Climbs 308
Rocktype Gritstone
Altitude 300m a.s.l
Faces SW

"Pensioner's at play" he said © Josh Willett

Crag features

Birchen remains one of the most popular venues in the Peak due to its friendly atmosphere and good collection of low-grade routes. The place has always been a favourite with groups and this long-standing popularity has led to the wearing of many of the already rounded holds. Quite a number of the routes have slippery and awkward starts but get yourself going and things often ease rapidly with height. Summer weekends can be extremely busy, but if you leave the main section and head rightwards to the more secluded buttresses, you will probably find a bit of solitude. The majority of routes at Birchen have names of a nautical nature linked to the monument on the cliff top, erected to celebrate Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar back in 1805.

Approach notes

The usual approach is from the National Trust car park by the Robin Hood Inn. Walk up the road to a stile on the left and a sandy track that leads to the rocks in 10mins.

It is also possible to approach from the Gardom's parking spot.

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).


Eastern Grit

Updated and expanded edition of the award-winning Peak Grit East. Covers all the best routes on the eastern Gritstone edges of the Peak District - Wharncliffe, Rivelin, Dovestone Tor, Bamford, Stanage, Burbage North, Higgar Tor, Burbage South, Millstone, Lawrencefield, Yarncliffe, Froggatt, Curbar, Baslow, Gardoms, Birchen, Chatsworth, Cratcliffe, Black Rocks
More info

