Climbs 124
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude Tidal
Faces S

Two jugs are better than one… Philatus E3 5c © Ben Richards

Crag features

Subluminal is the place everybody heads to for a first taste of Swanage steepness. The main reason for its popularity is the good selection of solid, short and amenably graded routes. Access is quick and there is a good ledge system running beneath the climbs that is well clear of the waves giving the place a friendly atmosphere. It lies just west of the lighthouse and the Black Zawn beneath open grass slopes. There is a clean-cut ledge above the climbs for gearing up and socialising, along with plentiful stakes for belays. Many of the climbs offer technical and fingery exercises as well as some bulging test-pieces in the Avernus Area.

Approach notes

Walk down the tarmac road from Durlston Car Park. From the lighthouse, a track leads diagonally right (looking out) down the grass slope to cliff-top ledges situated 100m west of the Black Zawn. It is only a 10 minute walk from the car park and all the climbs are approached by a short abseil from stakes above. The best abseil line is down High Street which also doubles as a good escape route.

Access Advice

Restrictions apply from  1 March - 31 July. Reason - Nesting Birds


The restriction applies east of Scotsman Chimney to the start of Traverse of the Gods.

Rockfax App

Available in the Rockfax App

The Rockfax App brings together all the Rockfax climbing information with UKC logbooks and presents it into a user-friendly package for use on Apple iOS devices (Android version to follow).



The latest edition of the Dorset Rockfax features the now widely acclaimed full-page colour topos, and includes all the new lines in the areas previously covered, as well as many entirely new sectors. The crags are illustrated using bigger topos and there is a complete new set of action photos. This new Rockfax guide will concentrate on Portland, Swanage and Lulworth, covering all the sport routes in these areas, and also the bulk of the quality trad climbing at Swanage and Lulworth. Coverage of bouldering and deep water soloing, along with all the routes in Devon have migrated from this book.
More info

West Country Climbs

West Country Climbs is a major Rockfax guide to one of the UK’s most celebrated, sunny and diverse climbing regions. The book is fashioned in Rockfax’s award-winning layout and design, and copiously illustrated with action photographs of the climbs and cliffs that reflect the quality and variety of climbing experiences to be had on offer in the UK’s most popular holiday destination - the West Country. This is a selected route and buttress guidebook which covers the best 900 routes from the crags listed below.
More info

Deep Water

Mike Robertson's award winning Deep Water guide, covering DWS on the English South Coast, Pembroke, Scotland and throughout the world.
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
 Stroof Area 
2Nutcracker Traverse
S *15
S *14
4Subluminal Traverse
HVS 5b 8
5Via ChristinaHVS 5a **69
6Dead GoodE5 6b 4
7Greasy ChimneyVD 202
8SuspensionS 4a *418
9WhynotHS 4b *119
10DolphinVS 4b 116
11Curving CrackS 4a *574
12Face LeftVS 4b *17
13FaceS 4a *538
14Face CentralVS 4c *157
15Face AwayVS 4c *147
16TittsworthHVS 5a *86
17Dead Man HuntE1 5b *26
18BaboonHVS 5b *162
19The GrobblerE1 5b *34
20Transcript DirectHVS 5a *214
21ParalysisE2 5c 77
22BalconyHS 4b **975
23GangwayS *938
24JokerVS 5a 110
25JugglerE1 5b *87
26StroofE1 5c **337
27Graunchy GrippersE1 5b *88
28SpreadeagleVS 5a *669
29Back StreetVS 4c *431
30High StreetD *1210
31Station Road VariationE1 6a 12
32Station RoadHS 4b 200
33BypassS *879
34Slip RoadVS 4c *460
35RepublicE2 6a 11
 Freda Area 
37Thompson's ChimneyHS 4b *195
38Straits of HormuzE3 6a 1
39Botany BayVS 4c *202
40Battleship BowHVS 4c *42
41Double ChockstoneHVD *396
42SkinheadHVS 5a 77
43Bird's NestS 4a 253
44PuffinVS 5a *152
45The Indirect RouteE1 12
46First CornerS 4b **668
47PhilatusE3 5c **157
48Poetry in MotionE3 6a *65
49Second CornerS 4a **780
50FredaVS 5a ***700
51Freda (Direct)HVS 5a 1
52Grandma's GrooveE2 5c **132
53Grandpa's GropeVS 4c *153
54Pedestal CrackD 346
55InterludeHS 4a 3
56Pedestal FaceVS 4b *93
57Pedestal ChimneyVD 212
 Avernus Area 
59StyxS 29
60CerberusS 4a 12
61StrenuosityHVS 4c 4
62Graduation DayE2 5c *7
63The Ferryman WaitsE3 6a 2
64AvernusS 4a ***324
65CrepitusHVS 4c 2
66Rainy Day, Dream AwayE2 5c 2
67Chance EncounterE4 6a  
68All the ShakespearoesE3 5c *7
69The Great Rock 'n' Dole SwindleE3 6a * 
70Tangerine DreamE1 5b *9
71A Subtle Shade of EmptinessE5 6b ** 
72Close to the SunE4 6b * 
73Gentle Touch
HVS 4c 2
VS 5a 3
 Black Zawn 
76Grooved AreteVS 4b 16
77Deaf Boy Hug
E3 5c * 
78Sweet SixteenE5 6a *1
79The PeccaryE2 5b **46
80AstridHVS 5a **145
81Morbid Orbit
E2 5b 1
82MelpomeneE4 5c ***13
83MarsE2 5b ***83
E3 5c 1
85AchelousE5 6a * 
86IoVS 5a *21
87Last Great InnocentE5 6b * 
 Lighthouse Area 
89Mellow YellowVS 4c **110
90Catch the Wind
E3 5c 3
91Ray of SunshineE2 5c **41
92Magic MountainE5 6a *2
93Magic MushroomE4 6a **3
94Fraggle RockHVS 5a **44
95Live at the Witch TrialsE2 5b *16
96Hard Nose the HighwayHVS 5a *37
97Harvest GoldHVS 4c *48
98Yellow Brick RoadVS 5a *36
99Shakin' Off the GhostsHVS 5a 4
100ZoeVS 5a 14
101RoutHVS 5b 13
102Surface HippyVS 4c *6
103Under Toad
S 4a 9
104Stone Doubt
VD 3
105Mother Duck
HVS 5a 2
106Drop in the Ocean
HVS 4c *4
107HeathcliffeE2 6a 1
108Withering HeightsE1 5b 8
109No Great Shakes
VS 4c 4
110Accidents Never HappenVS 4c 3
111Dreamboat Annie
VS 4c 4
112Scotsman Chimney
VD 5
113Rhodesian's Retreat
VD 5
S 2
VD 3
S 3
117Traverse of the GodsHVS 5a ***26
 Birds Nest Bay 
119Stir Crazy
6a+ *8
120The Puzzle
6c+ *4
6b *5
122Bird's Nest Arete
5c *12
123Sweet Surrender
6b **11
124White Flag
5c *9
125Gid's Landing
5a *12
126The Scotty Dog Traverse
6a+ *15
HVS 5a 3
128Babes in Toyland
HVS 5a 1
129Grey RibHS 4b 2
130Mars With Original Melpomene FinsihE2 5c 1

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