The A354 road bridge connects Weymouth to Portland, which together form the borough of Weymouth and Portland. The history of the borough stretches back to the 12th century; including involvement in the spread of the Black Death, the settlement of the Americas, the development of Georgian architecture, and preparations for World War II.

Although fishing and trading employ fewer people in the area since their peak in earlier centuries, tourism has had a strong presence in the town since the 18th century. Weymouth is a tourist resort, and its economy depends on its harbour and visitor attractions; the town is a gateway situated half-way along the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site on the Dorset and east Devon coast, important for its geology and landforms. Weymouth Harbour is home to cross-channel ferries, pleasure boats and private yachts, and nearby Portland Harbour is home to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, where the sailing events of the 2012 Olympic Games will be held.

History

Weymouth originated as a settlement on a constricted site to the south and west of Weymouth Harbour, an outlying part of Wyke Regis. The town developed from the mid 12th century onwards, but was not noted until the 13th century. By 1252 it was established as a seaport and become a chartered borough.cite web | year = 2000 | url = http://www.thedorsetpage.com/locations/place/W200.htm | title = Weymouth, Dorset, England | publisher = The Dorset Page | accessdate = 2006-11-26] Melcombe Regis developed separately on the peninsula to the north of the harbour; it was mentioned as a licensed wool port in 1310.

Melcombe Regis is thought to be the first port at which the Black Death came into England in June 1348, possibly either aboard a spice ship or an army ship. In their early history Weymouth and Melcombe Regis were rivals for trade and industry, but the towns were united in an Act of Parliament in 1571 to form a double borough. Both towns have become known as Weymouth, despite Melcombe Regis being the main town centre. The villages of Upwey, Broadwey, Preston, Wyke Regis, Chickerell, Southill, Radipole and Littlemoor have become part of the built-up area.

King Henry VIII had two Device Forts built to protect the south Dorset coast from invasion in the 1530s: Sandsfoot Castle in Wyke Regis and Portland Castle in Castletown. Parts of Sandsfoot have fallen into the sea due to coastal erosion.cite web | year = 2000 | url = http://www.thedorsetpage.com/locations/Place/P120.htm | title = Portland, Dorset, England | publisher = The Dorset Page | accessdate = 2008-03-06] During the English Civil War, around 250 people were killed in the local Crabchurch Conspiracy in February 1645.cite web | year = 2000 | url = http://www.thedorsetpage.com/history/Crabchurch_Conspiracy/Crabchurch_Conspiracy.htm | title = Crabchurch Conspiracy | publisher = The Dorset Page | accessdate = 2007-12-01] In 1635, on board the ship "Charity", around 100 emigrants from the town crossed the Atlantic Ocean and settled in Weymouth, Massachusetts.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.ma.us/history/index.asp?id=1104 | title = Weymouth History | publisher = Weymouth Town Council | accessdate = 2007-07-03] More townspeople emigrated to the Americas to bolster the population of Weymouth, Nova Scotia and Salem, Massachusetts; then called Naumking, Salem became infamous for its witch trials.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=502 | title = John Endicott and Captain Richard Clark | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-07-03] There are memorials to this on the side of Weymouth Harbour and near Weymouth Pavilion.

The architect Sir Christopher Wren was the Member of Parliament for Weymouth in 1702, and controlled nearby Portland's quarries from 1675 to 1717. When he designed St Paul's Cathedral, Wren had it built out of Portland Stone, the famous stone of Portland's quarries.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=555 | title = Sir Christopher Wren | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2006-11-12] Sir James Thornhill was born in the "White Hart" public house in Melcombe Regis and became the town's MP in 1722. Thornhill became an artist, and coincidentally decorated the interior of St Paul's Cathedral.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=554 | title = Sir James Thornhill | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2006-11-12]

The resort is among the first modern tourist destinations, after King George III made Weymouth his summer holiday residence on fourteen occasions between 1789 and 1805.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=553 | title = King George III | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-07-03] A painted statue of the king stands on the seafront, which was renovated in 2007/8 by stripping 20 layers of paintwork, replacing it with new paints and gold leaf, and replacing the iron framework with stainless steel one.cite web | year = 2008 | url = http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/search/display.var.2224721.0.the_king_is_in_altogether_better_shape.php | title = The king is in altogether better shape | publisher = Dorset Echo | accessdate = 2008-06-12] A mounted white horse representing the king is carved into the chalk hills of Osmington. The horse faces away from the town, and a myth developed that the king took offence, believing it was a sign that the townspeople did not welcome him, and that the designer subsequently killed himself.cite web | year = 2000 | url = http://www.thedorsetpage.com/locations/Place/S370.htm | title = Sutton Poyntz, Dorset, England | publisher = The Dorset Page | accessdate = 2006-11-12]

