If you’ve got green fingers you’ll love the Nothe Gardens in Weymouth. We’ve got sub tropical gardens, hidden gardens, Monet’s water lilies and even a secret wishing well.
For an utterly peaceful and beautiful experience, stroll through the Nothe Gardens, Weymouth’s Victorian sub-tropical garden overlooking the bay. With views of Portland to the right and Swanage in the far distance on the left, these gardens are unique. Wander through mature tree-lined rhododendron walks, teaming with squirrels and birds and stroll out onto a large grassy area, bounded by the Nothe Fort on the left, sloping down to the sea. Here you can just sit and marvel at the beauty of Weymouth Bay, or relax in the warm sun.
On the top of the Nothe peninsula, between the fort and the gardens, is a large level grassy area where the kids can kick a ball around while the grown-ups make a barbeque on one of the free public BBQ stands (bring your own tray, food and implements).
At the other end of the wooded gardens is Newton’s Cove – a small pebbly beach bordered by volcanic rock pools. Along the paths of the Nothe – particularly if you go along the path down by the sea – you’ll find all you need to know about the Nothe’s abundant wildlife on nature boards at various points. Take fresh ‘monkey nuts’ in their shells for the squirrels and have a photo taken by the big wooden spider before you leave. And all this is absolutely free!
Alexandra Gardens is a small area on the Esplanade (Pavilion end) where you can sit and enjoy an ice cream or picnic at one of the tables or on the grass. There is a traditional ‘gallopers’ roundabout and snack-selling huts. Within Alexander Gardens you’ll also find a deceptively large gambling fun palace – very popular with visitors!
Greenhill Gardens is a pleasant area just past the north end of the Esplanade, on the way to the Sea Life Centre. Here, you can relax among the neatly laid out gardens, overlooking the pebbly end of the beach with its traditional beach huts. Here you’ll find tennis courts and a traditional bowling green.
Radipole Park Garden is a hidden formal garden with a children’s playground waiting to be discovered. You can find it at the end of Radipole Park Drive, the long straight road along the town side of the Radipole Nature Reserve.
How would you like to step (Mary Poppins style) into a Monet painting? Covering an area of eight acres, Bennett’s Water Gardens in Chickerell (a village area on the outskirts of Weymouth, near the Jurassic Coast road) is home to The National Plant Collection of Water Lillies. Amazingly these are plants obtained from the same stock as Monet’s actual lilies in France. Here you’ll also find the Museum of Chickerell and the Fleet Lagoon. Café Monet is on site for a well-earned cream tea after walking through the fabulous water gardens and their gorgeous displays of lilies. Then why not treat yourself to some local produce from the gift shop before making your way to the Fleet itself to take in the dramatic Jurassic Coast right there under your feet.
Visited by King George III on his many visits to Weymouth in the eighteenth century, Upwey Wishing Well is an ancient spring of healing waters and the source of the River Wey. No visit would be complete without making a wish. The traditional method was to drink some of the water and then throw some over your left shoulder. Naturally there is a tearoom nearby… in case you wished for a piece of cake! Upwey itself is a pretty village on the edge of Weymouth, and you can find the wishing well, tearoom and gallery in Church Street, next to the church.