HAVING been lucky enough to go up in a crane-lifted platform in January to get an idea of the new Weymouth Sea Life Tower sights I thought I knew what to expect, writes Laura Kitching.

But I found that the real thing is a much slicker-operation and on a sunny summer’s day, Weymouth, Portland and the surrounding area can be seen at its finest from 172 feet up.

My first impression of the new attraction was that it provided an oasis of colour amidst the grey, dreary Pavilion car park site.

It felt like entering a theme park ride as we walked through the blue-carpeted corridor of sails to the reception area and into a queuing area, decorated with facts about the Jurassic Coast.

Walking through the glass doors into the passenger gondola was exciting and as we all marched around to get the best seat we soon realised that everywhere was the same as the observation pod rotates 360-degrees.

The rise up and around the tower was quicker than I anticipated but also a smooth and comfortable ride.

The views were breathtaking, it was amazing to see Nothe Fort and Gardens, the hive of activity on Weymouth beach, the town and houses stretching to Chickerell and beyond, the picturesque harbourside and Portland Harbour from a bird’s-eye view.

Live commentary helped to bring the local landmarks to life and warned us to expect a slight jolt upon reaching the top.

We then descended straight down and walked out, feeling slightly dizzy but exhilarated!