Climbs 303
Rocktype Gritstone
Altitude 300m a.s.l
Faces SW

"Pensioner's at play" he said © Joshua Willett

Crag features

Birchen remains one of the most popular venues in the Peak due to its friendly atmosphere and good collection of low-grade routes. The place has always been a favourite with groups and this long-standing popularity has led to the wearing of many of the already rounded holds. Quite a number of the routes have slippery and awkward starts but get yourself going and things often ease rapidly with height. Summer weekends can be extremely busy, but if you leave the main section and head rightwards to the more secluded buttresses, you will probably find a bit of solitude. The majority of routes at Birchen have names of a nautical nature linked to the monument on the cliff top, erected to celebrate Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar back in 1805.

Approach notes

The usual approach is from the National Trust car park by the Robin Hood Inn. Walk up the road to a stile on the left and a sandy track that leads to the rocks in 10mins.

It is also possible to approach from the Gardom's parking spot.

Rockfax App

Available in the Rockfax App

The Rockfax App brings together all the Rockfax climbing information with UKC logbooks and presents it into a user-friendly package for use on Apple iOS devices (Android version to follow).


Eastern Grit

Updated and expanded edition of the award-winning Peak Grit East. Covers all the best routes on the eastern Gritstone edges of the Peak District - Wharncliffe, Rivelin, Dovestone Tor, Bamford, Stanage, Burbage North, Higgar Tor, Burbage South, Millstone, Lawrencefield, Yarncliffe, Froggatt, Curbar, Baslow, Gardoms, Birchen, Chatsworth, Cratcliffe, Black Rocks
More info

