Pictures of Weymouth
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It was King George III who first put Weymouth on the map as a popular tourist destination after making it his summer holiday residence between 1789 and 1805, where he would bath in the sea using his famous Royal Bathing Machine. A replica of the fascinating machine can be seen along the Weymouth seafront, overlooked by a painted statue of the King himself.
Another famous tribute to the king is nearby, carved into the chalky hillside at Osmington. It is a giant figure of the king riding on a horse and can be seen from miles around.
It was during the reign of King George that many of the fine Georgian properties in Weymouth were built, and the esplanade features a wonderful arc of Georgian buildings overlooking its famous bay.
The eye-catching Jubilee Clock on Weymouth's esplanade dates back to 1887 when it was erected to mark the 50th year of Queen Victoria's reign. A statue of the Queen can also be found along the esplanade, along with that of King George III, and Sir Henry Edwards who was a local MP.
The first hotel to capitalise on Weymouth's growing popularity as a seaside resort was Stacie's Hotel, which opened in 1773 and was soon to be renamed 'The Royal Hotel' and patronised by King George III. The original hotel was demolished in 1891 and a new one built and completed by 1899 along with a carriage house and a ballroom built to the rear of the property and known as 'Queens Ballroom'. During WWII the hotel became the local headquarters of the US military, as Weymouth and nearby Portland were major embarkation points for Allied troops involved in the Normandy landings of D-Day. The hotel was reopened after the war, in 1945, and continues to operate as such today.
Weymouth also did its bit during WWI, being the place for 120,000 ANZAC personnel to convalesce after being injured in Gallipoli and other theatres of war. It was also bombed during WWII, with 76 civilians losing their lives.
Just to the west of the town, along the stunning Chesil Beach (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) is a lagoon known as 'The Fleet' where Barnes Wallis' famous bouncing bomb was first tested before its use against the German dams of World War 2. The fleet is home to many wading birds and Abbotsbury Swannery, with the view across this area being voted as Britain's third best view by 'Country Life' magazine.
Attractions at Weymouth include its picturesque historic harbour, and Nothe Fort - a coastal defence that was built between 1860 and 1872 to protect Portland and Weymouth Harbours. It is one of the best-preserved forts of its kind in the country and is now a museum and major tourist attraction in Weymouth.
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