Climbs 95
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude Tidal
Faces W

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Xavier's wall area on Portland last weekend © tony4433

Crag features

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.

Approach notes

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.

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 Dorset Rockfax covers the superb sport and trad climbing in Portland, Swanage and Lulworth on the Dorset coast. This amazing area is one of the most popular sport climbing areas in the country with a huge number of routes across the grades and great appeal to climbers of all abilities. Thousands of brilliant routes and a relatively friendly climate mean that the area is always busy with climbers.

The 2021 edition of the Dorset Rockfax is the biggest Rockfax to date with 2700 routes on over 600 pages. It is a complete update of previous guides and released in print and digital at the same time. All the crags have been re-photographed using aerial photography and a new set of detailed maps created to make finding and choosing your chosen route even easier than ever.

More Guidebooks:
South West Climbs - Volume 1 (2012)
Portland (2008)

Out of print:
Dorset (2012)
Dorset (2005)
Dorset (2000)
Swanage and Portland (1995)
Dorset (1994)
One of those crags where clipstick is v handy. High first bolts.
Owen W-G - 23/Aug/21
nesting bird watchers?!
Perryman - 22/Apr/11
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