About the Rodwell Trail
The Rodwell Trail is a popular walking and cycle route that connects the centre of Weymouth to the Isle of Portland. It is a 3km scenic walk or easy cycle ride along part of the disused Weymouth and Portland railway. It featured as one of the Railway Walks in Julie Bradbury’s recent BBC TV Series.
The Trail begins at the Westham Bridge end of Abbotsbury Road and runs south to Ferrybridge. From this point the walker or cyclist can continue across the causeway to the Isle of Portland or to the famous Chesil Beach and The Fleet lagoon.
The Weymouth and Portland railway, opened in 1865 and closed in 1965. In its heyday at the beginning of the 20th century it carried substantial numbers of passengers, and stone traffic from the Portland quarries. During its lifetime it was extended into the Royal Navy Dockyards on Portland and also serviced Whitehead’s torpedo factory at Ferrybridge. The stations and halts along the route are still visible and are identified with British Railways–style signboards.
Along its length the Trail has information boards and viewing locations to enable visitors to take full advantage of the wealth of flora, fauna and history. A great convenience is the availability of refreshments and toilets in the gardens of Sandsfoot Castle at about the halfway point.
There is an interest group “The Friends of the Rodwell Trail” who help maintain and promote the use of the trail and produce an excellent leaflet available from the Weymouth Tourist Infromation Centre and other locations.
Words and pictures kindly supplied by Gerry Walkden of Weymouth