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