With fascinating geology, the North Pennines offers good opportunities for climbing. You will find quiet spots with challenging climbs. Please climb responsibly and in accordance with specific codes of conduct where agreed.
Visit the Explore North Pennines portal to discover the amazing range of activities available across the AONB. At the heart of this site is an interactive map which will allow you to search by activity, interest and location.
There are climbing walls at Barnard Castle Leisure Centre and Wolsingham Sports Hall.
Climbing locations within the AONB are mainly on three rock types: gritstone; limestone and dolerite. Best known of the gritstone crags is Goldsborough in Baldersdale. Limestone is represented best at some of the more southerly locations such as Brough Scar and Windmore End, whilst dolerite can be enjoyed at Holwick Scar, near Middleton-in-Teesdale.
There are a number of guides that will help you get the most out of climbing in the North Pennines:
For crags east of the Pennine watershed: Climbing in North East England, Crowe, Bennett and Turner (with the Cleveland Mountaineering Club) (2003) Smartboys Publishing. Coverage includes Crag Hill, Goldsborough Carr, Lamb’s Hill Quarry, Pallet Crag and Sunnybrow.
Climbonline is an excellent resource. Follow links to “North East Action” and then “East Pennines” for details of recently developed gritstone bouldering such as Crag Hill, Hudeshope, Middle Hare Crag, Milstone Rigg and Wheel Crag, and for access details and routes at the ecologically important Holwick Scar. Guides for both Holwick Scar and Hudeshope are available as PDF downloads. Goldsborough Carr and Lamb’s Hill Quarry are also covered. There is even a link for ice climbing possibilities in a hard winter.
For venues west of the watershed, the forthcoming Fell and Rock Climbing Club of the English Lake District (FRCC) Eastern Crags Guide will cover Cumbrian Eden Valley Crags such as Brough Scar, Murton Scar and Windmore End. The FRCC site gives an updated interim guide to these and other Eden Valley venues.
Climbing access information
See the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) site and follow links to the “Regional Access Database” for up-to-date crag access information. The British Mountaineering Council also has volunteer Access Representatives covering the Eden Valley, Durham and Northumberland.
Access arrangements for Holwick Scar have become a nationally important model for the reconciliation of access to ecologically important sites. It is really important that the published guidelines are followed correctly. Visit the BMC site for up to date details.