Places to Visit Around Weymouth

Some of our favourite places to visit in and around Weymouth.


Abbotsbury is a small Dorset village situated on the coast road between Weymouth and Bridport. It is home to three of the best known local tourist attractions, Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, the Swannery and the Children’s Tithe Barn Farm. There are also lovely walks in the area including the walk up to St Catherine’s Chapel where you can get fantastic views along Chesil Beach. There is a car park as you come into the village and others at Abbotsbury gardens and the Swannery.

St Catherine’s Chapel, in the guardianship of English Heritage

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

The subtropical gardens are located in a sheltered valley just inland from the Jurassic Coast. They are open nearly all year round, although being a wedding venue a small section of the garden may be closed off at certain times. A gentle stroll round the gardens takes about 1 – 2 hours and there is lots to see all year round. The rope bridge is a favourite with children as it is in a very jungle like setting with palms, bamboo and large tree ferns all round. There are also 2 large fish ponds and a secret walk which takes you to a viewing point overlooking the Fleet and Chesil Beach. When you have finished your walk around there is the very popular Colonial Restaurant for drinks and light refreshments. There is also an excellent selection of exotic plants for sale at very reasonable prices, and a childrens play area

  • Welcome to Abbotsbury subtropical gardens

Children’s Farm

Just a short walk from the village centre is the Tithe Barn which was built by St Benedict’s monks around 1390. This listed building now houses an indoor children’s play area including a soft play area and indoor games. It forms part of a larger complex where children also have outdoor activities to choose from and there are various farm animals and a petting area with guinea pigs. During the summer they often have birds of prey demonstrations as an added attraction.

Outdoor play equipment at the children’s farm.

The Swannery

The Swannery which is a short walk from the village centre is home to a very large breeding population of mute swans. Spring and early Summer are the best times to visit when the cygnets are hatching.

Within Abbotsbury itself there are a number of specialist artisan shops where you can purchase unique gifts. You will also be spoilt for choice when it comes to refreshments as there are a number of very good Tea Rooms to choose from, offering a wide choice of refreshments and of course Dorset cream teas and the local speciality Dorset apple cake.

Cream Teas

There are many cafes and Tea Rooms in and around Weymouth where you can enjoy a range of refreshments including cream teas. The ones we have chosen all have gluten free scones if you have special dietary requirements.

The Wishing Well at Upwey

The wishing Well at Upwey

Situated in Upwey village the Wishing Well is very much a traditional tea room offering a varied menu and a good choice of home made cakes including gluten free options. Outside there is a delightful garden which is free to visit to customers. The river Wey rises in these gardens and there is a wishing well (hence the name!) Parking is alongside the road or in the nearby church car park.

The Lobster Pot

If you are driving out to Portland Bill (and this should be on everyone’s itinerary) then you will find the Lobster Pot restaurant adjacent to the lighthouse. This is a very popular and busy cafe, particularly in the summer and is well worth a visit. Again they serve gluten free scones with their cream teas if requested. Personally we are also very fond of their chips which are light crisp and not greasy. Perfect. Parking is in the large car park at Portland Bill

Lobster pot cafe Portland Bill

Tank Museum

The Tank Museum at Bovington is a great all weather attraction just a short drive from Weymouth Bay.

The museum houses a large collection of tanks which take you through the history of tank development right up to the current day. While most of the exhibition is undercover there is also a large display arena where you can watch tanks being put through their paces.

Of special interest for the children there is a dressing up area, a large indoor soft play area and the option to take a ride round the tank demonstration course on a people carrier.

Take a ride around the tank course

All in all a good day out for the entire family.

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle, is an imposing ruin perched high on the hill, thought to be the inspiration for Kirrin Castle in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books

The imposing ruins of Corfe Castle

The picturesque village of Corfe itself offers gift shops, model village, cafes offering cream teas and pubs 

Corfe Castle model village

Come and visit us and see what the village and castle would have looked like before its destruction by Oliver Cromwell’s troops during the English Civil War in 1646. Set in an acre of landscaped gardens, we are the ideal place for a lazy few hours for both young and old alike. Model Village Website

Corfe Castle Museum

The Museum has images and artefacts taken from Corfe’s past with the clay, stone and Purbeck Marble industries and snapshots of why and how the village became what it is today. The Museum is housed on the ground floor of the smallest Town Hall in England and so it is quite small too, but well worth a visit. It is open every day and entry is free.

Purbeck Mine Museum

Close to Corfe Castle village, next door to Norden station and park and ride is a brand new and superb visitor attraction, the Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum. The Museum aims to recreate a working environment typical of the drift ball clay mining industry. Purbeck has had (and still has) a ball clay industry producing some of the finest clays in the world since the mid 18 C

The museum complex allows visitors to walk through underground passages and the history of ball clay mining is displayed. Around the complex is a narrow gauge railway system complete with track, sidings, and wagons. Purbeck Mine Museum Website

Walks around Corfe

Distance 1½ miles. Start Corfe Castle ticket office. Map and directions here

Swanage Railway

Catch a steam train to Swanage from Corfe Castle station. Website here

Dorset Waterpark

A huge waterpark with two lakes overlooking Corfe Castle

Each lake has different obstacles. Find out more