Weymouth and Portland Railway Walks
With all the recent television coverage from the Railway Walks programme with Julia Bradbury shown on both BBC4 and BBC2 and many a request from our guests staying with us we have put together a page outlining the route taken with a little bit of added local history.
Start the walk in Weymouth, on the Rodwell Trail, which runs from Westham Halt to Ferrybridge. The walk follows the track bed of the Weymouth & Portland Railway which closed to freight in 1965 (the passenger service having finished many years earlier).
There are many interesting points to stop at on this first stage of the walk, the World War II Gun Emplacement Viewing Point, Rodwell Station, Buxton Road Tunnel, Sandsfoot Halt, (slight detour to Sandsfoot Castle and refreshments, but well worth it), Wyke Regis Halt and the site of Whiteheads Torpedo Factory. In addition, you will have spectacular views over Portland Harbour with Portland in the distance. At the end of the Rodwell Trail you will arrive at Ferrybridge, so follow the harbour edge with Chesil Beach on your right until you arrive at Victoria Square, site of the former Portland Railway Station.
From here you will be in for an energetic climb along the Merchant Railway lines straight up the side of the rock face to the quarries on the top of the Island but at the top you will be rewarded with more spectacular views over Chesil and Portland Harbour. From here you will be following the coastal path all the way to Church Ope and although biased perhaps, cannot think of better views for those that want to try out a Railway Walk. Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has produced a colour leaflet of the route and that can be downloaded here and printed out so there should be no excuses for getting lost.
For Railway enthusiasts, the area has a rich history with the Weymouth and Portland Railway being opened in 1865, the Admiralty Railway which was active from 1878 and predominantly worked by horse, the Easton and Church Ope railway and the stations along the Rodwell Trail which were served by both Southern Railways as well as Great Western Railways.