Are you a fan of rock climbing? If you’re bored with being stuck inside stuffy sports centres, climbing up man-made walls with boring views all around then why not venture outside for some fresh air and clamber up some naturally-formed crags?
Here are the best climbing sites around the UK:
The Peak District
The Peak District is packed full of crags and is one of England’s most popular climbing areas with over 10,000 recorded climbs. The northern part of the national park is mainly gritstone whereas the southern part is mainly limestone so you can try out two different surfaces in one place! The most popular areas for gritstone are Stanage, Burbage, Froggat and Curbar. If you’re up for limestone climbs head to Beeston Tor, High Tor and the towers of Dovedale.
The Lake District
People say that this is where rock climbing was invented 160 years ago! Here you can marvel at the magnificent views as you climb and you might almost find yourself spoilt for choice as the Lake District has England’s highest concentration of mountains and fells.
What’s also great about this place is that the climbs range from easy to extreme! There’s also the opportunity to do traditional climbing or sport climbing (where the rock face is pre-bolted). Borrowdale and Langdale are good for beginners, and Raven Crag is best for experienced climbers. If it rains (which it’s known to do quite often in the Lake District), then there’s an indoor wall nearby.
In this amazing range of mountains you can find some of the most varied climbs in the whole of the UK. You can try out everything as it’s all in close proximity. There are hundreds of traditional climbing routes as well as sport climbing, which is especially good at Llandudno with its limestone cliffs. The Ogwen Valley is great for novice climbers, and for those with more experience you can try the Llanberis Pass.
Northumberland is on the Scottish border and is home to part of Hadrian’s wall. There are more than 100 crags here. If you’re a fan of bouldering (climbing without a rope) then you’ve got some great opportunities to do it here and it’s become very popular with climbers! You’ll find sandstone and granite climbs as well as great views! There are easy climbs at Berryhill and more complicated ones at Corby’s Crag.
The glen (valley) is actually owned and cared for by the National Trust For Scotland and is known as one of the best rock climbing areas in the UK. The cliffs vary in size and are suitable for all abilities. There are even mountaineering-style climbs of up to 300m! The main rock is porphyry, which provides great friction for climbers. Buachaille Etive Mor mountain ridge is perfect for beginners and experts alike. If you’re looking for crags, they can be found in the southern part of the glen.
Swanage and Portland, Dorset
Looking for some exhilarating climbing? This site is perfect as it’s part of the world-famous Jurassic Coast of Dorset, which means soaring sea cliffs! The limestone cliffs can be challenging, but also provide opportunities for traditional AND sport climbing. To access the cliffs you actually have to abseil down them first. The cliffs at Swanage have many overhangs so can be tricky, whereas the cliffs at Portland are more for sport climbers. For those less experienced there’s the Cattle Troughs and Subluminal.
Bio: This has been a guest post by Sophie Hamilton from British Trends and hungryhouse, the UK’s leading online takeaway platform that features restaurants across the country including Brighton, Birmingham and Nottingham. Order mouth-wateringly good takeaways such as Italian, Chinese or Mexican food.