22/02/2019 – Portland to Ferry Bridge

Click for 3D map of the walkon a laptop or desktop, click on 3D if needed and use the Ctrl key to manipulate the map and scroll to zoom in or out.

I have finally been able to tear myself away from Portland and I’ve arrived back at Ferrybridge on the mainland. There was a lot to see on Portland and I’m not sure my next stretch will be as enticing, as it’s taking me along Chesil Beach, which sounds exciting, to walk alongside (not on) such a famous landmark, but I’m not holding my breath.

Today was, for want of a better expression, quite bracing. When I left home this morning the weather wasn’t too bad. Portland, however, was a different story even though it could be far worse. I went to the usual view point on the far end of the Island to have breakfast and already, the view wasn’t clear and the waves were breaking far below. I noticed on the way over Ferry Bridge that the tide was in and going out. After Breakfast I drove to Portland Heights to start my walk and mine was the only vehicle on the car park. The walk down the steep side of Portland was beautiful, like a parting shot from Portland to say goodbye and to make sure you don’t forget. Normally, as my previous photos would attest, you can see for miles and miles, all the way to Lyme Regis and on a good day deep into Devon. This day I couldn’t even see as far as Abbotsbury, but it was still beautiful.

Here is some idea of what it was like. To get the full effect turn your sound up quite high, so you can hear the ‘freight train’ of the waves on the pebbles to fullest effect.

Watch the man in the far distance (not the man in the foreground) jump for his life when the wave reaches higher than he expected. Shows the scale of the waves as well…

The photos are further below.

I could see and hear the waves breaking onto the pebbled beach far below and when I got down the hillside, it wasn’t disappointing. The noise was terrific and even though there was far from a storm raging, the waves were still really impressive and generating a lot of spray. Instead of walking straight on to today’s goal, I decided to stay and take some photos. The light was difficult and my skills lacking, however. The views were fantastic, but I don’t think I’ve been able to convert some of this to photo. I walked back towards Portland Bill but this time at the foot of the cliff up to the point where the path had been washed away. It gave me a better perspective of how high up last time’s walk was and how close to the edge. I could see Blacknor Fort up above, which is where the path comes really close to the edge of the cliff. The path up there is a bit more stable than down here, where some of the shore is made up of mud, though. The other side (the sea side) also brought up memories. Quite a few years ago I did a kayaking course and we paddled alongside this side of Portland once, sliding into the sea from the beach, which was exciting!

Chesil Beach is quite special. The sea sorts the pebbles on it from large to small. This end, near Portland, is where you can find all the larger pebbles. They then get gradually smaller as you go along the beach. In the past they tried to fill up the lagoon behind the beach so they could use the land. The sea fought back, however. The beach is so permeable that filling the lagoon is a non starter and the sea will always take it back. This is also where they tested the ‘bouncing bombs’ during the second World War.

I walked back to the beach café and then on to Ferry Bridge, which I had already done twice before, so see photos of Portland one for that! No need to take more photos.