The rock varies in character from typically quarried on the lower tier through to more abrasive rock on the upper tier where blasting has uncovered large tracts of calcite-encrusted rock which almost feels like natural limestone. As with most quarries, extra vigilance needs to be exercised by both climber and belayer here given the blasting activity which has created potential for loose rock.
Parking and Approach
Parking is very limited in this area and there have been previous issues with security guards. Careful parking is essential to prevent conflict with the landowner and local residents, with three possible parking locations:
Industrial estate parking: from Harpur Hill village take Grinlow Road for 250m and turn into the industrial estate. Head uphill past a sharp bend at 300m and continue for another 200m to a bus stop on the left. There is room for 6 carefully parked cars here off the road. Walk back to the sharp bend and go through a metal gate to follow a footpath along the edge of a field. After 200m go up the banking on the right to gain the main quarry track leading to the rocks in 10 minutes.
Pub parking: park on the road alongside the Parks Inn, walk up Fiddle Street and into the fields behind the houses. Here a footpath leads across the fields that joins the previous approach just before the banking. Alternatively you can go left to the College Buttress and Dark Side Lower.
Hillhead Lane parking: take this small road off Burlow Road at the south end of the village. Follow it for 200m to park on the verge before the Tarmac sign. Follow the bridleway to Dark Side Lower in 15-20 minutes.