Weymouth's esplanade is composed of Georgian terraces, which have been converted into apartments, shops, hotels and guest houses.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.jurassiccoast.com/279/visiting-the-coast-31/gateway-towns-146/weymouth-446.html | title = Weymouth | publisher = Jurassic Coast | accessdate = 2007-12-29] The buildings were constructed in the Georgian and Regency periods between 1770 and 1855, designed by architects such as James Hamilton, and were commissioned by wealthy businessmen, including those that were involved in the growth of Bath.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~wykedh/webgeorge/chaptwo.htm | title = Understanding Weymouth's Georgian Architecture | publisher = wykeweb | accessdate = 2006-11-12] These terraces form a long, continuous arc of buildings which face Weymouth Bay along the esplanade, which also features the multi-coloured Jubilee Clock, erected in 1887 to mark the 50th year of Queen Victoria's reign.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=494 | title = The Jubilee Clock on Weymouth Esplanade | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-07-03] Statues of Victoria, George III and Sir Henry Edwards, Member of Parliament for the borough from 1867 to 1885, and two war memorials stand along the Esplanade.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=501 | title = War Memorials | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-07-03]

In the centre of the town lies Weymouth Harbour; although it was the reason for the town's foundation, the harbour separates the two areas of Melcombe Regis (the main town centre) and Weymouth (the southern harbourside) from each other. Since the 18th century this has been overcome with successive bridges over the narrowest part of the harbour. The present Town Bridge, built in 1930, is a lifting bascule bridge to let boats access the inner harbour, one of ten in the United Kingdom.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=486 | title = Melcombe Regis historic buildings | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-07-03]

Weymouth and Portland were bombed by German planes for their role in World War II;cite web | year = 2006 | url =http://www.worldwar-2.net/timelines/war-in-europe/european-air-war/european-air-war-index-1940.htm | title = World War Two Timelines 1939–1945 | publisher = worldwar-2.net | accessdate = 2006-11-12] Portland harbour had a large naval base, and Weymouth was home to Nothe Fort. 517,816 troops embarked through the borough to fight at the Battle of Normandy, and the Bouncing bomb was tested in the Fleet lagoon to the west of town.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.computing.dundee.ac.uk/staff/irmurray/wallissites.asp | title = Barnes Wallis – Displays and Sites of Interest | publisher = Iain Murray | accessdate = 2006-11-12] The history of the area is documented at the Timewalk Museum in Brewers Quay; the former brewery is a tourist attraction and shopping village on the southern shore of Weymouth Harbour.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.brewers-quay.co.uk/ | title = Brewers Quay | publisher = Brewers Quay | accessdate = 2007-08-12]

Governance

The district of Weymouth and Portland was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, and merged the borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis and the nearby Portland urban district. For local elections the district is divided into 15 wards, 12 of them in Weymouth.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=620 | title = Ward Map | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-12-16] Elections take place in a four-year cycle; one third of the councillors in all but three wards retire or seek re-election in years one, two and three, and county council elections are held in year four.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=618 | title = Electoral Cycles Thirds | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2008-01-04] The Mayor of Weymouth and Portland is Tim Munro (Conservative) and Anne Kenwood (Labour) is Deputy Mayor.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/Council/Councillors/home.asp?svid=586 | title = WPBC Serving Councillors | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-07-26]

Weymouth, Portland and the Purbeck district are in the South Dorset parliamentary constituency, created in 1885. The constituency elects one Member of Parliament; currently Jim Knight (Labour), the Minister of State for Schools.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/england/4520125.stm | title = Knight 'inspires' swing to Labour | publisher = British Broadcasting Corporation | accessdate = 2007-12-13] South Dorset, the rest of South West England, and Gibraltar are in the South West England constituency of the European Parliament.cite web | year = 2004 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=621 | title = European elections | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-12-16]

Dorset South was the most marginal Labour seat in the 2001 general election, won by 153 votes.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2005/may/04/election2005.uk | title = A print-out-and-keep guide to election night | publisher = Guardian Unlimited | accessdate = 2007-07-03] Jim Knight was expecting to have a difficult 2005 election, yet he won with a margin of 1,812 votes—this was in contrast to other areas, where Labour suffered a decline in popularity. This was helped by a high-profile anti-Conservative campaign by musician Billy Bragg.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.channel4.com/news/microsites/E/election2005_blogs/dobson_blog.html | title = Channel 4 -Election 2005 | publisher = Channel 4 | accessdate = 2006-11-12]

Weymouth and Portland have been twinned with the town of Holzwickede in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany since 1986,cite web | year = 2007 | language = German | url = http://testholzwickede.kdvz.de/erleben/kultur_sport_freizeit/sp_auto_424.php | title = Städtepartnerschaften in Holzwickede | publisher = Gemeinde Holzwickede | accessdate = 2007-12-15] and the French town of Louviers, in the department of Eure in Normandy, since 1959.cite web | year = 2007 | language = French | url = http://www.ville-louviers.fr/ville/associations/jumelages/anglais/jum-anglais.htm | title = Associations de jumelage | publisher = Ville de Louviers | accessdate = 2007-12-15]

Geography

Weymouth is situated on the western shore of Weymouth Bay on the south coast of England, convert|195|km|mi|-1 west-southwest of London, at coor dms|50|36|47|N|2|27|25|W|city (50.613, −2.457). The town is built on weak sand and clay rock which in most places along the Dorset coast, except for narrow bands at Lulworth Cove, Swanage and Durdle Door, has been eroded and transported away.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/Field-Guides-Introduction.htm | title = Geology of the Central South Coast of England | publisher = Southampton University | accessdate = 2007-08-14] This weak rock has been protected at Weymouth by Chesil Beach and the strong limestone Isle of Portland that lies offshore, convert|3|km|mi|0 south of Wyke Regis. The island affects the tides of the area, producing a double low tide in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.bristolnomads.org.uk/location_reports/s_coast/portland.htm | title = Portland Harbour | publisher = Bristol Nomads Windsurfing Club | accessdate = 2007-07-30] cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/coast/tides/tides.shtml?date=20070730&loc=0033 | title = Tides: Portland | publisher = British Broadcasting Corporation | accessdate = 2007-07-30] The maximum tidal range is small, less than convert|2|m|ft|0.

