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Things to do inPortland

Visitor information for Portland in Dorset

  • Portland
  • Portland
  • Portland
  • Portland

When you visit the Isle of Portland, stop off at the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre on the causeway, where you’ll find lots of information about Chesil Beach and the wildlife that it supports. 

You’ll also pass the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, which hosted the Olympic sailing events of London 2012 and still hosts top sailing events throughout the year.

There are several attractions on the island which offer something for all ages: The D-Day Centre offers an immersive, interactive visitor experience that tells the story of embarkation from what the Americans called: ‘The world's biggest little port’; Portland Castle is one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal forts with views over Portland Harbour; the animals at Fancy’s Farm will delight the children and as it’s free to wander around it will no doubt delight the adults too; and Portland Museum is packed with artefacts that chart the history, people and culture of the island, and, surprisingly, it has a connection to family planning! 

To the right of the Museum is a path and steps that lead down to Church Ope Cove, a sheltered beach that is popular with local residents and was once a smuggling hot spot. The walk down to the beach offers stunning views and it’s usually quiet. 

Portland Stone has been used in prestigious buildings all around the world, including London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, and the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Quarrying continues but Tout Quarry, now disused, has become a sculpture park with more than seventy sculptures to be found by walking around the site. 

The South West Coast Path goes right around the island and on a clear day you can see the longest stretch of coastline than from any other point on the Path’s 630-mile length.

The Visitor Centre at Portland Bill Lighthouse gives an insight into the work of Trinity House, the organisation responsible for the operation of our lighthouses. During the summer, visitors are able to climb the lighthouse steps and marvel at the views.

Close to the Lighthouse is the Portland Bird Observatory: Portland has many sightings of rare birds as they use the island as a stop off point on their migration to warmer climes. Swallows, oystercatchers, short-eared owls and the UK’s smallest bird of prey, Merlins, have all been spotted off Portland Bill. The Observatory is open all year round for you to visit and to spot the local wildlife. 

With a spa for a spot of pampering, horse riding with fabulous sea views, pubs, cafes and restaurants ready to fulfil your foodie requirements, Portland really does have a lot to offer its visitors. 

Places to Go

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You can also explore all of the Portland venues on our Portland Map.

What's On

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Stay Cool with Dorset's Indoor Attractions Dorset's beaches and public spaces provide plenty of opportunity to soak up the rays during a heatwave. But keep an eye out for Met Office advice and take care not to spend too long in the sun. If you're looking for indoor attractions, some shade and a cooler way to spend a day in Dorset, then take a look at a selection below. Get active with trampolining, children's soft play centres and indoor pools or explore some of the fascinating museums Dorset has to ... Read more...
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10 of the Best Dorset Places of Interest

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Jurassic Coast

11 February 2018
Water Sports in Dorset

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More articles available in the features section.