/ Beginners Crags in the Peak District
Stanage. Hollybush Crack, Black Hawk Hell Crack, Bishops Route, Heaven Crack for seconding. Martello Cracks, Grotto Slab, Left Twin Chimney for easy first leads.
Windgather is my first choice usually for teaching
burbage north is a bit smaller heightwise than stanage, and a little bit less of a fish bowl than the stanage popular end- perhaps better for a first time out, so there is less likely to be a queue waiting impatiently for them to finish
however, the route quality at stanage is awesome. all of buxtoncoffeelover's suggestions are classics
only been to birchen once- wouldnt recommend, very polished starts and underwhelming. windgather also a bit uninspiring, though plenty of short diffs to go at
roaches another place that's brimming with classics, some very good ones in the grades you're looking at, and long for grit...
No no Birchens..as in the Peaks?
Windgather has loads of small easy climbs and suits the timid, but doesn't really impress the adrenaline/daredevil newcomer. Creating belays on some buttresses is an art.
Birchen Edge holds delights, but is slightly small/unimpressive.
Burbage North has some gems, nice small soloing/bouldering options & quieter buttresses further down the valley.
Roaches is class!! Grades sometimes feel harder than elsewhere. Can be very busy with groups during the week & is rammed on a nice weekend.
Stanage is the King of Grit Crags. Can feel big/intimidating or big/proper climbing, tho there are routes from only 6m high to 25m. Very busy at weekends, yet can be deserted midweek. Always somewhere away from crowds along 5km of buttresses
Thanks for the suggestions, hopefully we can hit a few of them!
Birchen has the the edge over Windgather.
Plus it has a pub at the bottom. :-)
"No no Birchens..as in the Peaks?"
You mean the Peak?
As a beginner myself, I've found Stanage and Windgather to be the venues with most to offer of those mentioned. Windgather has a non-existent walk-in and loads of really easy routes (although somewhat spoiled for the unaccompanied novice by the length of time it take to find the few decent placements for belays, shouldn't be a problem with you there to assist). It might be a bit sparse on HS though.
I found the Away From It All sector in Stanage really useful to rack up lots of practice at Mod and Diff. It's a really quiet beginner friendly area, but only a short and scenic walk from any other grade you might fancy. We walked along to the Popular End afterwards to see some better climbers close up and do some longer easy routes.
Just look through the guidebook for a good selection of routes at the grades you're interested in. I love natural grit but it can be off putting for a beginner - you might be better off going to Harborough or Brassington or a grit quarry (Yarncliffe / Lawrencefield / Tegness?)
Birchen, Burbage North and Froggatt are good beginner crags.
Stannage is too popular unless you walk miles.
Windgatehr is a bit naff, although Castle Naize is not bad.
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