There are two lakes in the borough, both RSPB Nature Reserves—Radipole Lake in the town centre, and Lodmoor between the town centre and Preston. Radipole Lake, the largest nature reserve, and mouth of the River Wey before it flows into Weymouth Harbour, is an important habitat for fish and migratory birds, and over 200 species of plants. Radipole is an important tourist attraction; it and Weymouth Beach are situated very close to the main town centre.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=547 | title = Radipole Lake Visitors' Centre | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-07-03] There are 11 Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the borough, which cover an area of convert|800.87|ha|acre|0, and there are 37 other Nature Conservation Designations.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=332782 | title = Nature Conservation Designations – SSSIs | publisher = Dorset County Council | accessdate = 2007-07-25|quote=800.87 ha sssi for Weymouth & Portland DC]

Situated approximately half-way along the Jurassic Coast, Weymouth is a gateway town to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes convert|153|km|mi|0 of the Dorset and east Devon coast that is important for its geology and landforms. The South West Coast Path has two routes around Weymouth and Portland—one around its coast, and one along the South Dorset Downs, which reduces the path's length by convert|31.0|km|mi|1. The path is the United Kingdom's longest national trail, at convert|1014|km|mi|0.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/main/walks_content/distancecalculator.cfm | title = Distance Calculator | publisher = South West Coast Path Association | accessdate = 2007-12-13]

Weymouth is the largest town in the area, larger than the county town of Dorchester, which lies just to the north, and hence is a centre of activity for the nearby population. A steep ridge of chalk called the South Dorset Downs separates Dorchester and Weymouth; they are less agricultural than the valleys in the centre and north of Dorset, but have dairy and arable farms. The nearest villages to Weymouth are part of the built-up area, including Wyke Regis, Chickerell and Preston.

The sand and clay on which Weymouth is built is very low-lying—large areas are below sea level, which allowed the eastern areas of the town to flood during extreme low pressure storms.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=63 | title = Park District, Weymouth, Flood | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-06-17] In the 1980s and 90s a sea wall was built around Weymouth Harbour and along the coast road in Preston; a rip rap groyne in Greenhill and beach nourishment up to Preston have created a wide and artificially graded pebble beach, to ensure that the low-lying land around Lodmoor does not flood.cite web | year = 2004 | url = http://www.scopac.org.uk/scopac%20sediment%20db/wey/wey.htm | title = Isle of Portland and Weymouth Bay | publisher = SCOPAC | accessdate = 2007-08-04] The defences at Preston, the extended ferry terminal and the widening of the Esplanade have changed the sediment regime in Weymouth Bay, narrowing the beach at Greenhill and widening the sands in Weymouth. A study conducted as part of the redevelopment of the Pavilion complex showed that the proposed marina will contribute slightly to this effect, but sand dredged out of the marina could be used to make the beach up to convert|40|m|ft|-1 wider.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/local/display.var.1587036.0.report_boosts_pavilion_site_marina_plan.php | title = Report boosts Pavilion site marina plan | publisher = Dorset Echo | accessdate = 2007-08-04]

Climate

Due to its location on the south-west coast of England, Weymouth has a temperate climate ( "Cfb"), with a small variation in daily and annual temperatures. The average annual mean temperature from 1971 to 2000 was 10.2 to 12 °C (50.4 to 53.6 °F).cite web | year = 2001 | url = http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/tmean/17.gif| title = Mean Temperature Annual Average | publisher = Met Office | accessdate = 2007-08-11] The warmest month is August, which has an average temperature range of 13.3 to 20.4 °C (55.9 to 68.7 °F), and the coolest is February, which has a range of 3.1 to 8.3 °C (37.6 to 46.9 °F).cite web | year = 2008 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=1015 | title = Annual weather summary | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2008-01-04] Maximum and minimum temperatures throughout the year are above England's average,cite web | year = 2001 | url = http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/areal/england.html | title = England 1971-2000 averages | publisher = Met Office | accessdate = 2007-07-10] and Weymouth is in AHS Heat zone 1.ref label|ahs1|B|B Mean sea surface temperatures range from convert|7.0|°C|°F|1 in February to convert|17.2|°C|°F|1 in August; the annual mean is convert|11.8|°C|°F|1.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.cefas.co.uk/data/sea-temperature-and-salinity-trends/presentation-of-results/station-24-weymouth.aspx | title = Cefas Station 24: Weymouth | publisher = The Centre for Environment Fisheries & Aquaculture Science | accessdate = 2007-05-21]

