Weymouth is one of our favourite places to visit and always has been. If you’re heading on holiday or looking for staycation ideas with the family, here are our top five free things to do in Weymouth with the kids.
We love the relaxed vibes, huge array of things to do, the beach, the people, and ways to keep the kids entertained too, without having to venture far from the town centre.
Having come here so many times to visit family as a kid, it is lovely to be able to head back here with Lily and see how much she enjoys it too. We either stay with family or stay at Haven Littlesea on our stays.
There are so many things to do in Weymouth that are free, so I thought I’d share just a few of our favourites as well as ways you can add to your visit for just a little extra, without breaking the bank!
1. Weymouth beach
OK, this may be an obvious one, but Weymouth beach has always been fantastic, whether you’re in peak summer or enjoying a brisk winter walk.
You have miles of sand or pebbles to enjoy, whatever you prefer, with plenty of spots for picking up an ice cream, a coffee, or just to relax with a bucket and spade.
Even in the depths of summer, you can find a place to enjoy the beach, paddle in the water or even pick up a pedalo to head out into the sea. It tends to be quieter towards Greenhill and there are dog-friendly areas too.
For a little extra, we love the rides down at the arcades. They cost just £1 a token or £5 for 6 tokens, which we do think is reasonable for rides in a resort. We usually do 6 for £5 then let her use two tokens a day.
2. Nothe Gardens
We can’t visit Weymouth without heading up to Nothe Gardens – a completely free areas to play, relax, picnic and enjoy the views, as well as access the fantastic Nothe Fort too.
There are public toilets, a wooden play area, beautiful gardens to explore and views right across Weymouth and Portland harbours.
The higher paths are all accessible (although some areas are steep, so you may want to avoid some paths), and there is a cafe at the entrance to the gardens as well as benches to enjoy the views and a drink from too.
However, our favourite area (as well as the play area) is the fantastic nature trail for children which runs around the gardens.
You can park here (pay and display) or walk from the town centre – for a quicker route across from town, you can get a little boat taxi for around £1-£2 from the Pavilion to the steps that lead up the the gardens, although this is not an accessible route – it really is a beautiful way to enjoy Weymouth too.
Follow the path down through the gardens and you can find a lovely walking path alongside some rock pools – hours of free fun for the kids!
3. Sandsfoot Gardens
A secret gem in Weymouth is Sandsfoot Gardens, with beautiful gardens and pond, the little Sandsfoot Castle, and beautiful views across Portland and Chesil beach too.
The castle is free to enter and open all year round, and surrounded by beautiful grassy areas with lovely views to enjoy a picnic. It is such a peaceful area to escape to and enjoy with the family.
There is a small café there too with toilets, however this isn’t open all year round.
Just further along, you can also find Sandsfoot Beach which is usually peaceful and a great place to paddle, without the crowds of the main beach.
We love the walks here and visiting the area. You can park along the road for free, although there is limited parking.
You can find out more about Sandsfoot Beach here
4. Lodmoor Country Park
Lodmoor Country park is a beautiful place to wander around and is free to access too.
Walk along from Greenhill Gardens and the Esplanade, and Lodmoor Country Park has plenty to keep all the family entertained.
The highlight for Lily is definitely the pirate-themed wooden play area and she also loves the outdoor gym too, including the kids gym in the play area.
You can find a small café here and toilets, as well as access to picnic tables and barbeques for the public to use. The footpaths are accessible and beautiful to wander along, with plenty of shady spots too away from the heat of summer.
5. Weymouth Harbour
Watching the boats come in and out of the harbour area every 2 hours through the day is definitely a highlight when we visit Weymouth, but there is so much to do around here that it is always one of our favourite spots.
There are plenty of small businesses and local places to enjoy a Dorset Cream Tea or some fish and chips around Weymouth Harbour, take a wander around past the painted houses or even pick up a boat trip from here.
It is also a great spot for crabbing, with plenty of little shops to pick up everything you need.
For a little extra, you can take the harbour ferry across from the pavilion to the bottom of the steps to Nothe Gardens, a little rowing boat that takes you across for just £1 for children or £2 for adults.
Looking for something a little different for a little extra?
Treasure Trails are available in Weymouth! Treasure trails are self-guided treasure maps to help you explore the area you’re in, crack the clues along the route to unlock incredible stories from the past and solve the mystery at the end.
If you’re looking for things to do with the kids in Weymouth that are a little bit different, click here to check out the Treasure Trails. They are different prices, however a great way to explore the area.
Looking to head a bit further out?
No visit to Weymouth is complete for us without a trip to Chesil Beach – 18 miles of natural shingle across the Jurassic Coast. It’s not your typical beach for sunseekers, but a natural area to explore, take walks along, enjoy the views, and learn about Chesil’s wildlife at the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre. While there, Taste Cafe is a lovely place to pick up lunch or a snack too!
Portland Bill Lighthouse
Portland Bill Lighthouse is a truly lovely place to visit with the family. It is a beautiful working lighthouse complete with visitor centre as well as walks that are free around the grounds. It can get busy in peak times, but the views from here are stunning, and Lily loves visiting a “real lighthouse”!
Find out more here.
Although it can be a very popular place to visit, Durdle Door is one of our favourite spots when we visit Dorset. There is no entry fee, although you pay for parking when you arrive. The paths are rugged along the Jurassic Coast, with a steep walk down to the famous Durdle Door itself.
Durdle Door is a natural limestone archway alongside lovely walks, a beach to relax on or wander across, and spectacular views. Toilets are by the carpark as well as a small gift shop and trailer for drinks or ice cream.