Rock Climbing in Northern England

The rocky regions of Scotland and Wales may be the most well-known areas for climbing in the UK, but don’t dismiss the best places for rock climbing in the north of England. You would be missing out on countless incredible climbs and beautiful craggy landscapes.

Shepherd’s Crag, Cumbria

At the southern end of Derwent Water, Shepherd’s Crag is up to about 50m high. A very popular crag, mainly due to its easy access though many of the routes are a steep gradient. There are 7 areas to climb, which vary in difficulty. The Chamonix area is ideal for your first taste of multi-pitch. The area has dozens of inclines, which allows realistic opportunities for those of differing climbing abilities.

The Napes, Cumbria

The Keswick Mountains at the heart of the Lake District offers some of the country’s best rock-climbing opportunities. There are the highest standard of rock climbing courses and lessons in the Lake District crags for beginner climbers as well as more challenging crags in the Napes area, such as Napes Needle. The rocks here are very craggy, so you can expect a bumpy run on even the easier routes.

Rock Climbing
Rock Climbing

Horseshoe Quarry, Derbyshire

Horseshoe Quarry boasts some of the most challenging routes of the 27 crags in the Peaks, with some 7-rated climbs, such as ‘Demolition Man’ and ‘Wave of Mutilation’, which are up to 20-metres high. Quick-drying and sheltered, the wind and rain seem to arrive to the Horseshoe way after everywhere else, making it ideal all year round. The sloping limestone will suit experienced craggers. As with many of the areas here, Horseshoe Quarry is run by the British Mountaineering Council, who are responsible for the upkeep of climbing aids such as bolts. They also monitor the rockface to ensure climbing conditions remain as safe as possible during all seasons. Aside from climbing there’s also stunning views across the Derbyshire countryside, stretching into the Peak District to the north, and rare fossils of ancient animals that may be found buried in the quarry floor.

Rock Climbing
Rock Climbing

East Pennines, Yorkshire

Although North Pennines gets the most tourist attention, there are 17 crags in the East of the district. Most are in Teesdale. Among them, Pallet Crag is the most fascinating to look at. The Main Buttress is well worth climbing, but Goldsborough is the number one climb. Students and aspiring climbers have been coming here since at least the 1930s, and the nearby village of Romaldkirk is a picturesque hamlet that is said to be the last resting place of St Rumwold. However, this is an area packed with beautiful and challenging climbs. Another popular route is up the Millstone Rigg. Get there via Eggleston Common, leaving northwards on the B6278 (Stanhope). Soon after meeting the unfenced moorland a sheepfold should be seen on the right (east). As the slope becomes less steep an obvious pinnacle becomes visible on the right-hand side. On reaching butt number seven go south-east towards The Pinnacle, which is only about 150m away.