Climbs 437
Rocktype Dolerite
Altitude 111m a.s.l
Faces N

View Stats

Rainbow over Fair Head © bugs29

Crag features

The massive dolerite sill of Fair Head is one of the best crags in Britain and Ireland. Located at the northeastern tip of Antrim, it gives an impressive outlook to Rathlin Island and the Mull of Kintyre, and offers many outstanding routes at every grade from VS to E9. In the E2-E5 range there are more than 100 ** or *** routes. The scope for new lines is still great, and large sections remain unclimbed.

The most popular routes are the shorter and more easily accessed, either from Murlough Bay or the Grey Man's Path on the 'dark side', or by the Ballycastle Descent Gully to the west. The most frequently visited of all are the excellent single-pitch lines on the Prow, which are even showing a bit of wear and tear these days. The tall, intimidating walls in the middle of the crag see less traffic, but are highly recommended to the more adventurous visitor.

As is the nature of a north-facing dolerite crag, on routes that have not been climbed for a while it is worth abseiling the line to clear out cracks, brush lichen and remove any flakes that have come loose.

Approach notes

There are a few different parking options depending on which part of the crag you're aiming for. Sean's farm car park at the Ballycastle end asks for a donation, while the signposted National Trust car park is a better option for routes approached by the Grey Man's Path. The approach walk to the top of the main crag from either is about 15 minutes. The eastern end of the crag can be approached from the Murlough Bay car park. The two descent options to the base of the crag on foot are by the Ballycastle Descent Gully or Grey Man's Path. Walking along the base of the crag for any distance is not recommended (it is possible but time-consuming and seriously unpleasant), so for routes in the middle a 100m abseil rope is handy.

