The isle of Portland lies on the South Coast of Dorset, it is connected to the mailand by the massive sand spit called Chesil Beach. The Island has many Limestone cliffs around its edge, most sitting well above the sea. There is very little tidal range here, the only problems being the occaisional coastal fog. Virtually all the routes are bolted with good stainless resin anchors and lower off points. Rock quality varies from soft soapy stuff to the excellent flowstone features on some of the climbs. There is certainly enough to keep the climber who is at E1 standard (french 6a+) happy for several days. There are a few lower grade climbs as well, particularly on the newly developed cuttings area. A must is reptile smile, the classic of the area at E1 5b. It climbs some amazing stalactites and flowstone. Make sure your fingers are strong and well taped up as most of the climbing is steep and strenuous. There are two guide books to the area. The excellent Rock-Fax, and the standard Portland-Swanage guide.

Camping can be found just off the Island, and reasonable cafes not to far from the crags, but watch out for those fattening cream teas!

Take your flippers and snorkel and enjoy the clear waters of the area, particularly good in the Eastern coves. Caves can also be explored and in one of these you can see where two convicts actually escaped from the Islands prison. It is now a massive column of cement set in place where it was poured into the cave passage.

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