Weymouth weatherbox

The low-lying nature of the area, and the ameliorating effect of the lakes and mild seas that surround the town, act to keep night-time temperatures above freezing, making winter frost rare: on average eight times per year.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Weather/Temperature/ | title = Temperature and Frost | publisher = Geoff Kirby | accessdate = 2006-11-18] This is far below the United Kingdom's average annual total of 55.6 days of frost. Days with snow lying are equally rare: on average zero to six days per year;cite web | year = 2001 | url = http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/dl/17.gif| title = Days of Snow Lying Annual Average | publisher = Met Office | accessdate = 2006-10-18] almost all winters have one day or less with snow lying. It may snow or sleet in winter, yet it almost never settles on the ground—low-lying coastal areas in South West England such as Weymouth experience the mildest winters in the United Kingdom.cite web | year = 2001 | url = http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/tmean/16.gif| title = Mean Temperature Winter Average | publisher = Met Office | accessdate = 2006-11-12] The growing season in Weymouth lasts from nine to twelve months per year,ref label|growingseason|D|D and the borough is in Hardiness zone 9.cite web | year = 1999 | url = http://www.gardenweb.com/zones/europe/ | title = Hardiness Zone Map for Europe | publisher = GardenWeb | accessdate = 2007-06-20] ref label|hardinesszone|E|E

Weymouth and Portland, and the rest of the south coast, has the sunniest climate in the United Kingdom.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/location/england/index.html | title = Met Office: English climate | publisher = Met Office | accessdate = 2006-11-06] cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://property.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/property/buying_and_selling/article2875491.ece | title = Bring me sunshine | publisher = Times Online | accessdate = 2008-03-08] The resort averaged 1768.4 hours of sunshine annually between 1971 and 2000, which is over 40% of the maximum possible,ref label|sunshine|C|C and 32% above the United Kingdom average of 1339.7 hours.cite web | year = 2001 | url = http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/areal/uk.html | title = UK 1971-2000 averages | publisher = Met Office | accessdate = 2007-08-04] Four of the last nine years have had more than 2000 hours of sunshine. December is the cloudiest and wettest month (55.7 hours of sunshine, convert|90.9|mm|in|1 of rain) and July is the sunniest and driest (235.1 hours of sunshine, convert|35.6|mm|in|1 of rain). Sunshine totals in all months are well above the United Kingdom average, and monthly rainfall totals throughout the year are less than the UK average, particularly in summer; this summer minimum of rainfall is not experienced away from the south coast of England. The average annual rainfall of convert|751.7|mm|in|1 is well below the UK average of convert|1125|mm|in|1.

Demography

The mid-year population of Weymouth in 2005 was 51,880,ref label|estimate|A|A in a built-up area of convert|18.5|km2|acre, giving an approximate population density of 2,800 residents per square kilometre (11 per acre), in 24,622 dwellings. The population has grown steadily since the 1970s, mainly as a result of migration. There is an above average number of residents aged 60–84 (23.2%), however this is less than the Dorset average of 26.2%, and the largest proportion of the population (32.4%) is between the ages of 18 to 44, above the Dorset average of 29.6%. The population is largely native to England—98.8% of residents are of white ethnicity, slightly above the Dorset average of 98.7%. The largest religion in Weymouth and Portland is Christianity, at almost 74.7%, which is slightly above the United Kingdom average of 71.6%.cite web | year = 2001 | url = http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=293 | title = Religion In Britain | publisher = Office for National Statistics | accessdate = 2008-02-22] The next-largest sector is those with no religion, at almost 15.9%, slightly above the UK average of 15.5%.

House prices in Weymouth and Portland are relatively high by UK standards, yet around average for the south of England—the average price of a detached house in 2007 was £327,569; semi-detached and terraced houses were cheaper, at £230,932 and £190,073 respectively, and an apartment or maisonette cost £168,727.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/in_depth/uk_house_prices/html/19uj.stm | title = UK House Prices | publisher = British Broadcasting Corporation | accessdate = 2007-11-06] ref label|julysep|G|G The crime rate in Weymouth of 12.0 burglaries per 1000 households is lower than that of England and Wales (13.5 per 1000), but above that of South West England (8.9 per 1000). Unemployment levels are low, particularly in summer, at 2.0% of the economically active population in July 2006, and 4.3% year-round, compared to the UK average of 5.3%.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=12 | title = Employment | publisher = Office for National Statistics | accessdate = 2007-12-13]

Economy

Tourism has been the largest industry in Weymouth for decades, though the number of people employed in the sector has declined slightly since its peak in the late 1990s.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=332866 | title = Volume and value of tourism in Dorset, 1990–2003 | publisher = Dorset County Council | accessdate = 2006-11-12] Weymouth's coast and beaches, lakes, museums, aquarium, and two shopping centres are the main attractions for visitors. The visitor accommodation consists of hotels on the seafront, guest houses around the town centre, and caravan and camping sites just out of town, including three sites owned by Haven and British Holidays: Littlesea, Seaview and Weymouth Bay.cite web | year = 2008 | url = http://www.havenholidays.com/parks/index.aspx | title = 35 great UK Holiday Parks to choose from | publisher = Haven and British Holidays | accessdate = 2008-03-07]

