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British Isles/Western Europe Amsterdam, Brugge, Dublin, Edinburgh, London (Dover, Harwich, Southampton)

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  #1  
Old January 1st, 2013, 04:22 PM
roothy123 roothy123 is offline
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Default Portland/Weymouth

We spend a whole day in Portland, UK. I have just started to do some research on our cruise, and I'm not sure what there is to do in this port. Is Stonehenge near by? Also, how far is the "White Horse" - is that doable in a day? Is there much to do right there in Portland and Weymouth? (I DO know about the Portland Bill lighthouse, and since I'm a lighthouse nut, I will likely go there.) Also, about how far is Portland to Southampton?

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Old January 1st, 2013, 05:21 PM
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LHT28 LHT28 is offline
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The lighthouse is very close as is the Castle there
We booked a private tour to the Abbotsbury Swannery & a stop in Dorchester
http://www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk/swannery/index.htm
we had a view of the horse on the hill

Stopped in Weymouth for Fish & chips YUMMMM
If you do a search here for Portland you may find other info

we used http://www.extramileuk.co.uk/jurassic-coast-tours.htm
Mick was great

Lyn
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Last edited by LHT28; January 1st, 2013 at 05:26 PM.

  #3  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 05:24 AM
John Bull John Bull is offline
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Portland/Weymouth is a much more interesting stop than you are anticipating.

For a lazy day, ship's shuttle about 15-20 minutes to the victorian seaside resort of Weymouth. Seafront promenade, riverside harbour, stax of interesting little shops, smugglers' museum, all easily-walkable. A traditional British day at the seaside.

Or train from Weymouth to the market town of Dorchester. Or beyond to the little station at Wool for a 5-10 min taxi hop to Monkey World or to Bovington Tank Museum or to Lulworth Cove, part of the Jurassic coast. Or beyond to Wareham station & taxi or short taxi hop and preserved steam railway to craggy & mysterious Corfe Castle.

Or - and this is by far the most interesting but also the most expensive option - a rented car or car+driver.
A huge range of options/combinations depending on $$$, time, & whether you prefer long stops or scenic driving.
Drive west above Chesil Beach/The Fleet and along the Jurassic coast thro' Abbotsbury to West Bay & Bridport, then back over the Dorset Downs to Dorchester. Continue east to Tolpuddle & Bere Regis, then south to Corfe Castle, and back to Weymouth/Portland (ideally along Kimmeridge Ledge if the little lane is open, its closed when the tank firing range is in operation) via Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door. You'll see the White Horse on Osmington Hill as you approach Weymouth (beware when googling,there are a number of white horses cut into the chalk hills across southern England) .
Because it's only a few minutes from your ship, Portland Bill and its (unimpressive) lighthouse is an ideal last stop. If time is short you can make a drive-by or even miss it out, if you have the time you can enjoy a snack at the nearby cafe where the food is way way better than Weymouth's cafes & fast-food joints. Or you could take a taxi ride to the Bill before spending the rest of the day in Weymouth. Super views from the top of the Bill near the old prison - the driver will know the spots.

We've mentioned the White Horse. For something a little different, there's the Cerne Abbass giant, about 8 miles north of Dorchester. If you blush easily, click on the link when you are alone - it's known locally as the Rude Man of Cerne Abbass http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerne_Abbas_Giant

Stonehenge is 60 miles, about 90 minutes by car. And your ship will probably offer a tour.
Unless you are an avid ancient-history buff, Stonehenge is only worth an hour so it's a long haul for the limited benefit - though if time also permits an hour or two in Salisbury it may be worthwhile.
Not viable from Portland by train - needs a train from Weymouth to Southampton, switch to a train to Salisbury, then 30 mins on a ho-ho from Salisbury station to Stonehenge. The train journey alone is about 2 hrs e/w.

You mentioned Southampton (about 60 miles from Portland). Stonehenge is much close, cheaper & easier from Southampton if your ship berths there. Can also be incorporated into private or coach transfers between london or London's Heathrow airport & Southampton.

Your ship may also offer a tour from Portland to Bath. That's a two-hour journey but may be worthwhile because Bath is well worth a visit of at least 3 hours.

Google these places, & come back for any further info.

JB
ps I'll be away & unable to post again tomorrow for a week's Red Sea cruise

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Old January 5th, 2013, 07:09 PM
mintypixie mintypixie is offline
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My in-laws live very near Weymouth and we recently went with them to Stone henge, it takes about 2-2.30 hrs depending on traffic. I am guessing you are not from the UK so taking into account driving on the left and all our weird roundabouts I would give yourself at least 2.30 each way at the minimum. If you you are up for that kind of travelling the ditch Stonehenge (which is turning into Disneyland for the caveman) and go to Avebury, its much better, you can walk around the stones and touch them (a huge no-no at Stonehenge) plus they have a great museum and visitors centre, which Stonehenge does not have. Best of all Avebury is free!

If you want to stay closer to port then there is Maiden Castle - a massive bronze age hill fort. Corfe Castle - beautiful medieval ruins blow apart by gun powder during the English Civil War, that sits atop a idyllic English village.

