Explore the Local Area of Portland & Weymouth
During your stay on the Isle of Portland there’ll be plenty of things to do and see. Neighbouring town and co-host of the 2012 Sailing Events, Weymouth is within a 15 minute drive with ample shopping and indoor activities including the Sea Life Centre and Sharkey’s Childrens Play Area. You’ll definitely find something to do here.
A popular past-time on the Island. Climbers often come from all over the UK to scale Portland’s unique climbing terrains. Choose the West side for devilishly high cliffs of up to 300ft or the Eastern side of the island where there are offerings of smaller (but still high if you ask me!) cliffs.
Diving off Chesil Bank & around Portland
Again, diving has been popular on Portland for decades. Several ship wrecks from Submarines to old paddle steamers are available to dive in the area and there are operators who can arrange dive trips if it’s your first time. Prices are very reasonable for such a unique experience.
Walks around Portland
Portland is an ideal place for long or short walks with picture-perfect scenery. Take a walk along the high West cliffs to Portland Bill or take the East cliffs along to Church Ope and try to spot the newly reintroduced Portland Goats.
A ten minute walk from our holiday homes, overlooking Portland Harbour sits a former castle of King Henry V111 – built in the 1540s to protect against French & Spanish invasion.
On the top of the island, near Church Ope Cove is Portland’s Museum, founded by Dr Marie Stopes. One of only two thatched buildings on the island it holds stories from the islands maritime and smuggling era, pirates, war-time and stonemasonry. Very reasonably priced, a large group of family will have a good day out here.
Portland’s beaches are some of the best along the Jurassic (South) Coast and in the country – some easier to get to than others but each one offering it’s own flavour of island living. If you’re looking for long, sandy beaches then you’ll be better suited to Weymouth but if Fishing, Snorkeling, Rock Pools and general sunbathing peace & quiet, Portland will definitely be your cup of tea!!
This well known spot on the end of Portland has been a popular spot for tourists for decades. The Lighthouse sits proudly at 115ft on the coast warning passing ships of Portland’s strong tidal race and shallow reef. A picture-perfect spot for a picnic or a spot of lunch in the recently refurbished restaurant.
Tout Sculpture Park
Tout was once a thriving quarry, quarrying the world famous Portland Stone. Around 1983 it became it became a sculpture park, with hidden treasures to be found in the rock all over the quarry, ranging from a stone fireplace with living room furniture to a huge viking ship and archways. Plenty of time can be spent wandering around the quarry searching for these amazing sculptures. If you’re lucky enough, you might even catch a stone carving lesson taking place in the centre of the quarry
Fishing has been a past-time on Portland since records began! Chesil Beach – a “stones throw” from our cottages is a great place to catch Mackerel, Bass and the occasional Cod. Ship wrecks off the coastline are popular with divers and the shallower waters are great for snorkeling and bathing although this beach isn’t for the weak swimmers amongst you.
Sailing in Weymouth & Portland
The Olympic sailing events in 2012 were staged in Portland & Weymouth. The sailing events were held from the new Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy in Osprey Quay – the site of the former Naval Base. Although the Academy was closed to the public whilst the games were on, you can take advantage of all the facilities now!
Sitting at the entrance of Weymouth Harbour is the Nothe Fort – once derelict in the 1960s – it’s a fantastic place for a family, or group, day out. A labyrinth of underground tunnels and passageways guide you through a genuinely unique experience. Children (and adults!) can participate in the popular “Find the Mice” competition – how many can you find? (Dont worry, they’re not real!)
Weymouth Town Centre Shopping & Attractions
Weymouth Town is thriving. It’s a popular holiday resort and thousands of tourists flock to its sandy beaches year after year. Shopping in Weymouth is also getting better & better every year we get closer to the Olympic Sailing events! Popular retail outlets such as TK Maxx, Gul & Henry Lloyd are amongst a wide range of newcomers to the town. Large department store, Debenhams dominates the central shopping area and there’s always ample parking.
Sea Life Park, Lodmoor
Situated just outside the town centre, the Sea Life Park is a great place to visit. The ever-growing attractions and sanctuary make this one of the most exciting Sea Life’s to visit. The original home of Paul the Psychic Octopus the park boasts some amazing sea creatures from cute Seals & Penguins to terrifying Giant Spider Crabs & Sharks!
The Fun Factory
If you’re after a bit of peace & quiet whilst the kids run riot there’s no better place than one of the largest indoor soft-play areas on the south coast – The Fun Factory.