With convenient access and quality climbing, Scugdale is understandably a very popular venue. The route heights are such that many climbers solo while others prefer the security of a rope.
Scots Crag is the first encountered from the parking beneath the crags. It is continuous and easily navigated from below. Ingenuity is required in arranging belays for some of the routes. Its popuarity has resulted in wear on the soft sandstone which should be treat with care when damp.
Barker's is across a stile and to the right. It is far less frequented and consequently less worn. It is less continuous than Scots and more challenging to navigate as the butresses are best accessed from above and not always obvious.
Stoney Wickes is a compact venue further right. It is not as high as the other Scugdale crags but provides excellent soloing.
Parking and Approach
Parking can be an issue for the Scugdale crags. There is a small parking bay beneath the crags (NZ515001) and some off road parking requiring consideration for road users. Parties should consider car sharing from Swainby village. There is parking (NZ523031) and an alternative approach from Carlton Bank with a 3km walk across the moor.
Due to ground nesting birds, the landowners have been granted a CRoW Act restriction to ensure dogs are kept on a lead. Most of the crag is also on the North York Moors SSSI. 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.
Good relations are enjoyed with the landowner / farmer and all users are asked to be considerate in their impact in respect to noise, litter, no fires, etc.
Park minibuses so that other climbers can also park.
Please be mindful of the impact of top-roping etc on the soft sandstone rock.