TOP TIP: Looking for some guidance in the Peak District? Whether you're keen to become an independent climber or planning your first steps into the sport, Stuart is the man to help you redefine your limits!

Peak District climbing

Types of Climbing:

Trad – Yes
Sport – Yes
Lead – Yes
Bouldering - Yes

About Peak District climbing

The Peak District is one of the UK's premium climbing spots. Its geographically central position makes it easily accessible from just about everywhere in the country. It's a popular place for hiking, and its spa towns and museums attract over ten million visitors annually. As it covers an area of over five hundred square miles, don't expect to see it all in one day!

Climbers are drawn to the Peak District by the erosive result of wind and water on the landscape. Here, the effects of time and the elements have exposed the area's substrate of gritstone and limestone. Steep escarpments have been carved into layer upon layer of perfect hand and footholds. Weather-beaten boulders jut from heather covered moorland presenting the perfect climbing puzzles. The Peak District is a paradise, created by nature, for climbers.

Photo: Stuart Honick

Peak District climbing routes

There are well over eight hundred different climbing routes in the Peak District. That means there's a multitude of amazing challenges just waiting to be conquered for every level of climber. Even if you climbed every day for a year, there'd still be more to scale. Once you've completed a few, you'll find yourself compiling a wish list of future Peak District climbs you just have to do.

Top Spots for bouldering in the Peak District

Mother Cap Quarry

On the edge of the Peak District, near to Sheffield, the Mother Cap Quarry has fantastic gritstone crags which are ideal for beginners to hone their skills on.

Closest parking – Surprise View Car Park on the A625. It's around ten minutes walk to Mother Cap Quarry from there.

Location on map: Mother Cap Quarry

The Roaches

Possibly one of the most popular climbing areas in the Peak District, the Roaches has a good range of routes for all abilities. Part of a gritstone escarpment, this rocky ridge known as The Roaches is near the town of Leek in Staffordshire. There's lots of different graded routes to try out, and if you're looking to take your bouldering skills up a notch, this is the ideal place.

Closest parking – Follow the A53 from Leek through Upper Hulme the take the turn for Roaches Gate. There's a fifty space car park there.

Location on map: The Roaches


This craggy tor is about a twenty minutes drive from the town of Matlock in Derbyshire. There are enough boulders and routes here to keep any climber occupied for a couple of years.

Closest parking: Parking for Cratcliffe is limited to a small layby on the B5056.

Location on map: Cratcliffe

Top spots for Trad, Lead & Sport climbing in the Peak District

Windgather Rocks

The Windgather Rocks have a moderate height of just over four hundred metres. That combined with its crevice-covered, slab face has made it one of the most popular places in the Peak District for novice climbers. It's the best place to polish your skills before taking on more challenging climbs.

Closest parking: On the verge of Side End Lane which runs adjacent to Windgather Rocks.

Location on map: Windgather Rocks

High Tor

This amazing limestone crag near the town of Matlock Bath, in Derbyshire, is one of the best in the UK. It has over eighty trad climbing routes as well as twenty sport climbing routes. So, even though it is more challenging than some other Peak District climbing spots, there's something there for everyone.

Closest parking: Matlock Bath Railway Station car park. It's a five-mile walk from there to High Tor.

Kinder Downfall

The Kinder Downfall is a waterfall which flows over some of the most rugged crags in the Peak District. With eighty trad routes divided over several sections of gritstone rock face, it offers the most picturesque climbing in the Peak District.

Closest Parking: Bowden Bridge Car Park. It takes on average an hour to walk from there along the footpaths to Kinder Downfall.

Location on Map: Kinder Downfall

Photo: Stuart Honick

TOP TIP: Looking for some guidance in the Peak District? Whether you're keen to become an independent climber or planning your first steps into the sport, Stuart is the man to help you redefine your limits!

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