Climbs 476
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 71m a.s.l
Faces SE

Leer of beethoven © James O'Neil

Crag features

The Cuttings is an excellent and popular inland crag with a fine aspect looking out towards the Purbecks across Weymouth Bay. The crag is in fact an old railway cutting which has left several contrasting walls rising directly from a flat clear base. Although mainly quarried the climbs are highly varied on good clean vertical rock giving routes which need lots of finger strength and technique. It is a superb morning venue (often too hot in the summer) with routes to suit all grades of climber from VS to 8a. There is also a beginners sector especially set up for groups and individuals to cut their teeth on. However the best quality routes are the numerous cracking powerful test-pieces which are attractive enough to encourage many climbers to dog beyond their capabilities. The variety of climbing has been added to recently with some quality bouldering at the New Cuttings from V0 to a mega hard V12. Some of these problems can be high so bring a bouldering mat. Climbs at 'the Ditch' are included for historical reasons only: the Ditch was excavated during the winter of 2008/ 2009.

Approach notes

The Cuttings is 5 minutes from the road behind the terraced houses in Easton. Park in the main street near the Portland Museum. The guide books will say to park near the Mermaid Inn however this pub is no longer there, it has been replaced by The Mermaid House Tea Gardens. Unfortunately, at time of writing, no sign hangs outside the Tea Gardens Property. It is 195 Wakeham (DT5 1HS). Alternatively park down the road, around the bend from the museum, in Church Ope Car Park, this is a free car park. This is better in that you won't annoy the house owners of Easton so much. The drawback is that it is secluded and ripe for car theft so leave an empty car. Just by The Mermaid House Tea Gardens, next to the bridge, a track leads east for 30m toward waste ground alongside houses. Then a small track ducks through some bushes to follow a wide dirt track up an incline for 200m to a summit. Another track leads rightwards to reach the Main Cuttings above a covered pipeline. The shorter New Cuttings is just to the right (looking out). Another more direct approach (with no uphill bit for the lazy boulderers) is to follow a track leading directly east out of the back of the Mermaid Tea Gardens car park which leads to the coast path running past the New Cuttings. The Ditch - Sadly this venue(and its routes) are no more!

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).


Dorset Bouldering

Dorset has emerged as a major bouldering area in recent years thanks to the hard work of a bunch of diligent locals who have combed the coastline seeking out every block, problem and traverse. In addition to the well known areas of the Cuttings, the Boulderfield and the Neddyfields, the book has extensive information on the West Coast of Portland, many more areas on the East Coast, plus Swanage and Lulworth. It describes over 1500 boulder problems on over 350 pages.
More info


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
More Guidebooks:
Portland (2008)
Dorset Route Database (2000)
Swanage and Portland (1995)

Out of print:
Great climbs, However do agree with other comments, grades are slightly lower than I feel they should be. Best climb of the year so far, (it is only the first of January 2014). Great day though, great fun.
TerryHoward - 01/Jan/14
Great crag and boulder field, drys out super quick so makes the perfect winter bouldering location! :-)
Beastly Squirrel - 01/Jan/13
The Ditch no longer exists.
Richard Horn - 15/Dec/08
Excellent crag. Lots and lots of reachy, technical test pieces. However, not really worth visiting if you can't climb F7a or harder. Fred
FredMead - 06/Mar/06
The guide is fantastic - congratulations! One point on the Cuttings though. Page 165, route 17 "Three Fingers" is surely not a grade 4. Two of us climbed it and thought it a polished 5+. The third finger has of course fallen off as your photo shows and I wonder if it has been regraded since then. In your 2003 miniguide you put it at 6A rather than 4 which may be mistake (or is it?) but its certainly not 4, - which might cause problems where people are trying to up their grade in an area where except at the short worn out left hand end, there are few lower grades to try out. Hope this is useful.
marcus - 22/Aug/05
Agree, Blacknor is much better for novices, some of these routes are so pollished as to be at least a grade harder. My girlfriend thinks 2 grades!
Russ - 21/Aug/04
I was taken down to the Cuttings for my first bit of sport climbing and was pointed to the \'easy\' grades up one end (2 to 4+). Unfortunately these routes are now highly polished and I\'m sure that most people are likely to find them a great deal more difficult than their grade may suggest.
John Wellbelove - 22/Jul/02
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Climbs at this crag

