Dive Schools and Shops:
If you are new to diving or just want to touch base with local divers, there are several dive schools and shops in the Portland area providing cylinder refills and apparatus, such as:
- Dive Beyond 01305 861441
- Skin Deep: 01305 457343
- The Old Harbour Dive School 01305 760888.
Dive Permits and Restrictions:
Those wishing to dive will need to look up the relevant dive permits and restrictions for the Portland Harbour area. Portland Port have an informative website that provides all the details required to help provide a safe and enjoyable dive at the UCP: Portland Port http://www.portland-port.co.uk/contact , 01305 824044.
There is a slipway located at the rear of the Hotel Aqua which is adjacent to a very reasonably priced public carpark, so you can park your car and trailer very easily by the slipway. Or, if you’d prefer to venture to the UCP from the Sailing Academy then there is a slipway available for use. They have 220 metres of slipway accessible at all states of wind and tides. The slipways inside the compound are for manual launching. For vehicle launching there is a separate designated slipway, based between Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. For more information contact: WPNSA 01305 866000 or visit their website: www.wpnsa.org.uk
Crabbers’ Wharf Holiday Apartments:
Situated on the west side of Castletown pier is a new 'shipshape' building providing 9 luxury self-catering holiday apartments from 1 to 4 bedrooms. These are ideal for visiting divers who want to visit the UCP in small or large groups. There is free allocated parking and dedicated storage lockers on the ground floor which are ideal for keeping wetsuits and other kit in. Bookings can be made via www.weymouthandportlandholidays.co.uk or calling Portland Lettings on the ground floor of the TIC on 01305 443333.
Floating Pontoon and Ferry Service:
Adjacent to Crabbers’ Wharf is a 25m floating Pontoon which is there during fair weather months and can be accessed via Castletown Stone Pier. The Pier is open for all to use during daylight hours and is a beautiful way to relax and take in the views of the world renowned Portland harbour. The daily service to Weymouth at 11am, 1pm and 3pm weather dependent. The returning service is 12:30pm, 2:30pm and 4:30pm from Weymouth harbour by the Brewers Quay area. For more information call Coastline Cruises on 01305 785000 or visit their website: www.coastlinecruises.com.
The floating pontoon is also an ideal boat drop off or pick up point for your diving group, although this must be agreed with the Crabbers’ Wharf TIC staff in advance so as not to clash with ferry comings and goings. It’s worth bearing in mind that the Pontoon is private property and whilst the Owner is happy for the pontoon to be used for short loading and unloading, those wishing to travel to Portland via boat will need to ensure they have suitable moorings away from the Crabbers’ Wharf pontoon.
Tourist Information Centre:
If you want to find out more information regarding the local area or the UCP please contact the Tourist Information Centre which is located on the ground floor of Crabbers’ Wharf in Castletown. The opening hours are 10:00am – 3:30pm Monday to Friday and 10:00am – 2pm on Saturday’s. Staff are on hand to provide information about the UCP and the Castletown Regeneration as well as all the local attractions.
There is a reasonably priced public carpark adjacent to the slipway in Castletown for parking of cars and trailers.
Just opposite the castle town carpark is a small licensed convenience store selling all you would expect and need including snacks sandwiches and cold drinks etc.
Places to eat:
- D-Day Centre Tea rooms
- Billy Winters,
- The Crab House
- The Cove pub
- The Hotel Aqua
Pay as You Go Public Toilets:
There are public toilets located in the middle of Castletown on the ground floor of Bosun's blockhouse opposite Admiralty buildings.
Bosun’s Blockhouse is purpose built to accommodate a scuba diving shop on the ground floor and a training facility on the first floor. This is a wonderful lifestyle opportunity just needing a business minded scuba diving enthusiast to take on the challenges of setting up a new business in the heart of Dorset's diving industry . The property is 230 square meters over two stories and ready to accommodate a business entrepreneur wanting to profit from the upsurge in the local scuba industry or enjoy a working lifestyle change. For more information, please contact the Tourist Information Centre: 01305 443333.
Typically diving is between 10m-14m and with a sandy bottom making for good visibility
Number of Curosities
There are many different curiosities to discover linked by a guide rope
The Underwater Curiosity Park is about the size of a football pitch 100m x 50m marked out by 4 large yellow dive buoys.