Altitude 42m a.s.l
Xavier's wall area on Portland last weekend © tony4433
The Coastguard Cliffs run south towards the Bill of Portland and possess a wealth of excellent routes set in a remote and beautiful environment. Unlike much of the rest of the west coast of Portland, the Coastguard Cliffs have an authentic sea-cliff feel about them, with all that this entails - tidal approaches, slippery boulders and the constant accompaniment of the sea close by.
Coastguard South offers more in the mid-grades, including the very popular Xavier's Wall Area - home to a great spread of mid-grade routes. The rock at both the North and South Cliffs is some of the best on the Isle, and is furnished with some fantastic flowstone-sheets.
Drive through Southwell to the southern end of the island and park at the Portland Bill car park (fee). Walk back up the road, and, just after the Pulpit Inn, take a minor road on the left. As the road starts to level out, just before the Coastwatch lookout, go left and down a grass slope to the cliff edge, then drop down a steep and precarious path onto a promontory (rope often in place - take care). The path gains the boulder beach below the right-hand side of Coastguard North. To reach Coastguard South, continue down the boulder beach then double back left and scramble over huge boulders to a level platform beyond.