Dont forget to have a pint of Piddle (no I am not talking about drinking your own bodily fluids. Piddle is a beer, named after the river Piddle that runs into Puddle town)

Also there is Poole and Bournemouth (2 separate town that have grown into each other). In Poole you will find the home of the world renowned Poole pottery, and also the first Lush shop to have opened https://www.lush.co.uk/. They also have a lush spa there, pricey, but oh so worth it.

Lulworth is absolutely lovely, it is very quiet and sort of rustic, but a wonderful place to spend a morning or afternoon. Make sure you visit the Doll house (a tiny cottage that used to house families of 8).

I know the area pretty well, so feel free to message me if you have any questions.

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Old January 14th, 2013, 09:19 PM
roothy123 roothy123 is offline
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Thank you for your replies. Now it's going to be hard making up my mind on where to go and what to do, as there are obviously plenty of things that interest me. I also just got a brochure in the mail from the Weymouth/Portland tourism folks, which helps. Corfe Castle looks beautiful.

I also looked for lighthouses, and found that in addition to the famous Portland Bill, there are two other lighthouses in Portland - certainly not as showy as Bill, but nevertheless worth a look, as I'm a lighthouse nut.

As to Stonehenge for the caveman, I think we'll probably pass. My husband saw it long ago, and while I have not, it sounds a bit too commercial for my taste. I am also thinking of NOT kissing the Blarney Stone....just not my thing. I like the route less traveled, I guess - even if I get lost sometimes!

In any case, thanks to all 3 of you for the suggestions.

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Old January 15th, 2013, 08:28 PM
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rm1247 rm1247 is offline
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Default Tea in Weymouth?

I hope you don't mind me jumping in. I'm doing the same research for our day stop in Portland. I'm favoring the idea of taking the ship's transfer to Weymouth. Do you know if there is a charge for that? We'll be on the Brilliance of the Seas.

John Bull and mintypixie (or anyone else local), could you recommend a place in Weymouth where I could take my daughters to afternoon tea? Any other recommendations for kids in Weymouth?

roothy123, how did you request the brochure? I'd love to order one too.

Thanks for your help!

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Old January 15th, 2013, 09:33 PM
roothy123 roothy123 is offline
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I don't mind you jumping in at all. I don't even remember ordering the brochure, but I guess I must have done that while snooping around for information on Portland (Isle of Portland) and Weymouth. In any case, the "Weymouth & Portland - This is GREAT Britain - Visitor Guide" is available from www.visitweymouth.co.uk or www.visitportland.co.uk. There are maps of Weymouth and Portland in the little booklet, and the Portland map shows the location of the port, and also the location (not too far - maybe 1/2 to 3/4 mile, but I'm guessing) of a ferry to Weymouth Harbour. I suppose that may be the one mentioned by John Bull, or perhaps something offered by the cruise line he used. Our cruise line (Oceania) has not yet posted any information on shore excursions, shuttles, etc., so I have no idea what will be available for me, which is why I like to do my own research! However, it sounds like it is pretty easy to get to Weymouth.

The port site, which is http://www.portland-port.co.uk/cruise, had a link to a YouTube which was informative.

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Old January 15th, 2013, 10:51 PM
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LHT28 LHT28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm1247 View Post
I hope you don't mind me jumping in. I'm doing the same research for our day stop in Portland. I'm favoring the idea of taking the ship's transfer to Weymouth. Do you know if there is a charge for that? We'll be on the Brilliance of the Seas.

Thanks for your help!
I believe the port put on the shuttle bus but I could be wrong
It is a working port so you are not allowed to walk out of the area

Not sure on afternoon tea but lots of nice restaurants etc..in the town

Lyn

  #9  
Old January 15th, 2013, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roothy123 View Post
Our cruise line (Oceania) has not yet posted any information on shore excursions, shuttles, etc., so I have no idea what will be available for me, which is why I like to do my own research! However, it sounds like it is pretty easy to get to Weymouth.
Roothy there are some excursions listed
http://www.oceaniacruises.com/explor...e/default.aspx
if not for your sailing check one of the other sailings for prices they will probably be in the same price range
I would do a private tour if you find one that suits

Lyn

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Old January 16th, 2013, 07:34 PM
John Bull John Bull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm1247 View Post
I hope you don't mind me jumping in. I'm doing the same research for our day stop in Portland. I'm favoring the idea of taking the ship's transfer to Weymouth. Do you know if there is a charge for that? We'll be on the Brilliance of the Seas.

John Bull and mintypixie (or anyone else local), could you recommend a place in Weymouth where I could take my daughters to afternoon tea? Any other recommendations for kids in Weymouth?

roothy123, how did you request the brochure? I'd love to order one too.

Thanks for your help!
I think Lyn's right about it being a bus laid on by the port. I've not heard of it ever being charged, though cruise ship visits to Portland are quite rare.
Can't help with a teashop. But Weymouth is full of eateries, so I'm sure you'll find something.

JB

  #11  
Old January 27th, 2013, 05:14 AM
mintypixie mintypixie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm1247 View Post
John Bull and mintypixie (or anyone else local), could you recommend a place in Weymouth where I could take my daughters to afternoon tea? Any other recommendations for kids in Weymouth?
2 places come to mind the first is Cafe Monet http://www.cafemonet.co.uk/
and the second is Time for Tea http://www.waterfrontweymouth.co.uk/...me-for-tea.htm

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