A new £3.5 million coastal observation tower will open to the public this Friday.

The 174ft (53m) Weymouth Sea Life Tower will take its first guests on a unique ride that will give unparalleled views of the Jurassic Coast and the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Arena.

The tower - which is almost twice the height of the Tower of London - was originally due for completion in early July.

The doughnut-shaped observation deck rises from ground level to full height as it slowly revolves to give full 360-degree views, before gradually descending again.

It has floor-to-ceiling windows for maximum visibility.

weymouth tower

The tower offers excellent views of the surrounding area from it's circular, panoramic deck

On a clear day, at the highest point, views extend into the English Channel and down the Dorset coast to Lulworth Cove and the Durdle Door arch.

The viewing gondola, able to carry 70 people, will be open for the Olympics, offering views of Weymouth and Portland Bays which will host the sailing events.

Trips to the top of the tower and back will last between 10 and 20 minutes.

More than 200,000 people are expected to visit it in its first year.

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