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Things to do inPortland

Visitor information for Portland in Dorset

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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.

Things to do in Portland

Portland Places of Interest

Places to Go

Find places to go and things to do in Portland using the options below.

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

Portland Events

Latest Portland Features

8 Jul 2020
Plan your Dorset Staycation We’ve all had better years. If you’re looking for a much-needed break, look no further - here are 10 good reasons you can’t go wrong with a Dorset staycation in 2020. Dorset has lots of outside space. Whether on the coast or out in the country, there’s room to spread out and enjoy the great outdoors. Accommodation – there’s plenty of choice, and accommodation providers, from campsites and B&Bs to luxury cottages and hideaways, ... Read more...
3 Jul 2020
We've missed you too Firstly, thank you for staying away during lockdown; but now, here at Resort Dorset, we can’t wait to welcome you back. If you are looking for inspiration for this year’s staycation then look no further, Dorset has it all – beautiful beaches, rolling hills, rugged coastline, stunning coastal walks, and countryside rambles – breathe in the fresh air and leave your troubles behind. Dorset is a county of beauty and tranquillity, and although you will ... Read more...
3 Mar 2020
February Photos of the Month Resort Dorset’s second ‘photos of the month’ feature is here! We’ve selected some of our favourite photos from Instagram that either mention @resortdorset or use the tag #resortdorset. Additionally, we select a featured photo of the month (above). Let’s get stuck in! Shots We Love River Stour View this post on Instagram ... Read more...
21 Feb 2020
Dorset History Dorset’s past influences much of what we do here today, the many places we visit, and a great number of the photos we take as our own mementos. A county with a rich heritage, there’s plenty of Dorset history to be explored. From a Victorian sea-defence fort to centuries-old castles, via preserved steam trains and a wartime abandoned village, and through a variety of award-winning museums, Dorset’s past is brilliantly brought to life. Take a trip back in time with a visit ... Read more...
31 Jan 2020
January Photos of the Month Welcome to Resort Dorset's first 'photos of the month' feature. We collect photos that we love from Instagram each month. To be in with a chance of being featured in next month's feature, just tag @resortdorset or use #resortdorset on any of your Instagram photos! Each month, there will be a feautured photo. Shots We Love Portland Bill View this post on ... Read more...

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