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 The guide books will say to park near the Mermaid Inn however this pub is no longer there, it has been replaced by The Mermaid House Tea Gardens.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!

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Guidebooks

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

Dorset

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

Climb name Grade
  Cuttings Main Cliff
2 Eat, Stick and Die 2 379
3 We're Only Placing Bolts for Nigel 3 433
4 Choose Your Own Adventure 5c * 22
5 Cheese and Pickle 4c 200
6 Parsnip Soup 5a 156
7 Corporal Punishment 5a 309
8 On Manoeuvres 3 397
9 Arc Angel 2+ 300
10 Charity Work Mate 3 336
11 Magical Misty Tour 3+ 352
12 Bonsai 3+ 399
13 Sting in the Tail 5c 362
14 Baron's Revenge 3+ 201
15 Chicken Boy 3+ 152
16 Tantrums and Tiaras 3+ 210
17 100 Sunny Days 3 366
18 Juggernaut 5a 484
19 Rock Lobster 4c 482
20 Amazonia 4c * 830
21 The Great Hamburger Disaster 4c * 916
22 Definitely Maybe 6a+ * 453
23 Little Chef 5c * 736
24 Little Sod 6b * 274
25 The Sod 5c * 787
26 Lup Dup 6a+ * 73
27 Mindmeld 7a+ * 294
28 Sign of the Vulcan 7b+ ** 97
29 Hillman the Hunter 6b+ * 165
30 Hole in the Wall
-
E1 5c 2
31 Flying Peach 6b * 39
32 Grapefruit takes a Whipper 6a+ * 62
33 Princess and the Pea 6b+ 18
34 Pillow Talk 6c 20
35 The Cutting Edge 6c+ *** 493
36 Dumbfounded 7b * 193
37 Chalkie and the Hex 5 5c ** 902
38 The Ramp 5a * 742
39 Lusty Wedlock Needs Coil of Prevention 7b 5
40 Rusty Chubblock Needs Oil of Lubrication 7c * 23
41 Evening Mistress 6b * 235
42 Men Behaving Badly 7a+ * 25
43 Amen Corner 5a ** 766
44 Mousefolk 6c * 263
45 Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth 6b ** 752
46 Jam 4c ** 994
47 Chips with Everything 5a * 930
48 Quality Family Day 4c ** 849
49 True Love 6b+ 37
50 Bridget Riley E2 6a * 6
51 The Mind Terrorist 7c+ ** 15
52 Knockout Punch 7b+ * 10
53 Spicer E2 5c * 4
54 Levitation By Proxy 6c * 64
55 That Chill Divine E2 6a 1
56 Finesse 7a 33
57 Hidden Treasure 6a * 195
58 Kestrel VS 4c 5
59 Looking for Love
-
E2 5b 2
60 Blowing the Gimp 7a+ * 50
61 The Sears Tower 7b+ * 18
62 The Holy Hand Grenade 7a ** 245
63 Brief Encounter 6b ** 555
64 Infernal Din 7b+ *** 100
65 European Flavour 6b ** 394
66 Europe Endless 6b+ ** 110
67 Gourmet 6a 11
68 The Breathing Method 8a *** 49
69 Hall of Mirrors 7c *** 237
70 Want Out 7b *** 188
71 New Saladin 6c ** 367
72 Hurricane on a Millpond 7c+ ** 3
73 Consommé 6a+ ** 1077
74 Marti Chef 7b * 3
75 Haute Cuisine 7a ** 282
76 The Mouth Waters 7a+ ** 144
77 Two Fingers 6a ** 811
78 Three Fingers 6a * 692
79 So Long, Marianne 6c 5
80 Bob Hunkhouse f7A+ * 12
81 Opus 5a * 769
82 Rusty the Red Neck TakesOne for the Team 6a+ * 417
83 Perihelion 6b ** 277
84 Disobedience Contest 6b ** 199
85 Live is Life 6b * 67
86 The Potting Shed 6a * 312
87 Rules is Rules 6b+ 45
88 Old Buffer 6b * 175
89 Live by the Sword 7a+ ** 297
90 Another Notch in the Gun 6b ** 544
91 Figgy Dropwise 6c+ * 70
92 For Michèle 6a 27
93 Dusty Fred's Winter Collection 6c 22
94 Aperitif 5c 120
95 Ectomorph 6a * 182
96 Unknown Arete 7a+ 26
97 The Bournemouth Flyer 6b * 149
98 Hors d'Oeuvres
-
E1 5c 3
99 Nightmare Scenario 7c ** 91
100 Modern Nightmare 7a ** 179
101 Bad Dream
-
E4 6a 1
102 Fighting Torque 8a ** 78
103 Under Duress 7c+ ** 25
104 Shiver Me Timbers 7a * 75
105 Weird Shit, Keep Drilling 6b+ ** 148
  The Bower
107 Whispering Gallery 2 277
108 Queen of the New Year 2+ 295
109 Suntrap 3 387
110 The Bumper Fun Book 4a * 404
111 Tinkerbell 6a * 335
112 Far From The Madding Crowd 5c * 295
113 Six Finger Exercise 6b+ * 205
114 Godbeams 4a * 435
115 Ladybower 3 * 202
116 All Bowered Out 6a * 15
  Sunlovers Slab
118 Come on Eileen 6a+ * 39
119 Grand Tour 6a+ * 17
120 Boys Will Be Girls 6c+ * 25
121 Shockwave 5c * 50
122 Sunlover 5a * 53
123 The Portland Crowd 5a * 69
  The Dell - The Cuttings Lower Tier (Left)
125 Sjambok the Skelem 4c 44
126 The Naughty Corner 4a 58
127 West of Vanity Fare 6b 30
128 Hot Flush E1 5c 10
129 Xerdna VS 4c 18
130 Hot Fuzz 5c 32
131 Don't Bring Your Mum 2 22
  The Bottom Deckio - The Cuttings Lower Tier (Right)
133 Voices in the Bower 3 355
134 Up the Junction 6b * 144
135 Round the Bend 6b * 142
136 Winter Sun 6a * 445
137 Time Out of Mind 5a 457
138 Voices in the Mind 5c * 70
  The Ditch
140 Rock Logs 6b+ 3
141 Gold Dust 7b 2
142 Ditch the Bitch 7a 4
143 Pitch in the Ditch 6a+ 3
144 The Dump Pump 6a 6
145 This Shit's Something 6c+ 1
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

Moderators Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteers Ben Stokes and Marti999