So you’ve been practicing your climbing skills in the gym and now you’re ready to hit the great outdoors. That’s great!
However, after training, many people don’t know where to begin their outdoor climbing career.
If you’re thinking what the best outdoor climbing routes are for beginners like you, these are sport routes. These have bolts and lower offs already in place, very similar to the routes at your local gym. Depending on your experience, you may also need to learn how to lead climb, which means being the first one up the rock, attaching the rope to fixed bolts on the way up. However, this is a great way to build up some initial experience. Please note to not attempt these outdoor climbing routes alone. Head out with a guide, or someone that has a higher level of experience than you.
Valley of the Rocks, North Devon
Running along the North Devon coast, this is a dry valley offering a wide range of climbing opportunities that are perfect for newcomers to the climbing sphere. You’ll find enjoyment at Castle Rock, which is suitable for all ages and abilities – as long as you feel confident enough for the abseil back down which may prove a stumbling block.
Castlebergh Crag, Yorkshire
This climbing location didn’t see climbers until just 10 years ago, when a rock fall brought attention to the crag. This brought a whole host of climbing opportunities and has since transformed into an ideally positioned climbing area, funded by the local authorities.
Horseshoe Quarry, Derbyshire
This area is home to a disused limestone quarry that offers a range of lower to mid-grade sport climbing. Ideally located in the heart of the Peak District, there’s a range of great routes to be found. If you’re just starting out, we recommend the easier routes which are located on the upper tier.
Gower: Southgate Area
This is home to a complex area of stunning sea cliffs, caves and sheltered bays on the south Gower coast. Southgate is made up of several separate climbing crags a few minutes’ walk from the National Trust car park in the tiny village of Southgate.
Some of the easier routes are on Watch House slab, which is non-tidal and dries quickly after rain. Unfortunately, some of the crags here are affected by the tides, so study the tide tables to avoid getting wet feet or turning up at the wrong time!
This is the ultimate spot where you can access a variety of climbing styles in an exquisite setting.