Dorset Walks

Fridays at 10.00 am       Portland Cliffs and Quarries

General information about walks on Portland



Geology, History & Wildlife

On these walks we'll explore a variety of footpaths on the island throughout the year.
Starting each week at the Heights Hotel we are well placed to reach the most interesting and unspoilt areas of Portland.

The coastal path on the Westcliffs opposite the hotel takes in some particularly scenic views.
These cliffs are an excellent place to observe bird migration, with flocks of swallows, pipits and other birds following the cliffs south in Autumn and north in Spring. Wheatears can often be seen feeding on the path itself.
In the summer months butterflies swarm over these clifftops, with the various species of blues most obvious as they fly over the grassy banks.
The limestone soil favours many species of wild flowers, with some rare ferns growing in the rock itself. Flowers such as Bee Orchids are best seen in June/July but the ferns are visible throughout the year.
The Portland limestone was laid down as mud at the bottom of an ancient sea - some of the rocks still show ripple marks and many are full of marine fossils.
Away from the cliffs the old quarries still contain many relics from the Victorian heyday of quarrying, such as Lano's Arch in Tout Quarry not far from the hotel. Tout is also home to a large number of modern sculptures, placed under the direction of Portland Sculpture & Quarry Trust.




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