Portland Bill - this year's first sun burn.

Portland Travel Blog

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Chessil Beach

several eternities later, hav ing got stuck in tons of traffic, Crispy and I arrived in Portland. Suffice to say that we wil NOT be coming in summer!  One sunny day and the entire population of the UK seemed to be heading South.  Understandable - we were too - but golly I'd forgotten how much I hate holiday traffic! 

So we were both relieved to see Portland up ahead.

Portland is in essence an island, connected to the mainland by a spit of land attatched to Chessil Beach.  There are a couple of towns there, and the area maintains a sense of separation from the rest of the country.  It's such bad luck to say "rabbit" there that the Aardman film Curse of the Were Rabbit had to be advertised with the name blanked out and replaced with the tagline "there's something Bunny going on", apparently.

The light on Portland Bill
  one town is called "fortune's well" which I thought was lovely. 

Crispy and I like being near  the sea a lot, and we also like being up high, and the isle of portland has the chance to do just exactly that.  We went for a walk, first of all, at High Angle Batteries, which are on teh hillier north side next to the coast. There was a great view of Weymouth Bay and of a couple of gun metal grey ships in the Fleet Lagoon - either naval or - perhaps more likely, given the small size of one - coastguard.  I don't know much about ships, so I'll be over the moon is someone naval looks at the photos and says, "oh, that's HMS blahblah, and she's a whatevership returning from service in wherever..."  The batteries themselves were started in Victorian times, and were in use up until the mid twentieth century.

crispy discovering the joys of climbing
  Now they are just open to the sky, and Crispy and I wandered round them looking at the clifs and the dogs playing chase and trying to imagine how bloody cold that particular posting must have been for a gunner in the wars in teh winter. It must have been about then that I started to catch the sun - it was certainly there that I realised, after about an hour, that I was carryoing neither water nor a hat.  For most people this wouldn't be a problem, but I am unbelievably easily burned, and have a tendency to faint if I get dehydrated.  How I cope with Spain is beyond me - but it has a lot to do with never, ever forgetting water and a hat. 

Once I was back in teh car I forgot about water and hats again, and went to Portland Bill itself.

Me, getting burned.
 

Portland Bill - I think there was a cartoon called POrtland Bill when I was a very little Sarah indeed - is a lighthouse on the southernmost tip of the Isle.  The parking was £1.60 for two hours and there is an entrance charge to the lighthouse - which was shut when I was there - I would strongly recommend doing the environmental thing and parking somewhere else and walking up, if I was going to do it again. With water, and some sort of windproof hat.  It was very nice, though.  The rosks are full of fossilised shells, the waves were impressive even on the mill-pond calm day that I was there, andthe lighthouse is very lovely.  Of course, asking for donations on top of the admission and the car park was never going to impress me.  But there we go.

  i wandered around the rocks, watched some lads climb up the tor-like cliff at teh edge, and was pretty happy with life. UNfortunately, I forgot, in all that fresh air, that I was a red head.  I got an icecream instead of the bottle of water that I really needed, and got back in the car.  After getting lost on my way to Cerne Abbas, and arriving home so late that I had completely missed Dr Who - darn - I had the beginnings of a headache and my skin was an unflattering shade of bright scarlet.  This morning, I had an incredible headache and it took me til 4pm, after a pint and  a half of mint tea, two cups of earl grey, a bottle of coke, two pain pills and a chocolate dessert until I felt human again.  Tomorrow, I will be buying a bottle of water to keep in my car, a large bottle of sunscreen, and a hat. 

I fully expect the rain to start the minute I've done that, and not to let up until september.  I love England!

sarahelaine says:
yeah, sorry about that.
Posted on: Apr 30, 2008
londonstudent says:
So, basically, you're to blame for my getting soaked to the skin twice today ...
Posted on: Apr 29, 2008
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Chessil Beach
Chessil Beach
The light on Portland Bill
The light on Portland Bill
crispy discovering the joys of cli…
crispy discovering the joys of cl…
Me, getting burned.
Me, getting burned.
victorian gun implacement
victorian gun implacement
the Fleet breakwaters and a naval …
the Fleet breakwaters and a naval…
Crispy playing at being a WW2 gunn…
Crispy playing at being a WW2 gun…
The WW1 implacements
The WW1 implacements
Crane and wooden boat
Crane and wooden boat
Flowers
Flowers
the rock that some lads were climb…
the rock that some lads were clim…
quarry
quarry
Portland
photo by: johnyb66