Swanage is our local climbing area. If you go there expect to bump into a few Wessex MC members!
Swanage has a reputation for being scary. It can be! Some routes in the Ruckle area have loose top outs and steep earth banks which are best avoided when the ground is wet, but offers fantastic climbing on often near deserted cliffs. In contrast Subluminal has none of that, but at weekends will be crowded, and easier routes are polished. For a happy medium check out Guillemot Ledge or Cattle troughs.
For route information get the new 2015 Climbers Club guide book, with colour photos and updated route descriptions. Much of this written by Wessex MC member Scott Titt. Available in shops and from Cordee. However being see cliff things are always changing!
Route Access is restricted on some routes around May to July due to bird nesting. See BMC access database.
Tidal range is small and tides have little impact on access to most routes. However rough seas are a problem in most areas.
Swanage gets great weather. The sheltered sun trap of the south facing cliff can mean climbing in a base layer in January. In contrast the sea helps keeps things cooler on hot summer days. If it does get too hot then there is always Deep Water Soloing, or just a swim.
There is really only one place to go! The Square and Compass in Worth Matravers.