Peak Bouldering

The Peak Bouldering Rockfax is a massive book covering a huge area including all the main bouldering venues of the Peak District. It includes many more low-grade problems than have ever been documented before including 17 circuits with problems at V0+ 5a and under, and a further 21 circuits with problems at V2 5c and below.
More info
Just a heads up, my University society will be running our taster sessions here the weekend 1st + 2nd October. If there are any issues at all, feel free to get in touch at
edprince - 26/Sep/16
my favourite crag.
Stanners - 11/Sep/15
There is a pay car park and a field across the road. pick which you prefer. wet days I'd say the £4 will be worth it.
Lukem6 - 27/Oct/13
Surprised yesterday to have to pay for the Car Park. £2.50 up to 4 hours, £4 all day. Free to NT or RSPB members.
D Berry - 27/Oct/13
The is a problem on the back of the royal sovereign boulder that starts lying down under the overhang pulls through to a slot from slopers on the lip of the overhang and then on to the top with a tiny mono on the top. Does anyone no the name or grade? Thanks
ceturnock - 09/Sep/13
There's a large block halfway up Gun-cotton Groove (VD) on Kismet Buttress which is quite loose. Avoiding using this probably puts it up a grade. Perhaps no longer a "good beginners' climb".
Howard J - 04/Aug/10
Just a quick update... Took a youth group from my Church there this weekend and had a fantastic time. We climbed to the right of the monument, using "On Peak Rock" as a guide. First of all, there's about 500m of delicious rock to the right of the monument, which are not covered by the guidebook :( We camped at the Eric Byne memorial site by the Robin Hood Inn. It's run by the really old couple again, after being run by the Peak authority for a while. It's £2.50 pppn, with toilets and fresh water. They now have a bin area which is new since I was last there (2003). Still no campfires, but where can you these days :( Still a superb crag, unbeatable for groups, families, beginners and first-time outdoor lead climbers.
rich in wales - 20/Oct/07
Victory Vice the V Diff on the Kismet Buttress has got bats living in it just a warning!!!
David Hollyer - 30/May/06
I love this crag - Gives us VS climbers the chance for great low grade soloing. Lots of lovely classically grit moves on a small scale.
Reds - 08/Mar/04
Don\'t miss the great bouldering opportunities to be had on the three large boulders on top of the crag. Each boulder has its name carved into the rock and is named after the Flagships of Nelson\'s fleet at the battle of Trafalgar.
Michael Hunt - 20/Jan/02
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
 Far Left 
2PortsideHS 4b 16
3The BrinyE1 5b 5
4StarboardsideHS 4b 17
 Bosun's Wall 
6Bosun's NoseS 4c 154
7Bosun's CrackVD 279
8Bosun's WallHVD 4a 225
 Poop Deck 
10The GangplankM *882
11Poop Crackf3 76
12Handy CrackD 618
13Handy WallV0- *37
14Visitors OnlyHS 4a *482
15Visitors WallV1 18
16All AboardD 476
17Saltheart FoamfollowerHVS 5c *81
18Howships Lacunae
V5 *6
V1 *3
20Poop Deck CrackS 4a 342
21The PirateE2 6b 3
22Master and CommanderV5 *1
 Emma's Slab 
24Disabled Seaman
V3 *36
25Cabin Boy
V6 **71
26Cabin Boy Variationf6C *11
27The Cabin
V3 **73
V2 *38
29Sling Your Hammock
V1 **27
30Dan's ArÍtef6C *20
31Crow's Feetf5+ *13
32Land Ho!HS 4c *179
33The Crow's NestVS 4c **941
34Scrim Netf6A *126
35Lookout ArÍteS 4a *233
36The FunnelD *545
37Kiss Me HardyHVD 4a *601
38The DancerE1 5c 15
39Kiss Me Arse
f6A *49
