Where to Climb in the Peak District

You can't visit the Peak District without making the most of the wealth of world-class climbing; to make sure you don't miss on this opportunity, we've done an team poll to find a few favourites.

The Peak District is known for its idyllic beauty, stark heather-topped moorlands, and its rolling hills merging into dramatic valleys. But there was one thing that kept us coming back year upon year, zig-zagging up the country on one bus then another until we found ourselves in Hathersage.

A testing ground for the country's best Rockstars, the climbing in the Peak District is, without a doubt, world class. Whether your inching your way up an immaculately featureless gritstone arête, jamming your way up a perfect crack line, or crimping your way up a limestone quarry (where all the holds just seem to point the wrong way), the experience is unique and hugely varied.

No one knows how many climbs there are in the Peak District, and we definitely couldn't list them all here, but we've handed over to our Alpkit Hathersage team to tell us a few of their local favourites (with some input from AKHQ - we just can't help ourselves). They've even given us directions from the Big Shakeout site at Thornbridge Outdoors - neat!

If you want more information on the areas, head to UKClimbing.com or take a look at our AK store guidebook library. Finally, remember to climb within your abilities and seek instruction from a pro if you've never climbed outdoors before. (Did we mention our School of Adventure Climbing Courses?) We'll see you on the rocks - don't forget your climbing boots!

Quietus, High Neb

Stanage Edge
Gritstone: trad, bouldering

It's impossible to talk about Peak District Climbing without mentioning Stanage. Up to 20 metres high, the gritstone edge stretches across the moors above Hathersage and yields over 2000 routes. You won't find any bolts there, but you will find irresistible grooves, crack lines, roofs, towers, and slabs just begging to be climbed: it is the ultimate playground for trad climbers and boulderers of all abilities.

How to get there (11 miles, 25-30 minutes by car):

From Thornbridge outdoors, head towards Hathersage via Calver. You should arrive in Hathersage village via Station Road; turn right and drive past our Alpkit Hathersage Store, continue past Lloyds Pharmacy and take the first left onto School Lane. Follow this road past the Scotsmans Pack Pub (highly recommended) and carry on as it twists and turns up the hill. Take the first left after the cattle grid and you'll see glorious gritstone edge up to your right. There are parking areas along this road for the various sections of the crag, the first being Stanage Popular. Park in the layby (or in the carpark further along for Stanage Plantation) and follow the main path up to the crag (aka climbing paradise).

Staff picks
VD - VS HVS - E1 E2 - E4
Heaven Crack, Popular (VD)
Flying Buttress, Popular (HVD)
High Neb Buttress, High Neb (VS 4c) 
Inaccessible Crack, High Neb (VS 4c)
Inverted V, Inverted V Area (VS 4b)
Tower Face, Plantation (HVS 5a)
The Right Unconquerable, Plantation (HVS 5a)
Flying Buttress Direct, Popular (E1 5b)
Where did my Tan go, High Neb (HVS 5a)
Quietus, High Neb (E2 5c)
Wuthering, Popular (E2 5b)
Black Hawk Bastion, Black Hawk Area (E3 5c)
Bouldering : all problems listed are at Stanage Plantation
Up to 5s 6s 7s
Pebble Arête (f5+, albeit a gutsy one)
Crescent Arête (f5+ highball, precarious)
**The Lone Slab (f6A) Bull Flakes (f6B)
Not to be taken away (f6C+) (Ashleigh's pick)
Green Traverse (f7A)
Zippy's Traverse (f7B)

**Hero Fran referred to this boulder as 'upsetting', which we took as a good thing…

Horseshoe Quarry
Limestone: sport

Although not the first-choice venue for a lot of climbers, Horseshoe Quarry boasts some excellent routes with some undeniably enjoyable and interesting sequences. Quick-drying and sheltered, the elements seem to arrive to the Horseshoe way after everywhere else, making it idea for year-round cragging. Most of the climbs are in the 6s and 7s and are sparingly bolted, but, with a short walk-in and some sustained, pumpy routes up to 20 metres high, Horseshoe Quarry is ideal for late summer evenings when you want to get stuff done before the sun goes down.

How to get there (6 miles, 11 minutes by car)

Leaving Thornbridge Outdoors, turn right down Longstone Lane. When you come to the junction, turn right again towards Wardlow. Follow this road until you reach the main road The Yondermann Café. Turn right onto the main road and follow on until you see a layby/carpark on the left at Middleton Dale (before you arrive at Stoney Middleton). Pull in here to park, then follow the obvious pathway to get to the crag.

Staff picks
6s 7s
Megalithic Man (F6b+)
Litany Against Fear (F6b+)
Private Prosecution (F6c)
Rain Dance (F6c+)
Demolition Man (F7a)
Wave of Mutilation (F7a)


Four pebble slab, Froggatt

Gritstone: trad/bouldering

When we think of Froggatt, most of us are reminded of padding oh so delicately up delightfully precarious slabs, our gear seeming miles below us, with every ounce of our attention focused on our feet… And not without good reason: Froggatt is undoubtedly home to some of the country's finest slabs. Don’t worry if you left your pluck at home - the combination of quarried and natural gritstone gives a huge variety of climbs up at Froggatt. Remarkable routes across the grades, coupled with clean, quick-drying, and high quality rock, make this crag well-worth the somewhat tiring approach. 

