Some of Dorsets most unique caves are located on Portland.
Only a brief drive away from the caving haven of Mendip, the island is an excellent base for the beginner to experienced caver.
This limestone island is 4 miles and only 1½ miles wide wide with a limestone layer some 70 feet deep, yet offers many caves for the underground explorer -some with unusual features- varying in sporting and scientific interest.
Dry Caves , Portland's oldest caves are the Water worn caves with near horizontal bedding ~ being the only resemblance to the Yorkshire Dales caves. Yet, even though large rift or mass-movement caves are fairly unusual in Britain, these appear to form the largest category on Portland, mainly following the massive jointing.
Some of Portland's cave systems are in excess of 1.5 miles.
Sea Caves Numerous sea caves girdle Portland Bill where the limestone dips to sea level. Some of these can be explored by land while others can only be reached by sea. These are typically large joint or bedding-plane chambers, some of them utilising rifts.
While quarrying has claimed its toll on a few of the island's cave sites including some of the most beautiful ones, those surviving are waiting to be explored and have attracted the attention of nation-wide caving clubs and groups. Consult local tide tables before venturing into any sea-caves as exits and entries may be difficult.
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