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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  The Small Crag
2 Backwoods Jellyroll
-
VS 4c * 13
3 Epileptic Grasshopper
-
E1 5b * 7
4 Droughting About
-
HS 4b 5
5 Elvis Lives HS 4b 3
6 Dirty Elvis VS 4c 1
7 Diggers Delight E1 5b 1
8 PP
-
VS 4b * 5
9 The Gypsies Nicked Me Squeegee
-
E3 6a  
10 The Stump
-
HS 4b 3
11 Voluminous Overcoats
-
VS 4c 4
12 Skin the Goat
-
HVS 5a 1
13 Downward Bound E2 5c 2
14 Horse Feathers
-
VS 4b * 20
15 Pat's Route
-
VS 4c * 27
16 Duck Soup
-
VS 4c * 8
17 One Crack Mind
-
HVS 5b * 21
18 The Jungle Line
-
VS 4c * 19
19 Second Choice
-
S 4a 3
20 Zoot Horn Rollo
-
VS 4c 5
21 Aghaidh Na Muice
-
VS 4c 20
22 Sexter's Route
-
VS 4c 17
23 Peace through Nudism VS 4b 7
24 Gravy Booby E1 5b 5
25 Wink
-
VS 4c 1
26 Santana
-
VS 4b 10
27 Screeboar the Omniscient E2 5b/c 7
28 Let the Children Play
-
HVS 5b 6
29 Peas n' Carrots E2 5c * 4
30 Ton le Gaoith
-
VS 4c 18
31 Easy Go
-
S 3c 6
32 Left Crack
-
VD 22
33 Quare Craic HS 4c 10
34 Central Crack
-
VD 12
35 Right Crack
-
S 7
36 Seeds of the Weeds
-
E2 5b 2
37 Clean Break
-
VS 4c 5
38 Plan 9 from Outer Space HVS 5b * 8
39 Thunderchild
-
E3 6b * 1
40 Nobody Move E4 6a ** 1
41 Nobody Get Hurt E4 6b ** 1
42 Run the World
-
E4 5c  
43 Jack in the Green
-
E1 5a * 3
44 A Carrot is as Close as a Rabbit gets to a Diamond
-
VS 4c 2
45 Abba Zabba
-
VS 4b 3
46 Thinking Cap
-
VS 5b 2
47 Thinking Cap (direct finish)
-
HVS 5a 3
48 Phoenix
-
VS 4c * 8
49 Living Doll
-
E2 5c * 2
50 Morrigan
-
E2 5b * 1
51 Snatch of the Day VS 5a * 8
52 Focus
-
VS 4c * 11
53 Focus (alternative start)
-
VS 5b * 4
54 The Wall of Jer'n Co. E5 6a 1
55 Jeffrey
-
HVS 5a * 8
56 Fenenstron
-
HS 3
57 Astazou
-
VD 7
58 A Scream of Two Bats
-
VS 4c 4
59 Scornflake
-
HVS 5a * 12
60 Liberty Cap
-
E1 6a * 5
61 J L Seagull
-
HS 4b * 18
62 Tentative Decisions
-
E3 6a  
63 Foxbat VS 4c 7
64 Fissure Fuar VS 4b * 26
65 Christine
-
HS 4a 2
66 Paradigm
-
VS 5a 3
67 Rubberwrist HS 4b 20
68 Juniper Dodge E1 5b 3
69 Spinola
-
S 4a * 60
70 Pitchfork
-
S 4a 20
71 Pitchfork (alternative finish)
-
VS 4c * 26
72 Bullrush
-
VS 4c * 39
73 The Sting
-
HVS 5b * 17
74 Morning
-
S 4a 7
75 Greased Frightening
-
VD 4
76 Emptying the Elsan
-
S 3c 6
77 Provisional Travesty
-
S 4a 1
78 Rain Race
-
E2 6a  
79 Prunesquallor
-
HS 4b 2
80 Flay
-
VS 4c 14
81 Hejira
-
E3 5c * 5
82 Fuschia VS 4b * 20
83 Sycamore VS 4c * 1
84 Hazelnut Arete HVS 5b 1
85 Hometown Jam
-
HVS 5b * 16
86 Lir's Scoop
-
VS 4c * 18
87 Terminal Eyes
-
E3 5c * 1
88 Corner Variant HVS 5a 1
89 Glipe
-
VS 4c 2
  The Middle Crag
91 Jug Hands
-
E1 5b * 1
92 Solid Bond
-
E1 5b *  
93 A Fringe of Leaves
-
E3 6a **  
94 Easy Skanking
-
E1 5c ** 2
95 Sugar Magnolia
-
E1 5b ** 3
  Below the Main Crag
97 Trivial Pursuit
-
E1 5c  
98 Saginaw Song
-
S 4c 1
  Binnagapple Area
100 December
-
HVS 5a ** 103
101 Duais Arete E7 6b *** 1
102 Duais E1 5b 7
103 Poor Relation E1 5b ** 19
104 Long Runs the Fox E9 6c ***  
105 Feats Don't Fail Me Now
-
E2 5b 3
106 Raglan Road E3 6a *** 15
107 Raglan Road Direct E6 6a **  
108 Binn na gCapall
-
E2 5c * 1
109 Curser
-
E2 5b  
110 Doldrum E2 5c ** 11
111 Clarion
-
VS xs 1
112 Hurricane E2 5b *** 143
113 Hurricane (Direct Finish)
-
E2 5c *** 25
