We’ve recently moved to north london. Looking at the UKC map there are quite a few spots for bouldering or trad ~2 hours from ours around Leicestershire. Anyone know and recommend any of these, for a one day trip? (Or would you say it’s not worth it and spend the extra hour on the road to get to the Peak?) cheers!
Me and a mate used to have midsummer weeknight trips to Ramshaw from just north of the M25 Cheshunt/Ware. Got loads done on those trips. Would leave about 4pm, take a few hours. Routes until dark, boulder by lamp until midnight, get home by about 3.30 am. Never regretted it. I've done day trips to The Lake District from Cornwall since and two day weekends to Ullapool.
Basically, you can get anywhere in The Peak in that time from North London if you get out of the door early, or better, the night before.
Not climbed in Leicestershire, but I did once go Chalk climbing in Cambridgeshire for the day too, it was fun. I imagine Leicestershire will be fun too!
In short. It's always worth it! Good luck
I went to uni in Loughborough so I've climbed at a lot of the venues nearby.
Craig Buddon has some nice trad routes, however if you are there during the working day (including weekends) expect to get turfed off by Severn Trent employees.
Charnwood Quarry is ADVENTUROUS, some really bold routes on loose rock, some enjoyably bold routes on big slabs.
Outwoods is crap, don't bother.
Hangingstone Rock is pretty rubbish and you're very likely to get kicked off.
Beacon Hill is nice if you are into micro routes on slippery rock.
Cademan Woods is meant to be good bouldering wise, however it was only starting to be developed when I was in final year of uni, guide on here:
There's meant to be some great climbing at high grades at The Brand, it's literally in the garden of the former Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire though so IIRC you have to call up his widow and ask if you can climb there:
There was a better website with photo topos at leicestershireclimbs.co.uk that you should be able to access via the internet archive.
I'm currently based in (far) north London, and Swanage/Portland/the Wye Valley/etc are doable in the same time it takes to get to the Peak.
Not that I'd ever suggest shiny or crumbling limestone over God's own rock myself, but if you ever decide you need variety...
Forest Rock is good for bouldering, especially at 7A and above. The style is quite unique, with steep burly climbing on undercuts and good holds with awkward feet. People tend to love or hate the style. Access is sensitive so keep noise to a minimum. It seeps after bad weather and condenses if the temperature spikes.
Cademan Woods has some good problems but the average quality is pretty low. Lots of extremely lowball problems and eliminates that people wouldn't bother to climb at a better venue. Some very sharp holds too. I wouldn't want to drive that far for Cademan very often. Dries very quickly after rain.
As others have said Leicestershire is a bit of an esoteric venue best for bouldering. I'm not saying it's all crap (allthough I really dont get the love for cademan woods). It doesn't pretend to be anything other than a bit of a weird locals only backwater. As an area it's very pleasant and there are a few gems and I have spent many a pleasant evening shredding my fingers on super sharp holds but I struggle to get the motivation to drive the 30 mins from my house, let alone from London.
If your considering choss close to the M1 the various magnesian limestone crags are ok. Again though the peak is better.
If we're talking esoteric climbing and a pleasant day out from London you can do a lot worse than the Southern Sandstone crags like Harrison's.
Nice setting, some really quite fun climbing, and an easy day trip from London.
Just make sure you follow the Southern Sandstone code (there's generally some self-appointed crag police at Harrison's anyway), and don't go down at all unless there's been s good spell of nice dry weather leading up to it.
Some really fun little routes though, and in a style that is unusual and rather esoteric.
Other than than, Swanage and Portland for a proper days climbing, but there and back in a day is lot.