Peak District Rock Climbing Guide

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The Peak District is a rock climbing mecca, boasting some of the finest gritstone crags in the UK.

Locations such as Stanage Edge, The Roaches and Windgather Rocks provide an abundance of rock climbing routes for climbers of all abilities. With friendly locals, quaint villages and some great mountain vistas the Peak District is a must do for the climbing enthusiast.

Here we cover the best climbing locations in the Peak District, I created separate posts for climbing course providers in the Peak District, and also a Peak District Bouldering Guide.

Rock Climbing Locations

Stanage Edge

The most popular of all the Peak District crags is undoubtedly Stanage Edge (aka Stanage).

At 3-miles long the gritstone edge is a climbers paradise, with 1700+ routes up to 20 metres long providing endless options throughout the grade spectrum.

The edge itself tops out at 458 metres above sea-level making it a prominent feature and affording stunning views of the Hope valley and surrounding area. If you only have one day to explore the crags of the Peak District then Stanage is a must do.

The edge is broken down into a number of sectors; Stanage Popular End (to the South) is essentially a kilometre of continuous routes and as the name suggests you won’t be alone.

High Neb (to the North) is slightly less popular however still provides a multitude of routes.

The bouldering at Stanage Edge is also top notch, with Stanage Plantation not to be missed and The Southern Section offering a solid range of problem – see our Peak District Bouldering Guide for further info.

Climber Bouldering at Stanage Edge
Bouldering at Stanage Edge

Stanage Edge Postcode: S32 1BR / Google Maps location

Car Parking: Hollin Bank (Stanage Plantation) – Pay and display, toilets nearby / Hooks Carr (Stanage Popular End) – limited free parking (gets very busy in the summer), bike stands/locking point.

Rail: The closest station to Stanage Edge is Hathersage, with trains running throughout the year from Sheffield and Manchester.

Accommodation: North Lees Campsite – walking distance to Stanage Edge, tent pitches and camping pods available.

More Information: Purchase Eastern Grit by Rockfax or see Stanage Edge – UK Climbing guide.

The Roaches

The Roaches is a super popular rock climbing location, boasting 500+ routes up to 30 metres long. The gritstone escarpment which includes Ramshaw Rocks and Hen Cloud is situated above the historic market town of Leek.

Climbing at the Roaches consists of two main areas:

Lower Tier – the Lower Tier boasts awesome buttresses with slabs and boulders providing an impressive 300+ routes covering all grades – for bouldering head to the woods or the spring boulders.

Upper Tier – the Upper Tier cliffs (above the lower tier) offer many classic free climbing routes including multi-pitch and again provide challenges for all abilities.

The Roaches Postcode (nearest): ST13 8TYGoogle Maps location. Aim for the Roaches Tea Rooms which is just down the road.

Car Parking: Limited parking is available below the crag which is visible from the road. Summer weekends inevitability get busy so arrive early if you want to avoid using the park and ride (available on summer weekends from Tittesworth Reservoir)

Accommodation:
Hazel Barrow Farm – Camping and Holiday Cottage.
Don Whillans Memorial Hut – bunkhouse, see website for details.

More Information: Purchase Western Grit by Rockfax or see Roaches Lower Tier – UK Climbing guide or Roaches Upper Tier – UK Climbing guide.

Bamford Edge

Bamford Edge is an overhanging gritstone edge in an elevated (400m) and exposed location above the moors of the Derwent Valley. 250+ routes up to 13 metres long provide climbing for all grades. Spectacular views of Ladybower Reservoir and beyond are amongst the finest in the Peak District.

Bamford Edge Postcode: S33 0AD / Google Maps location

Getting there: Bamford Edge is north of the village of Bamford. From Bamford take the A6013 towards Ladybower for approx 1 mile. Turn right onto New Rd (opposite a Bus stop just past a red postbox). The edge is visible to the left and limited parking is available in an obvious lay-by approx 1 mile along New Road on the left. A gate and stile mark the start of the footpath leading to the right end of the edge. Note – due to access restrictions dogs are not allowed.

More Information: Bamford Edge – UK Climbing guide.

Windgather Rocks

Windgather rocks is a small gritstone crag situated close to the village of Kettleshulme. Its popular with beginners and families alike, with many of the routes positioned at the easier end of the grade spectrum.

The crag lies at an elevation of 416m and is SW facing, as such it affords great views but is also exposed to the prevailing weather.

Windgather gets super busy at peak times, hence arrive early to secure one of only a handful of roadside parking spaces directly below the crag – and just a 2 min approach on foot.

Windgather Rocks Postcode: SK23 7RF / Google Maps location

More Information: UKC Windgather Rocks


If you are new to climbing or looking to transition from the indoor wall to outdoor rock check out my Peak District Climbing Course Providers post.

Where is your favourite climbing location in the Peak District? Let me know in the comments below!

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