Buttermere & St Bees

Buttermere & St Bees - cover

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This guidebook covers the climbing in three diverse locations; Buttermere and its near environs, the Newlands valley and the sandstone sea cliffs of St Bees Head near Whitehaven.

Buttermere has often been described as the Cinderella of Lake District climbing, despite its many superb routes, the crags are rarely crowded. To climb here is pure pleasure, great rock, a tranquil setting and a wide choice of great routes of all grades except the highest.

The Newlands valley lies to the east of, and parallel to Borrowdale. There is no road up the valley beyond the hamlet of Little Town and despite the easy approach the crags have a remote feel not too dissimilar to a Scottish glen. Here you can enjoy varied climbing with the best routes in the Severe to VS range encompassing everything from single pitch fun to 150m routes; as a bonus all the main crags face West and enjoy the afternoon sun.

The St Bees sea cliffs are situated well away from the hills, it is often possible to climb here while the Lakes are being re-filled. Finishing a day’s climbing as the sun sinks into the Irish Sea is magic. Although the crags are up to 100m (and very impressive) they are a major nesting place for sea birds and one of the most southerly nesting colonies of Black Guillemots, additionally the rock is soft except where it is regularly wave washed; hence this is predominantly a sport climbing and bouldering venue with the activity being close to sea level.

To see new routes click on the Area in the table to the right. A chronological list of new routes will be shown. A list of crags with new routes or comments will also be displayed, click on a crag to see its new routes.