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The majestic beauty of the Dorset coast is enough to tempt any climber to this neck of the woods. Where else in the UK can you explore 95 miles of Jurassic Coast, rich in 185 million year history and dotted with sheltered, secret coves just waiting to be discovered. It is this history in the cliffs which makes climbing them all the more amazing, with Dorset being known as a rock climbing paradise.
Whether you are a seasoned high climbing professional, a self-taught enthusiast or a complete beginner, Dorset has plenty to get your teeth into. The best thing for beginners is to go to a climbing centre, where you can learn the ropes in safety. The two largest indoor centres in Dorset are The Edge in Wimborne and The Project Climbing Centre in Poole.
Freeborn Climbing offers rock climbing courses for Family Groups. They offer every stage of tuition for all ages of your family members and take you climbing and abseiling in the most beautiful locations.
Portland Climbing also offer great taster sessions and have years and years of knowledge of every single nook in the cliffs of Portland so they can take you to the perfect climbing spots for your level of expertise.
Climbing on the Isle of Portland
One of the most popular spots for climbers with some fantastic ‘moderate’ sport climbs is the Isle of Portland. This area has over 4,000 bolted single-pitch routes, which in layman’s terms means, routes usually less than 50m in height, which can be climbed in a single push from the ground to the top. The areas suited for climbing are the east and west facing limestone cliffs, so you can climb the east face in the morning and then face the wilder, higher and more challenging west face, where the very best Dorset climbing routes are found.
Climbing at Dancing Ledge
Another wonderful place to climb is the Dancing Ledge, part of the Jurassic Coast. Dancing Ledge is a flat area of rock at the base of a small cliff. It was the inspiration behind a pool which Enid Blyton wrote about in one of the Famous Five books. There are a huge variety of routes here from small safe climbs if you are a beginner to some formidable sea cliff climbs which are a lot more challenging. Think spectacular scenery, craggy rocks and crashing waves alongside some exhilarating climbing.
Climbing on Lulworth Cove
Climbing at Lulworth offers some spectacular views and unique routes, like the iconic Durdle Door. While this is more for experienced climbers, scaling this stunning vantage point is guaranteed to be well worth the effort! Other great climbs can be found at Dungy Head, Church Rock and Stair Hole.
Bouldering on the Dorset Coast
Dorset has become known as a bouldering hotspot with Portland, Lulworth and Swanage being amongst the most favoured locations. Bouldering is rock climbing but stripped down to its raw essentials and is the ideal way to hone your technique.