This unique, tied island marks the southernmost point on the Jurassic Coast and is joined to the mainland by Chesil Beach.Its isolated location, quaint villages and rocky, coastal scenery give the island its own special atmosphere, perfect for exploring. Just four miles long by a mile-and-a-half wide at its broadest point, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there wasn’t much to see here on this tiny isle – but you’d be wrong! [59], The mild seas that surround Portland act to keep night-time temperatures above freezing, making air frost rare: on average 9.6 days per year — this is far below the United Kingdom's average annual total of 55.6 days of frost. [12] His successor, Sir Christopher Wren, the architect and Member of Parliament for nearby Weymouth, used six million tons of white Portland limestone to rebuild destroyed parts of the capital after the Great Fire of London of 1666. The station was formally commissioned as HMS Osprey, which then became the largest and busiest military helicopter station in Europe. The Bill is the first point of landing for millions of migrating birds and the Portland Bill Observatory is a birdwatcher’s paradise. [94], Today older Portland residents are 'offended' (sometimes for the benefit of tourists) by the mention of rabbits;[95] this superstition came to national attention in October 2005 when a special batch of advertisement posters were made for the Wallace and Gromit film, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Portlanders were expert stone-throwers in the defence of their land, and Hardy's Isle of Slingers is heavily based on Portland; the Street of Wells representing Fortuneswell and The Beal Portland Bill. [68] The average price of a detached house on Portland in 2010 was £194,200; terraced houses are cheaper, at £149,727, and an apartment or maisonette costs £110,500. The current lighthouse was refurbished in 1996 and became remotely controlled. [69] Unemployment levels are very low, at 1.9 percent in July 2011,[69] compared to the United Kingdom average of 7.7 percent. Portland stone lies under Tophill; the strata decline at a shallow angle of around 1.5 degrees, from a height of 151 metres (495 ft) near the Verne in the north, to just above sea level at Portland Bill. It is the obverse of a beauty spot. [18] At the end of the 19th century the line was extended to the top of the island as the Easton and Church Ope Railway, running through Castletown and ascending the cliffs at East Weares, to loop back north to a station in Easton. [41] Many old buildings are built out of Portland Stone; several parts have been designated Conservation Areas to preserve the unique character the older settlements which date back hundreds of years. [50] Chesil Beach is one of only two sites in Britain where the scaly cricket can be found; unlike any other cricket it is wingless and does not sing or hop. [35] The borough and nearby Chickerell have been a Fairtrade Zone since 2007. [49] The current only stops for brief periods during the ​12 1⁄2-hour tidal cycle and can reach 4 metres per second (8 kn) at the spring tide of 2 metres (6 ft 7 in). With so much to explore, you’ll have a fantastic break in Portland! The Boat That Rocks is the perfect location for watching the sailing action out on the water on enjoying a few sundowners on the outdoor terrace. [91], Isle of Portland has a Non-League football club Portland United F.C. A barrier beach called Chesil Beach joins it to the mainland. Portland’s coastline is a mecca for the sporty, with adventure seekers flocking to enjoy the many activities on offer including renowned rock-climbing, abseiling, diving and excellent sailing and kite surfing thanks to the reliable winds. In the 1980s it was agreed that a scheme to provide storm protection with a 20% annual exceedance probability to reduce flood depth and duration in more severe storms. [1] The population is almost entirely native to the United Kingdom: 93.9 percent of residents are of white British ethnicity,[1] well above the England and Wales average of 80.5 percent. Find out more here. [25] Mulberry Harbour Phoenix Units can be seen at Black Barge beach, near Portland Castle. Know Before You Go - Covid-19 information, Dorsets Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Areas Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). [11], In the 17th century, chief architect and Surveyor-General to James I, Inigo Jones, surveyed the area and introduced the local Portland stone to London, using it in his Banqueting House, Whitehall, and for repairs on St Paul's Cathedral. [33], Weymouth and Portland have been twinned with the town of Holzwickede in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany since 1986,[34] and the French town of Louviers, in the