A popular Weymouth tourist attraction has announced a big year packed with events after a record breaking year in 2023.

Nothe Fort saw a record number of visitors come through its gates with 89,000 people choosing the old Victorian coastal defence landmark for a day out.

The figures smashed the previous year by around 14,000.

James Farquharson, chairman of Nothe Fort said: “2023 saw record visitors figures, with 89,000 people enjoying a day out at Nothe Fort, up from nearly 75,000 the year before.  

"The increasing visitor numbers show us that the changes we’re making are popular, encouraging us to keep going with them.  

"We particularly recognise the importance of event and actively supporting the success of groups within our community."

The fort is now looking at trying to better those figures in 2024 and has a host of events and plans for the year.

Damp mitigation work, funded by Arts Council England and Dorset Council, is underway, which will open up the fort's huge water cistern for visitors to access via a viewing platform.

The fort is also progressing with designs for a new Cold War gallery in their nuclear bunker and will host an 80th anniversary D-Day exhibition.

On top of all of that the fort is welcoming a new member to its team, as Lucy Watkins takes over the post of general manager for collections, conservation and interpretation from Kate Hebditch.  

Lucy is a Dorset resident, and is a singer who performs locally with her father Ken Watkins.

She has worked across the arts and heritage sectors in various roles from artist, curator and project manager with local organisations including B-Side, Portland Museum and Jurassic Coast Trust.

Lucy’s most recent work was the Portland Museum project to create a collection of 3D digital models of the finds from the Earl of Abergavenny shipwreck.

She added: “2024 is going to be an exciting year for Nothe Fort.

“We will be marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day with a new exhibition opening in early June.  

"The exhibition will explore the role of Nothe Fort and Weymouth residents in the D-Day operations of 1944.  

"We shall be working in partnership with the Weymouth Museum to share their amazing photographic collection “.

”This year we also plan to construct a viewing gallery to our water tank."