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Portland, U.K. with kids


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My family will be arriving in Portland, U.K. on Monday, Sept. 2 on a cruise ship that docks at 7 a.m. and leaves at 4 pm. We will have spent the prior day on a bus ride from La Havre to Paris, have 5 hours to look around, then the bus ride back.


So, I'm thinking I'd like to keep the Portland stop free from long rides, though I know there is a lot to see in the area.


Would anyone help me figure out of we could leave the dock and walk down to see the lighthouse at Portland Bill and walk back? My husband and older boys are used to walking quite a lot, and we can walk or carry our youngest daughter a fair way.


I also wondered if it were possible to rent bikes. I saw a shop advertised, but thought I'd ask to see if that would be feasible.


Or, my daughter and I could take the shuttle into Weymouth and let the guys walk or bike to the lighthouse


I thought a day to get outside and enjoy being on land would be nice. We aren't much for shopping or eating out, actually...


I am torn because I know the older two would love to see either Stonehenge or Bath, but then again, we will be rather tired from our trip to London, then Paris. and the stop seems short as the ship leaves by 4pm.


Any ideas or suggestions would be most welcome and very appreciated!

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You really need someone more local to tell you about Portland.


But the cruiseport (facing Weymouth) & lighthouse (on the tip) are at opposite ends of the Bill, about 5 miles apart. On foot it wouldn't be much further & certainly more pleasant to circumnavigate on the coastal path, rather than a simple out-and-back. But whichever way, it's a pretty fair hike.

By bike, you really need an off-road bike. That way you can follow the coastal footpath part-way, but I'm pretty certain you'd also have to use the roads, including a steep climb or two.

Bear in mind that the weather in the UK is a bit unreliable, and Portland Bill is quite exposed.


http://portlandbikehire.com/ are well-respected, their prices very reasonable & they provide all the gear & maps.

I've got petrol in my veins,:rolleyes: so can't really help more.


Ship's shuttle to Weymouth is your simplest lazy day. Busy & narrow urban roads from Portland, I wouldn't recommend cycling. A typical Victorian seaside resort, seafront, harbour, boat rides, museums, pubs, cafes, minor funfair stuff, shops. All very easy to explore on foot, & will keep you amused for your day.


Stonehenge is about 90 minutes by coach, Bath more like two hours. The time-scale should give you enough time at both Stonehenge & Salisbury, but IMHO Bath really needs more time than you're likely to get there.


There are far more interesting places to go, along the Jurassic coast & inland into the Dorset downs & villages, but they need a tour or rented car.


JB :)

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We docked in Portland 2 weeks ago and had a great day in Weymouth. It was a short trip in the ship's shuttle..bikes may be available for rental there. Enjoyed walking on the esplanade, shopping, and going to a nice tea room.



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I do not think you are allowed to walk in/out of the port area but there are shuttles into Weymouth

We had a private tour & went to the Swannery if that is of any interest to you

A tour around the area & into Dorchester there is also the old fort near the port that may be of interest

You could always just go to Weymouth & walk about then head back to the ship for a rest;)


Be sure to try the Fish n chips there

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