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
Just a heads up, my University society will be running our taster sessions here the weekend 1st + 2nd October. If there are any issues at all, feel free to get in touch at
edprince - 26/Sep/16
my favourite crag.
Stanners - 11/Sep/15
There is a pay car park and a field across the road. pick which you prefer. wet days I'd say the Ł4 will be worth it.
Lukem6 - 27/Oct/13
Surprised yesterday to have to pay for the Car Park. Ł2.50 up to 4 hours, Ł4 all day. Free to NT or RSPB members.
D Berry - 27/Oct/13
The is a problem on the back of the royal sovereign boulder that starts lying down under the overhang pulls through to a slot from slopers on the lip of the overhang and then on to the top with a tiny mono on the top. Does anyone no the name or grade? Thanks
ceturnock - 09/Sep/13
There's a large block halfway up Gun-cotton Groove (VD) on Kismet Buttress which is quite loose. Avoiding using this probably puts it up a grade. Perhaps no longer a "good beginners' climb".
Howard J - 04/Aug/10
Just a quick update... Took a youth group from my Church there this weekend and had a fantastic time. We climbed to the right of the monument, using "On Peak Rock" as a guide. First of all, there's about 500m of delicious rock to the right of the monument, which are not covered by the guidebook :( We camped at the Eric Byne memorial site by the Robin Hood Inn. It's run by the really old couple again, after being run by the Peak authority for a while. It's Ł2.50 pppn, with toilets and fresh water. They now have a bin area which is new since I was last there (2003). Still no campfires, but where can you these days :( Still a superb crag, unbeatable for groups, families, beginners and first-time outdoor lead climbers.
rich in wales - 20/Oct/07
Victory Vice the V Diff on the Kismet Buttress has got bats living in it just a warning!!!
David Hollyer - 30/May/06
I love this crag - Gives us VS climbers the chance for great low grade soloing. Lots of lovely classically grit moves on a small scale.
Reds - 08/Mar/04
Don\'t miss the great bouldering opportunities to be had on the three large boulders on top of the crag. Each boulder has its name carved into the rock and is named after the Flagships of Nelson\'s fleet at the battle of Trafalgar.
Michael Hunt - 20/Jan/02
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
 Far Left 
2PortsideHS 4b 16
3The BrinyE1 5b 5
4StarboardsideHS 4b 17
 Bosun's Wall 
6Bosun's NoseS 4c 164
7Bosun's CrackVD 293
8Bosun's WallHVD 4a 237
 Poop Deck 
10The GangplankM *905
11Poop CrackVD 4a 88
12Handy CrackD 643
13Handy WallV0- *44
14Visitors OnlyHS 4a *504
15Visitors WallV1 22
16All AboardD 486
17Saltheart FoamfollowerHVS 5c *87
18Howships Lacunaef6C *13
19PDCLWf5 *3
20Poop Deck CrackS 4a 352
21The PirateE2 6b 3
22The Pirate Startf6B * 
23Master and CommanderV5 *1
 Emma's Slab 
25Disabled Seamanf6A+ *42
26Cabin Boyf7A **79
27Cabin Boy Variationf6C *19
28The Cabinf6A+ **78
29Logf5+ *45
30Sling Your Hammockf5 **31
31Dan's ArĂȘtef6C *28
32Crow's Feetf5+ *16
33Land Ho!HS 4c *183
34The Crow's NestVS 4c **974
35Scrim Netf6A **135
36Lookout ArĂȘteS 4a *238
37The FunnelD *558
38Kiss Me HardyHVD 4a *615
39The DancerE1 5c 15
40Kiss Me Arse
f6A *61
41Kiss Me Arse (Sit-Start)f6C **56
42Monocled Monof6C *21
43Kiss Me Softyf6B **46
44Victory CrackHS 4b *740
45Victory GullyS 4a *325
46Emma's SlabVS 4b *585
47Roger the Cabin Boyf6C **5
48Technical Geniusf7A **38
49Technical Genius (Sit-Start)
f7A+ **9
