North York Moors

A very popular venue including with groups. There are associated issues, including parking, erosion to the approaches and crag environment, and wear on the crag itself which is sandstone. Please be mindful of this and make every effort to minimise the impact of any visit.

OCTOBER 2023. A number of culverts have become blocked causing seepage down the line of the approach path. Individuals have been removing stones from the dry stone wall to create “stepping stones” up the path. This is putting at risk the good relations with the farmer and the permissive access. Arrangements are in hand to remedy the drainage issues but in the meantime there must not be any further removal of stones from the walls.

Top quality venue with a great collection of south facing, quick-drying crags & boulders only 10mins from the road.

Scots Crag (NZ518003) is directly above the parking in Scugdale. 

Barker's Crag (NZ521002) is across a stile / wall and further right.

Stoney Wickes (NZ526002) is further right and veres off north-east.

Crag information
Climbing Area: North East Rock Type: Sandstone
Importance: Regional CRoW Land: Yes
Ownership: Private No. of Routes: 255
Within National Park: Yes Year Developed: 1930
Grid Reference: NZ518003

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 some excellent bouldering. 

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. There is a field gate on the right, some way up to Scugdale Hall with what looks like space to park opposite, the gate is regularly used and the space required for turning in, please do not park in this spot. 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.

CRoW Information

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.  

Group Advice

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.

Area information

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