Amazing – The Weymouth Sea Life Tower Opens – ready for Olympics

Amazing – The Weymouth Sea Life Tower Opens – ready for Olympics

This is the breathtaking seagull’s eye view of Dorset’s Olympic coast as seen from a new £3.5 million observation tower.

The Weymouth Sea Life Tower, which opens to the public tomorrow is, as its name implies, a commercial venture, by Merlin Entertainments Group, owners of the Sea Life parks.

The idea was first hatched three years ago as an independent crowd-pleaser, but the fact that the eyes of the world will be on Weymouth and Portland as they host the Olympic sailing helped focus minds on an early launch.

Designed in Germany and built in sections in France and Hungary, it has taken just nine months to finish from the start of groundworks to the completion of exhaustive health-and-safety and technical tests.

Its circular, clear-fronted gondola climbs 174 feet, gently rotating, and offers 69 passengers a 360-degree view.

From such a point, it is possible to look down on the Victorian Nothe Fort, which was Weymouth’s highest point. The gondola offers panoramic views of the harbour, Weymouth Bay, location of the Olympic sailing – for which the tower will remain open to the public, and such landmarks as the Osmington White Horse, the giant chalk hill figure of King George III, restored for the Olympics.

Craig Dunkerley, Merlin Entertainment’s general manager said: “The tower has had massive positive feed-back and advance ticket sales are proving very popular.”

A single ticket costs £8.10, while a combined ticket for Weymouth Sea Life centre and the tower costs £20. On-the-day tickets for the London Eye cost £18.90

Preparations for the Games continued yesterday with the craning in of a 9,000kg sculpture of the Olympic rings. It was welcomed into its place outside Weymouth station by the Mayor of Weymouth, councillor Margaret Leicester.

The sculpture complements improvements being made to the station in partnership with the Olympic Delivery Authority, the South West Trains and Network Rail alliance and Dorset County Council.

And the towns are taking on a carnival air with flags and banners now being put up on lamp posts ahead of the arrival of the torch relay on July 12 and the opening of the Games on July 27.

Opinion is still divided on the £450,000 Arts Council-funded ‘Light Veils’ lasers from Weymouth Espanade. The green rays are supposed to have a calming effect, but some have been “underwhelmed” and called for the return of the resort’s fairy lights.

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