With Weymouth and Portland hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games sailing events, the profile of the area will be raised considerably in the years leading up to the Games. Weymouth's seaside history and heritage will be a focus of attention and will contribute significantly to the regeneration of the town in the coming years.
Weymouth has been a popular seaside resort for over 250 years. Likened to Montpelier and Naples for its natural beauty and healthy climate, it received the endorsement of King George III. His presence helped the town to expand rapidly in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, resulting in a stunning legacy of seafront terraces that continue to provide accommodation for thousands of holidaymakers each year.
Weymouth boasts an eclectic mix of medieval town planning, harbour-side industry and former military sites that have had an impact on the town's development as a seaside resort. Many of the buildings associated with declining brewing and maritime industries have now been redeveloped and serve as amenities and accommodation for residents and visitors.
An English Heritage opinion poll in 2007 found that seventy-five percent of respondents felt that `the historic character of seaside towns is what makes them beautiful and enjoyable'. This book describes the colourful story of Weymouth's seaside history and the buildings and open spaces that survive to tell this story. It also demonstrates how the historic environment can play an important part in the future development of the town.