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Portland, England

Situated along the southernmost part of the Dorset Coast site lies the fabled island of Portland. This natural harbor was used for over 500 years by the British Royal Navy, and when breakwater construction was performed between 1848 and 1905, it created one of the largest man-made harbors in the world. An important launch site during both World Wars, the harbor was used for naval exercises until 1995, after which the waters became popular for tourism and were used for the sailing events during the 2012 Olympic Games. The tiny limestone island is home to the Abbotsbury Swannery, the only place in the world where you can walk freely through colonies of nesting mute swans, and is a perfect jumping-off point to visit the stone ruins of Corfe Castle, built by William the Conqueror. Take in the nearby magnificent Salisbury Cathedral, and experience the ancient mystery of the somber plinths of Stonehenge. Just four miles long by a mile and a half wide, Portland is ruggedly beautiful, with endless vistas and wild, natural landscapes.

Points of Interest

  • Stonehenge
  • Salisbury Cathedral
  • Abbotsbury Swannery
  • Corfe Castle
  • Athelhampton House
  • Bovington Tank Museum
  • Langham Wine Estate
  • Forde Abbey

More about Portland, England Points of Interest

  • Stonehenge -

    The mythical stones, about 24 feet tall, have captivated the imagination through the ages. A pathway around the 5,000-year-old monoliths offers up-close views, and an audio guide details the genesis of the site.

  • Salisbury Cathedral -

    'The city in the countryside,' this cathedral city is built around its 13th-century Gothic-style cathedral. A walk around the cathedral close is an opportunity to observe the black-and-white, half-timbered houses that add charm to this quaint enclave.

  • Abbotsbury Swannery -

    This 600-year-old swannery is home to the only managed colony of free-flying mute swans in the world. Walk through the heart of the colony and, from mid-May to late June, marvel at the hundreds of tiny cygnets born on the pretty grounds.

  • Corfe Castle -

    Follow in the footsteps of kings, queens and knights at the 1,000-year-old ruins of Corfe Castle. With its medieval architecture, its importance as a stronghold since before the days of William the Conqueror is only a small part of its ancient history.

  • Athelhampton House -

    This stunning example of Tudor architecture, built in 1485, consists of an antique-filled manor house and a parish church. Award-winning gardens, designed in 1891, are resplendent with fountains and statuary.

  • Bovington Tank Museum -

    The former site of a tank crew training area during World War I, today this world-famous armored vehicle museum showcases almost 300 vehicles, amassed from 26 countries, ranging from the WWI era to the present.

  • Langham Wine Estate -

    This picturesque 30-acre vineyard, planted solely with the classical Champagne varieties Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier, welcomes visitors for tastings and an insider's look at the grape-to-glass process.

  • Forde Abbey -

    Set within 30 acres of formal gardens lies the remarkable Forde Abbey. Founded over 800 years ago by Cistercian monks, the abbey is home to the ornate Mortlake Tapestries, which were woven around 1520.

7 Excursions

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Athelhampton and The Stone Giant of Cerne Abbas

4.5 hours | Portland | PTL-100 P T L - 1 0 0

Moderate Activity, Includes snack

From $104.95

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Scenic Countryside & Corfe Castle

4.5 hours | Portland | PTL-105 P T L - 1 0 5

Moderate Activity

From $114.95

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6 hours | Portland | PTL-110 P T L - 1 1 0

Moderate Activity

From $144.95

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Relics from the Great War: The Bovington Tank Museum

3.75 hours | Portland | PTL-115 P T L - 1 1 5

Moderate Activity

From $124.95

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Abbotsbury Swannery & Gardens

3.75 hours | Portland | PTL-120 P T L - 1 2 0

Moderate Activity

From $114.95

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Best of Stonehenge & Salisbury

8.5 hours | Portland | PTL-125 P T L - 1 2 5

Moderate Activity

From $189.95

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Local Connections: Visit to an English Countryside Vineyard with the Langham Family

5 hours | Portland | PTL-130 P T L - 1 3 0

Moderate Activity, Includes meal

From $304.95

Average Guest Rating