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Rock Climbing In Lake District

Read our guide for Rock Climbing In Lake District and Find and Book experiences, courses, activities and tours! Browse through the list of experiences, either instantly book onto your dates or enquire to book. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy! If you’ve got any questions about any specific experience, send a message and the providers will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. Have a specific experience in mind that we don’t have listed? No problem, drop us a message and we’ll send your quote around to hundreds of the best experience providers nationwide and come back with you the best quote, making it easy for you to make the most of your spare time!

The Lake District

England’s largest National Park is arguably its most dramatic and stunning one, recognised by it’s recent awarding of World Heritage status. It is home to England’s highest mountain - Scafell Pike - and it’s deepest lake (Wastwater), as well as bustling local towns like Keswick (home to the Mountain Film Festival each year).
Covering an impressive 912 square miles it is the largest National Park in England, and also the most popular, boasting over 16 million visitors a year. And with very good reason! If you’re looking for things to do in beautiful surroundings you’d be hard pushed to beat the Lake District.
Lake District Activities

Climbing in Lake District

What makes the Lake District so appealing to climbers is the region's unique topography. Blessed with some of the country's craggiest landscapes, the Lake District is a climbing nirvana. Irrespective of your preferred type of climbing, the Lake District offers not only some of the best lead and trad climbing routes in the UK, but some fantastic bouldering as well.
The Lake District is a mecca to UK rock climbers. This is where it all started way back in 1886 when Walter Haskett Smith scaled Napes Needle. Even if you're not planning on climbing Napes Needle (it is classed as hard to severe), it's great to see it and pay homage to the pinnacle which originated the sport.

Where are the best places to boulder in the Lake District?

You won't struggle for choice finding places to boulder in the Lake District, so here's some to get you started...
  • Badger Rock: Badger Rock is one of the big daddies of bouldering in the Lake District. A huge, single boulder of volcanic origins located on private agricultural land near Kentmere. Badger Rock offers boulderers thirty four different climbing routes of varying degrees of difficulty to pit their wits against.
  • The Bowderstone: The Bowderstone near the village of Grange is the Lake District's most iconic boulder. This precariously tilted, nine metre high lava rock has numerous climbing routes which are graded from V1 to V11.
  • Fairy Steps: The Fairy Steps are two sections of limestone cliffs separated by a set of man-made steps carved into the rock. Located just outside the village of Beetham, the Fairy Steps offer multiple low grade climbs ranging from V0 to V7 in a fairy-tale woodland surrounding.

Lake District walking henvelyn

What are the best spots for Trad, Lead & Sport climbing in the Lake District?

There's something for every sort of climber at the Lake District due to the sheer choice of routes. Here's a few of our faves...
  • Shepherds Crag: Shepherds Crag, a rhyolite escarpment, looms over Derwent Water and the Valley of Borrowdale. The Brown Slab routes on this fifty metre high crag are a popular place for beginners to start their outdoor rock climbing experiences.
  • Dow Crag: The formidable looking Dow Crag is part of the Coniston Fells and overlooks the mountain lake known as Goat's Water. With almost one hundred and fifty different routes, named everything from Holocaust to Pandora's Box, it offers exciting climbing for intermediate level climbers and above.
  • Scafell: best known for it’s adjoining peak - Scafell Pike - this is one of England’s finest cliffs, with routes of all grades available on its two main climbing areas, the eastern and western buttresses. These are separated by Mickledore, a narrow col which helps give a really alpine feel to the climb. The location and difficulty for all levels makes any climb here tremendously rewarding, and should be on all climber’s bucket lists!
  • Hodge Close Quarry: also popular with abseilers and divers this quarry offers a spectacular setting for over 80 routes on slate, featuring mainly Extreme trad and sport routes.

Best climbing for beginners in the Lake District?

