Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Postcard from ...Weymouth

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Postcard from ...Weymouth

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL MANSFIELD

WEYMOUTH is set to become the South Coast's next big tourist destination.

In the past 10 years, [pound]38 million has been spent on a new marina, revitalised town centre and Old Harbour. The Kirkby family from Stevenage, Anthony, Cindy, Ryan (14) and Roxanne (10), holiday in the UK to support local tourism.

"Weymouth deserves it," says Anthony, tying up his yacht in the Old Harbour. "It's improved beyond all recognition. Facilities are great, and mooring fees are half what you'd pay in somewhere like Devon, with a good mix of nationalities.

We've got French, Dutch and Belgian boats around us." At Portland Bill, the Gordon family from Sydenham are also repeat visitors. "It's so easy to get here from London," says Trevor Gordon. "People think Weymouth is stuck down in the West Country, but it's not."

ON THE BEACH Weymouth Bay is a glorious three-mile span: shingly east-end home to water sports (jet-ski hire 20 mins [pound]25; 07971 584862); sandy beach in town centre has volleyball and Punch and Judy shows. Deck chairs [pound]1.10; pedalos [pound]5 half-hour.

Chesil Beach, 18 miles of steep drop-off and choppy waves - swimming hazardous; shore angling, diving and bird-watching.

Neighbouring "Isle" of Portland, connected to the mainland by a causeway parallel to Chesil Beach.

WHAT'S EVERYBODY READING?

McCarthy's Bar, How to be Good, Yachting Monthly.

BEST PUBS/BEACH BARS Cheap-and-cheerful beach Cafe Oasis (01305 833054) near Bowleaze Cove on Weymouth Bay: imaginative dinner menu about [pound]12pp - reservations recommended. Abbotsbury Oyster Farm (01305 788867) on Chesil Beach: down-to-earth, wonderful views; a dozen Fleet oysters and a bottle of Chardonnay [pound]16. In the Old Harbour, the light, wood-lined Ship Inn: Badger and Tanglefoot [pound]2 a pint, Dorset crab salad [pound]8.95.

CLUBS 2001 Good late-night selection: the Rendezvous, Rectory, Toad, Yates, Verdi's and 2012 all in town centre,playing everything from garage and hard house to Goth after 11pm until 2am.Admission around [pound]3.Listings in Thursday 's Dorset Echo. …

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