“ Address: Lodmoor Country Park / Preston Beach Road / Weymouth DT4 7SX „
~ Sandworld ~
I often go to Weymouth every year along with some of my family as we love the beach and the different things to do here. Along the beach they used to have what we call the 'Sandman', he creates beautiful sculptures in the sand and my nephews always look forwards to seeing what he has sculpted each year. Last year they opened an International Sculpture Park called Sandworld which is a short distance from the main town and can be reached by foot, car, bus or bike. You can also get the land train from the sea-front which stops very near the Sculpture Park. For people who may know Weymouth a little it is actually located in Lodmoor country Park where the Sea-life adventure park is also located along with Go Karts and the Crazy Pirate Golf. Me and the family happened to be up that way on a rainy Sunday as my nephew wanted to go and see the old buses that they had in the park the same day. What a wash-out that was, the weather was awful!
Sandworld is a gallery with a difference which contains amazing sculptures made entirely of just sand and water. Sand masters form around the globe have created different pieces of art ranging from 2 - 5 metres high. New sculptures are added each year, each which has a different theme. This year the themes are Ancient Greece & the Olympics with special sculptures celebrating the Jubilee. I actually visited the park last year and the theme must have been something to do with the sea as they were all water based sculptures including, boats, fish and mermaids. When I visited the park last year they didn't have much of a shop or other things to do, how-ever this has now been improved and things such as picnic tables and an ice cream stall has now been added. You can whizz around the park within about 10 minutes, how-ever they do encourage you to take time to look and the sculptures and to read the information about each sculpture and the artist who created it.
~ Visiting Sandworld ~
When you get to Lodmoor Country Park there are signs telling you which way Sandworld is, how-ever it's given away a little by the high tents which cover the sculptures. You do need to pay an entry fee which is £6.50 for adults and £4.50 for children. Any children under the age of 5 get in for free. You can also purchase a family ticket which saves you some money. After visiting the park you can enter the park later again in the same week and it will cost you just half the price of what you originally paid as long as you keep your original ticket. We were given a sheet of paper with the names of the different sculptures and my nephew was asked to look for the sand dragons. If he found them all he would receive a sweet surprise. As soon as you enter the park there are huge white tents containing lots of different sculptures which range in height. There are areas in which you can walk around the sculpture for al all around view and you can read information about the person who created the sculpture and how long it took them. Each of the sculptures is named and you have the opportunity to vote for your favourite sculpture at the end of your visit. As the weather was very poor this day the park wasn't too busy which was nice as there was plenty of room to move around and have a good look at all the sculptures. I was amazed by some of the sculptures as they are just fantastic and so big. There was a huge range of different sculptures including people, boats, sea themed sculptures and more. We did get a little wet walking to and from the different tents; how-ever this wasn't very bad at all as there wasn't much of a walk from each tent to the next. There was plenty of room around the sculptures which enabled me to take some fantastic pictures of the sculptures. We spent at least an hour in here looking at all the sculptures and reading about them. They have one main tent which has a huge sculpture in the middle of it and others around it. There is also some information about how they start off a sand sculpture. You can watch the artists in action build the sculptures, how-ever during the time we were here there wasn't anyone there doing this.
As well as the sand sculptures there is also a large sand area in which children can play in the sand. There are different things such as buckets and small spades so they can dig and also try to make little sand sculptures themselves. There is a small cafe area which sells a small range of food and drinks. This includes things such as crisps, sausage rolls, muffins, cakes and other small snack items. There is a seating area here as well so you can sit here and eat the goods purchased. There is also a small area in which children can fill a bottle up with different coloured sand and then add hair and eyes to it. My nephew loved doing this, he picked a tall shaped bottle and then using the funnel in the top of the bottle I held the bottle whilst he poured different coloured sand in which gave it a lovely layered effect in the bottle. The bottle was then sealed with a cork which has some coloured hair on top and we could choose eyes and stick them to the front of the bottle as well. You do have to pay for this after you have made a bottle but this was only approximately £3.00 which wasn't too bad. As we left the park there was a book where you could write comments and you also had the choice to vote for your favourite sand sculpture in the park. My nephew also received a lollipop for spotting all of the sand sculptures in the park which were marked on the sheet of paper we were originally given.
~ Overall Opinion ~
Although the park hadn't long been opened when we visited and it still needed some work doing to it, the sculptures were absolutely amazing. It was hard to believe that the sculptures were made from just sand and water. It's probably better to visit here when it's not raining as the children can't really used the outdoor sand area or picnic tables as this area is not under-cover. We did get some sand on our shoes, which was expected due to there being so much sand at the park anyway. It was very hard to pick what we all though was the best sculpture so we all voted separately. It's very interesting reading the information about the sculpture and how long it took to make the sculpture. It would have been nice to have seen an artist at work creating their master-piece, how-ever I'm sure me and the family will visit again next year as we didn't visit there this year. In terms of value I think the price could be taken down a little by at least £1 or so as if you want food or drinks, you also have to pay for this separately. If you are in Weymouth I would definitely recommend a visit here as you will be amazed with the sculptures.
~ Other Information ~
* Sandworld is pushchair and wheelchair friendly how-ever you may get sand in your wheels. If you require any assistance you can contact a member of staff.
* No dogs, except for guide dogs.
* Sandworld operates a No smoking policy, and you are only permitted to smoke in the allocated areas.
* Walking to here from the main town/sea-front will take approximately 15 minutes; alternatively you can get the land train for £1.00 which will take you very near to the Park. There are also many buses which go past the park and this will only take 5 minutes to get there.
For more information visit www.sandworld.co.uk
(review also on ciao)