I have always wanted to visit Portland Bill but have never gotten around to it until April 19th 2021. There is nothing special about this date, other than the start of a week’s vacation. Due to Covid restrictions, it was impossible to stay anywhere, so a day trip was the best option available.
Portland Bill is a well-known lighthouse on the very tip of the Isle of Portland. Jutting out from the coast at Weymouth, Dorset, and though named as an isle, it is connected by a narrow strip of land to the mainland.
The Isle of Portland is famous for its quarries and the Portland Stone. Many famous and well-known buildings have been constructed using it, including St Pauls’s Cathedral, The Port of Liverpool Building, and The Tower of London, to name a few.
The Portland Bill Lighthouse was opened in 1903 and stood tall at 41 metres (134.5 feet). Today there is no lighthouse keeper as it was automated in 1996. The light from the tower is cast 18 miles out to sea, providing a much-needed beacon for shipping even in electronic and satellite wizardry days. It used to cast light 25 miles, but in 2019 was modernised with new LED lanterns.
Visitors are allowed into the lighthouse and the visitor centre for an admission charge (use this link for details). Opened in 2015, the former lighthouse keepers’ dwellings now feature fun and informative maritime displays, and many are interactive.
You will see close by two older lighthouses. The Old Higher Lighthouse, now holiday accommodation, and The Old Lower Lighthouse, now a bird observatory, both decommissioned on the opening of Portland Bill in 1906. Both were built in 1716 but rebuilt and improved over the years.
The headland offers some spectacular views and walks around the old quarries and buildings. There is much to see on the Isle of Portland, and I will certainly go back and tell you more about it on another occasion.
Have you been to Portland Bill? Please feel free to leave a comment below.