Introduction to Climbing - Portland

On this one day course, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to get started on your rock climbing journey. Our syllabus covers how to tie onto the rope, how to safely belay your climbing buddy, the techniques you’ll need to climb your first outdoor wall, as well as the fascinating history of the sport.

With a full day on our hands, we’ll be able to slowly increase the difficulty of your climbing routes while also making sure they’re suitable to your experience.

The limestone climbing on the Isle of Portland is not to be missed. Projecting out into the English Channel, the climbing can be found on both sides of the island which means there's always somewhere to climb in the sun. The climbing on Portland is a little less intimidating than Swanage as most crags can be accessed via paths rather than by abseil, and are usually set a little way inland rather than directly above the sea

Surrounded by the sea, the Island of Portland provides the climber with superb steep limestone cliffs to scale. The views stretching out over the sea are spectacular, especially on a sunny day!

About Portland

The Isle of Portland is 6km long and 2.7km wide and is accessed from Weymouth in Dorset. A barrier beach (Chesil Beach) joins it to the mainland and is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Coastline (England's first). Portland Harbour sits at the entrance to the Island, and is one of the largest man-made harbours in the world. Portland and its harbour have always been of great strategic importance and it's steeped in history from lighthouses and castles to tales of smugglers and pirates! Much of this can be seen along the crags and cliffs.

Portland is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise with its famous rock climbing cliffs, superb watersports from diving, kite surfing and was even the site of the UK's Olympic sailing waters in 2012.

Rock Type

The rocks that make up the climbing areas of Portland are Limestone and are part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Limestone typically has smaller sharper edged holds and the crags generally have steep faces.



March - October



Group Size



Minimum age: 18 Max weight: 18 stone (115kg).


To teach the key rock climbing and belaying techniques needed to get started in this fantastic sport and to look at personal climbing skills.

Who is it for?

This course is ideal for first-time climbers, as well as anyone who’s ever tried climbing or bouldering indoors. We’ll provide you with all the equipment you need and teach you the basics of climbing.


A reasonable level of fitness is required.


Group bookings can be arranged:

£110pp (Group Size 4-6)
£107pp (Group Size 7-8)
£104pp (Group Size 9-10)
£101pp (Group Size 11-12)

Please note that all group bookings will be available for others to book, unless booking for a minimum of 6 people.

If you're interested in making an enquiry, please complete the form below.


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The course starts with an introduction and safety briefing from our climbing instructors. We then head to the rocks for some warm up bouldering problems. Your instructors will then show you how to fit your climbing harness and helmet. Then comes the techy part as we teach you how to tie your climbing knots and learn how to belay each other.

Once the basics are learnt the fun really begins as you scale the 40-60ft rocks! You’ll learn about correct climbing technique and experience some great limestone sea cliffs.

As the day progresses we'll introduce more climbing techniques and skills, and challenge you on a range of different climbs from slab climbs, vertical climbs, crack climbs and steep overhanging climbs!

Skills Covered

  • Safety awareness
  • Knots
  • Belaying
  • Bouldering
  • Climbing techniques
  • Hand and foot techniques
  • Body positions
  • Route grades
  • Climbing etiquette
  • Climbing history

Portland, Dorset.


Equipment supplied

All rock climbing and safety equipment is supplied including:

  • Ropes
  • Harness
  • Helmet
  • Rock boots
  • Belaying device and karabiners

Equipment needed

For all outdoor climbing courses you must have extra warm clothes and waterproofs, we will provide you with a full kit list upon booking.

  • Comfortable clothing, suitable for the time of year*
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Trainers**
  • Rucksack
  • Packed lunch and plenty of water
  • Medication / Tablets / Inhaler etc.

The above list is just a guide and appropriate clothing for the time of year should be worn.

*Clothing should comprise of several layers to trap the warmth. Please do not wear denim as it restricts movement, is cold when wet and is slow to dry.

**Please wear soft-soled shoes such as trainers; you are not permitted to wear walking boots etc. as these damage the rocks. Please remember that the rocks are a short distance from the car park so it's important to put all of your kit in a suitable size rucksack, leaving space for climbing equipment.

Equipment shop

Take a look at our online shop for any equipment you might want for your outdoor adventures. We stock a variety of equipment and can give expert advice if you have any queries. Choose to collect your order on a course (free of charge) and your instructor will have it ready and waiting for you when you arrive.