114 The Vital Spark E2 5c ** 8
115 Green Corner
-
HS xs  
116 An Empty Book E8 6b ***  
117 Visual Contact
-
E3 6b ** 5
118 Darth Vader Lives
-
HVS xs  
119 Rusty Halo E4 6a *** 25
120 Serem
-
HVS xs  
121 Cake Walk E3 5c ** 4
122 Toby Jug
-
E1 5b ** 151
123 The Brasser
-
E2 5c *** 79
124 Sandpiper
-
E2 5c *** 114
125 Striapach HVS 5a * 10
126 Jolly Roger
-
E3 6a *** 113
127 Blade Runner
-
E3 5c *** 33
128 Track of the Cat E4 6a *** 56
129 The Dark Side
-
E8 6c *** 5
130 Orange Blossom Special
-
E1 5b  
131 Sreang Scuab
-
E2 5c 4
132 Blood Line
-
E3 6a  
133 Earnshaw's Route VS  
134 Kneewrecker
-
HVS 5a  
135 Learning to Fly
-
E5 6a *** 1
136 Wiseblood
-
E1 5c  
137 Orangefield
-
VS 4c  
138 The Lone Groover
-
HVS 4c  
  Grey Man's Path East
140 Night Rider E5 6a *** 5
141 Lost Highway E5 6a ** 2
142 Polaris E5 6b ** 1
143 Njold's Saga E3 5c 1
144 Njold's Saga Direct
-
E3 6a ** 2
145 Thor E3 5c ** 6
146 Liv E3 6a *** 2
147 Baldur E3 5c ** 3
148 Odin E3 5c ** 4
149 Cu Uladh HVS 5a 1
150 Rathlin Red E4 5c 1
151 The Grey Man E4 5c **  
Climb name Grade
152 Soylent Green E1 5b * 2
153 Soylent Green (Top Pitch Variation)
-
E3 6b 1
154 Bum's Rush
-
E2 5c *  
155 Magennis Route
-
E2 5c  
156 The Rocafella
-
E7 6c *** 2
157 The Unforgettable Fire
-
E1 5b * 4
158 The Sheltering Sky
-
E1 5b 1
159 Blood Meridian
-
E2 5c  
160 Deadly Pursuit
-
E5 6b **  
161 Pacemaker
-
E3 5c 1
162 Idir na Rithe
-
VS 4c 8
163 Antagonist
-
E3 6a 2
164 Cumberland Blues
-
HVS 5a 1
165 World of Suits
-
VS 4c 4
166 Coaster
-
HS xs  
  Grey Man's Path West
168 Mainstream
-
E4 6a *  
169 Child's Play
-
E3 5c *  
170 Paralyzed Power E6 6b *** 2
171 Low Profile
-
E3 5c * 3
172 Power Play
-
E4 6a *  
173 Zulu HVS 5a 1
174 Burn Up
-
E1 5a *** 188
175 Abyssinia E3 5c *** 4
176 The Famished Road HVS 5a 6
177 Creeper E1 5b * 4
178 Semaphore Signals
-
E4 5c ** 1
179 Kraken E2 5b  
180 Cat's Malacky E2 5c  
181 Saladin E5 6b  
182 Thran E2 5c  
183 Infidel E5 6b *** 4
  The White Lightning Amphitheatre
185 Black Magic
-
E4 6a ** 1
186 Born to Run E4 6a *** 46
187 Hallowe'en E4 6a *** 38
188 Hallowe'en Arete E4 6b *** 19
189 Crusader E4 6a ** 5
190 Scott's Pine
-
E4 6a  
191 Eat the Peach
-
E3 6a *  
192 The Icarus Gun E3 6a ** 1
193 The Slope
-
E3 5c  
194 The Badlands
-
E4 6a ** 1
195 Day Tripper
-
E3 6a ** 1
196 Streets of Fire E3 6a *** 12
197 White Lightning
-
E3 5c 1
198 Zeus
-
E3 5c  
199 The Weasel
-
E2 5c ** 1
200 Seabhac E6 6b *** 1
201 Broc
-
E3 5c *  
202 Shattered Innocence
-
E3 5c  
203 November
-
HVS 5a 2
204 New City Allstars
-
E1 5b * 3
205 Martin's Route
-
E2 5b * 2
206 Scarecrow
-
E2 5c ** 12
  Bird Hide Block Area
208 Samhna
-
HS xs  
209 King Cobra
-
E1 5a  
210 Joints and Jams
-
E2 5c  
211 Rumours E5 6a ***  
212 Baptism of Fire
-
E5 6b * 1
213 Raven E2 5b 3
214 Masquerade
-
HS 4b  
215 Back to the Future 8 E4 6a ** 11
216 Blackout
-
E5 6a *** 2
217 Scorpion E3 5c *** 10
218 Something Horrible E3 6a 1
219 Walk on the Wild Side E1 5b * 2
  An Bealach Rúnda Area
221 Un Jour, Peut-Etre E6 6b *** 2
222 Where the Wild Things Are E5 6b *** 4
223 An Gobán Saor E1 5b * 11
224 The X-Men E3 6a *** 24
225 The Wolverine Finish
-
E4 6b  
226 An Bealach Rúnda E1 5b *** 174
227 An Bealach Eile
-
E8 6c ***  
228 Sirocco
-
E1 5b  