In addition to Shepherd’s Crag mentioned above, we’d also recommend the following for good places to start out:
  • Scout Crag: beautifully located in the heart of the Lake District, Scout Crag is part of the Langdales, and is one of many south facing crags, staying in the sun (when it’s out!) all day long. There are routes for all levels here, though Scout Crag is particularly good for beginners. More experienced climbers might want to try out the famous and exposed Jacks Rake scramble nearby, but we’d advise against doing this in the wet as a fall could be fatal!
  • Gimmer Crag: widely seen as one of the best locations to climb in the Langdales, if not the whole of the Lake District, Gimmer is a massive crag that sits high above the valley between Harrison Stickle and Pike of Stickle. It has routes for all levels on high quality rock, featuring most aspects to cater for many weather conditions, and many different lengths of climb. A cracker!
  • Hutton Roof: these fine limestone crags near the village of the same name offer a fantastic training ground, and are very popular with beginners and groups. For mixed ability groups there are still plenty of options for more experienced climbers too.

Why go Rock Climbing?

Rock Climbing is a great way to see some of the most stunning places, get fit and healthy in the process and have a great time. There’s a wealth of spots to climb, with over 1000 destinations, 150 climbing walls and hundreds of climbing clubs in the UK. See below for some of the best climbing courses in the UK. For some, climbing is the challenge of getting to the top, for others it's the puzzle of working out the route and how to approach the different hands and footholds. There's also the fitness side of course, being a fantastic total body workout, and particularly effective for those doing indoor bouldering on midweek evenings! Then there's the locations. Outdoor climbing locations are often in some of the most stunning locations in the country, and with the climbing itself you are able to get up close and personal with the landscape, and often able to access locations and views unavailable to anyone else! It’s also an incredibly social sport. When at an indoor climbing wall, it’s natural to talk to others about how to climb routes.
Rock Climbing Near Me

Who is Rock Climbing Suitable for?

There's a climb for everyone, and part of the beauty of climbing is that the challenge is relative for each individual. There are plenty of climbing clubs if you'd like to join others and do it more socially and learn from peers, and it can be a great family activity too for those with a bit more experience. For those less confident there are plenty of guides and instructors always happy to share their passion with new people to the sport. There are also plenty of great UK climbing forums for further advice and information.

Climbing Overview for Beginners

Climbing is a great activity for everyone, from individuals, groups, families, friends and corporates. Conquering a climbing route or your fear for heights in a group is a great bonding experience. Climbing doesn’t have to be a huge challenge. There are many ways to get involved with the sport that are more accessible than the crazy films like El Capitan where Alex Honnold climbs over 2km without ropes. Try a guided climbing session to take it easy and pick up the basics, or try bouldering at an indoor climbing wall.
There's different techniques and methods to climbing that make the sport that little bit more interesting and challenging.There’s also a wealth of kit and equipment needed for the different types of climbing. And there’s different ways to get involved with the sport. Don’t worry - it’s easy to pick up. We’ve put together a bunch of resources so that after reading them you’ll be clued up on your next rock climbing experience. Below are some useful rock climbing resources to learn more.
Rock Climbing In UK

Useful Rock Climbing Resources

  • A Beginners Guide to Rock Climbing We’ve created a resource for beginners to rock climbing to outline the different types of rock climbing from bouldering, sport climbing and trad climbing and more. What equipment you need and the various ways to get involved with the sport, whether that be joining a local club, going to an indoor climbing wall or booking an instructor.

  • A Beginners Guide to Rock Climbing. We’ve created a resource for beginners to rock climbing to outline the different types of rock climbing from bouldering, sport climbing and trad climbing and more. What equipment you need and the various ways to get involved with the sport, whether that be joining a local club, going to an indoor climbing wall or booking an instructor.

  • A Guide to Outdoor Rock Climbing in UK. We’ve pulled together a resource to outline what to expect when climbing outdoors in the UK, including the differences from indoor rock climbing and what kit to take. .


Bouldering in the UK

Bouldering is the act of climbing, typically up to 20ft without ropes but with big soft matts beneath. As the height of the climb is not high enough to cause injuries (assuming you fall correctly of course), it’s a great way to get into the sport without having to get used to the technicalities of using ropes, belay devices and the other equipment associated with other types of climbing. To get involved with bouldering, look up your local climbing wall and ensure they mention they have bouldering on offer. Most climbing walls do offer bouldering nowadays. Also, you can find outdoor places to go bouldering. If you’re doing this as a beginner, make sure to organise an instructor who can ensure you’ve got the right equipment (including a bouldering mat to fall on), and show you the best routes and techniques. Lake District

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