The Isle of Portland is an adventurer’s dream. Located in Dorset and just at the southernmost point on the Jurassic Coast, this tiny island features plenty of geological features that make hiking and climbing a popular activity here. Whether you are on a walking holiday, camping, or rock climbing – there is something for every explorer.

Looking for action and adventure in a unique UK destination? Portland in Dorset might be the ideal place. If you love rugged landscapes, outdoor activities, and spending time in nature, Portland offers it all. Recognisable thanks to its striped lighthouse, there is loads to do on the island. Find out more with our guide to Portland.

Where is Portland?

Portland is a tied island with a direct link to the coast of mainland Dorset. Set in the English Channel, it measures just 6km by 2.7km and is surrounded by the glistening sea. It forms an important part of the Jurassic Coast. Portland stone, a type of limestone, continues to be quarried here and has played a vital role in the architecture of many historic buildings like St Paul’s Cathedral.

Things to do in Portland, Dorset

There are plenty of different outdoor activities to try in Portland. From paddle boarding to a leisurely stroll, Portland is suitable for all abilities. Here are some of our favourites:


Portland is home to various providers of watersports activities, from the sedate to the extreme. Whether you want to have a go at paddleboarding, wind-surfing, or kite-surfing, you can do it here against the stunning backdrop of the island.

Rock climbing

Whether you’re an experienced rock climber or you want to try it for the first time, Portland is the ideal place for climbing. There are various locations around the island that are great for mountaineering and rock climbing, regardless of your level of experience. If you’re used to climbing in centres, doing it here in the open air will be exhilarating.


Get a unique perspective on Portland, as well as a real thrill, when you try coasteering. This means exploring sea caves, leaping off cliffs, and scrambling over rocks for a memorable exploration of the landscape. Guided sessions on Portland can be tailored to different levels of confidence and ability.

The Merchant’s Incline

For a rigorous hike with stunning views at the top, The Merchant’s Incline is the ideal place to go walking on Portland. The route is steep and long but it’s free from traffic. When you reach the top, you can get to the Verne Local Nature Reserve, where you’ll find tons of wildlife as well as impressive scenic views.

Tall ship sailing

Have a memorable trip on the waves when you go tall ship sailing in Portland. Trips are offered every day, giving you a unique opportunity to try classic sailing and experience the spectacular coastline. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced sailor or a total beginner – this experience is suitable for every ability.

Head to Portland for action

Whether you’re visiting for the day or you’re staying a little longer, there are plenty of things to do if you love exploring the great outdoors. From activities on the water to things on dry land, there’s enough to keep you occupied and leave you with fantastic memories of Portland.