There are over two hundred events held throughout the year in the borough,cite web | year = 2008 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/visitors/Events/home.asp?svid=145 | title = Weymouth and Portland 2008 | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2008-02-25] including firework festivals, dragon boat racing, beach volleyball, handball and motocross, and the annual carnival in mid-August, which attracts around 70,000 people each year. Weymouth is the only port in the world to have hosted the start of The Tall Ships' Races three timescite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/Visitors/History/home.asp?svid=550 | title = Brief History of the Port of Weymouth | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-04-23] —in 1983, 1987 and 1994; the 1994 race attracting 300,000 spectators.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmselect/cmtran/1152/115204.htm | title = 2012 Transport Tenth Special Report | publisher = Parliament of the United Kingdom | accessdate = 2007-04-23]

The Pavilion Theatre was built in 1960 on a peninsula of reclaimed land between the harbour and the esplanade, after the Ritz Theatre was destroyed by fire in 1954.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.pavilionpast.org.uk/history.html | title = Weymouth Pavilion 1908-1960 | publisher = Pavilion Past history project | accessdate = 2007-07-25] The Pavilion is owned and operated by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, providing a venue for local community groups and schools, and hosting seasonal "end of the pier" entertainment and year-round shows and events. It was announced in 2006 that the Pavilion complex and convert|4|ha|acre|0 of its surroundings will be entirely redeveloped from 2008 to 2011, in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The complex is to include a refurbished theatre, a World Heritage Site visitors' centre, a new ferry terminal, a 140 bed 4-star hotel, an underground car park, a shopping arcade, offices, around 340 luxury apartments, 110 affordable homes, public squares, promenades, and a 290-berth marina.cite web | year = 2008 | url = http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/display.var.2402042.0.pavilion_plans_go_on_display.php | title = Pavilion plans go on display | publisher = Dorset Echo | accessdate = 2008-07-18]

As part of the regeneration of Weymouth and Portland, it was decided in 2007 that Weymouth's esplanade will be redeveloped in time for the 2012 Olympic Games. Planned improvements include a public square around the restored statue of King George III, the restoration and extension the Art Deco pier bandstand, a Tourist information centre and café, Victorian-style shelters and seasonal kiosks, a beach rescue centre, and a sand art pavilion for the sculptures of Mark Anderson.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/docstore/planning/planningpolicy/THI/consultation/POL_20070716_Board1.pdf | title = Weymouth Esplanade: a visionary masterplan | format = PDF | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2007-07-20] Other alterations to the promenade are considered, particularly around key areas such as the Jubilee Clock and the pier bandstand, including a lighting scheme and seating areas with planting, fountains and structural trees. All proposals are scheduled to undergo a period of public consultation before accepted improvements could begin in 2008 for completion before 2012.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/display.var.1559989.0.new_vision_for_our_seafront.php | title = New vision for our seafront | publisher = Dorset Echo | accessdate = 2007-07-20]

Weymouth Harbour is long and narrow, and formed the estuary of the River Wey until the building of a bridge to Westham, which separated the harbour's backwaters from Radipole Lake. For centuries the harbour was a passenger terminal and trade and cargo port: goods handled included wool and spices, and in the 20th century Weymouth was a bulk importer of fertiliser and cars. The old harbourside, on both sides of the seaward end of the harbour, still hosts a large fishing fleet, with docks, unloading areas, and a cross-channel ferry terminal. Fishing and cargo trading employ fewer people in the area since their peak in earlier centuries, but local fishermen catch the largest mass of fish in England and the third largest in the United Kingdom. The inner harbour has been refurbished in two phases, in 1994–1996 and in 2002, to include a new marina with hundreds of berths for pleasure boats, cruisers and sailing boats. Local boats offer fishing and diving trips, pleasure cruises along the Jurassic Coast, and thrill-rides to the Isle of Portland.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.jurassiccoast.com/329/visiting-the-coast-31/getting-to-and-around-the-jurassic-coast-148/boat-trips-466.html | title = Jurassic Coast – Boat Trips | publisher = Jurassic Coast | accessdate = 2007-07-09]

The main shopping centre in the area is in Melcombe Regis, consisting of two pedestrianised streets (St. Thomas's and St. Mary's Street), shops along the esplanade, and a new precinct stretching from St. Thomas's Street to the harbourside, built in the 1990s. There are shops and restaurants in the pedestrianised Hope Square and Brewers Quay, which are linked to the town centre by town bridge and a small passenger ferry service across the harbour. In 2005 the town centre had 292 shops and convert|37500|m2|sqft|-3 of floorspace, and there was convert|0.4|km2|acre|-1 of industrial estate in the area. Weymouth, Portland and Chickerell have been a Fairtrade Zone for three years.cite web | year = 2008 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/living/community/pages/fairtrade/home.asp?svid=982 | title = Weymouth & Portland: a Fairtrade Zone | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2008-03-07] Fashion company New Look has its national head office in Weymouth, and until 2005 the company's regional distribution centre was based at the same site.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.ukbusisspark.co.uk/newlooka.htm | title = New Look | publisher = UK Business Park | accessdate = 2007-07-09] Plans were approved in 2007 to develop the New Look site to include new headquarters, retail warehouses and industrial units, a hotel, fire station, and a medical centre with ambulance station.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/local/display.var.1637503.0.thumbs_up_at_new_look_site.php | title = Thumbs up at New Look site | publisher = Dorset Echo | accessdate = 2007-08-25]

