A NEW chapter for a Weymouth attraction is proving to be a hit with the crowds.

Sandworld, opened for the 2014 season a week ago, and its literary-themed exhibition has attracted a record 2,500 visitors.

Sand sculptor and Sandworld co-founder Mark Anderson said: “The first week has been very good, all the sculptures have been very well received.

“It is definitely our best year yet in terms of the sculptures, we couldn’t really ask for better, and the weather has been great so we have been getting about 500 people a day which is brilliant.

“I am always the optimist, so it bodes well for the summer.”

Sculptures featured at this year’s exhibition include tributes to Sherlock Holmes, the Lord of the Rings, and The Jungle Book among others.

As well as sculptures depicting literary classics, a Doctor Who tribute from last year’s sci-fi themed exhibition is on show.

Mr Anderson added: “It’s a long, hard slog but the results are fantastic this year.

“They really are the best I’ve seen.

“We are getting really good feedback, we have had quite a few people who have said they were sorry that they hadn’t been before.

“This is a world class event, there are only a few places in the world where you can see this type of thing and I hope this will help put Weymouth on the map for sand sculpting, there are some stunning pieces on display.”

A number of local authors attended the official unveiling of the sculptures last week, including Laura E James.

Mrs James said: “It’s fantastic isn’t it? It’s just brilliant. It’s simply breathtaking. You come in and it’s just this whole sweep before you, but I have to say I wouldn’t expect any less from them. They are amazing artists.”

Borough council tourism spokes-man Ian Bruce said: “I have to say I’ve always been stunned by what Sandworld has provided but this is the best ever and is just so good for adults and children, locals and visitors.

“I think it’s a must-see for everyone. It’s just so fantastic to look at the skill of the artists who have created these.”