St Bees Head

Buttermere & St Bees

Two huge (up to 100m)  headlands of steep soft sandstone, luckily there is a large seabird colony and climbing on the main headlands is not permitted.

Thankfully there are some much more solid walls and boulders of wave washed rock close to sea level where quality bouldering and sport climbing is to be found. Situated away from the hills these can make a useful poor weather venue.

Crag information
Climbing Area: Lake District Rock Type: Sandstone
Importance: Regional CRoW Land: No
Ownership: RSPB No. of Routes: 81
Within National Park: No Year Developed:
Grid Reference: NX 939 145

The main bolted areas (Apiary Wall and Scabby Back) are unrestricted. All other areas of the crag including Fisherman's Steps are restricted.

There has been a landslide on the steep descent to the north of the lighthouse in November 21. The bolt anchors and fixed ropes have been damaged. There is potential for more ground to move. It is felt that the best course of action is to wait and see if the area stabilises before any remedial work is undertaken. The recommended descent at the present time is by the easier route further north. The Fishermans steps is another alternative to the south but this is only reccomended to those who are really happy with strenuous and exposed descents. Signs will be posted at St Bees as soon as the team are able.

Restrictions apply from 1 February - 31 July.

Reason: Nesting Birds

The area has very important Guillemot, Kitttiwake, and Razorbill breeding colonies and The RSPB have stipulated no access to the area south (right) of the route Army Screamers between the above dates. Other St Bees bouldering areas: The boulders to the south of Fisherman's Steps can only be used outside the nesting season. Access to Fleswick Bay is permitted all year round, but only south of the inlet where the path meets the shore. At South Head the small bouldering area is only accessible outside the nesting season.

Parking and Approach

Parking is allowed at Tarn Flatt Hall Farm at a cost of £2 a day.

Area information

With implimentation of the CRoW Act (2000), many Lakes fells and crags now have an Open Access designation. They also have many nationally important bird and plant species dependant on inaccessible crags/ledges and heather/mixed heath environments for survival. During the bird nesting period, a number of species can be vulnerable to disturbance. The Lake District restrictions are monitored, variable (VR) and reviewed in April/May. If the birds do not nest, restrictions are lifted early. Check the BMC and FRCC websites in early May for details. New restrictions will be notified on the websites and with on-site notices. To view the BMC's Lake District Green Climbing Guide click this link: www.thebmc.co.uk/lake-district-green-guide

Weather Information

Guidebook info currently being updated

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Anonymous User
20/07/2020
Car park at farm now open 19/07/20.