Transport

Weymouth railway station is the terminus of the route from London Waterloo and the route from Westbury and Bristol. Its size was appropriate for the rail traffic that came in and out of Weymouth on summer Saturdays, however it was oversized as trains became less popular, and was demolished in 1986. A smaller station took up part of the site, and the rest was given to commercial development. Parts of the South West Main Line west of Poole have been reduced from dual to single track; as part of preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games, local councils have lobbied the Department for Transport to relay the track and increase services to London and Bristol, and to introduce new direct services to Exeter.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=352684 | title = London 2012 Olympic Games Sailing Events | publisher = Dorset County Council | accessdate = 2006-08-22] Services to London Waterloo began running every 30 minutes from December 2007, but services through Bristol to Cardiff were reduced.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/local/display.var.1881383.0.rail_timetable_offers_london_at_the_double.php | title = Rail timetable offers London at the double | publisher = Dorset Echo | accessdate = 2007-12-05]

An unusual feature of the railways in Weymouth was that until 1987 trains ran through the streets along the Weymouth Harbour Tramway to the Quay station at the eastern end of the harbour, to travel to mainland Europe by sea. Due to declining business, goods traffic ceased in 1972, but passenger services continued until 1987, when these services ceased from lack of use.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.johnrnew.demon.co.uk/quaybrch.htm | title = Weymouth Harbour Tramway | publisher = Island Publishing | accessdate = 2007-08-12] The Quay Station houses the Condor Ferries Terminal; Condor Ferries' main UK port is Weymouth, and the HSC Condor Express runs from the harbour to the French port of St Malo, and the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.condorferries.co.uk/Terminal/weymouth.aspx | title = Weymouth Ferry Terminal Guide | publisher = Condor Ferries | accessdate = 2008-01-03]

Local bus services are run by First Hampshire & Dorset, which bought the local Southern National company. Services run from Weymouth to the Isle of Portland, Dorchester, Bournemouth, Wool, Beaminster, Axminster, other villages and the town's holiday parks.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/southwest/dorset/timetables/index.php | title = Dorset Timetables | publisher = First Group | accessdate = 2007-08-07] Weymouth is connected to towns and villages along the Jurassic Coast by the Jurassic Coast Bus service, which runs along the route of convert|142|km|mi|0 from Exeter to Poole, through Sidford, Beer, Seaton, Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Bridport, Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Wool, and Wareham. This service is convenient for walkers who can ride the bus to or from a walk along the coast.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.jurassiccoast.com/283/visiting-the-coast-31/getting-to-and-around-the-jurassic-coast-148/jurassic-coast-bus-service-464.html | title = Jurassic Coast Bus Service | publisher = Jurassic Coast | accessdate = 2007-08-07]

The A354 road connects the town to the A35 trunk road in Dorchester, and terminates at Easton on the Isle of Portland. The A353 road runs east from Weymouth to the south of Warmwell, where it connects with the A352 to the Isle of Purbeck and Wareham. In the 1980s the town centre was bypassed by the A354 to Portland, but the government's road building policy changed before a proposed relief road could be completed. The A354 follows its original route through Upwey and Broadwey, where traffic problems are common at peak tourist times, particularly on event days such as the carnival.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=3463 | title = Weymouth Relief Road | publisher = Dorset County Council | accessdate = 2006-06-22]

The relief road's construction was delayed by opposition from residents and environmental groups, including Transport 2000 and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, who object to the route's partial destruction of a nature reserve, which is an AONB and SSSI.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/display.var.1531988.0.relief_road_protest_lodged.php | title = Relief Road Protest Lodged | publisher = Dorset Echo | accessdate = 2007-07-10] With Weymouth and Portland scheduled to host 2012 Olympic sailing events the project reopened; the local authorities favouring a more environmentally friendly proposal than in the 1990s. On 5 April 2007, Dorset County Council granted planning permission for a modified proposal including a single carriageway running convert|7|km|mi|0 north, and a 1000-space park-and-ride scheme, costing £84.5 million.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/haveyoursay/makingtheheadlines/display.var.1311799.0.0.php?act=complaint&cid=178246 | title = Green Light for Relief Road | publisher = Dorset Echo | accessdate = 2007-04-23] Without major delays, work is expected to commence in 2008; it was agreed that the work be completed in three years, in time for the 2012 Olympic sailing events.

Education

The Chesil Education Partnership pyramid area operates in south Dorset, and includes five infant schools, four junior schools, twelve primary schools, four secondary schools and two special schools. 73.3% of Weymouth residents have qualifications, which is slightly below the Dorset average of 73.8%. 8.8% of residents have higher qualifications (Level 4 +), about half the Dorset average of 18.3%.

