4 of 5 (2 votes)

Pottering around the Isle of Portland

A moderate walk (coast) in Dorset, England, about 14.20km (8.82 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 4:15h. It is unsuitable for families with children, prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 54m (177ft)
Descent 68m (223ft)
Max. Elevation 120m (393ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 122m (400ft)
Start & End
Distance 14.20km
Duration ~4:15h
Car Free Walks TeamCreated by Timwoods on 20 Aug 2008
The Isle of Portland, connected to the mainland by Chesil Beach, makes a great day trip from Weymouth or further afield. This route takes you right around the island, from Portland Castle and harbour in the north down to Portland Bill at the southern tip. The island is part of Dorset's Jurassic Coast, famous for its geology and landforms. It's also a World Heritage Site and well worth a visit!

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Walk Functions


Nearby Walks

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The South Dorset Ridgeway

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The Dorset Downs from Osmington

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Walk Map

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OS Grid SY685733
There are regular bus services to Fortuneswell from Weymouth and other towns in Dorset.
OS Grid SY686742
Heading clockwise, Portland Castle is the first point of interest. It was built by Henry VIII in 1540 to protect Weymouth against possible attack from the French and the Spanish. It's now run by English Heritage.
About 0.83 km (~0.52 miles) from
OS Grid SY696740
Follow the path heading east to Balaclava Bay and some fine views across Portland Harbour, one of the largest and deepest human-made harbours in the world.
About 1.01 km (~0.63 miles) from
OS Grid SY697709
The coastal path heading south takes you to the ruins of Rufus Castle, overlooking Church Ope Cove. This old Norman castle was originally built in the 1100s; much of what remains dates to the 1500s.
About 3.15 km (~1.96 miles) from
OS Grid SY678681
Heading south past Freshwater Bay, you will reach Portland Bill, the southernmost point of the island and famous for its three lighthouses. Only one is still in service, but one of the two further inland is used as a bird watching observatory.
About 3.35 km (~2.08 miles) from
OS Grid SY678714
There are fewer things to see along the western side of Portland, but that means you can enjoy the spectacular views across to Chesil Beach.
About 3.28 km (~2.04 miles) from
OS Grid SY682737
Follow the path back into Fortuneswell for the bus home.
About 2.30 km (~1.43 miles) from

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