As a nation, we’re always keen to go abroad for our vacations. It’s rare that we will stay in the UK and explore what this country has to offer. Maybe we go abroad for the guarantee of sun, the chance of new experiences or the opportunity to allow someone to practice the English they were told that they had to learn. But now it’s possible to see more of the country thanks to First Great Western Trains who are running a competition to give two free first class tickets to any of their many destinations in the UK.
If I had to provide a suggestion about where to go, it would be Weymouth in Dorset. It’s a town combines the old and the new, a place full of history yet also modern enough to be chosen as one of the venues for last year’s Olympics.
Culture and Heritage
The town dates back to the 12th century and quickly became an important port. It is believed that it was here that the Black Death came into the UK either by an army ship or a spice ship. Henry VIII built Sandsfoot Castle in order to protect the coast from invasion. However, the coast has not returned the favour and due to coastal erosion, much of the castle has fallen into the sea with only a small remainder of ruins left.
As the town developed, it quickly became a favourite tourist destination. King George III spent his summers here and Weymouth’s esplanade is replete with examples of Georgian architecture. The Weymouth Pavilion puts on a variety of productions as well as classical music concerts. The Weymouth Sea Life Tower is close by, which offers great view of the coastline as well as an adventure park.
Food and Drink
As you might expect from a coastal town, Weymouth has some wonderful seafood restaurants which are able to serve up the finest local produce. A selection of restaurants and inns along the bay area include Mallams, Smugglers Inn and the Crab House Cafe.
There are sporting activities all year round in the town. The Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy was used for the sailing events at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In addition to this, there is dragon boat racing, beach volleyball, handball and motocross.
The area is home to places of great natural beauty. There are two lakes which are RSPB nature reserves. Radipole Lake is in the centre of the town whilst Lodmoor lies just outside. Weymouth’s surrounding area features a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the Dorset Coast features important geology and landforms.
If you are interested in visiting Weymouth or any of the many destinations in the UK, details of the competition are here. It closes on December 16th.
Image by Andrew_Writer courtesy of Flickr