Climbs 307
Rocktype Gritstone
Altitude 300m a.s.l
Faces SW

"Pensioner's at play" he said © Joshua 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).


Guidebooks

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 covunimountaineering@googlemail.com
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 £4 will be worth it.
Lukem6 - 27/Oct/13
Surprised yesterday to have to pay for the Car Park. £2.50 up to 4 hours, £4 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 £2.50 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
Login as Existing User to add your comments

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 158
7Bosun's CrackVD 289
8Bosun's WallHVD 4a 232
 Poop Deck 
10The GangplankM *895
11Poop CrackVD 4a 81
12Handy CrackD 632
13Handy WallV0- *42
14Visitors OnlyHS 4a *490
15Visitors WallV1 21
16All AboardD 481
17Saltheart FoamfollowerHVS 5c *82
18Howships Lacunaef6C *10
19PDCLWf5 *3
20Poop Deck CrackS 4a 347
21The PirateE2 6b 3
22The Pirate Startf6B * 
23Master and CommanderV5 *1
 Emma's Slab 
25Disabled Seamanf6A+ *40
26Cabin Boyf7A **73
27Cabin Boy Variationf6C *16
28The Cabinf6A+ **78
29Logf5+ *44
30Sling Your Hammockf5 **30
31Dan's ArÍtef6C *25
32Crow's Feetf5+ *16
33Land Ho!HS 4c *179
34The Crow's NestVS 4c **955
35Scrim Netf6A **132
36Lookout ArÍteS 4a *233
37The FunnelD *551
38Kiss Me HardyHVD 4a *610
39The DancerE1 5c 15
40Kiss Me Arse
-
f6A *56
41Kiss Me Arse (Sit-Start)f6C **54
42Monocled Monof6C *21
43Kiss Me Softyf6B **44
44Victory CrackHS 4b *721
45Victory GullyS 4a *319
46Emma's SlabVS 4b *575
47Roger the Cabin Boyf6C **5
48Technical Geniusf7A **32
49Technical Genius (Sit-Start)
-
f7A+ **9
50Technical Genius ArÍteV4 *17
51Emma's DilemmaS 4a *1403
52Emma RoydVS 4c *375
53Emma's TemptationHVD 4c *1218
54Emma's DelightHS 4b *787
55DeludedVS 4c *269
56Emma's DelusionS 4a *492
57The ProwVS 4c *768
58ArtificialVD 69
59Oak GullyM 57
60Oak Tower
-
VD 56
61Heather Corner
-
D 38
62Heather Corner SlabM 37
 Nelson's Slab 
64The Rigging
-
D 53
65The Bunk LadderS 4a 36
66Captain's PrerogativeHS 4b *861
67Captain's BunkHS 4b *783
68Telescope TunnelM **510
69Captain's Crawl
-
M 152
70Porthole ButtressS 4a *322
71Porthole DirectVS 4c **1182
72Victor HugoE4 6b *1
73Captain BirdseyeVS 4c 158
74Blind EyeS 4b *247
75The Proprioceptive Octetnone 22
76Admiral's Flushed HeadD 10
77Dead EyeHVS 6a 31
78Iron EyeV7 3
79Nelson's Slab Direct
-
V3 11
80Nelson's SlabHS 5a *716
81Half NelsonVS 5a *288
82Left Ladder ChimneyVD 192
83SplicedS 4a 18
84Right Ladder ChimneyHVD 4a 144
 Sail Buttress 
86Midshipman / Plain SailingE2 6a ***98
87Nor'-easter
-
HVS 5a 23
88Cold CompassE2 6b *1
89The KrakenE6 6c ***2
90Sail ButtressHS 4b **1888
