Yorkshire Gritstone

Wild and raw are characteristics that immediately hit you on your first visit to Crookrise – this is a place shaped by elemental forces and commanding a first class view of the stunning landscape all around. It is a climbers playground and a place of peace and solitude for those happier keeping their feet firmly on the ground. Either way you are never truly alone as the call of grouse drifting across the crag and scuffling of field mice through bilberry shows. Don’t expect ego massaging grades here, but the lines this crag holds are exceptional and well worth any and all extra effort invested. 

Crag information
Climbing Area: Yorkshire Rock Type: Gritstone
Importance: National CRoW Land: Yes
Ownership: BMC Owned No. of Routes: 352
Within National Park: Yes Year Developed: 1900
Grid Reference: SD987558

The BMC purchased the crag and the strip of land immediately around it in 2017 for the benefit of climbers, walkers and public enjoyment on foot. The area owned by the BMC roughly translates on the ground to land from the wall above the crag to the tree line below it. This means that to reach BMC owned land, visitors will approach across Barden Moor - land owned by Bolton Abbey Estate, but subject to an access agreement which allows open access in a very similar way to the CRoW Act. (This agreement finishes in 2018, at which point Barden Moor will become official Open Access land under CRoW.) There is no public right of way leading from the access point at Embsay Moor Reservoir to BMC owned land, but given the open access rights to Barden Moor this is not a problem. However, the landowner has a right to temporarily close access to their land for up to 28 days per year (usually during the shooting season) and there is a permenant dog ban which applies to Barden Moor. See access and parking section below for details.

In 2023 an owl nest was reported in the wide diagonal crack which is on Route 1 and Route 4 on End Slab. Please approach carefully (and avoid these routes if it comes back) and any others passing close to this feature if the birds are nesting - which could be up until the end of June.

Parking and Approach

Park at Embsay Moor Reservoir and take the permissive path across Barden Moor (owned by Bolton Abbey Estate and part of a public access agreement) to the crag.

Bear in mind that the path is not a right of way but a permissive path and the land it crosses to reach BMC land can be temporarily closed for shooting for up to 30 days per year – please do not attempt to access Crookrise on these days. These closures can be at short notice, but signs will be posted at the access point and on this page when the BMC are notified. You can also visit or call the Bolton Abbey Estate Office on 01756 718000 and ask for any updates on closures. Importantly however access is never closed on a Sunday, which gives a reliable weekend day to visit if planning a trip in advance.

CRoW Information

The land owned by the BMC (the narrow strip of land approximately falling between the dry stone wall above the crag and the woodline below the crag) is desingated as Open Access land. The BMC encourages public access to this and all it's land for climbing, walking and other quiet recreation on foot.

Barden Moor (which must be crossed to reach BMC owned land) currently falls under a public access agreement between Bolton Abbey Estate and North Yorkshire Council allowing public access to the moor and a number of permissive paths, one of which runs past Crookrise. This access can be closed for up to 30 days per year under the agreement - see 'parking and approach' section for more details. The exisiting access agreement may finish in the future if either party choose to terminate it, at which point Barden Moor would become designated Open Access land under CRoW.

Area information

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Anonymous User
Although the BMC has purchased the crag access is still requires crossing the Duke of Devonshire estate and so the crag is still closed during the shooting season and it would be worth pointing this out in the above info. Asking the estate to post these closure dates at the car park as well as the access point (10 minutes walk away) would allow checking from the car and save considerable inconvenience.
Anonymous User
Are dogs still banned from the crag since BMC purchased the land? I know they were previously.
Anonymous User
Access September 2018
No notices posted at Crookrise or Halton access points this month.
Following posted on Bolton Abbey Estate Website:
''Barden Moor and Barden Fell Access Areas may be closed if there is a risk of fire or for shooting (Aug-Dec).
Barden Moor and Barden Fell Access Areas will not be closed for shooting until August 2019.
There will be no more moor closures due to shoots in 2018.
Closure dates for shooting are usually posted at the beginning of August and at the beginning of each month thereafter.''
Thought I had not seen many grouse. Fallen nicely as the crags are still fairly dry and temperatures are falling.