Tout Quarry, Portland, England

We’re at Tout Quarry on Portland, Dorset, for a wander with Ruby. It’s an absolutely fascinating combination of geology, nature, history and art, where creativity and the elements meet in all their glory.

And fantastic views of Portland Harbour and the sweep of Chesil Beach to the west.

Portland is a strange place. An island connected by a causeway to the end of the Chesil Beach and the sweep of the bay at Weymouth. There is something about Portland that is compelling and other wordly, especially on a grey day.

Forget the fact that it’s exposed, bleak and known for its prison for sex offenders, young offenders institution and former naval base. There are parts of Portland that are really pretty and dramatic.

It’s that whole island vibe and the way the past has shaped the way of life over the years. The Isle of Portland was full of great quarries producing Portland Stone, the stone that St Paul’s Cathedral is made of.

Take a look at this lovely piece of old film, which is part of the Windrose Rural Media Trust archive.

Tout Quarry is not that easy to find but, if you’re up for being a bit adventurous and you’re an off-the-beaten track kind of person, it’s well worth a morning out, with dogs or children or just on your own.

It was worked commercially from 1780 to 1982. These days, limestone remnants left over from this work have been used to create sculptures all across the site. The more than sixty sculptures include Still Falling by Angel of the North sculptor Antony Gormley. 

Here are just some of them. The Still Falling sculpture is the last photo:

Entrance to Tout Quarry is free and the reserve is open at all times.

To find out more, visit the websites of Portland Town Council and Dorset Wildlife Trust.

That’s about it.

Love, Maddie x

8 thoughts on “Tout Quarry, Portland, England

  1. Hi Maddie

    Just watched the video clip of those men working at the quarry – what a
    life, phew! It just doesn’t happen now. Andy’s sister used to live on
    Portland and the last time we saw her she took us to Tout Quarry with
    our greyhounds. A rather interesting place, even though it was raining
    that day; but we found it quite exciting now knowing what might be round
    the next corner so to speak.

    I’m sure Ruby found some good sniffs as there seemed to be a plenty of
    bunnies around (never visible of course).

    Thank you for sharing your day with us.

    Kind regards, take care, Barbara


  2. Fabulous Maddie,
    During the lockdowns I explored Portland a lot (it’s within walking distance now) & thoroughly enjoyed it. There are loads of walks and things to see & exploring tout quarry is a great start, but you have only just scratched the surface! There’s the High Angle Battery (not for the dog though – too much glass, but absolutely brilliant)… Nickodemous Knob, the goat path, church ope cove, king barrow nature reserve….to name but a few
    Cathy xx


  3. I used to live on Portland Maggie, just off of The square at Eastern and know the Tout Quarry very well, walked around there a lot, spotting the sculptures was great fun! I have to say it was a lovely safe place to live, but has changed a fair bit since I left, the Tesco supermarket is one of the major changes, plus a lot of new houses now and the old railway crossing bridge has gone too, that was right next to the house I lived in…..never go back they say, maybe I shouldn’t have! Thanks for the memories 🥰


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