40Kiss Me Arse (Sit-Start)f6C *39
41Monocled Monof6C 20
42Kiss Me Softyf6B *36
43Victory CrackHS 4b *691
44Victory GullyS 4a *310
45Emma's SlabVS 4b *561
46Roger the Cabin Boyf6C *2
47Technical Geniusf7A *29
48Technical Genius (Sit-Start)
f7A+ **6
49Technical Genius ArÍteV4 *17
50Emma's DilemmaS 4a *1373
51Emma RoydVS 4c *367
52Emma's TemptationHVD 4c *1188
53Emma's DelightHS 4b *773
54DeludedVS 4c *267
55Emma's DelusionS 4a *483
56The ProwVS 4c *754
57ArtificialVD 67
58Oak GullyM 55
59Oak Tower
VD 53
60Heather Corner
D 37
61Heather Corner SlabM 36
 Nelson's Slab 
63The Rigging
D 52
64The Bunk LadderS 4a 35
65Captain's PrerogativeHS 4b *842
66Captain's BunkHS 4b *766
67Telescope TunnelM **499
68Captain's Crawl
M 148
69Porthole ButtressS 4a *316
70Porthole DirectVS 4c **1151
71Victor HugoE4 6b *1
72Captain BirdseyeVS 4c 155
73Blind EyeS 4b *247
74The Proprioceptive Octetnone 21
75Admiral's Flushed HeadD 10
76Dead EyeHVS 6a 31
77Iron EyeV7 3
78Nelson's Slab Directf6A *11
79Nelson's SlabHS 5a *702
80Half NelsonVS 5a *280
81Left Ladder ChimneyVD 186
82SplicedS 4a 14
83Right Ladder ChimneyHVD 4a 141
 Sail Buttress 
85Midshipman / Plain SailingE2 6a ***79
HVS 5a 21
87Cold CompassE2 6b *1
88The KrakenE6 6c ***2
89Sail ButtressHS 4b **1843
90Roger the Cabin BoyVS 4c *121
91RatlineHVS 5b **536
92Amazing GraceE2 6a 4
93Sail ChimneyS 4a **1090
94TopsailVS 4c **2514
95Marie's Gone to CanadaE1 5c 1
96SpinnakerVS 5a 24
97Monument Chimney CrackVD *445
98Monument ChimneyD *676
 Orpheus Wall 
100Pillar WallS 4a 160
101The BowS 4a *261
102BuggerV1 16
103Orpheus WallHVS 5c **533
104UnderworldV2 16
105PeachesE4 6b ***40
106Peaches StartV3 15
107CreamV5 5
108PixieV1 5
109Pixie (Sit-Start)V5 3
110Orgasmic Variations in a Broom Cupboard
E1 5c  
E1 5b 1
112Monument GullyVD *276
113Book SnifferE6 6b 1
114Monument Gully ButtressHVS 5b *339
115The KeelHVS 5b *139
116Naughty NauticalsE2 6b 11
117The BoomHVS 5a *2
 The Three Ships 
V1 148
V0 *166
122The Victory Traverse
VB *101
V0 *214
124V for Victory
V0- *280
125Prow Left
V0 *266
126Prow Right
V0+ *262
127Prow Right Dyno
V4 *22
128Victor's Ledge
V0 *162
V0 *227
131The Defiance Traverse
V2 **74
132St. Vincent
V0+ *231
V0+ *193
V0 *218
V0 *271
136Tenerife Right-Hand
V0+ *138
 Royal Soverin 
V0- *210
139The Royal Soverin Traverse
V1 *56
V0 *185
141Buccaneer LeftV0- 67
V0 *138
143Press Gang
V1 *90
V1 *149
145Mini RoofV2 *26
 The Promenade 
147Cutting CornersS 4a 10
148The PromenadeD **1176
149The Promenade DirectHVD 4a *805
150PromarÍtef6A *39
151The ChainS 4a *756
152Megamix Left
V7 * 
153Gritstone Megamixf7A *13
154HMS Daringf7B+ *3
155Splendide Audax
156Thing on a Springf7A *69
157Hollybush GullyVD 4b *354
158Anchor TraverseHS 4b *199
159Floating AnarchyHVS 5a 53
160Powder Monkey ParadeS 4b **1592
161Oarsman ArÍtef6B+ *7
162Oarsmanf6B+ 19
163Oarsman Sit-Start
V6 **1
164'Oar 'Ousef7A 4
165Hornblowerf6C **73
166Obstructive Pensionerf7A+ *6
167Pensioner Right-Hand
V7 * 
168Jumpers for Trousersf7C+ * 
169Eliminate Flake
V0+ *4
170HangoverHVS 5b 80
171Admiral's ProgressD *477
172Polaris ExitD *230
173The Admiral's Head
D 3b 13
 Trafalgar Wall 
175Bulbous Bowf5+ 170
176HammockVS 5b *181
177Camperdown CrawlHS 4c **1805
178Camperdown Crawl Right-Hand VariantVS 5c 44
179Barnacle BulgeHS 4c *956
180Trafalgar CrackVD 4a *2399
181Trafalgar WallS 4b **2212
182The Defiance Variation
V0 13
183Defiance Crack
VD 4a 22
184The Long PromenadeVS 4b **45
 Stoker's Wall 
186Bell Bottom ArÍteS 4a 278
187Sailor's CrackS 4b *276
188Sailor's ProblemVD 635
