Posted April 6th, 2011 | No Comments
Visit Dorset’s Jurassic Coastline and stay in a Contemporary Cottage right in the heart of it at Portland Dorset. Take a look at the new series of Countrywise on this link http://www.itv.com/itvplayer/video/?Filter=227984 it is all about Dorset. The coastline is classed as one of the natural wonders of the world, and discover how the landscape has shaped the lives of those who have made their homes here. From local fishermen to Thomas Hardy it is all covered in the programme. Portland is the ideal place to stay to visit all the places on the programme, it is centrally situated right in the middle of the Jurassic Coast.
Posted December 15th, 2010 | No Comments
If you are not yet over the joy and jingle of the Christmas season, then there are even more events that are going on in and around Dorset county during the month of December. Though they might be a journey from Portland, these venues are well worth a look, especially when they come to life in the last weeks of the year.
Highcliffe Castle, located about an hour and a half from Portland, is a great place to visit. Not only is it regarded as one of the best surviving examples of the Romantic and Picturesque style of architecture, but it is Dorset known for its special events. On both the 11 and 12 of December, they will be holding a Model Railway Exhibition from 11am-4pm in the Castle’s Great Hall and Drawing Room. This is the perfect event for any budding railway enthusiasts that might be in your family. Normal admission prices apply. Also on during the month of December is a Dixieland Christmas, performed by the Old Thumper Jazz Band. This concert will be held on Wednesday, 15 December from 7:30-9:30pm. The week following on the 22 December, Light n Shade will be giving a concert entitled A Christmas Celebration. This is also held from 7:30-9:30pm. Tickets for each event cost £11 or £10 for Season Ticket Holders.
If your family has young ones, then be sure to include a trip to Adventure Wonderland in Bournemouth is a must. From 27 November to 24 December, the park is transformed into Christmas mania. The best of the bunch is the Full Father Christmas Experience, which features a meet and greet with Santa and his reindeer, a quality present for the kids, a nativity animal cuddle session, a sensational Christmas Panto and unlimited play in the Wild Thing! Prices start from just £6.95, depending on age. You can book online for specific dates.
Posted December 8th, 2010 | No Comments
The Christmas season is fast approaching and the festivities are well under way here on Portland. If you are a local or a visitor to the isle, then here are some events that are not to miss!
At Nothe Fort, located at the entrance of the Weymouth Harbour, you can see impressive displays of the wars that have gripped the nation, as well as huge guns and even a cinematic history of this massive Victorian structure. But, during the month of December, it is completely transformed into a Christmas winter wonderland! On Saturday, 11 December from 11am to 4pm they will be hosting the “Scrooge’s Christmas Presence” event. The day will include a special tour, narrated by the Ghost of Christmas Present, and will feature the Spirit of Scrooge Walk, Santa’s Grotto, a craft making and face painting area for the kids, as well as musical performances by carollers, school choirs and the Weymouth Concert Brass Band. During the tour, you may also see other favourite characters from the legendary tale, including Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim! Victorian fancy dress is encouraged. The admission price is set for £5. Be sure not to miss this amazing event!
Also in Weymouth on 11 December at 4pm, there will be Carols in the Park. Come see Greenhill Gardens completely transformed for the season, with lights, decorations and, of course, their gorgeous flower displays.
Posted November 30th, 2010 | No Comments
The holidays are known to pack on the pounds, and we are not talking in your wallet. As the season approaches, it is not uncommon for many people to gain about a half a stone, what with the Christmas parties and festivities which focus around rich foods and lots of drink. So, this year, why not take the initiative and do something active during the month of December; or as I like to call it, earn your Christmas pudding!
On the 19th December, they will be holding a Chase the Pudding 5k Santa Dash to help raise money for the Dorset local charity, Julia’s House. The race will be held on Weymouth Beach. Registration begins at 9:00, the race from 11:00-12:00; entry fee is set at a £10 minimum for adults, under 10’s are free if running with a family member. The theme for this year is “Santerly or Scantily Clad”; all entries MUST dress up in full-on Santa suit with beard or down in next to nothing (think speedo or bikini. NO NUDITY ALLOWED)
If that wasn’t enough to tip the scales back in your favour, then on Christmas day, the Lion’s Club will be holding their annual Christmas Day Harbour Swim in Weymouth. On the day, hundreds of people will plunge into the icy depths to swim across Weymouth Harbour to raise money for charity. Registration opens at the Harbourmaster’s office at 10am or in advance online at the Weymouth Lions Club website. Also online are sponsorship forms. Entry fee is just £5.
Posted November 21st, 2010 | No Comments
The Christmas season is fast approaching! Already, the shops are full of presents and wrapping paper. But, if you would rather escape to a new venue to celebrate this year, then head down to Portland. Not only is this small tied isle a gorgeous natural wonderland, but during the month of December, it truly transforms into a festive holiday destination. And one of the absolute best places to catch the spirit is at Brewers Quay in Weymouth.
Situated just a few miles north of Portland, this redeveloped Victorian brewery is jam packed with speciality shops and unique attractions. This year, they are holding their annual Christmas Festival from 22 November-24 December. On the 30th November, they will be hosting a Light Up a Life Night, which is an event organised by the local hospice that will offer an opportunity for loved ones to light a candle in memory of someone who has passed on.
Reindeer Day will be held on 5th December, from 10:30-17:00. Father Christmas and a family of reindeer will be available for pictures with the children. Don’t forget to take part in the special prize draw for a chance to adopt a reindeer!
Also, there will be a Victorian Show Night on the 9th of December. Featuring live outdoor entertainment, a Christmas Market in the historic Hope Square, stalls of seasonal food and drink. In the shopping village there will be demonstrations, tastings, indoor entertainment and of course, Santa in his grotto!
