10 years since Weymouth and Portsmouth hosted the 2012 Olympic Sailing events, I was lucky enough to be invited by We are Weymouth in light of their latest campaign We Are Active to discover some of the most exciting activities this coastal town has to offer. As well as jet skiing, sailing and the lesser-known, exhilarating activity of fliteboarding, Weymouth is dripping with history, with George III being one of its most famous regulars. It also has a vibrant nightlife and some of the freshest seafood to eat.
The first stop on the three night journey was to check into the accommodation. Along the coast you’ll find an abundance of boutique bed and breakfasts with quirky names, and some with quirky decor.
One of the most modern and welcoming is The Gresham Hotelwhere we were warmly greeted by owner Louise, who took over the property with her husband Steve and children in February 2021.
Awarded a Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award in 2022, it’s easy to see why. The lavish double room and ensuite both celebrated the guest house’s original 1827 features and adding a touch of modern luxury to ensure every guest is looked after.
As with any bed and breakfast, one of the defining elements is of course breakfast, and The Gresham Hotel does not disappoint. With a daily online form sent straight to your phone, guests can choose from a full English roast, toast and condiments or a more continental breakfast, with a range of cereals, fruit, yogurt and pastries served fresh daily.
After breakfast it was a quick trip back to the room, all 12 of which were fully equipped with Wi-Fi, hair dryer and tea and coffee making facilities, before setting off for our first water sports activity of the trip.
Paddleboarding and flyboarding
First up on our trip was paddle boarding at ? The official test center (OTC), located on Portland Island, which marks the southernmost point of the Jurassic Coast, connected to the mainland by Chesil Beach.
With the slogan “Watersports Made Easy”, the staff at the OTC were experts at making two absolute beginners feel safe, informed and excited at the prospect of taking to the calm and beautiful waters of the harbor.
After a relaxing and almost restorative trip on a paddleboard, yes this reporter even managed to stand on the board, we were thrown in at the deep end by the offer to try fliteboarding.
Described as an “extreme water sport” it is also one of the newest and coolest out there, with the OTC the first authorized Flite school in the UK. The concept seems simple, mount an electronic board, click the remote up a few gears and fly silently over the water while letting the board fly out of the water.
But with maximum speeds of up to 26 knots and a complete novice on the controls, it was even difficult to stay on the board. Despite the wobbly start, it wasn’t long before this reporter was in fifth gear and sailing through Weymouth harbour, on the electronic board.
To make the experience even more exciting, there were glimpses of dolphins. The creatures are regular visitors to the harbor who seem to enjoy the ripples on the water created by the fliteboard.
After a tiring but incredibly exciting two hours, this reporter can safely say that fliteboarding was one of the best experiences she has ever tried and without a doubt a must try when visiting Weymouth.
The next day we were back in Portland again, this time to experience the world famous sailing facilities that hosted some of the London 2012 Olympic sailing events.
The Andrew Simpson Center is the company’s flagship center and offers perfect sailing conditions almost all year round thanks to its location in the gated but large harbour. Again, the extremely friendly staff made sure we had all the gear before heading back out on the water, with a trained instructor in the boat with us.
In a two-handed boat we learned all the basics of sailing and by the end we were able to turn the boat confidently and use the direction of the wind plus the direction of the sail to determine how fast we were going. This three hour excursion was made all the more enjoyable by the extremely knowledgeable instructor who was able to not only teach us the tricks of the trade but also give us a brief history of Weymouth Harbor and all the activities they offer.
A slightly more relaxed activity, but still just as enjoyable, sailing at The Andrew Simpson Center is perfect for those who are completely new to the sport, those looking to improve their skills and experienced sailors wanting to experience life on the water in one of the most unique settings.
With all the activity, this reporter certainly worked up an appetite, and Weymouth’s selection of restaurants and food certainly didn’t disappoint. A seaside town visit wouldn’t be complete without a fish and chip supper, so the first night we visited an award-winning restaurant? Fish ‘n’ Frits.
Located on Market Street, before we even sampled the food we knew we were a winner due to the line of hungry customers wrapping around the building. If the numerous accolades to his name aren’t enough, all this reporter can say is that my traveling companion said it was the “best fish and chips” she’d ever had.
Continuing our glorious food journey around Weymouth, did we stop in for dinner? The Terrible Children, founded in 2016 by Chef Eric Tavernier. With seafood straight from the Harborside, this charming restaurant delighted the taste buds from start to finish.
The diverse menu features highlights such as Poole oysters with shallot dressing, chicken stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in Parma ham and Chef Eric’s signature dish, whole baked sea bass in foil Papilotte (filleted), a must try when you visit.
When asked, Chef Eric said what attracted him to take over the restaurant in Weymouth about seven years ago, he said it was the freshness of the fish, which simply cannot be compared to anywhere in London where he worked 20 years of his career .
Last but not least we tried Liege on the harbour, seafood served from a small hatch with casual tables on the wharf. With the hashtag #seafoodstreetfood, everything on the menu is made from scratch using the best local ingredients.
Wanting to try everything, the highlights of the menu were the crab tacos with kimchi and gochujang aioli and the fried salmon burger served with pickled shallots, baby gem lettuce, bell pepper aioli with a brioche bun. Although the salmon burger was a bit salty, the food was amazing, and the quiet location and the unique way they serve the food made this a highlight of the trip.
This three-day non-stop trip to Weymouth highlighted some of the most excellent activities, hotels and restaurants, but the scenery alone should be enough to make you book a stay. And of course Weymouth has much more to offer.
If water sports aren’t your thing, try a ghost walk or tour the heritage trail. Discover the history of Weymouth with a trip to the Nothe Fort or Tudor House. In general it will never be difficult to stay active in Weymouth and this reporter will definitely return to this beautiful part of the Jurassic Coast.