Wherever there’s a rock, there’s climbing – the true climber’s adage. And there’s definitely a lot of rocks in the UK. From the beautiful limestone and sandstones of the south coast to the complex igneous formations of Scotland, the UK is a geological smorgasbord and rock climbing in the UK is one of its best-loved adventure sports.
If you’re visiting the UK and have a taste for adventure, there are few better ways to explore the countryside than to go on a climbing trip. You’ll get to experience some of the best views in the country whilst travelling routes that most visitors never get to experience. Join one of the many climbing organizations in the UK for an exciting and, above all, safe trip in one of these fantastic locations.
Let’s start with one of the UK climbing community’s best-loved locations. Appreciated as much for its diversity an accessibility as its extraordinary natural beauty, Snowdonia is a haven for climbers of all levels. Whether you’re interested in trad or sport climbing, bouldering or even indoor climbing, this superb national park region has it all. At the heart of the Snowdonian climbing scene is Plas Y Brenin – the national centre for outdoor pursuits. You’ll find everything from guided climbing tours to in-depth instructional courses there.
Ben Nevis, Scotland
As the UK’s biggest climbing website states, Ben Nevis is as big as it gets. It’s the highest peak in the UK and offers some of the best climbing opportunities too. Its four Great Ridges are famous in the UK climbing community for their majestic presence, as are popular faces such as The Bat and Titan’s Wall. Ben Nevis is a great location for intermediate and advanced climbers.
The Jurassic Coast, Dorset
Locations such as Portland and Man of War Bay are some of the most popular climbing locations in the UK. Dorset offers great weather, stunning backdrops and a huge variation in climbing styles, from great trad faces to some of the UK’s best deep water solo locations. The arches and caves of the Jurassic Coast are fun to explore, too, and you’ll likely see beginner groups bouldering and coasteering around the rocks. All this is topped off by a great climbing community and a tonne of organised trips to go on.
Lake District, Cumbria
The Lake District truly is an adventure sports paradise, with treetop adventures, potholing and even flying experiences. Climbing is, without a doubt, one of the region’s most exciting draws, however. Not only will you get the opportunity to try some of the best faces in the country, but you’ll be looking out over green lakes and rolling hillsides whilst you do it. Intermediate and advanced climbers will find some great challenges here, but for those just starting out, you’ll find some fantastic bouldering and scrambling routes too.
Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
One of the most unique locations on our list, this lovely limestone gorge is a fantastic sport climbing location and great for beginners. The valley itself is lush and green, with a host of spectacular faces ready to be climbed. We highly recommend climbing on organised tours in Cheddar Gorge as some of its faces lie outside the climbing access agreement set up by the local government. Follow the regulations, however, and you’ll have a fantastic experience.
That’s our top spots for climbing in the UK, but don’t forget that there is so much more on offer. Many of the best locations can be accessed on our extended tours from London, so make sure to check those out.