department of Eure in Normandy, since 1959. In 2011 there were 6,312 dwellings in an area of 11.5 square kilometres (2,840 acres), with a population density of 1112 people per km2. [30], Portland is in the Dorset unitary authority, administered by Dorset Council. The growing season lasts for more than 310 days per year,[64][D] and the borough is in Hardiness zone 9. [37][50] The Isle of Portland SSSI encompasses 352 hectares (870 acres), and includes 17 monitored features ranging from Jurassic fossils, calcareous grassland, rock sea-lavender and nationally scarce butterflies. [44][45] Portland Gas applied to excavate 14 caverns to store 1,000,000,000 cubic metres (3.5×1010 cu ft) of natural gas, which is one percent of the UK's total annual demand. Their…, Sailing daily from Portland - check website for availability and to book. The limestone soil has low nutrient levels; hence smaller species of wild flowers and grasses are able to grow in the absence of larger species. All Rights Reserved. The distinctive red and white striped Portland Bill Lighthouse and visitor centre is the island’s main draw and is open to tourists in the high season where you can climb the 153 steps to the top of the tower for some exceptional views. Steeped in maritime history and heritage, there are museums, castles and not one but three lighthouses to explore, not to mention the folklore and tales of pirates and smugglers to discover. Tout Quarry is one particularly well worth a visit; this reserve has been transformed into a stone sculpture park and over 60 works of art can be seen here including designs by Antony Gormley. Chesil Beach and Portland Harbour are used regularly for angling, scuba diving to shipwrecks, snorkelling, canoeing, and swimming. The Isle of Portland is a tied island, 4 miles (6 km) long by 1.7 miles (2.7 km) wide, in the English Channel. This live Portland webcam has a beautiful view of the beach and harbour from the Hotel. [48] As of June 2009, the lighthouse uses a 1 kW metal-halide US-made lamp with an operational life of about 4000 hours, or 14 months. [81], In 2005, the WPNSA was selected to host sailing events at the 2012 Olympic Games—mainly because the Academy had recently been built, so no new venue would have to be provided. The low-lying village of Chiswell used to flood on average every 5 years. [61] December is the cloudiest month (59.7 hours of sunshine), October and November the joint wettest (81.6 millimetres (3.2 in) of rain) and July is the sunniest and driest month (236.9 hours of sunshine, 35.1 millimetres (1.4 in) of rain). [47] The white and red lighthouse on Bill Point replaced the Higher and Lower Lighthouses in 1906. [92] They also have a youth set up called Portland United youth football Club. [18], The Royal National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck stationed a lifeboat at Portland in 1826, which was withdrawn in 1851. [73] Trains run from Weymouth to London, Southampton, Bristol and Gloucester but ferries no longer transport passengers to the French port of St Malo and the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey. There is nothing pretty about it. Portland is known world-wide for its sailing waters, the National Sailing Academy is based here which was the host venue for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events. Filters are conveniently available to help you tailor your search and find the perfect holiday rental in Isle of Portland. [5] Portland cement has nothing to do with Portland; it was so named due to its similar colour to Portland stone when mixed with lime and sand. A short trip up to the north of the island, will take you to the Olympic rings, one of the best viewpoints on the island. [44][45] Plans had it that the surface facilities should be complete to store the first gas in 2011, and the entire cavern space available for storage in winter 2013. Copyright 2020 Visit Dorset. Portland stone, a limestone famous for its use in British and world architecture, including St Paul's Cathedral and the United Nations Headquarters, continues to be quarried here. This makes Portland the most southerly point of the county of Dorset, England. [2] Portland is 8 kilometres (5 mi) south of the resort of Weymouth, forming the southernmost point of the county of Dorset, England. Wait until the sun is setting and the rings become the foreground to the most spectacular view of Chesil Beach. [43] The geology of Underhill is different to Tophill; Underhill lies on a steep escarpment composed of Portland Sand, lying above a thicker layer of Kimmeridge Clay, which extends to Chesil Beach and Portland Harbour. [27] The 12 Search and Rescue teams in the Portland area dealt with almost 1000 incidents in 2005.

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