Sandsfoot Gardens form the grounds around the ruins of Sandsfoot Castle.
Enjoying some of the most spectacular views across Portland Harbour, these small but beautiful gardens are made up of seasonal flowers, herb beds and herbaceous borders, which surround an ornamental pond in the centre of the grounds. The Castle dates back to 1539 and was built during the reign of Henry VIII to prevent an invasion from the French. It suffered early erosion and was abandoned for military use in 1665.
These tranquil gardens are located just off the Rodwell Trail, on Old Castle Road, Wyke Regis and anyone walking the Trail would be well advised to pop into the gardens to admire the ruins and its magnificent backdrop looking out towards Portland and the Chesil Beach.
The castle is open all year round and is free to enter. Children should not be left unsupervised.
Award winning gardens
Sandsfoot Gardens has been recognised as one of the best green spaces in the country by being awarded Green Flag status based on how safe, clean, accessible, well managed and welcoming they are. The Green Flag Award scheme is the national standard for parks and green spaces across England and Wales. The award recognises the value of green spaces in communities and is held by the best parks and gardens in the UK.
To find out more about the award, please go to the Green Flag website
A cafe at the entrance of the gardens opened in the summer of 2006. A terraced area set out with tables and chairs is available to customers. For more information and frequent updates, visit the Facebook page:
The cafe provides toilet facilities to visitors.
Partly wheelchair accessible.
Ruins of Henry VIII’s Tudor Castle
By 1541 Sandsfoot Castle was complete. It was built rapidly by order of Henry VIII, along with Portland Castle, to defend this part of England’s coast against attack by the French and Spanish.
The sea and the weather have been the most effective enemies in wreaking damage on the castle. By the end of the 17th century it was becoming a ruin, its proud gun floors fallen into the sea as the cliffs below crumbled under wave and tide.
Since then, much facing stone has been removed and used in other structures, including the foundations of Weymouth’s Town Bridge, which still stands. The final insult for this unique fort came by 1930 when it was declared unsafe and closed to the public.
In 2012 Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Friends of Rodwell Trail & Sandsfoot Castle, re-opened the castle to the public.
The castle is a great setting to host public events and is a perfect backdrop for wedding photos. If you would like to hold an event in the castle, please contact the Cassie Hall, Parks and Open Spaces Operations Admin Officer:
A feature pond with fountain is another focal point of the gardens. Care should be taken around the open pond area.