Visiting Portland And Portland Bill In Dorset

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Portland Bill is on the southern most point in Dorset on the Isle of Portland and Jurassic Coast. It definitely attracts visitors wanting to see Portland Bill lighthouse, one of more than 60 functioning lighthouses in the UK.

The lighthouse has been in operation since 1903 and stands at around 41 metres tall, showing off its vibrant red and white colours.

Portland Bill lighthouse

How To Get To Portland Bill

Address: Bill Lighthouse, Old Coastguard Cottages, Portland, DT5 2JT

To get to Portland, your drive will take you through Weymouth, following the A354 towards Portland. As you reach the Isle of Portland, you will notice you are crossing Chesil Beach.

This is the longest beach in the UK at 18 miles in length connecting Portland and West Bay in Dorset.

Related Post – Things to do in Weymouth

Portland coat views

The roads to Portland Bill lighthouse through Portland are hilly and can twist and turn in places, but the views once you arrive are worth it. 

Many of the houses on the Isle of Portland were built using Portland stone, and driving through the streets, you can appreciate just how pretty everything is.

There is a large car park right next to Portland Bill which is chargeable at a very reasonable cost.

Portland Bill stone statue

Portland Bill Lighthouse Visitor Centre

Attached to the lighthouse is a visitor centre, owned and run by Trinity House. The visitor centre opens daily and is currently open for tours of the lighthouse on selected days.

The visitor centre opened in 2015 in the place of what were once the lighthouse keepers houses. Inside you can learn about the lighthouse, the keepers, and the history of Portland Bill.

If you are wishing to visit the visitors centre and not climb the lighthouse, there is currently a charge of £3 for adults and children are £1.50 for up to four children. To climb the lighthouse, the charge is currently £8.50 per adult, £6.50 for children, £7.50 concession and £25 for a family ticket.

There is a minimum height of 1.1 metres to be able to climb Portland Bill lighthouse which has 153 steps to the top.

portland bill view

Things To Do At Portland Bill

Whilst you may be visiting Portland Bill to see the lighthouse, there are plenty of other things to do whilst you’re there.

Next door to Portland Bill lighthouse, you will spot the Lobster Pot restaurant and takeaway. There is plenty of outdoor seating as well as indoor to enjoy a snack or meal looking out across the water.

The Lobster Pot restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Dorset with a great view.

view of Portland Bill lighthouse

You’ll find pulpit rock at the Southern tip of the Isle of Portland. Pulpit rock represents an open bible leaning on a pulpit. It was formed when a natural arch was cut away by quarrymen in the 1870’s.

A little further up the road before you reach the car park, there is The Pulpit Inn pub, a dog friendly pub with rooms and free WIFI.

coastal views at Portland

There is plenty of wildlife to be spotted at Portland Bill, and even whilst we were there, we spotted a large crowd of bird watchers with their cameras hoping to spot a rare bird.

I would suggest wearing sensible footwear if you’re visiting Portland Bill as the ground can be rocky and loose underfoot in places. If you are looking for an easy walk, you can pick up the South West Coast path from the North West corner of the car park and explore along the cliffs towards the MOD buildings nearby.

view across chesil beach

Nearby places to visit include, 

Chesil Beach

Weymouth, DT6 4RJ

Chesil beach is made up of shingle and doesn’t provide any shade along it’s long stretch. The beach is a very popular fishing location, especially mackerel. It’s not recommended to swim at Chesil beach due to the strong currents.

Portland Castle

Liberty Rd, Castletown, Portland DT5 1AZ

Portland Castle is an English Heritage property built by Henry VIII to defend England. Admission to the castle is currently charged at £7.60 for adults, £4.60 children, £6.90 concession or free for English Heritage members.

Currently you need to pre-book a slot to visit Portland castle.

Related Post – Castles to visit in Dorset

Why not shop your very own Portland Bill mug

Church Ope Cove

Pennsylvania Rd, Isle of Portland, Portland DT5 1HT

Church Ope Cove is a small secluded beach on the eastside of Portland. You can access the stony beach from either the road past Portland Museum. An alternative access point is through the ruins of St Andrew’s Church. The beach is south facing so can be very warm in the midday sun. 

Tout Quarry sculpture park and nature reserve

Tradecroft Industrial Estate, Portland, Dorset, DT5 2LN

Tout Quarry is an abandoned stone quarry which has been turned into a stone sculpture park. It’s a great place to explore with a free car park area at the entrance to the nature reserve. The car park is quite hidden from view, look to your right at the end of the industrial site. You’ll spot a stony path that leads to the car park.

Portland Museum

217 Wakeham, Easton, Portland DT5 1HS

Portland Museum is a great place to discover what Portland was like in historic times. The museum is very close to Church Ope Cove. A great chance to combine the two locations on your visit to Portland.

The current admission prices are £4.50 for adults, £1 for children and £3.50 for concessions. You can expect to see plenty of fossil collections. There’s also plenty of maritime history including items recovered from the Earl of Abergavenny and the Royal Adelaide.

visiting Portland Bill

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