How to get there (6.7 miles, 16 minutes by car)

Leaving Thornbridge Outdoors, turn left towards Great Longstone and follow signs for Hassop and Calver. At Calver, continue straight over the crossroads and then take the first right, signposted Sheffield, Froggatt. Follow this road over the bridge and up into Froggatt, just after the village and before The Grouse Inn you'll see Froggatt Car Park on your right. Park here and start the ascent up to the crag.

Staff picks
VD - VS HVS - E1 E2 - E4
Trapeze (VD)
Sunset Slab (VS 4b)
Tody's Wall (HVS 5a) (mild yet amusing)
Valkyrie (HVS 5a)
Chequers Buttress (HVS 5a)
Three Pebble Slab (E1 5a)
Brown's Eliminate (E2 5b)
Four Pebble Slab (E3 5c)
Downhill Racer (E4 6a)
You'll also some excellent bouldering dotted around Froggatt
Up to 5s 6s 7s
Joe's Slab, Downhill racer (f5+)
The Northerner, Pinnacle Boulders (f5+)
Groovy, Pinnacle Boulders (f5+)
Joe's Arête, Downhill Racer (f6B)
The Teddy Bear's Picnic, Pinnacle Boulders (f6B)
Joe's Slab Traverse, Downhill Racer (f7A)
Dreamboat, Sunset Boulders (f7A)

Moonwalk, Curbar

Gritstone: trad/bouldering

If Froggatt is known for precarious slabs, Curbar is known for being downright strenuous and a lot of the climbs are quite high in the grade. That said, there are some mid-to-lower grade routes that are well worth the trip, as well as some classic bouldering (including the roadside Trackside). 

How to get there (6 miles, 16 minutes by car)

Leaving Thornbridge Outdoors, turn left towards Great Longstone and follow signs for Hassop and Calver. Turn right at the Calver crossroad then take the first left up through Curbar and up the hill. You'll see the fierce gritstone crag, with boulders scattered below, up on your left. Park in the laybys or the car park at the top.

Staff picks
VD - VS HVS - E1 E2 - E4
Pillar Slab (VD)
P.M.C. (HS 4a)
The Peapod (HVS 5b)
Avalanche Wall (HVS 5a)
L'Horla (E1 5b)
Elder Crack (E2 5b)
Right Eliminate (E3 5c)
Moon walk (E4 6a)
Bouldering, below the crag with some boulders accessible along the tops
Up to 5s 6s 7s
Crescent Slab Arête, Crescent Slab (f4+)
Three Pocket Wall, Trackside (f5+)
Side Slot Wall, Trackside (f6A+)
Strawberries, Trackside (f6B)
Art of Japan, Big Rocker Buttress (f6C)
Gorilla Warfare, Gorilla Warfare (f7A)
Trackside, Trackside (f7A)

Burbage South Valley
Gritstone: bouldering

Expect slopers, slabs, and rounded arêtes. A combination of flat, soft landings and not-too-high boulders are great for new recruits to outdoor climbing, and some higher-grade test-pieces mean that there's something to go at for everyone. There are also plenty of spots to hunker down for a picnic and belter views across the Peak District, making this an ideal venue for a day out at the crag with mixed ability and family groups. Take a jacket, as a cold wind through the valley is sometimes hard to escape!

How to get there (8.9 miles, 20 minutes)

Leaving Thornbridge Outdoors, turn left towards Great Longstone and follow signs for Hassop and Calver. At Calver, continue straight over the crossroads and follow on until you arrive at the main road (just below The Fox House pub - highly recommended!). Turn right and follow the road round to the left before parking on the left-hand side of the road above The Fox House. 

Staff Picks
Up to 5s 6s 7s
Exposure (f4+)
Pock-man (f5)
Pock (f5+)
The Cobra (f5+)
Chieftain (f5+)
Puck (f6A)
Panzer (f6B+) (expect to lose some skin)
Alaska Right Sit Start (f6B)
The Sheep (f7A)

Millstone Edge
Gritstone: Trad Climbing

Not far from our Hathersage store, this is certainly one of our favourite haunts. Sheer walls, belter crack lines and smooth corners are the characteristics of this crag, as well as a venerable climbing history. It also gives us a great chance to use all those wires that we've got hanging round on our racks. The finishes are a little eroded in places, so it's always worth making sure you've got some bombproof gear in before you make the top out.

How to get there (10 miles, 23 minutes by car)

Leaving Thornbridge Outdoors, turn left towards Great Longstone and follow signs for Hassop and Calver. At Calver, continue straight over the crossroads and then take the first right , signposted Sheffield, Froggatt. Bear left at all junctions until you reach main road at The Fox House, turn left onto the main road and follow it down the hill and over the bridge. The parking is marked on your right.

Staff Picks
VD - VS HVS - E1 E2 - E4
The Mall (VS 4c) Bond Street (HVS 5a)
Great Portland Street (HVS 5b)
Great North Road (HVS 5a)
Embankment 3 (E1 5b)
Regent Street (E2 5c)
Erb (E2 5c)
Time for Tea (E3 5c)


Remember: all outdoor activities involve risk, you must have a clear understanding of these risks before pursuing any activity.

We have tried to make all information as accurate as possible, however trails are not marked on bridleways and use of any of information is entirely at your own risk, please always take a map out with you.

You are responsible for your personal safety and must exercise your own independent judgment as to whether the activity is suitable for you in the context of your fitness, training, skills and experience.

13 02 2018

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