/ Climbing location & guide recommendations - Southern Scotland

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Kamakazie! on 21 Mar 2014
A group of us are going to be up in Edinburgh around June time and was wondering if there are any recommendations for somewhere to travel to for some climbing / hiking that is within easy reach by public transport?

We plan to spend 2 days there so it can be 2-3 hours travel if necessary.

We won't be able to take much gear so somewhere with a local activity company / climbing guide that can take me & some friends on sport routes would be good.

We are pretty new to climbing and won't have done much outside by that point so the lower / mid grades would probably be most suitable (climbing early 5+ to 6b+ indoors at the moment).

Thanks in advance.
Kamakazie! on 01 Apr 2014
In reply to Kamakazie!:

Any ideas?
mav - on 01 Apr 2014
In reply to Kamakazie!:

Just head to Salisbury Crags and try the Black Traverse.
Mark Bull - on 01 Apr 2014
CurlyStevo - on 01 Apr 2014
In reply to Kamakazie!:
You have seriously restricted your options there, the only true option I can think of is the cobler going to Tarbet station.

That said Aviemore is 3 hours by train. You could probably stay there and get your guide / instructor to pick you up from there for climbing in the northern corries or other nearby areas. For this area I can recommend Ron Walker / Talisman Mountaineering.

On the other hand I prefer the climbing in the Glencoe area but that's a fair bit harder to get to by public transport.

Personally I'd consider hiring a car.
Post edited at 15:43
CurlyStevo - on 01 Apr 2014
In reply to Kamakazie!:

oops I didn't read the op properly sorry! If you only want low grade sport climbing your options are completely different.

There's not a lot of great sport climbing destinations at the grades your looking for but quite a lot of ok ones. Weem, Arbroath, Benny Beg are all options that shouldn't be too hard to get to. That said a day following the guide leading trad at either Dunkeld or Glen Clova would be more rewarding and the mountain areas I mentioned in my last post would be much better still and would provide the proper highland experience.

I think you should contact a guide based in Edinburgh and see what they say. You may find one that is willing to provide transport as well as instructing and they may be better placed to suggest destinations after talking to you. These guys do provide both but I don't know much else about them http://www.epic-ventures.com/rock-climbing.php
sneaks - on 01 Apr 2014
In reply to Kamakazie!:

Hey Kamakazie!, Drop me an email and we can discuss what you and your friends would like.
Nic DW - on 01 Apr 2014
In reply to Kamakazie!:
If your after sport climbing (as your grades suggest) then North Berwick offers a few in a nice setting and ~45mins on a cheap, frequent train. Great for an evening!

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=159

Guidebook: SMC Lowland outcrops

Benny Beg is excellent for beginners sport: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=1958

There are bus services to Crieff (2.4 miles away) from Sterling and Perth both with rail/bus links to Edinburgh

Arbroath sea cliffs are a really good option: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=1887

Train direct from Edinburgh in under 2 hrs and there are plenty more venues along that coast all the way to Aberdeen.

Guidebook: SMC North-East outcrops, Scottish sport climbs

If your interested in being guided then head to the highlands proper and learn some trad ;-). Aviemore, Kingussie, Bridge of Orchy and Arrochar all under 3 hrs by train...
Post edited at 21:58
Kamakazie! on 01 Apr 2014
In reply to Kamakazie!:

Thanks for all the help. I'll have a proper read and take it from there.
Sneaks I'll be in touch.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 01 Apr 2014
In reply to Kamakazie!:

There is good climbing near Edinburgh, but it is inside at EICA Ratho. It is definitely worth a visit and a far better option for sport climbing 5+ to 6b than anything outdoors within 2 hours on public transport from Edinburgh.

There's also good hiking in easy reach of Edinburgh on public transport in the Pentlands (there's a good Cicerone guide book) or coastal paths towards North Berwick and Dunbar.
CMcBain - on 01 Apr 2014
In reply to Kamakazie!:

Kirriemuir is another option that's not been mentioned, nice sunny outlook and plenty to go at in the grade range you've specified. In terms of public transport, you could get a train to Dundee and then there is regular bus services to Kirriemuir.

If you're all competent indoor lead climbers, i'm sure you'd be able to safely climb at Kirrie. Maybe do a bit of reading, and practice how to thread anchors at the top of sport climbs for lowering off. (although many of the easier routes at Kirrie have steel snap gates for this anyway).

Have a good time.
CurlyStevo - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to CMcBain:

Go all the way to Scotland hire a guide and go to kirrie, that would be a shame. Arbroath is better but the grades are quite stiff, the rock takes a bit of getting used to and the easier routes aren't all that IMO.
CurlyStevo - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to Nic DW:

Just the train journey part of the bridge of orchy is 3 hrs 45. Is there much good rock climbing around there before you get to Glencoe?
CMcBain - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I was semi-suggesting that if the OP was competent just to go there by themselves and work it out, although Kirrie probably isn't the most inspiring place to spend 2 days! Saying that, i've seen people set up tents over weekends right below the crag at Kirrie so cant be that bad!
CurlyStevo - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to CMcBain:
Kirrie is alright I guess I've had some good evenings there :) Possibly better climbing than many of the Angus quarries but on poorer rock.

Has it cleaned up much? The rock looked like it would just keep eroding away to more sand in places to me.
Post edited at 08:56
dsiska on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to Kamakazie!:

North Berwick Law is close to E. and has pleasant sport climbing (short routes). Not sure what the public transport is like but I think it's possible to take the train to North Berwick and walk.

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