Tourist Information in Dorset
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Portland Town Information

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Portland is unmistakably historic and lies on a peninsula joined to the mainland by a narrow strip of the 18-mile Chesil Beach.

At its tip is the famous 495ft high Portland Bill.

It has long been an important naval base and here you will find no less than three castles, three lighthouses, many fine old churches, evocative cottages and just a few shipwrecks!

Oh, let’s not forget the great Verne Citadel (a one-time barracks for 700 men) and old gun batteries.

Portland Bill Lighthouse - Photo © Pete Chapman
Portland Bill Lighthouse -
Photo: Pete Chapman CCL

Lyme Bay taken from Westcliffe with Chesil Beach in the distance - Photo © Bob Ford
Lyme Bay -
Photo: Bob Ford/Nature Portfolio CCL

Parts of this ‘island’ have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest while Chesil’s unique shingle beach and the Fleet Lagoon are home to a unique flora and fauna.

Portland is also home to many quarries which have yielded millions of tons of unique Portland stone – the building blocks of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The area’s most famous castle was built by Henry VIII and looks down imperiously on the biggest artificial harbour in Britain - it was constructed in the 19th century by convicts.