30s Site Review & Top Things to Do – Pebble Bank, Portland

Campsite Details

  • Pebble Bank Caravan Park is located approximately 2 miles from Weymouth town centre and its Blue Flag beach.
  • The campsite is set in countryside with sweeping views over Chesil Beach and Fleet Lagoon (see below for information about these.)
  • There is LOADS to do – just check out Visit Dorset, the Dorset Tourist Information site.
  • Since we have been visiting Portland with windsurfers strapped to our roof for many years, we have selected a few unusual attractions and our absolute favourites to share with you.
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Sunset on the Jurassic Coast – a UNESCO World Heritage Site

For the Canine Crew

  • Off Lead Walks – There are plenty of off-lead walks straight from Pebble Bank Caravan Park. Turn left out of the campsite and walk a short distance down the quiet road and you will join footpaths in both directions which go along The Fleet (the sea inlet behind Chesil Beach.) It is possible to walk all the way to the (now closed) Ferrybridge Inn at Portland Harbour, where there are also two cafes that are worth a visit; Chesil Beach Cafe in the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Visitors’ Centre (try the crab sandwich!) and Billy Winter’s, which is in a static caravan on the harbourside, with fantastic views over the harbour. (Dogs are allowed in the outside seating only.)
  • Chesil Beach – From these cafes, you can access Chesil Beach, an 18-mile long pebble beach which forms an important part of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking on the loose pebbles of Chesil Beach is excellent fitness training. The Fleet Lagoon is an important area for wildlife and bird watching, so please keep dogs under control near The Fleet and on The Rodwell Trail.
  • Dog Friendly Dorset is a useful guide to dog-friendly beaches in Dorset.
  • Dog Friendly Britain is a website bursting with dog-friendly cafes, restaurants, parks, gardens, country walks and days out. Every one is searchable either by location or by using the interactive map.
  • Dog Friendly is “The largest database of dog-friendly places to stay and play in the UK.” Dog-friendly county guides to the UK can be downloaded electronically for a small charge. The Dog-Friendly County Guide to Hampshire can be downloaded here

For the Humans to Do

  • Jurassic Coast and Hardy Country – Portland is on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and right in the centre of Hardy Country – where famous author Thomas Hardy lived and set many of his novels.
  • Cycling
    • Dorset Tourist information guide to Cycling in Dorset
    • One of the best £10s we have ever spent is on the book Mountain Bike Guide Dorset by Colin Dennis. It is not rock-hopping – more Off Road and down quiet country lanes. The rides in the west of Dorset are more strenuous, but these easy-to-follow and honestly graded routes will get you right out into wild and unspoilt Dorset.
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Cycling in Dorset – one of the rides from Mountain Bike Dorset

Sightseeing – Do Not Miss

  • It is busy, it is commercial and you will have to get there early to get a parking space, but you just have to see Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door (pictured in the featured photograph at the top.) If you get there early (or late) and once you get away from the car park, there are beautiful, uncrowded walks along the stunning coastline.
  • Portland Bill Lighthouse again, there are lovely walks on the coast with the backdrop of this iconic lighthouse.
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The Lighthouse at Portland Bill

You May Not Have Thought Of

  • A Day Out in and Around Moreton Village
    • The Lawrence of Arabia Trail starts and finishes at Bovington’s famous Tank Museum and follows a route on country lanes, heath and woodland. It takes in T. E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia’s) home at Clouds Hill and his last resting place, the cemetery at Moreton. St Nicholas Church, Moreton is famous for its etched glass windows engraved by renowned poet and artist Sir Laurence Whistler.
    • Moreton Tearooms is a real hidden gem; an award-winning tearoom in the Old School House, which serves beautiful local produce and home-made cakes. Better yet, it is dog-friendly. Booking is recommended at busy times.
    • Sculpture by the Lakes is worth a visit if you are in Moreton and have tired out your hounds; there is no need to book, but there is a 10% online booking discount. No children or dogs are allowed in the sculpture park.
  • Sandworld a sand sculpture park in Weymouth. Yes really! Well behaved (and emptied) dogs are welcome!
  • Hive Beach Cafe in Burton Bradstock. It is a bit of a drive, but worth it on a beautiful day. After a fabulous beach walk, you can enjoy the freshest of fish grilled outdoors, right on the beach! Arrive early as it does get very busy at peak times.
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Sculpture by the Lakes

Speed Sailing and Olympic Legacy

  • Weymouth (Portland) was the venue for the London 2012 Olympic sailing events and Portland resident, Nick Dempsey (GBR1) took silver in the RSX (otherwise known as Olympic Class Windsurfing!) You might also see GBR931 on the water; that is Bryony Shaw, who took Bronze in Beijing. The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy offers sailing and windsurfing lessons for beginners through to sailors of international repute. The Academy has a wetsuit-friendly cafe with spectacular views of the harbour.

Portland has also been very important in the history of speed windsurfing and sailing. If you would like to read more about this, click here

To read how we contended with storms, a sunken road & a COLOSSAL sense of humour failure see, Livin’ the Dream Week 2 – Pebble Bank Portland

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