10 Fantastic Rock Climbing Venues – UK. Taking your climbing skills outdoors has to be one of the most rewarding and adventurous experiences. From the feeling of finding the perfect hold, navigating yourself through the crux or simply getting to appreciate the spectacular view from the top of the wall. There are so many things that make rock climbing in amazing venues addictive. We’ve compiled our list of 10 Fantastic Rock Climbing Venues – UK. All you need to do is grab your gear and head out there!
10 Fantastic Rock Climbing Venues – UK
Guillemot Ledge, Swanage, Dorset
A large limestone area that is home to the highest section of cliff on the Swanage coastline. This rock climbing venue provides 72 diverse, multi-pitch routes that display some of the most wild, exposed and breath-taking climbing that the UK has to offer. On the West and East faces, there are some incredible routes rated from HS to E6, but it should be considered that many of the routes on this crag are committing so experience of difficult climbing is necessary for anyone undertaking a day climbing at this venue.
Battleship Crag, Portland, Dorset
With a fantastic 274 routes and really easy access, the whole Battleship area is a hugely popular (and rightly so!) limestone climbing venue in the South West of England. From mid-grade routes to steep, stamina-sucking pitches and irresistible slabs, there really is something for everyone here. Battleship also gets extra points for providing multiple bouldering opportunities too beneath the main crag, for those seeking a temporary break from trad.
If it’s history, spectacular landscapes and windswept coves you’re looking for, Bosigran in Cornwall has a lot to offer. The sheer beauty of this place, combined with some truly incredible climbing makes for not only a memorable climbing trip, but also an experience of one of the UK’s most treasured and great climbing venues. There’s 138 climbs of varying difficulty, both single and multi-pitch, meaning that whatever you’re looking for, these granite routes have something magical in store for you.
Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
Cheddar Gorge is not only an iconic climbing venue, but also one of the UK’s most iconic locations, full-stop. With 593 routes, the potential here for limestone climbing is huge. There is a variety of graded routes available, but the majority of them are mid-grade. In terms of approach, this is an interesting one to be aware of: The South Side is privately owned, so everyone who climbs there must have Civil Liability Insurance (e.g from the BMC), and proof of this must be carried. The North Side is owned by the National Trust so this insurance isn’t mandatory here but is still greatly recommended.
Stennis Head, Pembrokeshire
Our first entrant from Wales is a pretty special one. Stennis Head provides 102 fused limestone routes with super easy access, meaning a day out climbing in Pembrokeshire just got a whole lot easier! Both beginners and experienced climbers will find themselves with ample choice of impressive routes. Something worth noting: a handful of routes on the main cliff are tidal, so take a guidebook and be aware of the changing sea.
Symonds Yat, Herefordshire
A fun and adventurous day awaits those heading to Symonds Yat to climb. This Herefordshire classic boasts a huge 532 routes of steep and juggy limestone. With mainly single-pitches and a few multi-pitches, Symonds Yat also has some super interesting caves and a pinnacle to explore too. Access is easy, with great parking and even a tea shack. So this promises to be a fantastic day of climbing.
The Roaches, Staffordshire
If it’s classic gritstone climbing that you’re looking for, the Upper and Lower Tiers at The Roaches in Staffordshire is a winning location. With a combined 621 routes, this is a venue that’s bound to keep you busy. This location is huge and it’s incredibly popular, with routes up to 30m across all grades. Although the rock is often dry due to the wind, this location offers little protection from the elements, so pack accordingly! In good weather, the late afternoon sunshine offers another, magical treat.
With a break in the usual limestones and gritstones, Gogarth provides 300 routes on gorgeous quartzite rock. The sea cliffs are stunning, as are the routes, with many providing adventurous pitches with occasional loose rocks. An area for more advanced climbers, the options for beginners are scarce. This is one you’ll be glad to work up to, and it will definitely be worth the wait when you’re gaining those skills! Access to the main cliff is affected by the tides, so research beforehand is essential.
Shepherds Crag, Cumbria
With ample parking available at the café (post-climb cuppa anyone?) and just a five-to-ten-minute walk in. The Rhyolite climbs of Shepherds Crag are a popular choice for climbers across the Lake District and beyond. There are 157 routes, some stretching up to 50m high, with a gorgeous range of difficulty to satisfy beginners and experienced climbers alike.
Buchaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe, Highlands
Glen Coe is a famously stunning area of Scotland. Climbing here is not just a treat for the eyes, but also generally a really fantastic experience. With 303 routes on gorgeous Rhyolite rock, Buchaille Etive Mor is the epicentre for climbing in this area, with routes varying from lovely VDiffs and Moderates, to nail-biting E5s. Rannoch Wall provides stunning views of Rannoch Moor, with a variety of mid-grade climbs of varying exposure. There really is something here for everyone.
If you’re interested in upping your climbing game and heading out to some of the crags mentioned above, then try some coaching sessions first? We run outdoor coaching and instruction courses which can be found at – www.jurassicclimbing.co.uk/coaching/
Would you like to progress further with our help? Then why not Book Some Coaching