Thing To Do in Portland

Wondering what there is do in Portland?  Plenty!  Portland really is an explorer’s island, full of different things to do to spark your interests, whatever they may be...

Alive with activity

Portland is the ideal place to have a go at some of those activities you’ve always wanted to try but never had a chance!  Have a go at sailing on Olympic waters, kite surfing, SCUBA diving, windsurfing or stand up paddle boarding…feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your face – it’s a recipe for happiness!

Portland is well renowned for being one of the best places for rock-climbing on the South Coast. The island offers over 900 routes of varying difficulty along its majestic limestone cliffs meaning you can look forward to both superb variety and spectacular views when you climb here.

A coastal walk or cycle round the island is highly recommended and you can spend a leisurely day following Coast Path along the old railway route up the Merchant’s Incline, admiring the impressive architecture of The Verne and meandering past the striking ruins of Rufus Castle. There are plenty of cafes dotted en route too where you can stop and refuel.

Portland Castle

Overlooking Portland Harbour stands one of Henry VII’s finest coastal forts, built in the early 1540s to protect against French and Spanish invasion. 

This English Heritage owned Portland Castle provides a great family day out; enjoy stunning views from the gun platforms and get close to the powerful cannons, hear history brought to life through the free audio tour and become a Tudor Soldier or Royalist Gunner when you try on the outfits and armour in The Armoury.

To finish your visit, take a stroll in the Contemporary Heritage Garden before relaxing in the Captain's Tearoom with a coffee and a slice of cake. Yummy!

Explore Portland’s quarries

Portland’s abandoned quarries are fascinating places to explore, full of quarryman’s tunnels and gullies, fossil-filled rocks and a colourful explosion of flowers and butterflies in the spring and summer months.

You’ll feel a real sense of adventure at Tout Quarry as you scramble around hunting for all the different sculptures. The Park hosts many events throughout the year including Living Quarry and Children’s Stone Carving and Sculpture workshops so if you feel inspired by what you see, you can have a go yourself!

Portland’s hidden curiosities

One of the best things about Portland is there’s so much more to this island than first meets the eye; in fact, the longer you spend here, the more eclectic treasures you uncover!

Stroll down past St Andrew’s Church and you’ll stumble upon a pirates’ graveyard, head further down the steps and you’ll reach the beautiful, secluded Church Ope Cove, once a smuggler’s hotspot!

Portland Museum is well worth a visit, this quaint museum covers everything from shipwrecks and prisons to dinosaurs and Marie Stopes. If you’re a Thomas Hardy fan, one of the 400 year old cottages featured in ‘The Well-Beloved.’

There’s also a family farm that’s free to visit and a fabulous gem of a museum dedicated to Portland’s involvement in D-Day and the contribution from the American troops.

If you’d like to read more about lesser known Portland, take a look at passionate local instagrammer ‘Richie’s Incredible Britain’s blog: The Enchanting Isle of Portland.

Unearth heritage hidden gems

Portland has a quite remarkable history with some fascinating heritage sites that really need to be seen to be believed. From the striking Portland Bill to one of King Henry VIII's finest coastal forts, there's plenty to be discovered on the Isle of Portland. Visit the Weymouth & Portland Heritage website to learn more.


As you can see, there’s no other place quite like Portland!  It’s unique with such wildness and adventure ready to be explored! Book your break today!

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