Rock Climbing

It is surprising that the UK and Ireland boast some truly amazing rock climbing locations which also prove to be some of the most beautiful places to visit as well, providing anyone from a beginner to an expert with an exciting and challenging experience as well as a picturesque holiday. There are many areas throughout the UK and across the sea to Ireland that make fantastic spots to enjoy rock climbing and test your skills as well as enjoy a country cottage holiday however these have been rated some of the best locations:


The first is probably the most obvious, the Peak District. With more than 10,000 recorded climbs, the peak district is one of the most popular places to go rock climbing in the UK. A breathtaking national park boasting outstanding landscapes as well as beautiful scenery and spectacular views positioned mostly in the county of Derbyshire, the Peak District is a great place to explore. For the climbing enthusiasts there is a great variety of rock, in the northern regions of the park, named the Dark Peak you will predominantly find Gritstone, which provides you with a unique friction making it great for climbing. In the southern regions you will discover limestone crags which prove to be a bit more challenging as they are steeper and there are fewer useful cracks. However between the two you can find many variations and something for everyone. The best months to enjoy climbing here, especially in the north, are Autumn, Winter and Spring.

Our second, best place to visit for a self-catering cottage holiday with rock climbing thrown in is, Snowdonia. Labelled as some of the best and most varied rock climbing in the British Isles, Snowdonia National park is a must visit place if you want to experience some great climbing. The park is also one of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK so when you are not rock climbing make sure you take in the sights and picturesque villages. Within Snowdonia you can find everything within a relatively small area; mountains, crags and spectacular sea cliffs, and with such varied weather between the coast and mountains there is always somewhere for you to climb, whatever the weather! There are some great traditional climbs as well as sport climbing (pre bolted) at the slate quarries in Llanberris and Llandudno. Rent a cottage for a north Wales holiday to be close to all the places that you would like to visit.

Our next best place to visit for a wonderful country cottage holiday in a fantastic rock climbing location is the Lake District, which is where rock climbing was invented, so they say, 160 years ago. Here you will find England's highest concentration of mountains and fells providing you with not only physical beauty but also a stunning area to enjoy a cottage holiday. You can even take to the water and enjoy some great water sports on the lakes of Cumbria when you're not climbing. There is a huge variation of climbs available in the Lake District, from extreme crag routes to lofty mountain crags and deep valley crags. There is also a great variation in ability from easy to very challenging, also a variety of rock types and crag grades as well as sport climbing and traditional.

Moving further north into the beautiful country of Scotland we find some fantastic climbing in Glencoe. This is a National Trust owned and cared for glen or valley found in the western highlands and is regarded by climbers as being one of the best rock climbing locations as well as boasting breathtaking scenery. With something for all abilities it is a popular area to visit, with cliffs varying in size. Climbers should be warned however that most climbs in this area are harder than they look. On the other hand the sticky Porphyry rock works nicely for climbers. Buachaille Etive Mor mountain ridge is a famous icon of the highlands and boasts hundreds of great routes for all abilities from beginner to advanced.

Northumberland is the next wonderful location to enjoy rock climbing. It is also a spectacular county to explore and enjoy on a self-catering country cottage holiday due to its wonderful scenery and beautiful coastline. An area that is sometimes forgotten as a climbing area but home to classic crag country with over 100 crags rising from the moorland. You will discover some fantastic single pitch climbs and also some great bouldering experiences in Northumberland, the north boasts predominantly sandstone whereas granite is found in the Cheviot Hills. Some of the best crags are found on private land so make sure you get permission!

Travelling down south to Dorset, another fantastic county to enjoy a country cottage holiday, we find fantastic climbing at Swanage and Portland. As this area is part of the famous world heritage Jurassic coast there are plenty of impressive sea cliffs, perfect for the climbing enthusiast, offering an exhilarating and exciting ascent. The climbing in Swanage is a bit more advanced due to the steep, overhanging limestone cliffs, namely Stair hole and Black hole,which prove a challenging climb with a great mixture of sport climbing and traditional. Portland however is renowned centre of sport climbing with bolted routes for all abilities. The cliffs in Portland may not have the overhang that Swanage boasts but they are still pretty steep.

Cottage holidays in Dorset - close to rocks to climb

Portland Bill on rocks in Dorset

If Ireland is your country of choice for a country cottage holiday then you can be sure to experience some excellent climbing throughout the Irish counties however some of the best spots are found around the capital of Dublin where granite is found. Dalkey, found close by to Dublin, to the south, is a great spot for any beginner looking to get stuck into this extreme sport. Dalkey Quarry , rated as one of the best sights for rock climbing in Ireland is a hive of outdoor activity and provides routes for al abilities as well as stunning views of Dublin city and bay, the Wicklow Mountains and of course Wales to the east. If you travel further south you will reach Glendalough, lying on the east side of the Wicklow Mountains. The main crag in the area to experience is Twin Buttress, this is a steep and prominent crag which is clearly visible near the upper western end of the glen. There is also two further crags to explore, The Upper cliffs and Hobnail Butress.

Well known for its rocky limestone landscape, the Burren has to be one of the top places to rock climb in Ireland. Enjoy a fantastic introduction to rock climbing by a qualified, experienced instructor or for the more thrill seeking, experienced climber enjoy scaling the Mirror Wall which although split by many vertical crack lines, from a distance resembles a smooth mirror and is very impressive.





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