Weymouth and the surrounding area are blessed with several viewpoints where you can drink in a panoramic perspective for free. If you’re looking for somewhere to pause for lunch or a coffee, or to include in a walk around the area, I’ve put together a list of the best.
This one is a short drive from Weymouth, but well worth it. Follow the B3157 out of Weymouth, through Chickerell and on to Abbotsbury. Once you’ve negotiated the narrow road and sharp bend in the picturesque village, the road climbs a steep hill and it’s from here that you can enjoy the view – behind you.
Don’t try to glance in the rear view mirror. Pull over into one of the several lay-bys, get out of the car and feast on the panorama. You’re looking along the length of Chesil Beach towards Weymouth and Portland.
It takes about 20 minutes to drive the 10 miles from Weymouth seafront to the viewpoint.
Unlike most of the other viewpoints on this list, Greenhill Gardens has all the amenities you need to spend an entire day there.
It’s hard to tire of the view across Weymouth Bay and along the seafront.
At 850 feet (264 metres) above sea level, the Hardy Monument is the highest viewpoint in the area. Renovated and re-opened by the National Trust in 2015, the historic landmark gives outstanding views of both the Jurassic Coast, and also inland Dorset.
Even if you can’t or don’t want to climb the steps inside the monument, the views from the car park are spectacular.
One of only two man-made viewpoints on this list, the Hardy Monument is closed during winter months. It’s a 10 mile or 20 minute drive from Weymouth seafront.
Erected in 2012, just in time for the Olympic sailing events in Weymouth, the Jurassic Skyline gives a unique perspective on Weymouth, Portland Harbour and the local Jurassic Coast.
The tower lifts you to a height of around 162 feet (52 metres) and delivers a 360 degree perspective as it rotates.
Unlike all the other viewpoints on this list, it’s very new and there’s no guarantee that it will remain once the initial lease has expired.
Nothe Gardens and Nothe Fort
As the official spectator area for the 2012 London Olympics sailing events, Nothe Gardens achieved minor notoriety in the national press, when it was reported that the coastline would be fenced off.
The only fences were to pen in the paying spectators, but today you can enjoy the wonderful views of Weymouth Bay completely free.
New Ground car parks, Portland
This is one of the most spectacular viewpoints along the entire Jurassic Coast, if not the whole south coast of England. It’s the reverse of the view from Abbotsbury Hill, yet so much more dramatic.
The Portland Heights drop away beneath you to the rooftops of Fortuneswell, and the long reach of Chesil Beach seems almost within touching distance.
Whether it’s in sunshine or storm, the view is literally breathtaking.
Georgian guidebooks to Weymouth describe a viewpoint, the Lookout, as a popular place to visit. Today the Lookout is at the end of a narrow lane above Newton’s Cove, giving pleasant views over Portland Harbour.
While the panorama may not be as exciting as New Ground or Abbotsbury, it is within a short distance of Weymouth and is a worthy addition to any walking tour of the town.