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Portland Lighthouses

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Portland Lighthouses
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 27 Jun 2011 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Portland Lighthouses walk dorsetstar1 Portland Lighthouses walk dorsetstar1 Portland Lighthouses walk dorsetstar1 Portland Lighthouses walk dorsetstar0 Portland Lighthouses walk dorset
Dorset, Weymouth and Portland
Walk Type: Coastal
Portland Lighthouses
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Portland Lighthouses walk dorset boot Portland Lighthouses walk dorset boot Portland Lighthouses walk dorset
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A 3.5 mile circular walk around the southern end of the Isle of Portland in Dorset taking in beautiful sea views and passing the three lighthouses of Portland Bill. The walk begins at the Portland Bill Lighthouse and follows the coast path north before turning to cross farmland and returning along the coastal path on the east side of Portland. The walk passes through a number of kissing gates. The route follows the coast path which is high and narrow in places so take care with children and dogs.

The three lighthouses have played an important role over the years in safeguarding ships passing the headland. The Higher Lighthouse is now a dwelling and holiday apartments whilst the Lower Lighthouse is now a bird observatory and field centre which opened in 1961. The white and red Portland Bill Lighthouse on Bill Point replaced the Higher and Lower Lighthouses in 1906. It now contains a visitor centre giving information and guided tours.

Parking is available in the pay and display car park next to Portland Bill Lighthouse. Approximate post code DT5 2JT

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Walk Sections

Climb to the coast path
Climb to the coast path

Start point: 50.5152 lat, -2.4563 long
End point: 50.522 lat, -2.4575 long

Leave the car park by crossing the adjacent coach park and cross the field towards the signpost which marks the slow climb up to the coast path. Follow the grass path with the Ministry of Defence buildings on your left and The Pulpit Inn on your right. As you reach the horizon there is a sheer drop over the cliff edge, so take care and follow the coast path as it veers to the right.

Higher Lighthouse
Higher Lighthouse

Start point: 50.522 lat, -2.4575 long
End point: 50.5258 lat, -2.4548 long

Continue on the coast path past the Higher Lighthouse on your right and you will see the buildings and fences of Southwell Business Park ahead of you. The park is set in 40 acres and is largely constructed of Portland Stone. It houses more than 100 businesses including a spa, hotel and bistro.

Before reaching the business park, look out for a marker stone which marks a path away from the coast path to the right. Turn right here following the hedge line on your left.

Crossing farmland
Crossing farmland

Start point: 50.5258 lat, -2.4548 long
End point: 50.5281 lat, -2.4475 long

Follow the wider grass path as it turns first to the right and then to the left, keeping the fence posts on your left. Ignore the next path to the right and continue straight as the path becomes a wider track used for farm vehicles. At the T-junction in the track, turn left and follow the track between two stone walls. Look out for the benches built into the walls and enjoy the company of all the horses you’ll probably see on both sides.

Continue along the track past Higher Southwell Farm on your left, following the ivy clad wall to the left. Soon after the farm look out for a footpath to the right through a metal kissing gate. Turn right here.

Towards Southwell
Towards Southwell

Start point: 50.5281 lat, -2.4475 long
End point: 50.5279 lat, -2.4409 long

Having passed through the kissing gate follow this grass footpath with fields on both sides. At the next gate, continue straight ahead through another kissing gate. The footpath then emerges onto the main road to Portland Bill.

Turn left onto the pavement and follow the road for a short distance as it heads towards the edge of Southwell village. Before the first houses, turn right onto a footpath with the stone-built water company pump room on your left.

Back on the coast path
Back on the coast path

Start point: 50.5279 lat, -2.4409 long
End point: 50.5152 lat, -2.4562 long

Walk past the pump room and follow the path until it meets the coast path at the cliff. Turn right to follow the coast path heading south (again take care as there are a number of places with steep cliff drops).

Follow the coast path as it zigzags past the disused quarry. The Isle of Portland is well known for Portland Stone, famous for its use in British and world architecture, including St Pauls Cathedral and the United Nations Headquarters, and the stone continues to be quarried nearby.

The path passes through a collection of beautiful beach huts before arriving back at the car park of Portland Bill Lighthouse.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2011 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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1 images to "Portland Lighthouses"

167_0clairesharpuk1309193971 Portland Lighthouses walk dorset Image by: clairesharpu
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
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