As the Covid-19 lockdown eases, access for climbing is opening back up, subject to some measures and restrictions depending on where you are going. Please make sure you have read and understood our current advice before heading out and apply it alongside RAD advice to ensure access issues don’t develop.

Kilnsey Crag

Yorkshire Limestone

Famous Yorkshire landmark and major sportclimbing venue - contains some of the UK's hardest and steepest routes.

Crag information
Climbing Area: Yorkshire Rock Type: Limestone
Importance: National CRoW Land: Yes
Ownership: Private No. of Routes: 160
Within National Park: Yes Year Developed: 1947
Grid Reference: SD972682

The landowner does not like permadraws left in place on projects - please remove your kit between attempts wherever possible.

Restrictions apply from 1 May - 30 September.

Reason: Nesting Birds

House martins frequently nest between May-September. Please avoid any routes with nests on or near while they are in use to avoid damaging the nests. It will be obvious which nests are being used due to parents flying in and out.

Parking and Approach

Parking at Kilnsey is becoming more difficult year on year as increasing numbers of climbers visit the crag. In recent years, poor parking through squeezing too many vehicles into the limited spaces available right by the crag has caused problems with blocked gates and vehicles projecting into the roadway. If this continues, it is very likely to cause friction with local communities and access problems could arise as a result.

For the sake of maintaining the good relationship between climbers and local people and so safeguarding access, please only park in the following locations (marked on the map), which mean a slightly longer approach, but will alleviate conflict through poor parking:

  • Responsible parking on the Conistone bridge road, using the footpath through the fields to come out opposite the crag
  • The large ‘ice cream van’ layby north of the crag has a good number of spaces available
  • The Skirfare bridge parking area in a farmer's field is another option (£2/day)


CRoW Information

Open access land, designated under the Countryside & Rights of Way Act (2000) give area access rather than linear access as provided by public rights of way. It also gives a legal right of access specifically for climbing, as well as walking and other quiet recreation on foot.

Please bear in mind however that the landowner still has the right to restrict access for up to 28 days per year (often used on public safety grounds for shooting in moorland areas), and can also apply for longer term restrictions with Natural England (such as bans on dogs, or regular restrictions during particular times of year). It is important to check for these restrictions regularly as they can be added at short notice – all details for open access land in England can be found on Natural England’s website.  

Area information

The magnificent landscape of the Yorkshire Dales was shaped by melting glacial ice 300 million years ago to produce the towering crags, shadowy peaks, rock-pavements, and picturesque valleys found today. The area was designated as a National Park in 1954, and covers approximately 1,769 km/683 square miles with many nationally significant climbing venues and a rich diversity of wildlife. Most of the crags in this region lie within Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s), a designation with a high level of legal protection for wildlife and geology. Responsibility for identifying and protecting SSSIs in the Dales lies with Natural England – the statutory governmental advisor on conservation issues and contributor towards the Yorkshire Dales Green Climbing Guide. The guide is intended to help climbers or walkers identify the protected flora, fauna, and geology found in the Dales and contribute towards their conservation. Follow the link belowe to see the guide;

Weather Information

Guidebook info currently being updated

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Please do not park on the verge opposite the gates! Ample parking is available elsewhere. Please do your bit to maintain good relations. Thanks!