Things to do in Portland
Portland is a hive of activity, offering an array of sports – such as rock climbing, paddle boarding, sailing, diving and cycling.
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy hosted the 2012 Olympics and the facilities are Olympic standard. Sailing Courses are on offer via the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre www.andrewsimpsonsailing.co.uk You can hire paddle boards or windsurfs at the Academy. It is not uncommon to see Olympic medalists at the Academy.
Chesil Beach is an impressive 19-mile pebble beach, stretching all the way from Portland to West Bay. As you cross the causeway on your entrance to Portland, you will see colourful kite surfers whizzing along. Part of the Jurassic coast and at the heart of the UNESCO World Hertiage Site, it really is spectacular.
Walkers are spoilt by the many coastal paths to explore. The island has tremendous wildlife, with a number of species only found in Portland. The Portland Bill Legacy Trail takes walkers right to the centre of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, and it’s a great route for catching sight of wildlife and the area’s geology.
Most famous for the iconic Trinity House Lighthouse at Portland Bill. You can climb the steps right up to the very top of the lighthouse, which is still operational. The nearby Lobster Pot serves up delicious food and on a blustery day, the crashing of the waves is awesome to watch.
A 2 minute walk from Jurassica House is Portland Castle, overlooking the harbour. The castle goes back to Henry VIII, built in the early 1540’s to protect against French and Spanish invasion.
The Portland Dockside D-Day Museum includes military memorabilia from World War II. Based in Castletown, it is located close to slipways where thousands of soldiers embarked for the invasion of Normandy in 1944.
Exhibits include a replica Mk IX Spitfire and an original Sherman M4A4 tank.
You probably wouldn’t expect to see wallabies in Portland. However, there are a troupe of wallabies among the animals at Fancy’s Farm, located on the Eastern end of Portland Heights. A free attraction, which survives on kind donations.
We have our favourites! The Crab House Café offers a fabulous selection of fine seafood, freshly caught and prepared. The Oysters come from the Oyster Farm in front of the Crab House Café itself. You can’t get fresher than that.
Quiddles is the cutest beachside café. The menu is limited, but what they do is great and the view – oh my goodness – the view !!!
Portland Art Scene
There are a number of artists connected to Portland. Liz Wright’s studio is based in Portland. Podi Lawrence, is a passionate painter, offering personal tuition. If interested, please contact us for more details.
There are various attractions throughout the year, the Spirit of Portland celebrates Portland’s unique heritage, culture and natural environment over a 9-day festival each summer.
Speedweek is held every October at the National Sailing Academy. Started in 1972, it has challenged sailors of a wide variety of wind-powered craft to sail as fast as they can over a distance of 500m with their speed being recorded.