'Portland Bill lighthouse - bubbablueandme

A day trip to Portland Bill and Chesil Beach

Last year when we went to Swanage I dragged the OH and N to Portland and Chesil Beach for my geographical love, and this year’s camping trip to Weymouth with friends and all the kids, took us back there for a day trip.  Albeit in more pleasant, less windy and warmer weather.

Portland Bill lighthouse

The hope was that we’d get to go up Portland Bill lighthouse this time, but it turned out that children need to be over 110cm because of a ladder part at the top.  N’s pretty good with ladders, but he was 3cm too short, and his friend H was even shorter, so we left the older 2 children to go up with their mum, while the rest of us explored and went for a bit of a walk around.

Portland Bill torch

Well, really it was more like the N and H went exploring in the rocks a bit inland, while us 2 mums entertained baby T and had a good natter while keeping an eye on the boys.

Portland headland was quite busy with photographers and walkers, but the boys were quite happy staying away from the edge and trying to find exciting routes to walk amongst the giant rocks and daisies.

2 boys exploring Portland Bill rocks
Exploring the rocks at Portland

They certainly kept us on our toes while they discovered hidden routes down in the dips,

Exploring the rocks at Portland Bill

While the next moment they were on top and far in the distance.

2 boys playing on the horizon at Portland

After a bit of a wander we promised the boys could have an ice cream while we waited for the others to return from their climb up 155 steps to the top of the lighthouse.  It sounds like it’s an interesting tour, and they came back with lots of interesting facts about lighthouses and Portland Bill in particular.

pulling a face while eating ice cream

After the ice cream break, it was time to head back down towards Weymouth to find somewhere to get lunch, stopping at the Olympic rings to snap a photo.

Weymouth & Portland Olympic rings overlooking Chesil Beach

One of our new camping arrivals met us at Taste Café at Chesil Beach for a bite to eat.  After a few days of food cooked by us on the campsite, it felt like luxury being served and sitting down nicely to eat.

The café food was really good.  Everyone had a good meal – mix of paninis, sandwiches, kids meals and salads.  The prices weren’t bad for a tourist place either, so it was definitely a good choice.

With Chesil Beach having the nature research alongside it, there are cameras underwater in some of the nature reserve areas, so inside the café you can see the filming and what animals are going past.  There’s also a small area of interactive museum displays explaining the beach, the jurassic coastline and more.  A nice little café for children who like to entertain themselves and play with the displays.

The view over Chesil Beach

The others all headed back to the campsite but N wanted to walk the beach.  Last year, his legs couldn’t cope at all, and he didn’t like the wind and spray of the sea on him when we reached the top.  But this year, a bit of a growth spurt and stronger legs thanks to all the bike riding, and he was marching off ahead of me.

Walking down Chesil Beach
Resting at Chesil Beach

This time the sea was out so we could have gone down the sea side of the beach, but we stuck to the top.  The only problem with trying to get your perfect picture of the coastal spit, was that there’s always someone else in the photos.  One quick walk along for a way, and N was marching back down away, telling me to ‘hurry up mummy’.

walking on chesil beach

Chesil Beach is spectacular, and with the nature reserve behind, it’s a great place for a day trip to teach children about coastal geography, and what happens with the sea and shingle.

Have you spent time enjoying places you studied as a child?

Find other days out ideas in Dorset.

Love it? Share it


  1. You know we nearly moved to Weymouth when my step dad got a job to do with the boat on Howard’s Way. We visited a lot but couldn’t get a house sorted. I never knew you could go (and seems obvious now you say it) up Portland Bill! It really makes me think of happy times and we need to use our tent more so may look into camping with the boys down there now. I always liked the carnival in August too.

    1. Wow, that’s interesting. It’s a lovely area (even allowing for all the holiday makers). We had a great camping trip there – check out Higher Moor farm (award winning toilets, if you’re like me and like to have good facilities rather than wild style)

  2. I had no idea you could go up the lighthouse on Portland! We also used to go to Chesil Beach as children – remember to this day how wild it used to feel. Bizarrely I spent half an hour sitting in the car park outside Portland Bill at 5.30am last weekend with my daughter who had been screaming our B&B down. It looks a lot better in daylight – thanks for the pics!! #countrykids

  3. Such a shame you missed the lighthouse trip for 3 cm but it sounds like N had his own fun climbing down the rocks anyway. The beach looks like it stretches for miles and the nature reserve an added bonus, I’m a bit of a geographic bore too, but the kids now stop me as they are all doing it at school and know as much as me! You really did pack some fun days into your camping trip, it’s lovely reading about them on Country Kids, thank you for linking up.

    1. Thanks Fiona. We do love getting out and about – I get bored being at home too much.

      The geography thing is funny though because I’m turning into my mum with my lessons, whihc is just what she used to do.

  4. Looks like it was a beautiful day for exploring and so many lovely photos. I’d love to go up Portland Bill lighthouse and it sounds like the tour was very interesting but useful to know about children having to be over 110cm tall – I’ll hold off on that one for a big longer then! 🙂

  5. Looks like the littles had a fun time exploring while waiting for the big kids to finish with the lighthouse. I would have wanted to walk a bit on that beach, so pretty.

  6. Au love this! The lighthouse looks like the one we can see from our house in Barbados – So cool!I need to find more places like this to take Hayden he would love to run around near the sea. Love the snaps
    Thanks so much for sharing hun.
    Charlotte x

    1. Yes, the beach is great. I remember as a child we went to the beach near Cap Ferrat one October half term holiday to Brittany, and it was so cold and windy. Everyone must have been wondering what the strange Brits were doing.

  7. What a lovely place to spend the day! Too bad there is a height restriction & he was so close! I brought my kids to the beach I used to go to when I was little & we climbed the lighthouse. There was 217 steps 🙂 It’s lovely to bring the kids back to places you enjoyed when you were little x

  8. It looks so beautiful and like a really good day out. I don’t think I’ve actually been to that many beaches near us with a lighthouse, I can imagine it being really fascinating to little ones (And big ones!)

    1. Yes, I don’t think there’s many still around, certainly very few still in use. They are quite spectacular but I’m sad I didn’t get to go up in it.

Comments are closed.