Portland Coastal Path
The coastal path around Portland is a fantastic way to see the beauty of Portland itself, with amazing sea views surrounding you it’s hard not to feel great, refreshed and lucky to be here, however you take the path.
Bike, run, walk. . . whatever you choose, you will love the views.
Sea in one direction, and the mainland in another, the mainland in a way you can only see from Portland.
A word of caution to all, the cliffs are dangerous by nature, respect them and you will be fine, any warnings or diversions due to any risk, please respect them, they are for your own safety. Don’t let that scare you from enjoying the path, having lived here long enough to know that, yes we do sometimes have “slippage” or rocks fall from the cliff face, it is not a common thing.
As we say, be respectful, sensible and you will be fine along the cliff path.
The whole coastal path is roughly 6 or 7 miles, seems shorter but it is a good brisk walk.
Starting at the top point of Portland, near the Olympic rings and going along westcliff towards Portland Bill is in most peoples view the best way to do it. Continuing on from Portland Bill up along the east side of the Island you will end up back at the Olympic rings again, with the amazing view to enjoy.
Also keep an eye out for some rare coastal plants, flowers if that interest you. Another aspect is the nature, you may well see a peregrine falcon, kestrel, or owls as well as many other birds.
A guided walk would be even better… as they will know all the hidden gems.
Small detours along the way will throw up some interesting sights, the hidden gems. 😉
Portland’s hidden gems
These gems along the way will really make it an interesting time, even educational, great for the kids, also interesting to us adults. 😀
The sculpture park!
Not far from the start of your coastal trip, you will see the sculpture park and within the park (old quarry) it’s various hidden sculptures, don’t think you will have seen them all, have a really good look around you wherever you are, you will realise so much is blended in to the surroundings.
There are some that standalone, like the above, as you can see, my youngest son was peering through the sculpture. 🙂
Many are simply so well disguised you have to hunt for them, that is the beauty of the place, always finding something new you hadn’t noticed the first time.
Evan if you go there 20 times, you will find something new, I don’t know how we miss so much around us but we do! 🙂
There is even a part where you can try sculpting yourself, this is a voluntary set up so please do enjoy it if you try it, if there are students there, go check out how they do it.
I’m sure you will spend a good hour at this sculpture park looking for all of the hidden in plain sight. Each year the sculptures change, more are added around the park. Always interesting what is found, even to us locals.
I never tire of a short walk around this park. A real gem which started in the 80’s that has continued to thrive. If my memory serves me right, we even had the artist A Gormley carve something here. Correct me if I got that wrong please. 😉
Blacknoor fort and the bomb shelter
Some way down the cliff path you will come to a wide expanse of grass looking south, Blacknoor fort has now been turned into a beautiful home with those stunning views. What’s not so obvious is the pillbox style bomb shelter from the second world war just past Blacknoor.
This is very close to the edge of the cliffs, you could just maybe see the top of it as you approach the cliffs, be careful and do not let your children climb over it. I’m not sure the roof is as stable as it once was. An interesting part of our wartime legacy.
There is also a circular base near it that was where the gun turret once was.
After reaching Portland Bill and setting off up the east side of the Portland coastal path, you will be looking out towards Lulworth area along the stunning white cliffs of the Jurassic coast.
You will pass Pennsylvania castle, a legacy of Christopher Wren, the creator of the modern St Paul’s cathedral, replacing the one which burnt down during the great fire of London. Yes, built from the stone of this very Island. Just like Pennsylvania castle is.
Before long you will stumble on a small cove called Chrurch Ope cove.
This really is a gem, although I must warn you, there are alot of steps to walk down, and back up if you choose to, you could walk along the coast from under the cliffs. Worth it though.
From above the cove looks stunning.
This is where we both spent so many a summer day during our childhood.
It’s a lovely sheltered cove, which holidaymakers and day trippers so often miss. Be sure you aren’t one of them 😉 Enjoy an ice cream and a bit of sunshine. If you are ok to brave the chilly water, take a dip.
Marvel at the old stone huts that fishermen used in days gone by, and dare I say, smugglers too.
Football in a quarry
Yes, there really is a football field in a quarry, though it is not generally open to the public it is not to be missed, you don’t need to trespass to see it. Just look over a wall!
This real hidden gem would be almost impossible for the daytripper or holidaymaker to see unless they knew about it.
This is really the property of the prison. It was built by prisoners many many years ago.