As soon as I arrive on holiday and have settled into a room tent, I’m on the tourist leaflets like a rash. It seems N has inherited my love of them too because each time we went to the shower block at the campsite, he would grab a new leaflet to take back to the tent to read.
I’d spotted Nothe Fort, at the end of the harbour in Weymouth and thought it would be an interesting place to visit, as well as giving us a walk along the harbour and some stunning views of the sea behind.
Parking in the town and walking along the harbour produced lots of questions from N about why there were cars parked by the water, who lived in the houses, and what were the boats doing.
The fort isn’t brilliantly signposted. There’s no parking there, although you can park in the Nothe Gardens, but we didn’t realise that until we’d walked all along the harbour following what we thought was the sign to the fort, before realising there were steps up to the garden we needed to take.
Nothe Gardens are beautiful. It’s just a lot of open space, with paths overlooking sea views, with you being able to see the boats over at Chesil Beach. With the beautiful weather it was like being in a foreign country rather than the UK.
The gardens also have a few pieces of play equipment, and a nature trail for children to follow. N had a brief play on the climbing frame and slide until the time the fort opened.
Unless you know where you’re going to find the flat route in (presumably from the Nothe Gardens car park), be prepared for steep steps up and down from the gardens or harbour to the fort, as well as once you’re inside.
As with many other historical tourist sites, children are provided with an activity, in this case counting the mice. Everyone at the entry point was friendly and the man kindly showed N exactly what the mice he’d be looking for were like.
Of course you can’t always rely on children to play ball, and N didn’t want to do much at the fort. We saw a few of the displays, checked out some of the guns, torpedos and cannons.
‘Mummy, is that gun real? Do they shoot it?’. I had to explain how sometimes the cannon would be shot for ceremonial purposes or special occasions. N seems to have a worry about guns at the moment which I suppose is a good thing to be wary of them, and recognise how dangerous they can be.
The fort celebrates victorian life as well as that in the fort. There’s the messaging room where you hear the morse code messages being sent out, the soldiers’ mess, and well as underground tunnels to explore. We didn’t make it down to the tunnels because N was getting bored by that stage. He just has no staying power when there’s a beach nearby to get to!
We did stop at the café for a drink and cake, and I had a delicious scone with clotted cream and jam. Delicious.
Even though it was summer holidays, and beautiful weather, there were very few people visiting the fort, so it’s worth checking out if you’ve any interest in history.
Are you a cream tea fan? Do you have your scone jam or cream first?