• Daniel Wretham

Dorset Landscape Photography Locations, Portland

Updated: Jun 30

Portland Sunset

I decided I would do a bit of a guide to locations in Dorset for landscape photography and what better place to start than my absolute favourite, Portland.

What is there not to like about this fantastic area, it has everything a photographer could wish for, Portland Bill lighthouse, big angry waves, rocky ledges, small bays, I could go on all day about it.

While I'm not going to be able to list every location as it would take forever I will list the key points, but have an explore yourself as there are plenty of hidden gems there that I am keeping up my own sleeve for the time being.

Portland, Dorset

Map Of Portland, Dorset Landscape Photography, Portland Bill, Dorset Photography Locations

To start with we will cover my favourite stretch of Portland and its probably the easiest to access too, The southern most point of Portland which is home to one of the most famous lighthouses in the country, Portland Bill.

Access to the island is via Weymouth on the A354 which is accessed from the main A35 road.

Once you drive down the A354 approaching Weymouth you will Portland Bill very well signposted.

The A354 leads directly onto the island then its basically a straight road to get there but if your using a sat nav then postcode of DT5 2JT will make life even easier.

As you pull into the car park right next to Portland Bill you will get your first taste of what this wonderful place has to offer. The car park is pay & display and is often checked so don't be tempted to "risk it".

There are free to use toilets on site which is and added bonus as you never know when you might just need them and there is also a restaurant on sight and a few hundred yards from the car park there is a pub too so you can spend the whole day here assured of refreshment and a comfort break if needed.

Portland Bill is one of three lighthouses on the island although it is the only working lighthouse there and was first switched on in January 1906 and kept ships safe from the multitude of dangerous obstacles that make up Portland's shore including rocks, reefs and the very fast swelling sea known as the Portland "Race".

A word of advice here, Portland tides are VERY dangerous and unpredictable even in good weather, Don't put yourself at any risk for any reason as no shot is worth that.

Be especially careful on windy days when the waves hit the rocks and are very capable of coming right over the cliff top and giving you and your valuable gear a violent soaking.

The rocks are also notoriously slippery when the tide is low and beware of the ones covered in red seaweed, this is just like ice and if you fall into the Portland race then your probably not going to get out of it again so please take care.

The lighthouse can be shot for a full 360 degrees but the most popular shots seem to include the rocky foreground from one of the many ledges that push out from the main bank or from the pathway which gives a nice lead line to the lighthouse itself. It is also on the site of an old quarry so there are plenty of rocky boulders laying around of the famous Portl