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UKClimbing Team

Climbs 72
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 10m a.s.l
Faces S

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Belay or photo's not both please. © riddle

Crag features

Guillemot Ledge is a large and diverse area that is home to the highest section of cliff along the whole of the Swanage coastline. The big multi-pitch trad routes on the West Face are amongst the most challenging in the south, and almost all of them give tremendous climbing in wild and exposed situations. Across the two areas of the West and East Faces, there is a reasonable grade spread from HS to E6, but Guillemot Ledge should be recognised and treated as a serious cliff where experience of committing and difficult climbing is essential. The rock is usually sound, and the presence of a quarried top on the East Face will calm fears of potential loose finishes when topping-out. A number of the climbs in this area rely on fixed protection from pegs - these should be carefully inspected and backed-up where possible. 

Approach notes

Guillemot Ledge is approached from Langton Matravers. From just outside Swanage town, turn off the A351 towards Langton Matravers. Once in the village, go past the post office and turn left into Durnford Drove. The free car park is 300m down the road (on a track for the last 150m) just beyond Langton House. From the parking, walk south on a good path/track to Spyway Barn. Continue through two fields until the cliff-top path is reached. Turn left and follow the path to just past the next stone wall. Drop diagonally right, down a steep hillside, to reach another stone wall. Follow the valley bottom to reach a rickety stile in the fence.

Cross the stile to find the lower cliff-top quarry on the left. The main abseil and gearing-up ledge lies at the base of the deep gully on the right (looking out) of the stile. Steep rock steps lead down a gully to a small ledge. There is an abseil stake cemented into the ledge.

Restricted Access

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 1 March to 31 July

Reason: Nesting Birds

Restrictions apply between the Dancing Ledge and Valkyrie Buttress Direct, and also east of The Razor's Edge.

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 Android and iOS devices.



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
More Guidebooks:
Swanage (2015)
South West Climbs - Volume 1 (2012)

Out of print:
The National Trust car park isn't free any more. They've installed a pay machine (very recently, from the look of it). Prices for cars are reasonable but the longest period you can buy is 8 hours (for £4), possibly not enough for a long day. They charge extra for minibuses and vans, though. £14 for 8 hours. Fair enough for minibuses that might be carrying 15 people but pretty extortionate for a couple in a van! We went elsewhere (and good job we did because we weren't back inside eight hours anyway).
Luke90 - 27/Jul/17
The dead cow is now decomposing and cooking in the sun. Take a nose plug! you can now smell it from the top of the Ab. Rank!!
darren hudson - 15/Jul/13
There is a dead cow in the boulders below the lower abseil point (in the gully). Probably worth avoiding the area between Mistaken Identity and The Spook due to the smell.
Monkey_Alan - 12/Jul/13
Warning! Look out for the second pitch on smutti. The leader had just started on the second pitch of smutti last Sunday 03/07/2005, and had just reached the section where he was traversing right to make the ascension, when the rock quite literally gave way in his hand, leading to a 50ft fall which pulled out a (threaded through the rock)no. 5 nut and a cam, shattering the rock! This top pitch is treacherous!! Thankfully the leader survived with just a few nasty bruises and a fractured hand, BUT BEWARE.
Tim Kinloch - 05/Jul/05
warning !! Valhalla, HVS on Guillemot West (just left of popular Zo-Zo, VS), has suffered rockfall, which extends from the top down to the overlap. The "steep pull through the roof" on pitch 1 no longer exists. All of pitch 2 is changed and is loose. We survived the route, just, but big lumps of rock were pounding the ledge at the base. Hope we did not kill anyone!
charlifarli - 26/Jul/04
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  West Face
2 Dougal the Great E6 6c **  
3 Race for the Oasis E5 6a * 1
4 Sons of Pioneers E6 6b * 1
5 Tudor Rose E2 5b *** 155
6 Facedancin' E3 6a *** 39
7 Oceanid E2 5b ** 77
8 Fly Crazy But Free E5 6b ** 7
9 Warlord E4 6a *** 58
10 The Horny Hat Finish E4 6a  
11 Vikings E4 6a ** 33
12 Electric Sheep E3 5c  
13 Nemesis
E2 5c * 1
14 Yo-Yo HVS 5a  
15 Crystal Wall E1 5a  
16 Caiaphas E3 5c * 3
17 Deaf Mosaic E6 6c * 1
18 Norseman
E5 6a/b 1
19 Valkyrie VS 4b 14
20 Be-Bop-Deluxe E2 5b * 1
21 Valkyrie Buttress Direct HVS 5a ** 28
22 The Ram E3 5c  
23 Valhalla
HVS 5a 13
24 Zo-Zo VS 4b * 225
25 New Labour
HVS 5a 1
Climb name Grade
26 Dysentry HVS 4c 3
27 Smutti
HS 4b 4
28 Isolation Ward HVS 5a 2
29 Summit Route HS 4b 10
30 No Mistaking E3 5c ** 6
31 Mistaken Identity VS 4c ** 328
32 True Identity HVS 5a ** 86
33 Lichen Wall
E1 5b 10
34 Michelle HVS 5a 5
  East Face
36 Outside The Wire E1 5b 15
37 Landslide Victory E1 5c 4
38 Landslide Victory Direct Start
HVS 5a 1
39 Exit Chimney Two - The Sequel E4 6a *  
40 Forty
E3 6a  
41 Sapphire E1 5b ** 197
42 Glooked
E5 6b 1
43 The Spook E1 5b *** 375
44 Toiler on the Sea E5 6b * 4
45 August Angie E1 5b * 55
46 Necromancy E4 5c * 10
47 The Heat E4 5c * 12
48 The Big Heat E4 6a ** 14
49 Deep Heat
E3 6a 1
50 Mañana HVS 5a * 126
Climb name Grade
51 Funeral Pyre E5 5c * 3
52 Joy Luck Dragon Phoenix E4 6a 1
53 Tensor II VS 5a *** 792
54 Strapiombo HVS 5b ** 233
55 Helen's Return E2 5b * 13
56 Ledgend HS 4b * 467
57 Graffiti Bomber of New York City E2 5c * 10
58 Ledgend Direct HVS 5a ** 320
59 Vampire HVS 5a * 41
60 Vampire Direct E1 5b * 24
61 Batt Crack VS 4c ** 498
62 Ever-heady E3 6a 3
63 The Moon Is Down E4 5c 1
64 The Crevice VS 4c 20
65 Friends from the Deep E3 5c ** 19
66 Yellow Belly Wall E5 6b * 1
67 Yellow Wall E1 5b ** 139
68 Robud HVS 5a * 64
69 Cascara VS 4b 14
70 Techno Trousers E2 5b  
71 Razor's Edge HVS 5a * 6
72 Younger Days E3 6a * 5
73 The Eastern Girdle HVS 5a  
74 Ndizi HS 4a 1

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