High Rocks

Southern Sandstone

User attention

Following expert advice, due to the COVID-19 outbreak the BMC advises that all climbers exercise restraint by not climbing and avoiding all but essential travel. You can read the BMC’s full position on climbing during the COVID-19 crisis here from 25/03/2020

The region's hardest (and best?) crag. Strong lines and tough, fingery challenges as well as a wealth of delightful struggles in sandstone chimneys.

Crag information
Climbing Area: London & South East Rock Type: Sandstone
Importance: National CRoW Land: No
Ownership: Private No. of Routes: 312
Within National Park: No Year Developed: 1926
Grid Reference: TQ559383

August 2018 update: climbing access to High Rocks is currently suspended. Discusions are ongoing with the landowner - please bear with us whilst we try to negotiate a solution. 


Following a number of altercations between climbers/boulderers and the landowner’s staff, access to High Rocks is currently in a very fragile state. A climbers code of conduct  has been drawn up by the BMC and should be followed by anyone climbing at the crag in order to prevent access being lost in future:

  • Admission charges: High Rocks charge an entry fee to anyone wanting to visit the rocks. For climbers, this is either a daily charge of £10 per day / £6 after 1730 or annual membership priced at £50 which allows an unlimited number of visits. Members guests get a discount of £7.50 per day / £6 after 1730. Tickets or membership must be purchased from the lower bar, and members must sign in before entering the rocks on every visit.
  • Respect ground staff: good behaviour is essential to continued climbing access at High Rocks. Please be polite to any staff you meet in the grounds and follow any instructions they give you.
  • Weddings: the rocks are frequently used during weddings for photographs and this is the landowner’s main source of income. Every effort must be made to avoid causing an impact to wedding parties whilst climbing. Please check to see if a wedding is taking place before climbing. If you are asked to move by a member of staff, photographer or wedding party member please do so immediately. If a wedding is taking place, all routes from I'll be Back to Something Crack are restricted and all equipment should be removed from the area to leave it clear for photos. When restrictions are in place climbers and boulderers should relocate their activates away from functions and weddings so as to not distract nor interfere.
  • Arrival times: on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays, all climbers including members must arrive before 1130 or after 1730.
  • Closure days: the Rocks are closed to the public (including climbers) every Monday and Tuesday.
  • Chalk: is an unwelcome intrusion for non-climbing visitors to the rocks. Keep any use of chalk at High Rocks to the absolute minimum and ensure you brush off any excess chalk once you are finished or avoid using chalk altogether.
  • Bouldering: is currently banned by the landowner - only top roping is allowed.
  • Spotting: the landowner has a legitimate concern about members of the public being injured by a falling boulderers. Always have at least one person spotting anyone bouldering or soloing to ensure members of the public cannot inadvertently walk underneath a climber.
  • Rock erosion: as with all crags on Southern Sandstone, the very soft rock can be easily eroded. Ensure no moving ropes are able to contact the rock by extending top ropes over the edge of the crag with static rope or slings. Clean the soles of your shoes before stepping onto the rock – any sand or dirt on them accelerate erosion of footholds and make the climbing harder.
  • Shouting and bad language: don’t use it at High Rocks. Wedding parties, children and other members of the public all visit the rocks as a place of peace and solitude. Please be sensitive to these other visitors.
  • Litter: as with any other crag, please take all litter home with you.
  • Sandstone Code of Practice: all climbers on southern sandstone should be aware of this code, which gives advice on how to reduce your impact on to the rock. It can be found at: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmcNews/media/u_content/File/access_conservation/access_publications/Sandstone%20Code%20of%20Practice.pdf
Area information

Follow this link for the definitive Code of Practice for climbing on southern sandstone; https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmcNews/media/u_content/File/access_conservation/southern_sandstone/ssc05_print.pdf

Weather Information

Guidebook info currently being updated

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I emailed the manager on 2018-06-14 to ask about access and was told:

Regrettably all climbing has been suspended by our insurers until further notice. We will keep the BMC informed when and if this changes.