/ Climbing with baby - where to go in the UK?

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klara.m on 16 Jun 2017
Off climbing for a few weekends this summer - first time with our now 8 month old...

Looking for somewhere roughly equal distance from Reading & Newcastle (ie not south coast or north of the peaks), walk in 0min, flat bit at bottom away from rock to put baby, easy trad & preferably gritstone - suggestions please?

Bonus points for tips on gear/things to do with baby!

Sam W - on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to klara.m:

Have you got a spare adult to leave with your kid at the bottom of the crag? If not, then we found that bouldering was by far the best option when our kids were that age. If anything goes wrong with your little one while you're on lead, responding to it quickly is very difficult if both of you are attached to ropes etc. Although I would say we are definitely at the relaxed end of the parenting spectrum, we only tested this once, it was so disastrous we said never again, and that was before our eldest was mobile.

If you've got a spare adult then most of the Peak crags are great with kids. We've always taken enough clothing to keep them warm and something to provide shelter if it's really sunny. A couple of toys are useful, but from what I remember of little ones they were quite happy eating grass/rocks/insects and so largely entertained themselves.

Ours are now 4 and 6 and love a good day at the crag, it definitely gets easier as they get older.
heleno - on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to klara.m:

Windgather, Aldery Cliff, Harborough Rocks and Hobson Moor are some of the most accessible easy trad venues in the peak.

It's also worth considering easy sport venues as this can be easier for belaying with a baby. Horseshoe Quarry and Horsethief Quarry at Stoney have moderate grades and easy access, but keep the baby well away from the routes as there is loose rock.

Re gear I would recommend a self-locking belay device in case of emergencies. I've also seen people using pop-up playpens for babies at the crag; they didn't make them when our kids were young but they look great. We found Duplo bricks to the be the best crag toy, plus plenty of small snacks and drinks.

Hope you have fun!

klara.m on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam W:

Thanks - we have spare adults so will be well supervised...its just needing a safeish space for him to sit & eat grass ;)

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