UKC

Climbs 113
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude Tidal
Faces S

Jumping the gun © Phil Belcher

Crag features

The Hedbury and Smokey Hole areas encompass four very different crags to the west of Dancing Ledge. The main interest for most climbers will be Hedbury Quarry, which is a similar but more compact version of the main quarry at Dancing Ledge. The rock here is steep and solid and dotted with flowstone holds. It is a good place for an afternoon's sport climbing in winter, getting lots of sun and being set back away from the sea. Just around the corner from the quarry is the atmospheric Hedbury Big Cove with its leaning walls, massive overhangs, slightly unstable rock and hard trad routes. Smokey Hole, on the other hand, is more solid and less steep than Hedbury Big Cove but has a similar set of high quality, high grade trad routes in a sensational setting. The tucked away Topmast Quarry has three steep and sheltered sport routes.

Approach notes

Hedbury is approached from Langton Matravers. From just outside Swanage town, turn off the A351 towards Langton Matravers. Once in the village, go past the post office and turn left into Durnford Drove. The free car park is 300m down the road (on a track for the last 150m) just beyond Langton House. From the parking, walk south on a good path/track to Spyway Barn. Continue through two fields until the cliff-top path is reached. Head down the big hill (via stone steps) to the coast path, which lies above Dancing Ledge.

For Hedbury Quarry and Big Cove (Left) - Once at the coast path, above Dancing Ledge, turn right (looking out) and follow it for 500m over a gentle hill. At a stile, drop down a ridge path on the left into a huge open quarry with a large cannon in its base. The quarry routes are on the wall on the left (looking out). To get to Hedbury Big Cove, drop down some rock steps to a sea-level ledge that leads left (looking out) into a cave.

For Big Cove (Right) and Smokey Hole - The cliff-top quarry is situated 50m further on from the open-cast Topmast Quarry, which in turn is 300m further on from Dancing Ledge. The descent path is below some planks on the coast path that cross a dry stream bed. The four routes are gained by an abseil (no stake currently in place but there are plans to place one) from a point 10m left (looking out) of the descent to the hidden quarry. The abseil leads down Diving for Pearls.

Access Advice

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 1 March to 31 July

Reason: Nesting Birds

The restiction applies to the whole of Hedbury Big Cove crag during nesting season.

Rockfax App

Available in the Rockfax App

The Rockfax App brings together all the Rockfax climbing information with UKC logbooks and presents it into a user-friendly package for use on Apple iOS devices (Android version to follow).


Guidebooks

Dorset

The latest edition of the Dorset Rockfax features the now widely acclaimed full-page colour topos, and includes all the new lines in the areas previously covered, as well as many entirely new sectors. The crags are illustrated using bigger topos and there is a complete new set of action photos. This new Rockfax guide will concentrate on Portland, Swanage and Lulworth, covering all the sport routes in these areas, and also the bulk of the quality trad climbing at Swanage and Lulworth. Coverage of bouldering and deep water soloing, along with all the routes in Devon have migrated from this book.
More info

