Dorset has one of the most dramatic coastlines in England, making walking on Portland a popular pastime for locals and visitors alike.
It’s extensive network of footpaths on the island means it is easy to explore this unique site of geological and biological special interest and visit places of amazing contrast and rugged beauty.
History and Pre-History
Portland is part of the stretch of coastline designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for having ‘universal value’. The 95 mile Jurassic Coast illustrates the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triasic periods, offering visitors the chance to time travel and see how our land was formed. The coastline in this region changes dramatically, from the fossil encrusted cliffs of Lyme Regis and Charmouth to the 570 ft Golden Cap and finally the spectacular Chesil Beach, the 18 mile pebble bank which joins the isle of Portland to the mainland.
Visitors can also see relics from Roman and Saxon eras to as far back as the Stone Age. From Portland’s castles to rugged stone cottages, the Verne Citadel, gun batteries and the lovely lighthouses at the Bill, the island offers some very special and spectacular sights. The
This limestone island is only 4 miles long and 1½ miles wide and offers wonderful coastal circular walks. The National Coastal pathway, sadly postponed for most of the UK, has been given the green light for South Dorset, and we are starting to see the enhancements.
Walking on Portland
If you’re walking on Portland, you’re never far from civilisation or a cup of tea and slice of cake. Most importantly though, there are some outstanding routes which are worth trying. Staff at the Hotel Aqua will be only too happy to help get you underway:
•Verne to Lighthouse (East Coast)
•West Cliff (Tout Quarry) to Portland Bill Lighthouse
You can search routes at Southwest Coast Path