There are three secondary schools in Weymouth—All Saints' Church of England School in Wyke Regis, Budmouth Technology College in Chickerell and Wey Valley School and Sports College in Broadwey. The fourth secondary school in the Chesil Education Partnership is Royal Manor Arts College on the Isle of Portland. All Saints' has 921 students on roll, Budmouth has 1560 and Wey Valley 1171.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://localinfo.dorsetecho.co.uk/li/secondary_schools.in.Weymouth | title = Secondary Schools (GCSE) in Weymouth | publisher = Dorset Echo | accessdate = 2008-01-04] In 2006, 31% of students at Wey Valley, and 58% of students at All Saints' and Budmouth, attained five or more A* to C GCSEs including English and mathematics.

Budmouth College also has a sixth form centre which had 296 students in 2006.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://localinfo.dorsetecho.co.uk/li/secondary_schools_a_level.in.Weymouth | title = Secondary Schools (A-Level) in Weymouth | publisher = Dorset Echo | accessdate = 2008-01-04] Weymouth College in Melcombe Regis is a further education college which has around 7,500 students from South West England and overseas,cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.weymouth.ac.uk/the-college/welcome.html | title = About Us | publisher = Weymouth College | accessdate = 2008-01-04] about 1500 studying A-Level courses. In 2006, Budmouth students received an average of 647.6 UCAS points, and Weymouth College students gained 614.1. Some secondary and A-Level students commute to Dorchester to attend The Thomas Hardye School; in 2007, 79% of Hardye school students received five or more A* to C GCSEs, and 78% of all A-Level results were A to C grades.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.thomas-hardye.dorset.sch.uk/info/results-2007.htm | title = Results – The Thomas Hardye School | publisher = The Thomas Hardye School | accessdate = 2008-01-04]

port and recreation

Weymouth's wide and shallow sandy beach is used for swimming and sunbathing during the tourist season, and for beach sport events throughout the year, including beach motocross,cite web | year = 2008 | url = http://www.visitweymouth.co.uk/index.php?resource=247 | title = Weymouth Beach Motocross | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2008-02-25] the International handball championshipscite web | year = 2008 | url = http://www.visitweymouth.co.uk/index.php?resource=244 | title = Weymouth 2008 International Handball Championships | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2008-02-25] and the beach volleyball classic.cite web | year = 2008 | url = http://www.visitweymouth.co.uk/index.php?resource=245 | title = Beach Volleyball Classic | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2008-02-25] The international kite festival, held in May each year on Weymouth Beach, attracts around 40,000 spectators to the esplanade from around the world.cite web | year = 2008 | url = http://www.visitweymouth.co.uk/index.php?resource=205 | title = Weymouth Beach Kite Festival | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2008-02-25]

The local football club, Weymouth F.C. or 'the Terras', are outside the Football League but, in common with other non-league clubs, they became professional in 2005.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.theterras.co.uk/website/timeline.htm | title = 'Terras' Timeline | publisher = Weymouth F.C. | accessdate = 2007-08-13] The team enjoyed erratic success at their level; twice playing in the third round of the FA Cup, the highest club competition level. At the end of the 2005–06 season the team became champions of the Conference South (the sixth level of English football) meaning that they compete in the Conference National (the fifth level) for the first time since 1989.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://theterras.co.uk/website/previous-seasons.htm | title = League Tables & Results | publisher = Weymouth F.C. | accessdate = 2007-08-13] The Terras' ground is the Wessex Stadium; its record attendance is 6,500 against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup 2005–2006 season.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.football.co.uk/match_reports/weymouth_nottingham_forest_784545.shtml | title = Weymouth – Nottingham Forest | publisher = Football.co.uk | accessdate = 2007-07-03]

The Wessex Stadium is out of town, but until 1987 the team played at a ground near the town centre, which is now an Asda supermarket. The club's move pre-dated the move to new out-of-town grounds by professional league clubs, and was the first football stadium opened in England in 32 years.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.wildcatsweymouth.co.uk/ClubHistory.htm | title = Club History | publisher = Weymouth Wildcats Ltd | accessdate = 2007-09-05] Motorcycle speedway racing was staged at the stadium from 1954 until the redevelopment; Weymouth's team was revived in 2003, and 'the Wildcats' race at a track adjacent to the stadium. In 2005 a scheme was proposed to rebuild the Wessex Stadium to occupy a pitch-and-putt golf course, coincidentally with Asda building on the previous stadium site. Although the plans were to move by August 2007, the scheme was shelved before construction could begin.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://archive.thisisdorset.net/2005/9/3/110823.html | title = Terras set move date | publisher = Dorset Echo | accessdate = 2005-09-03]

