Nothe Fort Weymouth

Views and historical learning at Nothe Fort and gardens

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.

Nothe Fort Weymouth

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.

Strolling by Weymouth harbour
Colourful houses at Weymouth Harbour
chilling at Weymouth Harbour

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.

walking up the sunlit steps

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 view from Nothe Gardens

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.

Playing at Nothe Gardens

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.

Walking the coastal path through Nothe Gardens Weymouth

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.

Nothe Fort guns

‘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.

Nothe Fort roof

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.

Elevenses at Nothe Fort
Someone then decided it was too sunny and windy to eat his (giant) cake outside
Cake at Nothe Fort

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?

Check out these other days out suggestions in Dorset.

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  1. Looks like a really interesting place to visit although I can see that the beach might have more appeal for N! The view from the gardens looks stunning, what a beautiful day you had for your visit to the fort. Looks like I’m in a minority with my cream tea going from the comments – has to be cream first for me and then jam! 🙂

    1. Hi Louise,
      Yep, kids and beaches go together so well, it’s hard to get them excited about anything else.
      Each to their own on the scone front – as long as there was plenty of clotted cream, I’d be happy.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. It’s all fake and trick photography. He was moaning most of the way round because he just wanted to go to the beach! But we did get a reasonable look at it, even though we didn’t make it to the tunnels.

  3. I’m a big history fan and am fascinated by places like this so would love to visit.
    Jam first for the scone (ideally butter, jam then cream)

    1. Hi Louisa, I often wonder about butter. Not many people have that as well but I can see how it might be nice. Thanks for stopping by

  4. Oh! We never been there and it looks like a great place to go. Aha! The scone, jam and cream thing are new to me and maybe, I am the only person that doesn’t mind what goes on first. lol

  5. Jam first and then the cream 🙂 I’ve seen this fort but my son was still very young at the time and we didn’t go in. Next time we go to Dorset I’d like to though as we are really into history.

    1. Oh yes, Sam, I’m the same order with scones!

      I think it is better for older children – or those a bit more compliant than N on this occasion!

  6. Your holiday to Weymouth is looking more and more fun. The town itself looks so quaint and the fort looks like a great discovery to get away from the crowds and hustle and bustle of the beach. The guns and cannons look like boy heaven, I know mine would have been full of questions. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.

    1. Yes, definitely perfect for older kids. Yours would have loved the tunnels and getting up on the top of the fort too.

      It is a lovely place, there’s always so much to see, and never enough time to see everything.

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