Climbs 50
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 53m a.s.l
Faces W

The Earl of Perth P1 © Mark Davis

Crag features

Unquarried limestone, richly pocketed and mostly sound. The main face is regarded by many as the best face in the Avon Gorge, with splendid exposure and a very atmospheric situation right under the Clifton suspension bridge. Emphasis is on the HVS to E2 range, 1-4 pitches. A must for the visitor is the classic "Hell Gates (***HVS 5a 5a -)". Routes to 90m.

Approach notes

Despite recent rumours, access to this crag is UNCHANGED to normal. ie, not officially permitted, but tolerated. Rumours of banned access & security guards etc are untrue. (see here:

Park in one of the free or cheap car parks in the Cumberland Basin, Hotwells or on Spike Island and (after crossing the docks if necessary) walk along the footpath beside the Portway (A4) towards the large concrete canopy above the road and beneath the iconic suspension bridge.   Parking in Clifton for free is not possible any more for non-locals, ever since the introduction of Residents' Parking Permits.  If you do park up the hill, walk down the switch-back path, the Zig-Zags, just south of the Suspension Bridge lookout point (behind the Avon Gorge Hotel), and then make your way back toward the suspension bridge. 

Approach 1:  Cross the main road (the A4) and walk past the rock catch concrete canopy beneath the suspension bridge, cross the road back to the bristol side on the north side where there is a traffic island.  Hop over the fence in the corner and climb the rock steps to the crag using fixed ropes that are usually in place. 

Approach 2: From the base of the Zig-Zags, taking great care to avoid oncoming traffic, walk along the right hand side of the main road (the A4) back towards the bridge (northwards) for about 300 metres, passing a short dangerous `rat run' where the pavement dissappears, until shortly after it re-appears the road can be left to make a scramble up right just behind the rock catch fence to the concrete canopy. 

Note that the bridge trustees do NOT allow climbers to escape onto any part of the bridge structure. Abseil off the ring bolt at the top of the route "Suspension Bridge Arete" -- note that a 70m rope is required (or doubles) for this abseil.

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).


West Country Climbs

West Country Climbs is a major Rockfax guide to one of the UK’s most celebrated, sunny and diverse climbing regions. The book is fashioned in Rockfax’s award-winning layout and design, and copiously illustrated with action photographs of the climbs and cliffs that reflect the quality and variety of climbing experiences to be had on offer in the UK’s most popular holiday destination - the West Country. This is a selected route and buttress guidebook which covers the best 900 routes from the crags listed below.
More info
More Guidebooks:
Avon Gorge (2017)
South West Climbs - Volume 1 (2012)
Avon and Cheddar (2004)

Out of print:
Cleaned up Limbic Distrophy on 04/02/2017 - there is now a clear path through the brambles - a great route as is the other HVS (as described in the new guide) - please get on them as there is still more gardening needed!
evhall - 06/Feb/17
worth mentioning that parking in all of clifton is now pay and display
cdpej - 21/Aug/15
Had a minor problem on 01/04/2012 (not an April fool) with a guy on the bridge in a hi-vis jacket telling me I wasn't supposed to be there (and had to get down Immediately!)
Nick Russell - 02/Apr/12
One of the best in the Gorge. A must for the solid E1 leader. The routes are pretty well protected and very steep. From the left edge of the crag there are a few HVS all superb, some classic E1's and a few harder. Beleive me its some of the best
Laubie - 16/Dec/04
Login as Existing User to add your comments

Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  The North Wall
2 Carlos J G
HVS 5b 3
3 Builders of the New Age
E3 5c  
4 The Rejected Capstone E5 6b  
5 Strappados E1 5a ** 6
6 Hideaway
E2 5b * 3
7 Jose' Dansack
HVS 4c * 17
8 Hot Dust
E2 5b * 1
9 The Drain
VS 4b 9
10 Drypass HS 4b * 1
11 Green-un
S 4a 1
12 Purple Haze
HVS 4c 1
13 Rocket Arete
E3 6a  
14 Silk Purse
E3 5c *  
15 Don Quixote
E1 5a  
16 Red Line
E3 5b/c *  
17 The Snobbler
E3 5c 2
18 Roberts' Route
E3 5c 2
  The Main Face
20 Chateau Fitzwarren
E1 5b 50
21 Suspension Bridge Arete HVS 5a ** 855
22 Suspense HVS 5a *** 717
23 Baby Duck E1 5b ** 315
24 Beginnings E2 5c * 67
25 Limbo E1 5b *** 544
26 What's It Called? E3 5c * 18
27 GT Special E4 6a ** 62
28 Nemo Me Impune Lacessit E5 6a 13
29 The Earl Of Perth E1 5b *** 335
30 Earl of Perth/Oblivion Hybrid E2 5c *** 48
31 Oblivion E2 5c * 33
32 Howhard E1 5b ** 121
33 Hell Gates HVS 5a *** 702
34 Mary Anne Peters E2 5c 4
35 Another Roadside Attraction
E2 5c 7
36 Hieronymous HVS 5a * 24
37 Navigator
E5 6a  
38 Dull Day
E3 6a  
39 Wormlands VS 4b  
40 Limbic Dystrophy HVS 4c,4c 5
41 Rock On Ruby
HVS 5b * 3
42 Suprising Conclusion S 4a * 8
  Fallas Wing
44 The Return of the Fencing Master HVS 4c * 2
45 The Industrious Immigrant HS 4a 1
46 The Outlook is Rosy HVD * 4
  The Top Right Walls
48 Rock and No Veg
HVS 4c 2
49 Lonely Are the Brave
E3 6a  
50 Isambard
VS 4c 2
51 Expect Carnage
E4 6b  
53 Three Paranoid Couriers on the Dole
E3 5c  
54 Clan Union E1 5b ** 59
55 Devil Gate Drive
HVS 5a  
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

Moderators Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteers Monk and danbirkby