50Technical Genius ArĂȘteV4 *17
51Emma's DilemmaS 4a *1437
52Emma RoydVS 4c *387
53Emma's TemptationHVD 4c *1246
54Emma's DelightHS 4b *800
55DeludedVS 4c *277
56Emma's DelusionS 4a *502
57The ProwVS 4c *780
58ArtificialVD 71
59Oak GullyM 59
60Oak Tower
VD 56
61Heather Corner
D 38
62Heather Corner SlabM 37
 Nelson's Slab 
64The Rigging
D 53
65The Bunk LadderS 4a 39
66Captain's PrerogativeHS 4b *867
67Captain's BunkHS 4b *793
68Telescope TunnelM **528
69Captain's Crawl
M 154
70Porthole ButtressS 4a *328
71Porthole DirectVS 4c **1206
72Victor HugoE4 6b *1
73Captain BirdseyeVS 4c 159
74Blind EyeS 4b *251
75The Proprioceptive Octetnone 22
76Admiral's Flushed HeadD 10
77Dead EyeHVS 6a 32
78Iron EyeV7 3
79Nelson's Slab Direct
V3 11
80Nelson's SlabHS 5a *725
81Half NelsonVS 5a *293
82Left Ladder ChimneyVD 195
83SplicedS 4a 18
84Right Ladder ChimneyHVD 4a 144
 Sail Buttress 
86Midshipman / Plain SailingE2 6a ***98
HVS 5a 23
88Cold CompassE2 6b *1
89The KrakenE6 6c ***2
90Sail ButtressHS 4b **1924
91Roger the Cabin BoyVS 4c *130
92RatlineHVS 5b **561
93Amazing GraceE2 6a 4
94Sail ChimneyS 4a **1131
95TopsailVS 4c **2614
96Marie's Gone to CanadaE1 5c 2
97SpinnakerVS 5a 25
98Monument Chimney CrackVD *457
99Monument ChimneyD *697
 Orpheus Wall 
101Pillar WallS 4a 163
102The BowS 4a *272
103BuggerV1 16
104Orpheus WallHVS 5c **558
105UnderworldV2 16
106PeachesE4 6b ***40
107Peaches StartV3 15
108CreamV5 5
109PixieV1 5
110Pixie (Sit-Start)V5 3
111Orgasmic Variations in a Broom Cupboard
E1 5c  
E1 5b 1
113Monument GullyVD *291
114Book SnifferE6 6b 1
115Monument Gully ButtressHVS 5b *354
116The KeelHVS 5b *148
117Naughty NauticalsE2 6b 11
118The BoomHVS 5a *2
 The Three Ships 
121Orionf5 166
122Neptunef4 *187
123The Victory Traversef3 *115
124Euryalusf4 *234
125V for Victoryf3+ *309
126Prow Leftf4 *296
127Prow Rightf4+ *289
128Prow Right Dyno
V4 *26
129Victor's Ledgef4 *185
131Finisterref4 *251
132The Defiance Traversef5+ **86
133St. Vincentf4+ *256
134Calvif4+ *216
135Aboukirf4 *241
136Tenerifef4 *297
137Tenerife Right-Handf4+ *160
 Royal Soverin 
139Royalf3+ *232
140The Royal Soverin Traversef5 *67
141Bilgef4 *207
142Buccaneer LeftV0- 71
143Buccaneerf4 *153
144Press Gangf5 *97
145Orlopf5 *160
146Mini RoofV2 *30
 The Promenade 
148Cutting CornersS 4a 15
149The PromenadeD **1221
150The Promenade DirectHVD 4a *841
151PromarĂȘtef6A **45
152The ChainS 4a *784
153Megamix Leftf7A+ * 
154Gritstone Megamixf7A ***29
155HMS Daringf7B+ ***3
156Splendide Audax
157Thing on a Springf7A **86
158Hollybush GullyVD 4b *365
159Anchor TraverseHS 4b *211
160Floating AnarchyHVS 5a 56
161Powder Monkey ParadeS 4b **1675
162Oarsman ArĂȘtef6B+ *9
163Oarsmanf6B+ **24
164Oarsman Sit-Start
V6 **1
165'Oar 'Ousef7A *5
166Hornblowerf6C ***91
167Obstructive Pensionerf7A+ **6
168Pensioner Right-Hand
V7 * 
169Jumpers for Trousersf7C+ **4
170Eliminate Flakef4+ *6
171HangoverHVS 5b 82
172Admiral's ProgressD *494
173Polaris ExitD *238
174The Admiral's Head
D 3b 15
 Trafalgar Wall 
176Bulbous Bowf5+ *178
177HammockVS 5b *195
178Camperdown CrawlHS 4c **1880
179Camperdown Crawl Right-Hand VariantVS 5c 46
180Barnacle BulgeHS 4c *1006
181Trafalgar CrackVD 4a *2497
182Trafalgar WallS 4b **2309
183The Defiance Variation
V0 13
184Defiance Crack
VD 4a 24
185The Long PromenadeVS 4b **54
 Stoker's Wall 
187Bell Bottom ArĂȘteS 4a 286
188Sailor's CrackS 4b *285
189Sailor's ProblemVD 656
190Whatknot?S 4b *344
191Reef KnotS 4b *699
192SheetbendS 4b 318
193Nautical CrackVD *1036
194Heave HoS 4a 343
195Yo-Ho CrackVD *1495
