Climbs 121
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.
More info
There are no comments from visitors to this crag.
Login as Existing User to add your comments

Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
 Stroof Area 
2Nutcracker Traverse
S *14
S *13
4Subluminal Traverse
HVS 5b 8
5Via ChristinaHVS 5a **64
6Dead GoodE5 6b 4
7Greasy ChimneyVD 197
8SuspensionS 4a *392
9WhynotHS 4b *110
10DolphinVS 4b 113
11Curving CrackS 4a *530
12Face LeftVS 4b *14
13FaceS 4a *500
14Face CentralVS 4c *148
15Face AwayVS 4c *139
16TittsworthHVS 5a *74
17Dead Man HuntE1 5b *24
18BaboonHVS 5b *156
19The GrobblerE1 5b *34
20Transcript DirectHVS 5a *197
21ParalysisE2 5c 76
22BalconyHS 4b **919
23GangwayS *891
24JokerVS 5a 99
25JugglerE1 5b *79
26StroofE1 5c **330
27Graunchy GrippersE1 5b *78
28SpreadeagleVS 5a *634
29Back StreetVS 4c *402
30High StreetD *1132
31Station Road VariationE1 6a 12
32Station RoadHS 4b 177
33BypassS *834
34Slip RoadVS 4c *421
35RepublicE2 6a 9
 Freda Area 
37Thompson's ChimneyHS 4b *185
38Straits of HormuzE3 6a 1
39Botany BayVS 4c *189
40Battleship BowHVS 4c *39
41Double ChockstoneHVD *370
42SkinheadHVS 5a 73
43Bird's NestS 4a 243
44PuffinVS 5a *146
45The Indirect RouteE1 12
46First CornerS 4b **627
47PhilatusE3 5c **150
48Poetry in MotionE3 6a *64
49Second CornerS 4a **719
50FredaVS 5a ***665
51Grandma's GrooveE2 5c **130
52Grandpa's GropeVS 4c *144
53Pedestal CrackD 315
54InterludeHS 4a 3
55Pedestal FaceVS 4b *91
56Pedestal ChimneyVD 192
 Avernus Area 
58StyxS 26
59CerberusS 4a 12
60StrenuosityHVS 4c 4
61Graduation DayE2 5c *7
62The Ferryman WaitsE3 6a 2
63AvernusS 4a ***295
64CrepitusHVS 4c 2
65Rainy Day, Dream AwayE2 5c 2
66Chance EncounterE4 6a  
67All the ShakespearoesE3 5c *6
68The Great Rock 'n' Dole SwindleE3 6a * 
69Tangerine DreamE1 5b *7
70A Subtle Shade of EmptinessE5 6b ** 
71Close to the SunE4 6b * 
72Gentle Touch
HVS 4c 2
VS 5a 3
 Black Zawn 
75Grooved AreteVS 4b 15
76Deaf Boy Hug
E3 5c * 
77Sweet SixteenE5 6a *1
78The PeccaryE2 5b **46
79AstridHVS 5a **141
80Morbid Orbit
E2 5b 1
81MelpomeneE4 5c ***13
82MarsE2 5b ***77
E3 5c 1
84AchelousE5 6a * 
85IoVS 5a *20
86Last Great InnocentE5 6b * 
 Lighthouse Area 
88Mellow YellowVS 4c **110
89Catch the Wind
E3 5c 2
90Ray of SunshineE2 5c **40
91Magic MountainE5 6a *2
92Magic MushroomE4 6a **3
93Fraggle RockHVS 5a **41
94Live at the Witch TrialsE2 5b *16
95Hard Nose the HighwayHVS 5a *35
96Harvest GoldHVS 4c *48
97Yellow Brick RoadVS 5a *36
98Shakin' Off the GhostsHVS 5a 4
99ZoeVS 5a 14
100RoutHVS 5b 10
101Surface HippyVS 4c *6
102Under Toad
S 4a 9
103Stone Doubt
VD 3
104Mother Duck
HVS 5a 2
105Drop in the Ocean
HVS 4c *4
E1 5b 1
107Withering HeightsE1 5b 6
108No Great Shakes
VS 4c 4
109Accidents Never HappenVS 4c 3
110Dreamboat Annie
VS 4c 4
111Scotsman Chimney
VD 5
112Rhodesian's Retreat
VD 5
S 2
VD 3
S 3
116Traverse of the GodsHVS 5a ***26
 Birds Nest Bay 
118Stir Crazy
6a+ *8
119The Puzzle
6c+ *4
6b *5
121Bird's Nest Arete
5c *12
122Sweet Surrender
6b **11
123White Flag
5c *9
124Gid's Landing
5a *12
125The Scotty Dog Traverse
6a+ *15
HVS 5a 3
127Babes in Toyland
HVS 5a 1

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer ERU