For those people who enjoy a little bit of history in their days out, Sandsfoot Castle is Weymouth’s only scheduled monument and one of Henry VIII’s ‘Device Forts’. Built to be used in conjunction with Portland Castle, the whole of the Portland Harbour was able to be covered by the two fort’s artillery, enabling them to protect vital shipping routes and defend against possible attacks from the French and Spanish, a distinct threat at the time due to Henry turning his back on Catholicism and forming the Protestant Church of England. It’s historical importance continued into the seventeenth century, the Castle being a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War that was eventually surrendered to the Parliamentary forces.
From the seventeenth century onwards, Sandsfoot Castle gradually fell into ruin, but thanks to a recent Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 2011, it has enabled the castle to be restored and opened to the general public. As well as tours of the castle, visitors can enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens and the Rodwell Trail, a shared use walking and cycling path that passes through the castle’s grounds en route from Westham Bridge to Ferrybridge.
A popular café also stands in the castle grounds, and serves a variety of refreshments to visitors.