Climbs 35
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 179m a.s.l

Holcombe Sunset © ben@f-stopimages

Access Banned

Access to this site remains a contentious issue - despite repeated requests to the landowner for an access aggrement for climbers. Following a non-climbing fatality in 2003, the landowner remains concerned with insurance and liability issues and occasionally patrols the site - be prepared for being asked to leave.

Work has begun on the site development.  Gates are in place at both main entrances to Cooks Wood and Bector Wood Quarries.  Security guards prevent climbers, (and others) from entering either Quarry.  The police have been involved when local youth pressed for entry to the pool side.

Climbing therefore is no longer a practical possibility at Holcombe.


Went climbing here on the weekend. Its barbed wire fences and the the quarry back wall has had large rock fall. A lot of climbs were overgrown and most belaying was from brambles, a fair bit of loose rock. We left as it began to rain to find friendly security asking us not to come again, sounds like more trouble from people drinking/ bbqing than climbing. Looks like it was once a nice climbing area, but it is definitely banned access and over grown now. Supposedly it will become a holiday park area in the future but no work has begun yet. Wouldn't recommend coming here!
hlburns - 26/Sep/16
We have been climbing there today, by the end of session when we were heading to car, a man in white pick up told as not to climb here anymore as they started building works, he wasn't friendly at all. the quarry with lake has new fence.
Sylwiiia - 09/Aug/15
Just to clarify (using the 2004 CC Cheddar Guide) it is the Central Section of "The Back Wall" which has collapsed. Therefore, even though the routes are still intact, I would strongly avoid the Left Hand section of The Back Wall containing Water Babies, Standy Standby and Farewell to Old Times and the Third Section of The Back Wall with Smear no Fear, Flame On, Smoking Gun and Crack Attack. Shothole City, the slab with Legoman, Fit for the Future etc all looks absolutely fine as it is a fair distance away from the huge collapse. Hope this helps! Cheers Dave
BALD EAGLE - 20/May/12
Afternoon All Just a quick warning to alert anyone thinking of climbing at Cooks Wood Quarry at Holcombe (the wet one!) that there has been a huge rockfall very recently. I would guestimate that a whole section of slab measuring approximately 20 metres high, 10 metres wide and maybe a metre thick has collapsed between the F5 "Farewell to Old Times" on the left (facing in) and the E2 5c "Smear no Fear" on the right. When I get into work on Monday I'll upload a photo (as it is quite an impressive sight!) but in the meantime I would strongly advise everyone to avoid climbing any of the aforementioned routes or any nearby as the surrounding slabs are very unstable with loads of tottering boulders and other bad stuff waiting to come down... Cheers Dave
BALD EAGLE - 19/May/12
We got turned away from the Holcombe Quarries yesterday by a guy in a Range Rover who said he owned the quarries and all climbing was banned. I've climbed in both for several years with no previous problems..
Mike Roger - 02/Apr/12
Don't always listen to locals - this quarry still exists and has not been blown up! Climbed here 02/07/11, quiet and no problems. All routes seem to be still intact. Notes on access: Firstly, the parking along Becktor Lane is strewn with the evidence of local thievery so we parked in Stoke St Michael. The walk to the quarry (via Mill Lane at the side of the church) is much quicker than expected. Second, if walking from the village, a far more pleasant approach and entry into the quarry can be achieved by taking the public footpath on the right of Bector Lane about 250m after turning left from Mill Lane - You'll quickly spot the quarry from the footpath on the left. A low wooden fence gives access to the top of the quarry - walk west along the south side of the quarry top and after turning the far corner a track will appear which leads down through some woodland before emerging at the quarry base - easier and more pleasant than messing with the front entrance 'security' further down the road. And thirdly, the base of the quarry has an internal security fence restricting access to the climbs and lake, however, on its left hand side it's been subject to some 'persuasion' (probably by the same individuals who've 'persuaded' themselves into visitorís cars!) and so the climbs are all accessible.
climbojimbo - 03/Jul/11
Spent ages looking for something that isn't there any more. According to the locals, it has been blown up to stop cliff jumping. Shame looked fun.
andyb12354 - 03/Jun/11 Planning permission has been given to develop the site into a holiday park
James Moyle - 21/Sep/10
I think this is a quality quarry. I usually park in a pull in that is close to the south wall of the quarry (if you park in the entrance people know your in there!). Then walk into the fields to the south of the quarry, over the bank and abseil down 'Standby, Standby'. To exit I would suggest 'Farewell to old times'. There is a small tree to abseil off and a backup stake. If its a hot sunny day I would avoid the quarry - kids like to swim then and the owners might come to throw everyone out.
ian d f - 22/Jul/09
We visited the dry quarry last weekend. There was a lot of seepage despite the recent good weather. A couple of kids were chucking rubbish into the quarry from the road! There were a few dog walkers there but experienced no problems with access. There are far better crags nearby and wonít rush to go back.
tombeasley - 19/Mar/09
We went to the quarry yesterday (26/08/08). We were never bothered by anyone. We were the only people there climbing. A couple of local kids came later in the day and played about in the quarry. We had parked outside the quarry but I probably wouldn't do that next time. There seems to be a lot of traffic on the tiny road which leads past the quarries and I wouldn't want to draw attention to us being there unnecessarily since it's a bit uninviting to say the least to get into the quarry.
CosmosKey - 27/Aug/08
We went for a few hrs and it was all good and we never got bothered. It was a little uninviting (understatement)shame as there was some good climbing! keep it real!
little dude - 13/Jul/08
We went for a few hrs and it was all good and we never got bothered. It was a little uninviting(understatement)shame as there was some good climbing! keep it real!
little dude - 13/Jul/08
We went to both these quarries on Saturday. Whilst access is possible, the owner turned up mid afternoon and turfed everybody out. Although he wasn't especially rude, we suspect that he may have let the air out of one of our car tyres. If you must go, park in the village like the guidebook says!
guinea_pig - 02/May/06
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
1 Canadian girls kick ass
6a+ * 46
2 The Incredible Holcombe
6c * 29
3 The Fantastic Four
6b ** 51
4 Old School Reunion
6a+ * 87
5 Water Babies 6a 36
6 Standby, Standby
6b * 37
7 Farewell to old times
5a * 85
8 Smear No Fear E2 5c * 11
9 Flame On E1 5b * 13
Climb name Grade
10 Smoking Gun
6a+ * 36
11 Drill and Blast, Drill and Bolt
4c 64
12 Fit For the Future
5a * 98
13 Bomb The Base
4c 68
14 Lego Man
3c ** 111
15 Wide-eyed in Seattle
4a 67
16 Haven't Got a Clue 6c * 29
17 Fracture Science
6a 73
18 Swinging In The Breeze
4a 65
Climb name Grade
19 Bolting Blues
4a 64
20 Stick to Liquid
7a+ 3
21 Stick to the Right
6c 7
22 Science Friction 6b * 44
23 Holebore HVS 4c 8
24 Don't Turn the Page E1 5a 3
25 Jams and Cams Beat Fliers on Wires HVS 4c 7
26 Unknown slab 6b 3
27 The Thing HVS 5b 4

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