Altitude 71m a.s.l
Leer of beethoven © James O'Neil
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.
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 The guide books will say to park near the Mermaid Inn however this pub is no longer there, it has been replaced by The Mermaid House Tea Gardens.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!