Fun, child-friendly things to do in Portland, Dorset
07 / April / 2023
Portland is a small tied island located off the coast of Dorset. It’s a popular destination famous for its stunning natural beauty characterised by a rugged coastline and rocky cliffs.
Despite its small size, the area is home to a rich history and culture, which means there are plenty of things to do in Portland, Dorset. Visitors can explore the remains of the island’s ancient quarries and learn about the fascinating geology of the area or head to one of its historic castles for a history lesson.
Read on for some things to do in Portland, Dorset, with the family.
This 16th-century fortress is now a museum that tells the history of Portland and its role in defending England from French and Roman invasions. Kids will love exploring the castle and seeing mediaeval weapons. Be sure to take in the stunning sea views from the gun platform and visit the Tudor kitchen.
This small museum tells the story of Portland’s history, including its ties to the Royal Navy and the local quarrying industry. There are interactive exhibits and activities for kids displaying objects from Portland’s social, industrial, maritime, geological and archaeological heritage including shipwrecks, fossils, and local art. The museum also offers guided tours for children.
This 15th-century ruin is perched on a hill overlooking Church Ope Cove. It’s a great spot for a family hike and offers fantastic views of the coast. While there’s no public access to it, you can get a good view of it from public footpaths along the coast.
Weymouth Sea Life Centre
Just a short drive from Portland, the Sea Life Centre is a fun and educational attraction for children of all ages. Offering the chance to get up close and personal with the likes of sharks, otters, jellyfish and more, it’s a great place to teach your children about marine life.
Tout Quarry Sculpture Park and Nature Reserve
This site is a great place for children to learn about art and nature. The park has over 60 sculptures made by well-known and emerging artists, set in a beautiful quarry setting. The park also has a nature trail that showcases the local flora and fauna. It’s worth noting before you visit that there are some sheer rock faces and steep slopes, so it would be better suited for older children.
Chesil Beach is a unique geological formation that stretches for 18 miles along the coast of Dorset which makes it a great place for children to learn about geography and natural science. Spend the day exploring the tide pools and beachcombing and see what you can find!
Portland Bill Lighthouse
The Portland Bill Lighthouse is a great place for children to learn about navigation and maritime history. The lighthouse has been guiding ships around Portland Bill for over 100 years and is still in operation today. After a lesson on the history of the lighthouse and its role in navigation, you can climb to the top and enjoy stunning views of the coast!
Moonfleet Adventure Sailing
For an extra special adventure, why not try your hand at sailing? With Moonfleet Adventure sailing you can set sail from Portland and travel around the stunning Jurassic coastline and the fascinating chalk downlands of The Isle of Purbeck and The Isle of Portland. The trips are suitable for children and are sure to create lasting memories.
Accommodation near Portland, Dorset
We have three award-winning five-star holiday parks located just a stone’s throw from Portland. Our flagship Bowleaze Cove is a 25-minute drive from the island, Osmington is a 30-minute drive and our Chesil Beach Holiday Park is just 11 minutes away, making it the perfect place to stay if you’re interested in exploring the island fully. Find out more about our fantastic family holidays.