196Rum WallVD 773
197Rum BreakVD 120
198Stoker's BreakVD 855
199Stoker's HoleHS 4a *1003
200StokedS 4a *1106
201Stoker's WallD *1071
202Stoker's Wall Traverse
VD 3c 34
203Stoker's Wall Crack
M 2c 42
204Stoker's Wall FlakeV0- 35
205Chasing the DragonV9  
 Copenhagen Wall 
207ScandiwallS 4b 40
208Copenhagen Corner Left-Hand VariantVD 29
209Copenhagen CornerS 4b 428
210Copenhagen Wall Traverse
S 4a 30
211ScandiarĂȘteVS 5c *369
212Dane's DelightHS 5b *632
213Dane's DisgustHS 5b *373
214Carlsberg Exportf6B 21
215Mermaidf7C *3
216Copenhagen WallVS 5a *486
217MP3f7B **60
218Wonderful CopenhagenVS 5a *335
219Mast Gully RidgeVD *490
220Mast GullyM 253
 The Fo'c'sle 
222Mast Gully WallVD 4b 146
223Mast Gully CrackHS 4b *223
224Mast Gully ButtressVS 5a *213
225Fo'c'sle WallVS 4c *386
226Fo'c'sle CrackS 4b *729
227Fo'c'sle ChimneyVD *276
228Fo'c'sle ArĂȘteVS 5b *80
229Fo'c'sle ArĂȘte Direct StartV1 4
230Broadsidef6A+ *27
231LowsideV5 *6
232The Brigandf7C+ **3
233The Buccaneerf7A *4
234Cave GullyVD *100
 Tar's Wall 
236Ta Very MuchHS 4c 112
237Tar's ArĂȘteVD 4a *412
238Ta Ta For NowHS 5a 289
239Tar's CrackVD *510
240Tar's TeeterVS 4c *14
241Tar's WallHVD 4b 661
242Sodomyf6C **32
243Tar's TraverseD 343
244Tar's ClimbM 209
245Tar's GullyD 392
246Pig HeadS 4c 274
247Pig Head Startf4+ *4
248PigtailS 4a 323
249Pigtail Startf4 **3
250Wavedancef4+ *130
251Prow WallM 250
252Prow Wall Startf2+ *3
253Prow GullyM 45
254Prow Gully Prow
HD 3a 25
 Barbette Buttress 
256Barbette ArĂȘteS 4b 33
257Barbette CrackHS 4b *245
258Barbette WallS 4a 160
259Barbette ButtressS 4b *419
260Cannonball CrackS 3c 107
261Cannonball Wall Direct Start
VS 5a 69
262Cannonball WallVD *435
263Gunner's GangwayD 310
264Lieutenant's LadderD 178
 Seasick Slab 
266Midge's ManoeuvreE2 6a 12
267Middy's ManoeuvreHS 4c *149
268MidwayE1 6b 40
269Torpedo TubeHVD 4a *245
270FlatabackE1 6a 18
271Das BootVS 5a 26
272Gunner's GrooveD 291
273Seasick ArĂȘte Left-Hand Variation
V0 *18
274Seasick ArĂȘtef5 **449
275Seasick Slabf3+ *618
276Seasick Stevef6A+ *17
277Sick as a Parrot
HD 4a 29
278Men Unitedf5 *30
279Isle of Menf5+ *21
 Wooden Leg Wall 
281Three Sheets to the Wind
HVD 4b 18
282Cabin FeverHVD 4a 91
283Wooden Leg Wall - Left CornerD 3b 24
284Spotted Dick
V3 3
285Moby DickS 4a 175
286Old CodgerVS 4c *86
287Bold CodgerE2 6a 5
288Wooden Leg WallHVS 5c *63
289Owd GadgeeE2 6a 4
290Young Gadfly
HS 4b 17
291Wooden Leg Wall - Right Corner
HD 3c 24
292Stoker's CrackS 4b 102
293Stoker's SaunterVD 124
294Knick KnackE1 5b 45
295Easy CornerM 45
296Matelot's MeanderS 4a 143
 Kismet Buttress 
298Yard Arm
V0- 34
299ImplosionHVS 5c 42
300ExplosionVS 5a *193
301Blast Hole WallVS 5b *135
302Cor Limey!VD 27
303Powder KegS 4a 48
V3 5
305FuseVS 5a *249
306Gun-Cotton GrooveVD *467
307Cook's RibE1 5c *156
308Horatio's DirectVS 4c *168
309Horatio's HorrorHS 4a **514
310Heavy CruiserE1 6a  
311Nelson's NemesisVS 4b ***812
312Tom's ArĂȘteE5 6b 1
313Victory ViceVD *142
314For Queen and CountryHVS 4c 52
315DeviceHVS 4c 162
316Gunpowder Gully ArĂȘteS 3c 161
317Gunpowder GullyD 120
318Sea Dog SlabVD 150
319Sea Dog Slab Direct
V0- 10
320Sea Dog Slab Indirect
V0- 7
321Sailor's chuteHVD 4a 69
322They Think It's All Over
VS 4b 6
323It Is Now
VD 3c 15
324It Is Now DirectVD 4b 11
325Nelson's Slab Direct Sit-start Plinth Eliminate *f7A 2
326Colder Compass *V5  
327Scuttlebutt *V6  
328Traverse into Hornblower *V6 1
329Anchor Management *
VE **1
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

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