4 of the Uk’s top 10 British sport Climbing crags for Beginners are in the North Wales region.
These 4 sites offer a great array of challenges for beginners looking to take a step into the climbing world.
A stunning setting overlooking the Upper Dee valley above Llangollen in North East Wales. Again, it’s an old limestone quarry. Over 150 climbing routes line an embankment with tremendous views over the remains of Dinas Bran castle, a medieval Welsh fort.
With over ten separate climbing walls on a south-facing escarpment there’s something for every aspiring sport climber here. The left side of the cliff sometimes has nesting falcons and may be subject to access restrictions during spring and early summer.
No crags are more road-side than this one! Near Colwyn Bay, close to the A55 North Wales expressway, limestone walls rise directly above a car park. Not only is this venue incredibly accessible, it’s often bathed in sunshine when the nearby mountains of Snowdonia are cloud-covered. It can be cold on windy days, but dries very quickly after rain.
A number of really useful climbing routes for novice leaders can be found on the right wing of the main crag, including over a dozen that are less than grade 5. If you get bored of climbing, the top of the crag is part of the Mynydd Marian Nature Reserve. It’s a refuge for rare butterﬂies and nationally scarce heathland ﬂowers.
Slate is a very unusual rock to climb on, requiring precise footwork, good balance and strong ﬁngers. The vast abandoned slate quarries of Llanberis in Snowdonia provide a surreal and dramatic backdrop to some very good sport climbs. Over 50 bolted climbing routes can be found on the slabby, terraced levels of the Australia sector at Dinorwig.
Access is gained by following a public footpath from the parking area. Bear in mind that technically the routes are on private land and that the landowner (a power generation company) does not ofﬁcially allow access away from the marked footpaths.
A limestone quarry on the border between England and Wales, near Oswestry, Shropshire. Offers dramatic, quite adventurous sport climbing – probably not suitable for novices on their ﬁ rst outdoor ventures.
For those with a little more experience under their belts there are over 100, long sports routes here on several different faces. This quarry is a nature reserve managed by Shropshire Wildlife Trust. Be aware that due to rare nesting birds parts of the cliffs are under restricted access from 1 March to 30 June.