Climbs 82
Rocktype Limestone

Faces S

Jumping the gun © Phil Belcher

Crag features

A sheltered sport quarry which is quieter than the nearby Dancing Ledge. Contrasts dramatically with the two most adventurous cliffs at Swanage situated just around the corner. Big hard routes which are mostly unrepeated. Bird ban March 1 to July 31 because of nesting birds on Hedbury Big Cove and Smokey Hole

Approach notes

The Hedbury crags are all approached from Langton Matravers. To reach the parking spot, turn off the A351 towards Langton Matravers, just outside Swanage town. Once in the village, go past the post office and turn left into Durnford Drove. The free car park is 300m down here by Langton House. From the parking walk south on a good path past four fields and a spyway barn. After the 4th field head down a big hill towards Dancing Ledge which lies directly below the coast path.

For Hedbury Quarry and Big Cove (Left) - Once at the coast path, above Dancing Ledge, turn right (looking out) and follow it for 800m over a gentle hill. At a stile drop down a ridge path on the left into a huge open cast quarry with a large cannon in its base. The quarry routes are on the wall on the left (looking out). To gain Hedbury Big Cove drop down some rock steps to gain 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

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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.
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Deep Water

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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 Quarry
2 Spaghetti Western A1 7
3 Benny's Apprentice A1 6
4 Bivvy cave crack V5 *  
5 Judy S 4a * 34
6 Whotnot
S 17
7 Rear Entry D 26
8 Pete's Corner HS 4a/b 61
9 Blood Gully HS 4b 39
10 Blood Ties VS 13
11 Degradation
VS 7
12 Under Caroline S 6
13 Caroline S 31
14 Rosemary VS 4c 3
15 Gwen VS 6
16 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
S 4a 10
17 Tightrope
HS 10
18 Rising Bubbles E1 5b ** 2
19 Finger Lickin Good E2 5c ** 2
20 Tethered by Gravity 4c * 1089
21 Goddam Sexual Tyrannosaurus 5c 793
22 Ammonitemare 6a+ * 485
23 Of Mice and Men 6b * 270
24 Bad Day 6c+ * 76
25 One More Cheese Sarnie 6c 73
26 Moves for the Masses 6a+ ** 584
27 Hangs Like a Dead Man 6c ** 184
28 Under Starters Orders/Realm of Radical Cool 7a+ * 26
29 Jumping the Gun 6b ** 230
30 Mouth Breather 7c * 4
31 Sureshot 6c ** 71
32 Sexy Beast 7a * 48
33 Alice In Pumpland 7a * 30
34 Cinderella's Big Score 7c ** 20
35 It Can't be Denied 7b ** 56
36 Dry Time Climb 4c 176
37 Dry time climb (Direct) 6a 6
38 Bop Ceroc 6b+ * 115
39 Glue Crux Clan 6c * 53
40 Produced by Fred Quimby 6b+ * 123
41 Strange Devices 4a 46
42 Don's Long Gone 6b+ * 120
43 Mindless Optimism 6b+ * 130
44 New Age, New Style 5c * 801
45 Missed it VS 4b * 1
46 Very Ordinary Route 1 * 739
47 Another Contribution 2a * 745
48 Moral Flexibility 5a * 916
49 Sea View 3a * 955
50 The Balrog
VS 5a 2
  The Big Cove
52 East Milton Wall
VS 5a 16
53 Bilbo
HS 30
54 Billy S 35
55 Under the Sky, Above the Sea E5 6b *  
56 Sheffield Uber Alles E6 6b **  
57 The Jesus Lizard E6 6b **  
58 Once in the Jungle E6 6b **  
59 Nowhere to Run E6 6b *** 1
60 The Fabulous Professor Panic E5 6a ** 12
61 Figurehead E2 5b * 16
  Smokey Hole
63 Slow Dive E6 6b *  
64 Diving for Pearls E6 6b **  
65 Vapour Trail E7 6b ***  
66 Rocket USA E6 6b **  
67 Aquamarine 5a S2 ** 1
68 Marvellous Mags (DWS) 6a+ S1 ** 3
69 Zircon (DWS) 6a+ S1 ** 4
70 Gemzone (DWS) 6b+ S0 1
71 Jargoniser (DWS) 6a+ S1 * 3
  Topmast Quarry
73 Bar Code 7b * 1
74 Bar King Mad 7a+ * 2
75 Isobar 7a 6
76 Bar None 6c 3
  Mike's Corner
78 What a Mitty 6a 14
79 Flying Pigs 6c * 7
80 Cheese Balls! 5c 19
81 Predator A1  
82 The Pod A1 * 1
83 Dogging Boy A1  
  Unsorted routes
85 Epidemic
HS 4b 2
86 Waiting for the Death Blow
E2 5b 2
87 Pale Rider
HVS 5a/b 2
88 Rawhide
S 4a 2

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