The Peak District offers some of the best bouldering in the UK. Amongst its gritstone crags and blocks are an extensive range of problems to suit all bouldering abilities and styles. With venues such as Stanage Plantation, Burbage and The Roaches the hardest problem might be choosing where to climb first!
Best Peak District Bouldering Locations
Here we cover a selection of the best and most popular bouldering locations in the Peak District, including options for beginners. A worthwhile investment is Peak Bouldering, the book offers a pictorial guide to the main crags in the Peak District, and includes over 3000 graded problems to get your teeth (and toes) into! For rock climbing see my rock climbing in the peak district post.
The gritstone boulders at Stanage Plantation form one of the most famous bouldering locations in the UK. Situated beneath Stanage Edge the boulder-field is strewn with iconic problems, on classic blocks such as ‘The Pebble’ – viewed by many as the origin of the Peak District bouldering scene. Whilst there is a concentration of higher graded problems (V5 +), there is also plenty of easier stuff to keep the less experienced busy.
Stanage Plantation is set amongst beautiful surroundings, so take a camera and be sure to head up onto the edge itself. Given its popularity this place can get super busy on a weekend, head to Stanage Far Right (see below) to avoid the circus. Also beware of midges in warm and damp weather!
Further Info – Paid parking is at The Plantation or there is limited free parking at Stanage Far Right with an approx 20 mins walk (see below). Postcode S32 1BR gets you close to Stanage Edge. On public transport grab a bus (from Sheffield) or a train (from Manchester or Sheffield) to Hathersage, and thumb a lift or walk (approx 2 miles). There are toilets near to the car park.
Approach Notes – Follow the distinctive path from the car park up towards the crag, the boulders are situated below the crag.
Stanage Far Right
Stanage Far Right is situated at the Southern end of Stanage Edge, and is normally much quieter than Stanage Plantation. The problems are located on the edge itself (which is significantly lower here), as well as the boulders and blocks below. There is a varied range of problems especially within the easier grades (below V4), highlights include Apparent North Buttress and Grand Theft Area – see Peak Bouldering for full details.
Approach Notes – There are distinctive paths leading to the edge/boulders from both car parks.
There is a ton of bouldering at The Roaches, and some pretty epic views to enjoy in and around the gritstone crag. The crown jewel to many are the Upper Tier Boulders, positioned below the Top Tier of the crag. A high concentration of lower (below V4) and mid-range (V4 – V7) problems are of great quality and thus this area can become crowded.
The Lower Tier Boulders are positioned amongst the pines below the crag and on the base of the crag itself. Expect a host of interesting problems requiring a mix of styles – The Blister Slab and Twin Flakes boulders are good if you are going solo.
The Spring Boulders sit in a boulder-field close to the Lower Tier Boulders. To be avoided during prolonged wet weather (= quagmire !) there is a host of lower graded (below V4) problems, many are featureless slabs and require a delicate all body climbing style – great for honing your arsenal of bouldering moves!
Further Info – There is limted on road parking just below the crag, arrive early on the weekend – see here. Postcode is ST13 8UA.
Approach Notes – A distinctive track leads up to the Lower and Upper Tier Boulders, for the Spring Boulders head left off the track.
There is a vast amount of bouldering within the Burbage Valley area. The Burbage South Valley boulders are home to a great mix of problems, with nothing too high and predominantly good landings its the perfect location for beginners to gain confidence bouldering outdoors.
The bouldering at Burbage North is towards the higher end of the grade spectrum, a good mix of technical problems including highballs are best suited to experienced climbers.
There are some interesting lower grade problems at Higgar Tor although with some questionable landings when compared to the South Valley Boulders. Bouldering is also possible at Burbage West and Burbage South Edge.
The Curbar Field Boulders sit below Curbar Edge and offer a good range of problems throughout the grade spectrum, with walls and arêtes the order of the day. It’s a popular location and can get crowded. Curbar Edge itself is quieter with higher graded problems, many of which are highballs – that said there are some lower grade problems too.
Further Info – Paid parking at Curbar Gap car park or there is limited roadside parking further down the hill.
Cratcliffe Tor is a scenic bouldering location and is especially popular with less experienced climbers. The Top Boulders are located above the crag within a meadow, and offer a nice variety of lower graded problems with mostly good landings.
Head to the Tree Boulders (ideally post some dry weather) or the crag itself for tougher stuff, including the highly rated T Crack (V8).
Located right next to Cratcliffe is Robin Hood Stride, another great bouldering location with a solid mix of problems, especially within the low and mid range grades. Its a location in its own right and of course can be combined with a trip to Cratcliffe.
Further Info – Limited lay-by parking is available on the B5056.
Approach Notes – Follow the track then head right up through the trees to the base of the crag.