Climbs 91
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude Tidal
Faces E

Snapping holds on something hard © Dr Avid

Crag features

Cave Hole is a fascinating area, tucked away on the far end of the Isle, with a labyrinth of caves and tunnels which are worth exploring for scenic value alone. However for the climber this area dispels the myth that Portland is all flat walls full of crimpy holds. Powerful routes across huge banded roofs are the order of the day here with a couple of the biggest bolted roofs in the southwest. The cliffs never attain more than 10m but all the upside down break-dancing packs a lot in and the rock quality is superb. There are also a few easier ticks plus some solos for when the weather is hot.

Approach notes

The series of caves lies below the fields 1 km up the east coast from Portland Bill. It can be spotted from the road by conspicuous jib cranes on the cliff edge. Parking is not easy for these areas since it is illegal to park on the main road. You may find a spot in Southwell but be careful not to block anyone in and be aware that tickets are regularly given here. The best parking, albeit with a longer walk-in, is in the Coastguard layby before the Pulpit Inn. From the Pulpit layby, walk about 1km back up the road to a gated track (opposite a public footpath sign). Go down here to the jib cranes which can be seen from the road. Alternatively gain the coast path from the layby and continue for 300m beyond Sector Pom Pom to reach the jib cranes.
From Southwell reach the cliff-top by the first quarry track then walk south for 500m to reach the jib cranes which mark the top of the area.

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

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
More Guidebooks:
Portland (2008)
Dorset Route Database (2000)

Out of print:
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
 Too Funky Beach Area 
2Memory Lane
6a *16
3Up, Up and Away
E2 6b 3
4Once Were Warriors
7c **1
5Cold Feet6b *2
6Penny Lane6a+ *8
7Too Funky for Me
6b+ *9
8The Big Boss
7a 1
9Marine Boy
6b+ *10
10Marine Boy Direct
6c 8
6a+ *13
12Makin' Bacon
6a *21
13Trashy's Traverse
6b+ *2
14Eight Inches7a *6
 Desperado Cave 
16Desperado6b *27
17Psychoman6a+ *3
18Mike's Free Will6c *1
19Lick of the Cat6b+ ** 
20Pirates of the Black Atlantic6a+ *1
21Surface Tension6c+ ** 
22Temporary LifestyleHS 4b **371
23Underlife7a 6
 Ixtlan Area 
25The Big EasyE1 5c **162
26Babes and Bedsheets
E5 6a 1
27Foxy ChicksE2 5c *50
28Reel 'Em InE2 6a *40
29AquamarinaE4 6b *5
30The Little HardE3 5c *18
31Big Easy ArêteHVS 5a *67
32Massive Amounts of Strength7b  
33Huge Reaches7a+ 1
34Lunge or Plunge7a+ *2
35IxtlanE2 5b **137
36KarmaE3 5c **12
37Mad About YouE3 6a *8
38Russian RouletteE3 6a ***61
 Crab Party Area 
40Captain HaddockE2 5b *18
41Flipper ForceE3 6a *8
42Gourmet Shit Traverse
6a 9
43Up the Grotto
E5 6a **4
44Water WingsE4 6b **8
45Ooh, Lovely!E3 5c *12
46Crab PartyE4 6a ***68
47Andy Pandy7b+ ** 
48Intimate Dancing
6a *19
50Robertson's JarHVS 5a *29
51Spittle 'n' SpumeE1 5c **76
52Bare ReputationE4 6b ***34
7b ***10
54Under-Bare Extension
7b+ **6
55Smile Please
6a+ *19
56Hooked Like No Fish Before Me
6b **28
 Waterfall Cave Area 
58Always the Sun6b 5
59The Green Bearded Roof7a+ 2
60Supergeek7b+ * 
61Pilot of the Future7b  
62Breaching the Piece7c ***1
63Zen Zero7c+ ***1
64The Lottie Dog Traverse6a+ **1
65Zombie Nation7c * 
66Air Hoodlum7b+ ** 

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