Climbs 287
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude Tidal
Faces S

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View from the bottom - Boulder Ruckle, looking west © ChrisBrooke

Crag features

The white and yellow striped walls of the Boulder Ruckle make up the showpiece crag of Swanage. The Ruckle, as it is affectionately known, runs westwards from Subluminal, unbroken for over a kilometre and, at over forty metres in height, it offers fear, exhilaration and many sensationally-positioned routes. The grade range of Severe to E6 means that it will appeal to most, however, with the seriousness of the free-hanging approach abseils, the awkward escape routes and the broken finishes, it becomes a less attractive option for inexperienced teams. Nevertheless, for those in search of an adventurous mission, don a helmet, dust off the prusik loops and prepare to do battle on some fine atmospheric classics with little liklihood of having to queue.

The walls of The Ruckle are especially good for those operating in the HVS to E3 range. Fortunately, protection possibilities are usually in good supply with the unrelenting steepness of the rock accounting for the grade on most climbs, rather than any great technical difficulty or terrifying bold run-outs.

Approach notes

Walk down the tarmac road from Durlston car park, then head west along the coast path (right - looking out). A cliff-top track runs below this and the abseil stakes are found near this lower path. The first area arrived at is a 10 minute walk, and the furthest area takes around 20 minutes. 

Access Advice

The coast has unfortunately been used as a suicide spot and loose kit, clothing etc. lying around has resulted in the coastguard being called out. To avoid this, climbers are requested to ensure loose equipment and clothing is kept in rucksacks on the cliff top and preferably hidden from public view. You could also consider attaching a note to your sacks saying something like, 'Equipment being used by climbers - do not remove'.

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 1 March to 31 July

Reason: Nesting Birds

No climbing between The Tool and Marmolata Arete inclusive to prevent disturbance of nesting birds. If using the Marmolata abseil point, please stay in the corner, spend as little time on top as possible and don't bring dogs to the top of the crag. Restrictions also apply from Sardine Special to Hard Day's Night, Andycap to Raindrop and Quasimodo to Insectitude inclusive.

Rockfax Digital

Available on Rockfax Digital

Rockfax Digital 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

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

Out of print:
There is a combo for almost every route in the ruckle, Please put them in the route notes, as I feel there is no need to clutter the page with hundreds of link ups. Thank you Marti
Marti999 - 01/Mar/15
in all likelyhood t-shirt weather
uncontrollable - 08/Dec/12
does anyone know what, this place is like in January?
konna - 14/Jan/12
Do NOT rely on Larus as an escape route, or a route for that matter. Easiest solid route in Boulder Ruckle Central is now E1. The rockfall appears to extend close to the break and belay half way up. May affect routes immediately left of Larus (only in CC guide) as well.
IainAM - 31/Aug/09
I meant Larus HS
lmarenzi - 07/May/08
Abbed in off Marmolata Buttress on May 2nd. Either my eyesight is going or what used to be Jason HS is now mostly part of the boulders in the sea.
lmarenzi - 05/May/08
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Climbs at this crag

Name Grade Stars Type Logs Partner Ascents
These climbs you have climbed clean.
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