Climbs 35
Rocktype Sandstone (soft)
Altitude 170m a.s.l
Faces E

Heighley Castle,Tier 1, Holds are cleaner than they actually look. © JamesM

Crag features

This series of quarried vertical faces are relatively unused and not recommended for people living a great distance from it. 

Much of the rock is coated in a green moss, but there are also some extremely clean, almost always dry, patches to be discovered.

The top of each buttress provides little protection for belaying/ difficult (overgrown) access. However, on dry days this crag is recommended for local climbers without access to the Peak district. Good bouldering & well worth making the effort if you want to top rope some of the better lines - Suicide Wall & Arete for example.

Approach notes

The standard/ easiest approach is to walk up the farmer's lane for about 100 metres after the wooden 5 bar gate. However, a bit of 'sneaky' bouldering is best approached from a careful parking spot further up the hill (past the gate) before the cottage on the L. Park sensibly & walk up the short hill - brings you out in the last quarry (excellent traverse on the main wall).

The main buttresses & climbs are off to the right - split into 4 bays, one after the other, the last being the largest affording the best (most secluded/ hidden) bouldering wall!

There is a much smaller section up to the left of the approach path, not so good really, & far more brittle overall.

Access Advice

The farmer at Heighley Farm continues to turn climbers away. Please leave if asked. Please Note: Do not chip or manufacture any more holds and if holds need brushing please use a soft-brush rather than wire.


Peak Bouldering

The Peak Bouldering Rockfax is a massive book covering a huge area including all the main bouldering venues of the Peak District. It includes many more low-grade problems than have ever been documented before including 17 circuits with problems at V0+ 5a and under, and a further 21 circuits with problems at V2 5c and below.
More info
Having started climbing at Heighley in 1964 (lotsa virgin/ overgrown - more than now - rock) I still have a great passion for the place. Just become crag moderator - but due to zoom off to Vietnam for a month - so not much progress in the short term. Intend to visit & photograph in the 'fall' and begin some updating - and attempting to remedy all the misnaming from the last guide book. Any emails welcomed. Meanwhile - try to get a sesh' over there and do a bit of cleaning on each visit - before getting pumped in the last great bouldering bay!
Alan Blakeman - 16/Dec/13
Prior to the advent of modern climbing walls Heighley was used extensively for top roping and bouldering by members of the South Cheshire Climbing Club. Regular use meant it was cleaner than now. It's a pleasant location (particularly with the spring bluebells). I well remember being that pumped after a session at Heighley that I could not pull in the clutch on my Triumph Bonneville on the way home! Al Blakeman produced a guide in 1973 (I still have a copy Al!).The routes in recent guides do not correspond to the naming in Al's guide and are therefore wrong!!
Darron - 16/Dec/13
Although the crag photos below look truly rubbish, there are actually some real gems here.
Paulos - 04/Mar/10
Could be a nice crag with a wire brush and some regular activity... Could be even better with some nepam... Still OK for a (quiet) hour learning the fricative qualities of moss. S
simonjudge - 12/Dec/05
Update > I am not sure but their may be another tier to the left of the track as well. The off putting factor is that this was directly in from of the farm apart from a few trees and therefore, I didnít want to venture as to antagonise the farmer. I believe the face is EAST facing. I have uploaded a few photo's so hopefully this should give people an idea. Cheers - James
JamesM - 26/Apr/05
Access to this crag is via "Heighley Lane" which is after Maidley on the left. You pass the farm on the left and continue another 100 yards to a few small lay-byís. (Park Here) After the farm there is a welcoming track, although signposted "Climbing Prohibited". The crag is actually to the right of the track not to the left as the access notes suggest (100 meters). I will try and post some pics on here as I have taken a few as of 25/4/05. There is about 4 tiers, although along the same level, broken by trees. All following along to your right. Only the first two seem worth while. The first tier is great for an hours bouldering (lunch break) from Stoke or Crewe. Nice traverse line and flat soft bottom, Second is slightly higher, with marking's on wall "6B". Lots of pheasants about so im not sure how the farmer would take it if one was caught. As previously stated, discretion advised.
JamesM - 26/Apr/05
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
1 Ivy League V1  
2 Dixon's Dart Board V3  
3 Upper Traverse V2 **  
4 Lower Traverse V4 ** 1
5 Morning Glory V3 ** 2
6 Gillete Gets Closer V4 2
7 Sleeping with Sarah E1 5c  
8 The Corner V0 * 2
9 Right Wall V0 * 1
10 Bill's XS V4 *  
11 Ecstasy 1 V1  
12 Punch Arete V5 **  
13 The Serpent V5  
14 The Heighley Nightmare V4 **  
15 Killer Wall V3  
16 Jess' Corner V1  
17 Alan's Variant V1 2
18 Second but Last Arete V2 *** 1
19 Second but First Arete V4 *** 1
20 The mark of Zorro V0 * 3
21 Southern Sloper V0 1
22 5b Arete V1 1
23 Fresher's Arete V1 1
24 Stepped Arete V0 1
25 Slim Corner V1 *  
26 Suicide Wall E5 1
27 Suicide Arete E5 6a *** 1
28 Fingers 1m V9 **  
29 Fingers 2m V6 ** 1
30 Fingers 3m V4 **  
31 Hilti Gunner V1  
32 Suicide Arete M 6a/ b? ** 1

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Alan Blakeman