91Roger the Cabin BoyVS 4c *126
92RatlineHVS 5b **550
93Amazing GraceE2 6a 4
94Sail ChimneyS 4a **1111
95TopsailVS 4c **2566
96Marie's Gone to CanadaE1 5c 2
97SpinnakerVS 5a 24
98Monument Chimney CrackVD *450
99Monument ChimneyD *687
 Orpheus Wall 
101Pillar WallS 4a 162
102The BowS 4a *268
103BuggerV1 16
104Orpheus WallHVS 5c **547
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  
112Nelens
-
E1 5b 1
113Monument GullyVD *288
114Book SnifferE6 6b 1
115Monument Gully ButtressHVS 5b *348
116The KeelHVS 5b *144
117Naughty NauticalsE2 6b 11
118The BoomHVS 5a *2
 The Three Ships 
 Victory 
121Orionf5 160
122Neptunef4 *178
123The Victory Traversef3 *108
124Euryalusf4 *225
125V for Victoryf3+ *296
126Prow Leftf4 *282
127Prow Rightf4+ *279
128Prow Right Dyno
-
V4 *22
129Victor's Ledgef4 *176
 Defiance 
131Finisterref4 *239
132The Defiance Traversef5+ **83
133St. Vincentf4+ *248
134Calvif4+ *208
135Aboukirf4 *232
136Tenerifef4 *287
137Tenerife Right-Handf4+ *150
 Royal Soverin 
139Royalf3+ *222
140The Royal Soverin Traversef5 *66
141Bilgef4 *199
142Buccaneer LeftV0- 70
143Buccaneerf4 *150
144Press Gangf5 *96
145Orlopf5 *159
146Mini RoofV2 *29
 The Promenade 
148Cutting CornersS 4a 10
149The PromenadeD **1200
150The Promenade DirectHVD 4a *819
151PromarÍtef6A **43
152The ChainS 4a *770
153Megamix Leftf7A+ * 
154Gritstone Megamixf7A ***26
155HMS Daringf7B+ ***3
156Splendide Audax
-
V8+  
157Thing on a Springf7A **80
158Hollybush GullyVD 4b *359
159Anchor TraverseHS 4b *208
160Floating AnarchyHVS 5a 54
161Powder Monkey ParadeS 4b **1630
162Oarsman ArÍtef6B+ *9
163Oarsmanf6B+ **24
164Oarsman Sit-Start
-
V6 **1
165'Oar 'Ousef7A *4
166Hornblowerf6C ***90
167Obstructive Pensionerf7A+ **6
168Pensioner Right-Hand
-
V7 * 
169Jumpers for Trousersf7C+ **4
170Eliminate Flakef4+ *6
171HangoverHVS 5b 82
172Admiral's ProgressD *485
173Polaris ExitD *236
174The Admiral's Head
-
D 3b 13
 Trafalgar Wall 
176Bulbous Bowf5+ *177
177HammockVS 5b *194
178Camperdown CrawlHS 4c **1846
179Camperdown Crawl Right-Hand VariantVS 5c 44
180Barnacle BulgeHS 4c *990
181Trafalgar CrackVD 4a *2452
182Trafalgar WallS 4b **2268
183The Defiance Variation
-
V0 13
184Defiance Crack
-
VD 4a 22
185The Long PromenadeVS 4b **52
 Stoker's Wall 
187Bell Bottom ArÍteS 4a 281
188Sailor's CrackS 4b *284
189Sailor's ProblemVD 644
190Whatknot?S 4b *339
191Reef KnotS 4b *694
192SheetbendS 4b 315
193Nautical CrackVD *1018
194Heave HoS 4a 338
195Yo-Ho CrackVD *1469
196Rum WallVD 759
197Rum BreakVD 118
198Stoker's BreakVD 835
199Stoker's HoleHS 4a *989
200StokedS 4a *1089
201Stoker's WallD *1055
202Stoker's Wall Traverse
-
VD 3c 32
203Stoker's Wall Crack
-
M 2c 40
204Stoker's Wall FlakeV0- 32
205Chasing the DragonV9  
