A WALK into history is being lined up in the next stage of a restoration project at a Weymouth beauty spot.

Crumbling Sandsfoot Castle built by Henry VIII as a sea defence and almost 500 years old is undergoing a 21st century revamp to enable it to be opened up to the public thanks to a £194,700 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

It followed a submission from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council working with the Friends of Rodwell Trail & Sandsfoot Gardens.

The Grade II* listed monument overlooking Portland Harbour is one of the area’s heritage treasures but it has been out of bounds to visitors for years because it is structurally unsafe although local youths have been known to clamber around on the ruins.

Scaffolding went up earlier in the summer to enable masonry repairs to be carried out at the castle which is in the gardens off Old Castle Road.

Now the borough council’s Planning and Traffic Committee has approved the next stage – a pedestrian walkway which will be built within the walls of the castle. This will provide greater access to the attraction.

The design of the walkway has been considered with care so it does not impact on the ruined castle too much.

It has been developed to look as light and elegant as poss- ible while being robust enough to stand up against the weather and visitors who will be using it.

Tara Gooding from the council’s Parks department and her colleagues have been working with the local Friends’ group to progress the lottery bid and will now be overseeing the work at Sandsfoot.

She said the castle should be opened up to the public at the end of this year or the beginning of next.

Friends’ chairman David Carter said the funding would give the castle a new lease of life.

The lottery grant will also pay for new floodlighting to the perimeter and provide interpretation panels.

A mural made by Budmouth College students last term is currently adorning the scaffolding around the castle.

Speaking at the planning meeting where the application for the walkway was approved, Councillor Anne Kenwood said: “I’m very pleased to see Sandsfoot Castle is being looked after.

“It’s one of the oldest buildings we have and it’s important it’s preserved. I’m very pleased to see this happening.”