Beachgoers say they are being put off Weymouth beach because of the amount of seaweed on its famous golden sands.

The beach has been branded 'slimy' and 'smelly' by visitors to the town.

And there have been reports of children in tears because they don’t want to go through the seaweed.

The complaints have come as people have flocked to the resort during a spell of fine weather.

Weymouth Town Council says it has made a 'conscious decision' not to remove the seaweed which 'supports its commitment to preserving the ecosystem's integrity'.

Pictures and a video taken by the Dorset Echo yesterday show the majority of the sandy beach by the Pavilion end covered in seaweed - and beachgoers steering well clear.

People have been registering their displeasure with the beach on social media and on travel review website TripAdvisor, with one reviewer telling people to 'avoid Weymouth beach'.

Tina P wrote: "The sea is brown because it is full of small pieces of seaweed washing ashore.

"When you go into the sea you are covered in it when you get out. To reach the sea you have to walk through a thick matt of rotting seaweed about 6ft wide and 6 inches deep (like a huge cowpat) along the beach.

"In the lovely warm weather we are having it is attracting lots of flies and is really smelly.

"It's really unpleasant. I would avoid Weymouth beach, especially with young children."

Another beachgoer, Gaz, said he had 'mixed feelings' about visiting Weymouth beach. 

"The beach has a lot of sea weed currently although this is natural I’m pretty sure it used to be cleaned away from the holiday seasons. Not overly nice for young kids to walk through to get into the sea really."

A Facebook user said: “I've been on the beach and heard so many complaints and children crying because they don't want to go through the seaweed.”

Dorset Echo: Seaweed on Weymouth's once golden sandsSeaweed on Weymouth's once golden sands (Image: NQ)

Larry Whitehead of Wimborne, who visited Weymouth over the bank holiday weekend with his family, said: “There is too much seaweed.”

Caroline Hall, from Swanage, visiting the beach with her friends said it was a ‘bit seaweedy’.

The amount of seaweed currently on Weymouth beach is thought to have been caused by two weeks of easterly winds.

Another Facebook user said: “Spent a gorgeous day in Weymouth yesterday. I was a little shocked at the state of the beach, pavilion end! I’ve never seen it so covered in seaweed before.”

A Weymouth Town Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of recent comments about seaweed on a small area of our award winning beach.

"Occasionally north easterly winds result in seaweed being washed up on the southern section of the beach.

"We appreciate that the seaweed might be unsightly until it is washed back out into the bay but as caretakers of this beautiful and diverse coastal environment, we have made a conscious decision not to routinely remove any animals or plants.

"This decision supports our commitment to preserving the ecosystem's integrity and avoiding any potential harm that may arise from interfering with its natural course. Seaweed is an important resource for marine invertebrates and a food source for many species.

"While we understand that our approach may not align with some personal preferences, it is important to note that we are not striving to provide a synthetic, controlled swimming pool experience. Instead, we invite visitors to embrace the raw beauty of nature in its unaltered form, which includes the presence of seaweed, along with other fascinating marine life such as crabs, seals, jellyfish, and dolphins.

“Weymouth Beach has been honoured with both the Seaside Award and the Blue Flag Award. These accolades underscore our dedication to maintaining cleanliness, safety, high-quality services, water quality, and environmental management. We take great pride in upholding these standards and continuously strive to provide an exceptional beach experience for our valued visitors.”