189Whatknot?S 4b *326
190Reef KnotS 4b *672
191SheetbendS 4b 310
192Nautical CrackVD *996
193Heave HoS 4a 328
194Yo-Ho CrackVD *1434
195Rum WallVD 745
196Rum BreakVD 116
197Stoker's BreakVD 824
198Stoker's HoleHS 4a *970
199StokedS 4a *1066
200Stoker's WallD *1034
201Stoker's Wall Traverse
VD 3c 32
202Stoker's Wall Crack
M 2c 40
203Stoker's Wall FlakeV0- 31
204Chasing the DragonV9  
 Copenhagen Wall 
206Scandiwallf3+ 29
207Copenhagen Corner Left-Hand VariantVD 26
208Copenhagen Cornerf3+ 405
209Copenhagen Wall Traverse
S 4a 28
210ScandiarÍtef5+ *348
211Dane's Delightf5 *597
212Dane's Disgustf5 *353
213Carlsberg Exportf6B 19
214Mermaidf7C *3
215Copenhagen WallVS 5a *465
V8 **45
217Wonderful Copenhagenf4+ *324
218Mast Gully RidgeVD *473
219Mast GullyM 242
 The Fo'c'sle 
221Mast Gully WallVD 4b 136
222Mast Gully CrackHS 4b *212
223Mast Gully ButtressVS 5a *202
224Fo'c'sle WallVS 4c *366
225Fo'c'sle CrackS 4b *688
226Fo'c'sle ChimneyVD *270
227Fo'c'sle ArÍteVS 5b *79
228Fo'c'sle ArÍte Direct StartV1 4
229Broadsidef6A+ *27
230LowsideV5 *6
231The Brigandf7C+ *3
232The Buccaneerf7A *2
233Cave GullyVD *96
 Tar's Wall 
235Ta Very MuchHS 4c 107
236Tar's ArÍteVD 4a *399
237Ta Ta For NowHS 5a 271
238Tar's CrackVD *487
239Tar's TeeterVS 4c *14
240Tar's WallHVD 4b 642
241Sodomyf6C **26
242Tar's TraverseD 337
243Tar's ClimbM 198
244Tar's GullyD 377
245Pig HeadS 4c 264
246PigtailS 4a 312
247Wavedancef4+ 123
248Prow WallM 242
249Prow GullyM 40
250Prow Gully Prow
HD 3a 25
 Barbette Buttress 
252Barbette ArÍteS 4b 33
253Barbette CrackHS 4b *236
254Barbette WallS 4a 157
255Barbette ButtressS 4b *410
256Cannonball CrackS 3c 100
257Cannonball Wall Direct Start
VS 5a 66
258Cannonball WallVD *426
259Gunner's GangwayD 301
260Lieutenant's LadderD 174
 Seasick Slab 
262Midge's ManoeuvreE2 6a 11
263Middy's ManoeuvreHS 4c *144
264MidwayE1 6b 36
265Torpedo TubeHVD 4a *232
266FlatabackE1 6a 15
267Das BootVS 5a 25
268Gunner's GrooveD 277
269Seasick ArÍte Left-Hand Variation
V0 *18
270Seasick ArÍtef4+ *423
271Seasick Slabf3+ 586
272Seasick Stevef6A+ *11
273Sick as a Parrot
HD 4a 29
274Men UnitedV1 25
275Isle of MenV2 *20
 Wooden Leg Wall 
277Three Sheets to the Wind
HVD 4b 18
278Cabin FeverHVD 4a 88
279Wooden Leg Wall - Left CornerD 3b 23
280Spotted Dick
V3 3
281Moby DickS 4a 171
282Old CodgerVS 4c *84
283Bold CodgerE2 6a 5
284Wooden Leg WallHVS 5c *61
285Owd GadgeeE2 6a 4
286Young Gadfly
HS 4b 16
287Wooden Leg Wall - Right Corner
HD 3c 23
288Stoker's CrackS 4b 98
289Stoker's SaunterVD 118
290Knick KnackE1 5b 41
291Easy CornerM 42
292Matelot's MeanderS 4a 134
 Kismet Buttress 
294Yard Arm
V0- 34
295Implosionf5+ 40
296Explosionf4+ *189
297Blast Hole Wallf5 *133
298Cor Limey!VD 27
299Powder KegS 4a 48
V3 5
301FuseVS 5a *242
302Gun-Cotton GrooveVD *455
303Cook's RibE1 5c *153
304Horatio's DirectVS 4c *161
305Horatio's HorrorHS 4a **499
306Heavy CruiserE1 6a  
307Nelson's NemesisVS 4b ***787
308Tom's ArÍteE5 6b 1
309Victory ViceVD *140
310For Queen and CountryHVS 4c 48
311DeviceHVS 4c 157
312Gunpowder Gully ArÍteS 3c 161
313Gunpowder GullyD 116
314Sea Dog SlabVD 143
315Sea Dog Slab Direct
V0- 10
316Sea Dog Slab Indirect
V0- 7
317Sailor's chuteHVD 4a 68
318They Think It's All Over
VS 4b 6
319It Is Now
VD 3c 15
320It Is Now DirectVD 4b 11
321Nelson's Slab Direct Sit-start Plinth Eliminate *f7A 2
322Colder Compass *V5  
323Scuttlebutt *V6  
324Traverse into Hornblower *V6 1
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

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