We highly recommend taking some time to explore the Isle of Portland during your holiday at South Lytchett Manor. This rugged peninsula is situated a couple of miles south of Weymouth and well worth the detour if you’re exploring this area of the Jurassic Coast.
The drive to Portland is quite the spectacle in itself, with sea views on both sides of the road. To the left you can admire the beauty of Portland Harbour and on your right, The Fleet – a saltwater lagoon.
On reaching ‘the island’ as it’s known by locals, you’ll be surprised at the amount of things to see and do. Despite it’s small size, there is plenty to keep you entertained for the day, whatever time of year you choose to visit.
For history lovers there are a number of of relics to explore, including the high angle gun battery and Portland Castle. The D-Day centre is home is also extremely popular and home to an impressive collection of World War II artefacts, weapons and vehicles.
Portland Bill Lighthouse Visitor Centre is an absolute must for anyone interested in maritime history. You’ll gain a unique insight into the role of a lighthouse keeper and have the opportunity to experience a stormy sea passage during their interactive ‘Into the Dark’ experience. If you’re feeling brave you can also climb to the top of the lighthouse with a knowledgeable volunteer. At the top you can enjoy far reaching views and learn more about its role in guiding ships.
One of Portland’s biggest draw is the scenic walks that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Even now, Portland remains largely untouched by commercialism, so there is plenty of opportunity to venture off the beaten bath in search of special views. The South West Coast Path follows extends around ‘the islands’ circumference, rewarding avid hikers with spectacular views out to sea. From the clifftop it’s sometimes possible to see marine life swimming in the waters below. Dolphins, whales and porpoises have all been spotted by this summer.
In land, there’s a network of paths and even more wildlife watching opportunities. Portland is popular with avid nature lovers thanks to the abundance of birds and butterflies that call it home.
A trip to Portland wouldn’t be complete without taking some time to visit at least one beach. If you’ve got energy to spare you can’t go wrong with a quiet afternoon at Church Ope Cove, where you can enjoy a peaceful couple of hours watching the water and soaking up the sun. There are quite alot of steps to contend with on the way down, but it really is worth the walk. Church Ope has a magical feel about it and is a favourite with artists and writers who draw inspiration from the surrounding scenery.
If you’d prefer something a bit more accessible, Chesil Cove is a popular option. The cove sits at the eastern end of Chesil beach – an impressive 18 mile stretch of shingle banks that extends all the way to West Bay. Here there are two delicious restaurants – Quiddles and the Cove House Inn. It’s ideal for a spot of sea fishing and a haven for scuba divers thanks to the incredibly deep water just meters from the shore.
Portland has firmly cemented its spot on the list of top outdoor adventure activity venues in the UK. The harbour was home to the 2012 Olympic sailing events and thousands of watersports enthusiasts continue to flock here each year. It’s also incredibly popular with climbers looking to take on a challenging climb.
If you’re feeling brave there are a number of providers offering lessons and equipment hire. Portland is an ideal venue to learn kayaking, coasteering, paddleboarding, sailing or windsurfing.
The drive to Portland takes just under an hour from our touring, camping and glamping park. There is plenty of pay and display car parking available as well as a varied selection of pubs, cafes, restaurants and takeaways.
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What a fabulous place! Our first outing in our new campervan to try it out, the campsite and facilities are... thewardrobem, Nov 2023
The best campsite I've ever stayed at, usually large complexes lose a bit of what camping is about, but not... Colin, May 2023
Great stay, very clean excellent facilities. Bus into Poole 15 mins nice shops and great walk by the Quay. Definitely... Janet, Nov 2023
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