Altitude 200m a.s.l
Matthew free soloing a route in a disused quarry. © Joel Stephenson
Head End Quarry forms one of a series of small limestone quarries found in the Carboniferous Limestone which forms a ridge around the northern edge of the English Lake District. Suitable for novices and as an alternative to the cafe when it's raining too hard down Borrowdale.
The quarry has a south facing aspect and is about 30 feet high and 140 feet long. It is relatively quick to dry, views from the top are extensive - North across the Solway plain (and Firth) to Scotland, and South to the back a Skiddaw fells (watch for the sunset behind Binsey - it can be truly magnificent).
Erosion is becoming a problem at the top of the quarry so avoid setting top ropes which will cause any more erosion - get the belay krab OVER THE EDGE. Iron stakes give belays at the top of the quarry.
The quarry is popular with groups and can be crowded at times.
Nearest facilities are in Ireby (two pubs one containing the village shop and post office), closest phone box is 300 yards down the hill to Sandale and take the first right.
Car parking is available along the road by the quarry in a few lay-bys. Space for around 5 cars. The track running into the quarry is now blocked but there is space available to park.
It should also be noted that the whole area has been designated a "Country Wildlife Site" with numerous flora and fauna species, some of which are quite rare.
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