You can reach Brewers Quay from Portland by road or public transport. For detailed directions, be sure to telephone direct on 0871 200 22 33.
Posted November 11th, 2010 | No Comments
Though most focus mainly on the Guy Fawkes night and bringing in November with a very literal bang, there are many other events which take place throughout the month on Portland. Known as the downtime leading up to the Christmas season, mid-November is a time to pause and reflect with some quiet and peaceful functions.
On Sunday, the 14th of November, also known as Remembrance Sunday in honour of those that gave their lives in the two world wars, they will be holding a special service at the Portland Cenotaph, New Ground. The cenotaph, which literally means ‘empty tomb’ in Greek, is inscribed with the names of all those from the island that did not return from the wars.
Also on that Sunday, at the RSPB Radipole Lake Nature Reserve there will be a special ‘Heron Roost Watch’ from 15:00-17:00. Join in at the North Hide as they keep the lookout for Grey Herons, Little Egrets, and the rare and elusive Bittern. Other possible guests include the odd otter or two! There is a charge of £3 for adults and £1.50 for children; this fee includes a free binocular hire. Booking is essential, so call ahead on 01305 778313.
For those more interested in culture than nature, the Portland Museum will be having a ‘Hardy Poetry Readings’ gathering on the 20th of November. Thomas Hardy, one of the most famous English authors of all time, was known equally for his novels and his poems. He was one of the best known contributors to the naturalist movement. He was a lifelong resident of Dorset, and even used the original cottage that the museum is housed in as the home of Avice in his novel “The Wellbeloved”.
Posted October 30th, 2010 | No Comments
If you happen to be visiting the isle of Portland with your children this autumn, be sure to make your way over to the Portland Museum for a couple of their highly anticipated events. Though the museum is typically closed after the 1st November, it is still open some weekends during the winter.
There will be a local art exhibit featured within the museum between the dates of Thursday the 28th October- Sunday the 31st October. The hours of operation will be from 11am-4:30pm. Normal admission charges will apply.
On Saturday, the 20th November, the children are welcome to take part in a Christmas Cracker make and take. Learn how to make your very own cracker, stuffed with your favourite little prize and you will be able to decorate your dinner table this holiday season.
The museum, which was founded by well-known birth control pioneer Dr. Marie Stopes, is the area’s homage to the rich historic life that Portland has to offer. It is housed in two thatched Portland stone cottages located just above Church Ope Cove. Recently renovated, it now features four displays which centralise around the themes of Stone, Sea, Famous People and Local Archaeology.
Posted October 20th, 2010 | No Comments
Throughout British history, Portland has been well- respected for its gorgeous, high quality limestone. Though this has brought economy and fame to the area, it has not come without a price. Hundreds of acres of precious heath lands have been torn apart to reap the bounty that lies below. But, after the quarry has served its purpose, what then?
Thankfully, at Broadcroft Quarry Nature Reserve you can find a great example of how to transform ‘Post-Industrial’ land into a conservation land of true worth. At this stunning, seven hectare reserve, they have taken the utmost care in restoring natural herb-rich flora and scrub to the landscape, which in turn has brought forth many indigenous birds, butterflies and insects.
In fact, there are over twenty-four different species of butterfly to be seen on this land. The main attraction for butterfly lovers is the Silver-Studded Blue, which are very abundant here as they have made their colony on the limestone.
To reach Broadcroft Quarry by car, take the main road A354 to Portland and then follow the signs for Easton. After entering Easton, turn left onto Grove Road. The parking lot on the south side is approximately a quarter of a kilometre down. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Weymouth to Easton Square. It is just a short walk to the grove.
Posted October 19th, 2010 | No Comments
As summer eases into autumn, the coastal areas of Dorset becomes home to many temporary aviary visitors. The two best places to see these migrating birds are within easy access to Portland and Weymouth: Radipole Lake RSPB Nature Reserve and the Lodmoor Nature Reserve.
These reserves are so important to the migrating species, as is evident by how many take advantage of their abundant reeds and marshes. Birds from as far away as the Baltics, Siberia and Eastern Europe, all use this place as their mid-way nesting point as they travel towards the warmer weather of the south. Some common species that you can see at this time of year are Swallows, Martins, Grebes, Pochard, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Teal and Shovelers. If you are extremely lucky you may even be able to spot a Brownish Heron or a very rare Bitton.
Both the Radipole Lake and the Lodmoor Nature Reserves are located in Weymouth, and can be found by either private or public transport. Entrance is free, though donations are much appreciated.
Posted September 20th, 2010 | No Comments
There are many historic and lovely villages all across Dorset, some right on the doorstep of Portland. One little village that is worth a closer look is Osmington, which is found on the A353 just east of Weymouth. If you are feeling adventurous you can drive or take a Coastlink 53X bus to the village, and from there take one of two walks that can show you a good portion of what this sleepy little village has to offer.
The first walk starts out at the Village Hall car park off of Shortlake Lane. From there, simply follow along the main road until it joins the South West Coast Path (inland route). You will pass by Osmington Mills and, with a small detour, a lovely country pub. To return, just follow the South West Coast Path (coastal route) back to Shortlake Lane. It is a moderate walk covering approximately 2.2 miles, which most people of adequate fitness could finish in just over an hour.
For a different experience, start again at the Village Hall car park, but this time follows the South West Coast Path (coastal route) directly to Redcliff Point. From here you will view gorgeous seaviews! If you are hardy, you could just continue along the coastal path for another 2.5 miles to reach Weymouth, or instead head inland along the footpaths at Redcliff point to return to Osmington. This loop of the village is 2.4 miles in length and can again be completed in just over an hour.