Deep Water

Mike Robertson's award winning Deep Water guide, covering DWS on the English South Coast, Pembroke, Scotland and throughout the world.
More info
not abit little sport crag.. jumping the gun is the gem.. don's long gone is also worth doing.. a few easer routes towards the seaward end of the cliff have been added.. including britains one and only F1!
rustaldo - 25/Mar/11
Only worth visiting for the following reasons: -Getting something to do their first outdoor lead and get familiar with threading the anchor bolts and cleaning a route. -If you have climbed every other sport route in Swanage area an extremely limiting number of climbs of any interest. Something the crag list does not say is that at least 6 routes are in a water fall for all but a few days per year!
alx - 22/Mar/09
Does anyone have any information about the 4 or 5 easier new routes that have appeared toward the seaward side of the quarry? I'm not sure how long they've been there as I hadn't been down to headbury for a while.
ColinK - 04/Sep/04
Sea cliffs to the west offer some good trad climbs- blood gully, bilbo, billy and east milton wall - good for new lead climbers who cant abide the crush of subluminal!
Martin torbett - 06/Aug/03
Its ok, probably marginally more pleasant than Dancing Ledge but suffers from the same problem as all the Swanage sport quarries, too much like the Peak quarries, polished and not comparable to Portland. Swanage's best climbing is its trad, if you want sport go to Portland.
Al Evans - 06/Oct/02
Its ok, probably marginally more pleasant than Dancing Ledge but suffers from the same problem as all the Swanage sport quarries, too much like the Peak quarries, polished and not comparable to Portland. Swanage's best climbing is its trad, if you want sport go to Portland.
Al Evans - 06/Oct/02
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  The Black Walls
2 Black Wall Avoidance VS 4c  
3 Knee and a Tall Man
-
E2 5b  
4 Waiting for the Death Blow
-
E2 5b * 2
5 Dark Millenium
-
E4 6a  
  Mike's Corner
7 What a Mitty 6a 14
8 Flying Pigs 6c * 7
9 Cheese Balls! 5c 20
10 Predator A1  
11 The Pod A1 * 1
12 Dogging Boy A1  
13 Alien Abduction
-
A1  
14 Spaghetti Western A1 7
15 Benny's Apprentice A1 5
  Mike's Corner - The Sea Cliff
17 Lasteen VS 4c  
18 Solifluction VS 4b  
19 Petrification
-
HVS 5a  
20 Judy
-
S 4a ** 37
21 Whotnot
-
S 20
22 Rear Entry D 27
23 Hoboken
-
VS 5a  
24 A Quick Yank
-
HVS 5b  
25 Shaggy Looe
-
E1 5c  
26 Rosemary VS 4c 4
27 The Great Latch
-
E1 5c  
28 Pete's Corner HS 4a 63
29 Blood Gully HS 4b * 42
30 Blood Ties VS 4c 14
31 Degradation
-
VS 4c 8
32 Under Caroline S 4a 9
33 Caroline S 4a 33
34 Gwen VS 4c 7
35 Rawhide
-
S 4a 2
36 Pale Rider
-
VS 4c 2
37 Tightrope
-
HS 4b 12
38 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
-
S 4a 12
39 Any Which Way but Loose VS 4c  
40 Dynamic Uno HVS  
Climb name Grade
  The Cannon Quarry
42 Rising Bubbles E1 5b ** 2
43 Finger Lickin' Good E2 5c ** 2
44 Tethered by Gravity 4c * 1161
45 Goddam Sexual Tyrannosaurus 5c 833
46 Ammonitemare 6a+ * 508
47 Of Mice and Men 6b * 283
48 Bad Day 6c+ * 81
49 One More Cheese Sarnie 6c 77
50 Moves for the Masses 6a+ ** 613
51 Hangs Like a Dead Man 6c ** 198
52 Under Starters Orders/Into the Realm of Radical Cool 7a+ * 26
53 Jumping the Gun 6b ** 232
54 Mouth Breather 7c * 4
55 Sureshot 6c ** 73
56 Sexy Beast 7a * 51
57 Alice In Pumpland 7a * 30
58 Cinderella's Big Score 7c ** 20
59 It Can't be Denied 7b ** 55
60 Dry Time Climb 4c 190
61 Dry Time Climb (Direct) 6a 13
62 Bop Ceroc 6b+ * 123
63 Glue Crux Clan 6c * 55
64 Puff Adder 6a 1
65 Produced by Fred Quimby 6b+ * 127
66 Strange Devices 4a 42
67 Don's Long Gone 6b+ * 121
68 Mindless Optimism 6b+ * 134
69 New Age, New Style 5c * 859
70 Missed it VS 4b * 2
71 Very Ordinary Route 1 * 793
72 Another Contribution 2a * 793
73 Moral Flexibility 5a * 971
74 Sea View 3a * 1023
  The Sea Walls
76 Apathy
-
S  
77 Gary
-
S 4a  
78 SPP
-
HS 4b  
79 Finger Cwack
-
VS 4c  
80 Juvenile Product of the Working Class
-
E2 5b  
81 Rebel Without a Clue
-
E2 5b  
Climb name Grade
82 East Milton Wall
-
VS 5a 17
83 Bilbo
-
HS 4b 31
84 Billy S 4a 35
  The Big Cove
86 The Balrog
-
VS 5a 2
87 Head in the Clouds
-
E4 6a  
88 Under the Sky, Above the Sea E5 6b *  
89 Sheffield Uber Alles E6 6b **  
90 The Jesus Lizard E6 6b **  
91 Once in the Jungle E6 6b **  
92 Nowhere to Run E6 6b *** 1
93 The Fabulous Professor Panic E5 6a ** 9
94 Figurehead E2 5b * 16
95 Dark Water Solo E2 5c  
96 Endemic E1 5b  
97 Demi Sec
-
E1 5b  
98 Epidemic
-
HS 4b 2
99 Squitters
-
E3 6a  
100 Spanish Harlem
-
E1 5b  
101 Bivvy Cave Crack V5 *  
  Smokey Hole
103 Slow Dive E6 6b *  
104 Diving for Pearls E6 6b **  
105 Vapour Trail E7 6b ***  
106 Rocket USA E6 6b ** 1
107 Sea of Tranquility
-
A1  
108 Aquamarine 5a S2 ** 5
109 Marvellous Mags 6a+ S1 ** 9
110 Zircon 6a+ S1 ** 8
111 Gemzone 6b+ S0 6
112 Jargoniser 6a+ S1 * 8
113 Archive
-
VD  
114 Jurassic
-
VS 5a  
115 Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
-
HVS 5b  
116 Bombard the Blaggards
-
HVS 4c  
  Topmast Quarry
118 Bar Code 7b * 1
119 Bar King Mad 7a+ * 2
120 Isobar 7a 6
121 Bar None 6c 3

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