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Three psychi boulderers climb a huge boulder at burbage south

Top 10: Must Visit Outdoor Rock Climbing Spots in the UK

Our Pick Of The Must Visit Crags In The UK

It’s no secret that the UK is home to some of the best outdoor rock climbing and bouldering spots in the world. From the rugged coastlines of Cornwall to the stunning mountains of Scotland, there are countless locations that offer both novice and experienced climbers a chance to test their skills.  With a mixture of Bouldering, Sport climbing and Trad climbing the UK really is up there with the best in the world. Here we'll take a look at our top 10 outdoor rock climbing spots in the UK, so if you’re a bit bored of warehouse climbing and have been wondering where the best outdoor bouldering and climbing near you is, you’re in the right place! 

The Peak District National Park

outdoor boulderer climbing rock with a view of burbage valley in the peak district

Located in central England, the Peak District is an infamous and must-visit rock climbing destination. The area boasts fantastic outdoor bouldering, and with over 10,000 trad climbing routes, the peak district really is a must visit area for rock climbers, but make sure you pack your guidebook! The gritstone edges of Stanage and Burbage are particularly popular, and for good reason. An abundance of both trad climbing and world class bouldering make climbing in the peak district the top of our list and with world famous routes like ‘flying buttress direct’ its steeped in rock climbing tradition.

Snowdonia National Park

a view of snowdonia mountains rock climbing

Snowdonia National Park is another fantastic destination for rock climbing. Set in the heart of North Wales Snowdonia offers an excellent variety of rock climbing routes, including some of the most challenging climbs in the UK. Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, more commonly known as ‘Cloggy’ is a crag famed for its difficult trad climbing with ‘Indian Face’ being one of the more famous routes. From towering multi pitch climbs to great easy access bouldering, Snowdonia has something for all rock climbers. 

Lake District National Park

outdoor rock climber climbing a hill in the lake district with rope bag

The Lake District National Park, in northwest England, is widely regarded as a paradise for rock climbing. The area is home to England's highest peak, Scafell Pike, and offers a range of climbing options for all abilities and disciplines. From the imposing multi pitch trad climbing on the faces of Gimmer Crag to the idylic bouldering in the boulder fields of Kentmere, Rock climbing in The Lake District is truely some of the best in the UK. The stunning coastal views at St Bees Head as well as the famous Bowderstone are both must visit locations if you are in the area.

Northumberland National Park

a group of people rock climbing in northumberland at back bowden rock

Northumberland National Park, located in the north east of England, offers some of the most spectacular trad climbing routes and bouldering in the country. The sandstone crags at Bowden Doors and Kyloe-in-the-woods are particularly popular for both of these disciplines, so you’ll want to pack both your rope bags and bouldering mats if you’re keen for a full day on the rock.

The Cairngorms

snowy and icey mountain range and rock climbing area in the cairngorms
The Cairngorms, in the Scottish Highlands, are a straight up stunning location and a climber's dream. If you are looking for rock climbing a bit more off the beaten track then the Cairngorms is the place to be for apline mountaineering and climbing. The area offers a range of mountain climbing, from easy scrambles, challenging trad climbing and even ice climbing in the winter. The granite cliffs of Lochnagar are particularly impressive. When it comes to rock climbing and mountain climbing in the caringormes, wild and rugged is the name of the game.

The Isle of Skye

cuillin mountain ridge on the isle of skye rock climbing area

The Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland, is a popular destination for climbers and for good reason. The Cuillin Ridge, the crowning jewel of Skye will be top of the list for any budding mountaineer, offering good alpine climbing in the winter. Taking in the vista of the hebrides the views are also breathtaking and some of the best in the British isles.


Cornwall, in southwest England, boasts a great variety of beautiful rock climbing locations. The area offers some stellar trad climbing range of routes, at both coastal and inland crags. The sea cliffs at Bosigran and Chair Ladder are particularly popular.

The Lake District via Ferrata

Via Ferrata is a popular activity in the Bavarian and Italian alps, but, currently less so in the UK. There is one Via Ferrata route in the Lake District which offers a unique rock climbing adventure for less experienced climbers. The route takes you up the side of Honister offering commanding views of Buttermere, Crummock and Loweswater and give you a wonderful taste of alpine climbing. With the aid of metal rungs and cables, lake district via ferrata is accessible for those who don’t necessarily have all the rock climbing equipment or experience.


The Isle of Portland, another great rock climbing location on the south coast of England. The area is famous for its limestone sea cliffs and offers a range of trad climbing routes for all abilities and is a brilliant location for the growing discipline of DWS (Deep Water Soloing) where the sea breaks your fall. Pack the beach shorts and climbing chalk bags and give it a go!

South Wales

rock climbing sea cliffs in pembrokeshire sout wales

The Gower Peninsula and Pembrokeshire, in south Wales, also offer some of the best sea cliff climbing in the UK. The areas are home to a range of rock climbing and trad climbing routes, from easy to challenging, and offers stunning views of the coast.
The UK offers a wealth of world class outdoor rock climbing opportunities. Whether you're new to outdoor bouldering or an experienced trad climber, there's is sure to be a perfect outdoor rock climbing location near you. Whatever your preferred climbing discipline the UK has it in abundance.  So, grab your climbing chalk, rope bag and bouldering mat and get ready to climb some of the best routes in the world.
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