Climbs 64
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 179m a.s.l

View Stats

Holcombe Sunset © ben@f-stopimages

Crag features

This crag is being developed and is currently a building site. The owners have contacted UKC and the BMC and asked us to make it clear that climbing is not allowed here at the moment owing to the building work. 

They have, however, suggested that climbing may be possible in the future after the work has finished.

Please keep away for the time being to increase the chance of it being opened up in the futrue!

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.


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. the quarry with lake has new fence.
Sylwiiia - 20/Dec/18
was asked to leave by security guard today
Didymus - 08/May/17
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
Got a few routes in today before a security guard told us climbing's no longer allowed :( and he says cars are being wheel clamped.
Ruki - 30/Jul/16
Was politely refused access to climb today, looks like those building works have started.
nuclearferret - 03/Oct/15
Climbed here this evening and lead second time around, longtime coming, and does size matter. This is a superb place for my first few lead climbs.
Shakey79 - 19/Jun/12
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
The two new routes in Bector Wood Quarry are,"Second Time Around",F4 12m, left of "Long Time Coming"and to the right is the superb expidition "Does Size Matter"F5+ 20m.Both climbs had first ascents by Gordon A Jenkins and Yvonne Jones.
deepstar - 29/May/10
Two new climbs have appeared in the area around 'Long Time Coming' recently. Does anyone know the grade of these climbs, especially the one to the right which follows the large crack line? Thanks for the info TommityP, will steer clear for a while.
Mendip Marty - 14/Apr/10
Climbed here on 6th April 2010, and the owner very politely asked us to finish our evenings climbing but never come back, and make others aware not to climb on this venue. On talking to some local climbers who know the owner and have never had issues before, this is due to the planning permission the owner of the land (that is Bector wood and Cooks wood) has invested money in and is trying to obtain. He is worried a climbing injury could put this situation in jeporady. Please deal with this issue sensitively as it would be a shame to lose another climbing venue. If the planning permission does not go ahead it is possible the owner may review the situation, or at least turn a blind eye to considerate climbers.
TommityP - 14/Apr/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
Some good routes once you get in past the big fences and nasty signs. Bolting is a little funny in places and ccational sections of loose stuff but worth a visit especially in the summer when it gets the sun.
Matt Tranter - 24/May/07
Login as Existing User to add your comments

Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Cooks Wood Quarry
2 Canadian girls kick ass
6a+ * 48
3 The Incredible Holcombe
6c * 31
4 The Fantastic Four
6b ** 54
5 Old School Reunion
6a+ * 90
6 Water Babies 6a 36
7 Standby, Standby
6b * 38
8 Farewell to old times
5a * 87
9 Smear No Fear E2 5c * 12
10 Flame On E1 5b * 15
11 Smoking Gun
6a+ * 37
12 Drill and Blast, Drill and Bolt
4c 63
13 Fit For the Future
5a * 99
14 Bomb The Base
4c 67
15 Lego Man
3c ** 112
16 Wide-eyed in Seattle
4a 68
17 Haven't Got a Clue 6c * 29
18 Fracture Science
6a 74
19 Swinging In The Breeze
4a 65
20 Bolting Blues
4a 66
21 Stick to Liquid
7a+ 4
22 Stick to the Right
6c 7
Climb name Grade
23 Science Friction 6b * 43
24 Holebore HVS 4c 8
25 Don't Turn the Page E1 5a 3
26 Jams and Cams Beat Fliers on Wires HVS 4c 8
27 Unknown slab 6b 3
28 The Thing HVS 5b 5
  Bector Wood
30 Professor Smith's Warning E4 6a  
31 Barefoot in the Quarry (at Night) 4c 110
32 Crocker Free Zone
5c 76
33 Retroactive
5c 84
34 A Taste for Disorder
6a+ 14
35 Outside, It's America 6a 21
36 Take the Bull By Its Horns 6c 25
37 Old Codger 7a * 17
38 Killer Instinct 6c+ * 6
39 Confetti Train 6c * 4
40 Closed Conspiracy
7b+ * 1
41 Execution
42 Not Flocking 6b 11
43 Easy and Slow
6a 53
44 Koto Globo 6a 24
Climb name Grade
45 Powder Monkey 6a+ 32
46 Hard and Fast 5c 55
47 Mistress of Measurement 6a+ 43
48 Vicious Eyes 5a * 63
49 On a Mission 6c 26
50 Peck Deck 6c+ * 22
51 Its Got to Be Funky 6c * 34
52 Minstrel in the Gallery 7a+ * 29
53 The Jester 7b+ 1
54 Head Intrinsica (The Awakening) 7b+ ** 15
55 Fistful of Steel 7b+ * 3
56 Never Mind the Width 6a 58
57 Rustic Flux 6c+ * 8
58 Esotrinsica 6a 16
59 Moderately Green 4a 58
60 A Family Affair
E4 5c 1
61 Long Time Coming
4a 79
62 Vicious Eyes Direct
6b+ 2
63 Often Overlooked HVS 5a * 3
64 Does Size Matter
5c 21
65 Second Time Around
4a 40
66 Between the Lines * HVS 5b ** 1
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Paul Robertson