49Quality Family Day4c **703
50True Love6b+ 26
51Bridget RileyE2 6a *6
52The Mind Terrorist7c+ **8
53Knockout Punch7b+ *10
54SpicerE2 5c *3
55Levitation By Proxy6c *47
56That Chill Divine
E2 6a 1
57Finesse7a 13
58Hidden Treasure6a *125
VS 4c 5
60Looking for Love
E2 5b 2
61Blowing the Gimp7a+ *45
62The Sears Tower7b+ *17
63The Holy Hand Grenade7a **198
64Brief Encounter6b **461
65Infernal Din7b+ ***81
66European Flavour6b **321
67Europe Endless6b+ **76
68Gourmet6a 8
69The Breathing Method8a ***29
70Hall of Mirrors7c ***195
71Want Out7b ***129
72New Saladin6c **298
73Hurricane on a Millpond7c+ **2
74Consommé6a+ **894
75Haute Cuisine7a **227
76The Mouth Waters7a+ **118
77Two Fingers6a **683
78Three Fingers6a *592
79Bob Hunkhousef7A+ *12
80Opus5a *665
81Rusty the Red Neck TakesOne for the Team6a+ *344
82Perihelion6b **222
83Disobedience Contest6b **156
84Live is Life6b *44
85The Potting Shed6a *241
86Rules is Rules6b+ 33
87Old Buffer6b *136
88Live by the Sword7a+ **254
89Another Notch in the Gun6b **467
90Figgy Dropwise6c+ *60
91Dusty Fred's Winter Collection6c 18
92Aperitif5c 82
93Ectomorph6a *114
94Unknown Arete7a+ 20
95The Bournemouth Flyer6b *133
96Hors d'Oeuvres
E1 5c 2
97Nightmare Scenario7c **52
98Modern Nightmare7a **132
99Bad Dream
E4 6a 1
100Fighting Torque8a **77
101Under Duress7c+ **25
102Shiver Me Timbers7a *73
103Weird Shit, Keep Drilling6b+ **122
 The Bower 
105Whispering Gallery2 229
106Queen of the New Year2+ 247
107Suntrap3 316
108The Bumper Fun Book4a *341
109Tinkerbell6a *289
110Far From The Madding Crowd5c *247
111Six Finger Exercise6b+ *171
112Godbeams4a *357
113Ladybower3 *168
114All Bowered Out6a *12
 Sunlovers Slab 
116Come on Eileen6a+ *31
117Grand Tour6a+ *13
118Boys Will Be Girls6c+ *20
119Shockwave5c *40
120Sunlover5a *41
121The Portland Crowd5a *54
 The Dell - The Cuttings Lower Tier (Left) 
123Sjambok the Skelem4c 37
124The Naughty Corner4a 51
125West of Vanity Fare6b 27
126Hot FlushE1 5c 8
127XerdnaVS 4c 15
128Hot Fuzz5c 28
129Don't Bring Your Mum2 21
 The Bottom Deckio - The Cuttings Lower Tier (Right) 
131Voices in the Bower3 284
132Up the Junction6b *114
133Round the Bend6b *118
134Winter Sun6a *364
135Time Out of Mind5a 390
136Voices in the Mind5c *48
 The Ditch 
138Rock Logs6b+ 3
139Gold Dust7b 2
140Ditch the Bitch7a 4
141Pitch in the Ditch6a+ 3
142The Dump Pump6a 6
143This Shit's Something6c+ 1
5b 2
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Ben Stokes