229 Northern Exposure E5 6b *** 16
230 Waiting for the Sun E4 6a *  
231 Flashdance E2 5b  
232 Peacadh Marfach E2 5b  
233 Absolute Zero E5 6b **  
234 Give Up E4 6b **  
235 Tractors of Desire
-
E3 5c * 1
236 AD 43
-
E5 6b **  
237 Dark Forces E3 6a *** 18
238 Men of Kernow
-
E5 6b *  
239 Landscapes of Light
-
E4 6a **  
240 Supermassive Black Hole
-
E3 5c *  
241 Superpod
-
E7 6c **  
  The Terraces
243 Tristan E3 5c ** 5
244 Iseult E4 6a ** 6
245 Uisce faoi Thalamh E2 5c *** 15
246 Barabbas
-
E4 6a ***  
247 Fiach Dubh
-
E4 6a **  
248 The Artful Dodger E2 5b ** 3
249 Avarice E4 6a ***  
250 Heart and Soul E4 6a *** 8
251 Morphine and Chocolate
-
E2 5c 2
252 Chapter House
-
E4 6a  
253 Blockbuster E2 5c *** 52
254 Herbivore HVS xs 1
255 The Vandals
-
E2 5c ** 5
256 Drag Race Queen
-
E1 5b * 5
257 Silent Running
-
E4 5c ** 1
258 Aifric E2 5c * 1
259 Easy Rider E2 5b * 3
260 Fired Earth
-
E5 6b ** 2
261 Birth Rite
-
E5 6a ** 1
262 Bates's Motel E3 5c ** 6
263 Solid Mandala E3 6a ** 4
264 ESP VS xs  
265 Clontarf E3 5c  
  Rathlin Wall Area
267 Roaring Meg VS 5a ** 109
268 Faerie Stories E6 6b ***  
269 Cúchulainn E2 5c *** 76
270 Death or Glory E5 6a *** 4
271 London Calling E5 6b **  
272 Viking HVS xs  
273 Lochlannach E3 6a *  
274 Waist Deep in Alligators E4 6a *** 5
275 Little Martha
-
S 4b 3
276 Drowsy Maggie
-
S 4a 3
277 Buttons and Bows
-
E4 6a *** 16
278 Spirited Away E7 6b ***  
279 Cinnabar
-
E2 5c * 6
280 Candy Kisses
-
E4 6a *** 14
281 Puritan
-
E2 5c  
282 Tech Duinn E7 6b ** 1
283 Tír na nÓg E6 6a ** 3
284 Reilig
-
E3 5c ** 3
285 XL
-
E4 6a *  
286 XL (Variation Start)
-
E4 6a  
287 Fortune and Glory D * 1
288 Stop Making Sense
-
E5 6b **  
289 Talking Heads
-
E4 6a ** 19
290 Muck Savage
-
HVS xs 1
291 Licence to Kill E4 5c **  
292 Cool Hand Luke E2 5c * 7
293 The Hustler
-
E3 6a *** 42
294 Conchubair
-
E2 5c *** 87
295 The Mask E5 6a *** 48
296 Face Value E4 6a *** 105
297 Flying Lizards E3 6a ** 2
298 Smashing Pumpkins E6 6a *  
299 Full of Energy, Ready 2 Party E5 6a *** 1
300 The Stoat E2 5c ** 14
301 Judgement Day E7 6b *** 1
302 Heaven Can Wait E4 6a ** 3
Climb name Grade
303 Promised Land E4 6a *** 43
304 The Complete Scream E8 6b *** 3
305 Primal Scream E6 6a *** 31
306 Blind Pew E2 5b *** 135
307 End Game E5 6a *** 3
308 Mizen Star E2 5b *** 110
309 Mizen Star/Blind Pew combination E2 5b *** 9
310 Titanic
-
E2 5c *** 59
311 Maiden Voyage
-
E5 6b ** 1
312 Salango
-
E3 5c *** 76
313 The Fame Game E4 6b ** 6
314 Hughie Green (Fame Game Direct Start) E3 5c ** 4
315 Equinox E2 5b *** 162
316 A Bad Skin Day E7 6c *** 5
317 The Big Skin E8 6c ***  
  The Wall of Prey
319 The Rathlin Effect E8 6c ***  
320 Above and Beyond E6 6b *** 19
321 Below and Behold E7 6c ***  
322 Once You Go Black You Never Go Back E7 6c ***  
323 Where the Grass is Green E7 6c ***  
324 The Wall of Prey E5 6b *** 88
325 The Wall of Prey (Direct Start) E5 6b ***  
326 Way of the Jive Monkeys E7 6b *** 3
327 Taming the Tiger E6 6b ***  
328 Phil E5 6b **  
329 Styx
-
E7 6c *** 3
330 Styx (pre-collapse)
-
E5 6b *** 1
  Ballycastle Descent Gully East
332 Hell's Kitchen HVS 5a *** 270
333 Hell's Kitchen Arete E6 6a *** 28
334 A Rite of Passage E4 6b  
335 Two Sides to the Story E4 5c  
336 Manannán E1 xs  