On the shores of Portland Harbour, convert|3|km|mi|0 south of Wyke Regis, is Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, where the sailing events of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/4653721.stm | title = Sailing town's joy at Olympic win | publisher = British Broadcasting Corporation | accessdate = 2008-01-07] The main reason that the resort was chosen to be an Olympic venue was because the National Sailing Academy had only recently been built, so no venue would have to be built. However, as part of the South West of England Regional Development Agency's plans to redevelop Osprey Quay, in which the academy is built, a new 600-berth marina and an extension with more on-site facilities will be built.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://www.portlandmarina.co.uk | title = Dean and Reddyhoff Marina | publisher = Dean and Reddyhoff Limited | accessdate = 2007-03-26] Weymouth and Portland are likely to be the first in the United Kingdom to finish building a venue for the Olympic Games, as construction started in October 2007 and will finish at the end of 2008.cite web | year = 2007 | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/6246176.stm | title = New Olympic marina plan approved | publisher = The British Broadcasting Corporation | accessdate = 2007-06-27]

The waters of Weymouth and Portland were credited by the Royal Yachting Association as the best in Northern Europe for sailing.cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/London2012/home.asp?svid=14 | title = 2012 Olympic Games sailing venue | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2006-11-12] Local, national and international sailing events are regularly held in the bay; these include the J/24 World Championships in 2005, trials for the 2004 Athens Olympics, the ISAF World Championship 2006, the BUCS Fleet Racing Championships, and the RYA Youth National Championships.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.wpnsa.org.uk/pressreleases.htm | title = WPNSA – press releases | publisher = Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy | accessdate = 2006-11-12] Weymouth Bay is a venue for other water-sports—the reliable wind is favourable for wind- and kite-surfing. The sheltered waters in Portland Harbour and near Weymouth are used for angling, diving to shipwrecks, snorkelling, canoeing, jet skiing, water skiing, and swimming.cite web | year = 2006 | url = http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/Leisure/Watersports/home.asp?svid=69 | title = Watersports in Weymouth and Portland | publisher = Weymouth and Portland Borough Council | accessdate = 2006-11-12] The town also has a successful cricket club, who are currently in the Premier Division of the Dorset Saturday League.

ee also

* 2012 Summer Olympic venues
* List of Dorset beaches
* List of places in Dorset
* UK coastline

References and notes

:note label|estimate|A|APopulation figure is an estimate for mid 2005, and includes only the town of Weymouth—not Portland or surrounding villages.:note label|ahs1|B|BAreas in American Horticultural Society Heat Zone 1 experience less than one day per year with maximum temperatures above convert|30|°C|°F|0. [cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.ahs.org/pdfs/05_heat_map.pdf | title = Plant Heat Zone Map | format = PDF | publisher = American Horticultural Society | accessdate = 2008-01-03] :note label|sunshine|C|CThe maximum hours of sunshine possible in one year is approximately 4383 hours (12 hours/day × 365.25 days).:note label|growingseason|D|DThe growing season in the United Kingdom is defined as starting on the day after five consecutive days with mean temperatures above convert|5|°C|°F|0. The season finishes the day after mean temperatures are below convert|5|°C|°F|0 for five consecutive days. [cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics/globatmos/kf/gakf19.htm | title = Length of the thermal growing season: 1772-2006 | publisher = Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs | accessdate = 2007-12-22] :note label|hardinesszone|E|EAreas in Hardiness zone 9 experience an average lowest recorded temperature each year between −6.6 and −1.1 °C (20 and 30 °F). [cite web | year = 2003 | url = http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/hrdzon3.html | title = Hardiness Zones – Details | publisher = United States National Arboretum | accessdate = 2007-12-22] :note label|weymouthandportland|F|FFigures are for Weymouth and Portland as a whole.:note label|julysep|G|GThese figures are for July to September in 2007.

External links

Town guides

* [http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/home.asp?svid=1 Weymouth and Portland Borough Council]
* [http://www.waterfrontweymouth.co.uk/ The Waterfront Weymouth]
* [http://visitweymouth.co.uk/ Visit Weymouth]
* [http://weymouth.awardspace.co.uk Weymouth & Portland: The tourist guide]
* [http://www.weymouth.co.uk/Content/default.asp Weymouth Tourist, Hotel and Accommodation Guide]

Local history

* [http://www.francisfrith.com/search/england/dorset/weymouth/ Weymouth photos, maps, memories and books]
* [http://www.weymouth-dorset.co.uk Weymouth Local and Family History]
* [http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Weather Long-term analysis of Weymouth's weather records]
* [http://www.sbrobinson.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Weymouth.html A virtual cab-ride along the Weymouth Quay line]
* [http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=tirDc0F-G4E King's Statue restoration (Part 1)]
* [http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gWfe0ojVsWY King's Statue restoration (Part 2)]

Photographs

* [http://www.vrweymouth.com A Virtual Tour of Weymouth]
* [http://www.somerset3d.co.uk/logos%20&%20pictures/town%20&%20village%20pages/dorset/weymouth.htm Dorset's Towns and Villages in 3D: Weymouth]
* [http://www.cotch.net/Weymouth Photographs of Weymouth]
* [http://www.weymouth-pictures.co.uk/ Pictures of Weymouth]
* [http://www.weymouthweb.com/gallery/c1.html Weymouth Photo Gallery]
* [http://www.sculpturesinsand.com/gallery.html Weymouth Sand Sculpture Gallery]
* [http://www.weymouthviews.com Weymouth Views]
* [http://gallery.beautifulengland.net/main.php?g2_itemId=8872 Photographs of Weymouth]


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