 Copenhagen Wall 
207ScandiwallS 4b 32
208Copenhagen Corner Left-Hand VariantVD 27
209Copenhagen CornerS 4b 419
210Copenhagen Wall Traverse
-
S 4a 30
211ScandiarÍteVS 5c *359
212Dane's DelightHS 5b *619
213Dane's DisgustHS 5b *364
214Carlsberg Exportf6B 19
215Mermaidf7C *3
216Copenhagen WallVS 5a *478
217MP3f7B **58
218Wonderful CopenhagenVS 5a *334
219Mast Gully RidgeVD *486
220Mast GullyM 249
 The Fo'c'sle 
222Mast Gully WallVD 4b 142
223Mast Gully CrackHS 4b *218
224Mast Gully ButtressVS 5a *208
225Fo'c'sle WallVS 4c *378
226Fo'c'sle CrackS 4b *708
227Fo'c'sle ChimneyVD *273
228Fo'c'sle ArÍteVS 5b *79
229Fo'c'sle ArÍte Direct StartV1 4
230Broadsidef6A+ *27
231LowsideV5 *6
232The Brigandf7C+ **3
233The Buccaneerf7A *2
234Cave GullyVD *99
 Tar's Wall 
236Ta Very MuchHS 4c 109
237Tar's ArÍteVD 4a *408
238Ta Ta For NowHS 5a 276
239Tar's CrackVD *505
240Tar's TeeterVS 4c *14
241Tar's WallHVD 4b 651
242Sodomyf6C **30
243Tar's TraverseD 340
244Tar's ClimbM 205
245Tar's GullyD 389
246Pig HeadS 4c 270
247Pig Head Startf4+ *2
248PigtailS 4a 317
249Pigtail Startf4 ** 
250Wavedancef4+ *125
251Prow WallM 247
252Prow Wall Startf2+ * 
253Prow GullyM 43
254Prow Gully Prow
-
HD 3a 25
 Barbette Buttress 
256Barbette ArÍteS 4b 33
257Barbette CrackHS 4b *238
258Barbette WallS 4a 160
259Barbette ButtressS 4b *414
260Cannonball CrackS 3c 105
261Cannonball Wall Direct Start
-
VS 5a 67
262Cannonball WallVD *434
263Gunner's GangwayD 308
264Lieutenant's LadderD 177
 Seasick Slab 
266Midge's ManoeuvreE2 6a 11
267Middy's ManoeuvreHS 4c *148
268MidwayE1 6b 40
269Torpedo TubeHVD 4a *242
270FlatabackE1 6a 17
271Das BootVS 5a 25
272Gunner's GrooveD 286
273Seasick ArÍte Left-Hand Variation
-
V0 *18
274Seasick ArÍtef5 **443
275Seasick Slabf3+ *606
276Seasick Stevef6A+ *15
277Sick as a Parrot
-
HD 4a 29
278Men Unitedf5 *28
279Isle of Menf5+ *20
 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 174
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 101
293Stoker's SaunterVD 122
294Knick KnackE1 5b 45
295Easy CornerM 44
296Matelot's MeanderS 4a 141
 Kismet Buttress 
298Yard Arm
-
V0- 34
299ImplosionHVS 5c 41
300ExplosionVS 5a *192
301Blast Hole WallVS 5b *134
302Cor Limey!VD 27
303Powder KegS 4a 48
304Refuse
-
V3 5
305FuseVS 5a *246
306Gun-Cotton GrooveVD *465
307Cook's RibE1 5c *155
308Horatio's DirectVS 4c *167
309Horatio's HorrorHS 4a **506
310Heavy CruiserE1 6a  
311Nelson's NemesisVS 4b ***801
312Tom's ArÍteE5 6b 1
313Victory ViceVD *142
314For Queen and CountryHVS 4c 50
315DeviceHVS 4c 162
316Gunpowder Gully ArÍteS 3c 161
317Gunpowder GullyD 118
318Sea Dog SlabVD 149
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
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Lukem6