A POPULAR event celebrating the important role Portland played during preparations for D-Day will return to the island for the first time since 2019.

Castletown at War is back this weekend, bringing an immersive Second World War experience for all the family to the D-Day Centre and Portland Castle.

The event, which will take place between 10.30am and 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, is a celebration of the role that Castletown played as a major embarkation point during preparations for the D-Day landings.

Re-enactment groups will entertain crowds while they browse exhibitions, while there will also be Second World War memorabilia stalls, as well as displays of weapons and vehicles - including the first public appearance of the D-Day Centre's newly restored DUKW, a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck used by the U.S. military.

The D-Day Centre has partnered with English Heritage, a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places, to bring the event to the public.

Dorset Echo: D-Day Centre volunteers Picture: AgincareD-Day Centre volunteers Picture: Agincare

John Davies, manager at Castletown D-Day Centre, said: "Castletown at War is the first event post-lockdown for us, and we hope that after such a difficult time people will come along and enjoy it.

"This is really a celebration of not just Castletown's rich wartime history but the return of our events, and we are proud to partner up with the team at English Heritage yet again to put on a spectacular show."

Castletown D-Day Centre opened in 2017 and has had great success providing a hands-on experience of Second World War history, offering visitors the chance to handle equipment, climb into vehicles and dress up in authentic uniforms.

Manager of Portland Castle, Donna Brading, said: "We are proud to be putting on this event in conjunction with Castletown D-Day Centre. It's a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the important role that the area, and Portland Castle, played in the Second World War.

"We hope people will dress up and enjoy the weekend. It promises to be a great day out for all the family."

The event is free for people visiting Castletown, but entry fees apply to the D-Day Centre and Portland Castle. English Heritage members can access Portland Castle for free.

For more information, visit the Castletown D-Day Centre Facebook page.