337 Ocean Boulevard E3 5c *** 67
338 Aoife E2 5b ** 137
339 Closing Time
-
E6 6c  
340 Girona
-
VS 5a *** 354
341 Musarat
-
E4 6a * 2
342 Chieftain
-
VS 4b ** 262
343 Taoiseach
-
VS 4c * 139
344 Cyclone
-
E3 5c * 1
345 Racing Line
-
E6 6b **  
346 Run Fast Run Free
-
E3 6a * 44
347 Hector Pickaxe
-
E5 6b 1
348 April
-
E1 5b * 33
349 April (Variation Finish)
-
E1 5b ** 61
350 The Brat
-
VS 4b 34
351 Master Chapster
-
HVS 5a 12
352 Cruthin
-
S 10
  Ballycastle Descent Gully West
354 Offcuts
-
HVS 5a 7
355 Dusty Rhodes
-
E2 5c * 1
356 Emmanuelle
-
VS 4b * 6
357 Soulful Eyes
-
VS 4c 1
358 Andromeda
-
HVS 4c 2
359 Eithne Inguba
-
E1 5b * 3
360 Argosy E1 5a * 4
361 Odyssey VS 4c ** 84
362 Odyssey (Variation)
-
E1 5b 4
363 Dearg Doom VS 4c * 9
364 Atlantic City
-
E1 5b *  
365 The Great Plains
-
E2 5c  
366 Sodbuster
-
VS 4c * 3
367 Rumplestiltskin
-
E3 5c 1
368 End of an Era
-
E2 5c  
369 Pepper and Bracket
-
E2 5c  
370 The Quiet Man
-
E2 5b  
  The Prow
372 Five Gears in Reverse E1 5b 1
373 Jubilee
-
E1 5b  
374 Pyrrhic Victory
-
E2 5b ** 11
375 Cyprus Avenue
-
E3 6a  
376 Threadneedle Street
-
E3 5c  
377 Mojave
-
E3 5c  
378 Thunder Road
-
E3 5c *** 12
379 Wagger Moon
-
E2 5c ** 21
380 The Doffer
-
E1 5b * 9
381 Black Taxi
-
E1 5b * 17
382 Darkness
-
E2 5c ** 37
383 Mongrel Fox
-
E1 5b ** 81
384 Thunderhips
-
E1 5b ** 58
385 Thunderhips Direct
-
E4 6a 1
386 Fireball
-
E1 5b *** 232
387 Midnight Cruiser E1 5b *** 383
388 Marconi Arête
-
E4 6a * 3
389 Marconi E3 5c *** 129
390 The Embankment
-
E2 5c *** 157
391 Railroad
-
E1 5b *** 300
392 Balooba
-
VS 4c 22
393 Sabre Rattler
-
HVS 4c * 37
394 Stone Mad
-
HVS 5a 57
395 Revival
-
HVS 5a 21
396 Curlew
-
VS 4c 65
397 Contortions
-
VS 4c 37
398 Poxy Arete
-
E2 5c 2
399 Contractions
-
VS 5a 43
400 Foxy
-
HS 9
401 Good Morning Judge
-
HVS 5a 97
402 Fáth Mo Bhuartha
-
E1 5b *** 258
403 GBH
-
E3 6a *** 127
404 The Black Thief
-
VS 4b *** 454
405 The Fence
-
VS 4c *** 362
406 The Offence
-
HVS 5a 90
407 Residue
-
HS 4a 1
408 Jungle Rock
-
VS 5a 5
409 Los Molinos
-
HS 4a 4
410 La Molinero
-
HVS 5a 14
411 Bramble
-
S 43
412 Driodar na hAille
-
HS 18
413 Simple Minds
-
E1 5b * 46
414 Salamander
-
VS 4c 11
  Farrangandoo
416 Gunther Grass
-
S 7
417 Casablanca VS 4c 26
418 Cadiz
-
E1 5c 3
419 Cairo
-
HVS 5a 4
420 Fargo
-
E3 5c  
421 Belfast Cowboys
-
E4 6a  
422 The Kerb
-
E3 5c ** 1
423 Slittery Slat
-
E2 5c ** 4
424 Crib Pad Crack
-
E1 5b *** 58
425 Crib Pad Crack Direct
-
E3 6a *** 14
426 Pangur Bán
-
HVS 5a *** 95
427 Dark Corners
-
E1 5b 2
428 Loosestrife
-
E1 5b 2
429 Alleycat HVS 5b 2
430 Samson VS 4c * 4
431 Lazarus VS 4c * 36
432 Hard Rain E1 5b 11
433 Jezebel HVS 5b * 15
434 Velocette VS 4b * 9
435 Providence HVS 5a 4
436 The Squirt VS 4b 3
437 Essence
-
E3 5c  
438 Unnamed Triptic
-
E2 5c  
439 Big Hooothcher
-
E3 6a  
440 Kor
-
E3 5c  
441 Joy Division
-
E2 5c 1
442 Big Sky
-
E2 5c * 1
443 The Royal Scam
-
E1 5b 1
444 Moonfleet
-
HVS 5a 1
445 The Dharma Bums
-
E2 5c **  
446 Juggernaut
-
HVS 5a 3
447 Flashover
-
E3 5c  
448 Kashubia
-
HVS 5a *  
449 Chicargo
-
HVS 5a  
450 Speak Easy
-
HVS 5a  
451 Shere Khan
-
E2 5c **  
452 Lionheart
-
E4 6a *  
453 Watcher of the Skies
-
E2 6a  

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