03 Jul2018

Portland coastal path

13 miles of walking

A high-angle shot looks down over Fortuneswell on the Isle of Portland, Portland Marina and Chesil Beach, towards mainland Dorset
The Channel stretches to the horizon beyond the sandy inlet of Church Ope Cove, and beach huts scatter the grassy hillside leading to the beach

It's worth the effort

There are miles of footpaths and quarry tracks on Portland and the entire South West Coast Path circuit is 13 miles.

Take the Merchant's Incline (there's a clue in the name!) up behind the Osprey Leisure Centre and you'll soon be at the Verne ramparts. Once a defensive fort, this is now a prison, but the ramparts are a nature reserve and dome to rare butterflies and wildflowers. 

Follow the Coastal Path signs and visit Church Ope Cove, the only beach on the Isle, and the thatched cottage Portland Museum. St Andrew's churchyard is worth a visit for the pirate graves.

The cliffs are full of seabirds, including kittiwakes, fulmars and guillemots, and you can often see climbers exercising on the cliffs.

Keep going down to Portland Bill, where the lighthouse visitors' centre is open daily in July and August. if you're worn out by this point, you can catch the bus home or have some refreshments at the Lobster Pot.

Turn west back towards the mainland and you'll enjoy fantastic views across Chesil Beach and the Fleet and down the Jurassic Coast towards Exmouth. Stop for refreshments at Quiddles Cafe or The Cove House Inn before wandering back to the marina.

Portland Verne nature reserve
Portland east cliff quarry stack
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