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).


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 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
2 Portside HS 4b 17
3 The Briny E1 5b 5
4 Starboardside HS 4b 18
  Bosun's Wall
6 Bosun's Nose S 4c 170
7 Bosun's Crack VD 301
8 Bosun's Wall HVD 4a 244
  Poop Deck
10 The Gangplank M * 916
11 Poop Crack VD 4a 93
12 Handy Crack D 653
13 Handy Wall V0- * 45
14 Visitors Only HS 4a * 510
15 Visitors Wall V1 23
16 All Aboard D 495
17 Saltheart Foamfollower HVS 5c * 91
18 Howships Lacunae f6C * 15
19 PDCLW f5 * 3
20 Poop Deck Crack S 4a 358
21 The Pirate E2 6b 3
22 The Pirate Start f6B *  
23 Master and Commander V5 * 1
  Emma's Slab
25 Disabled Seaman f6A+ * 42
26 Cabin Boy f7A ** 70
27 Cabin Boy Variation f6C * 19
28 The Cabin f6A+ ** 79
29 Log f5+ * 45
30 Sling Your Hammock f5 ** 30
31 Dan's ArĂȘte f6C * 29
32 Crow's Feet f5+ * 15
33 Land Ho! HS 4c * 185
34 The Crow's Nest VS 4c ** 994
35 Scrim Net f6A ** 134
36 Lookout ArĂȘte S 4a * 241
37 The Funnel D * 570
38 Kiss Me Hardy HVD 4a * 627
39 The Dancer E1 5c 16
40 Kiss Me Arse
-
f6A * 57
41 Kiss Me Arse (Sit-Start) f6C ** 54
42 Monocled Mono f6C * 21
43 Kiss Me Softy f6B ** 46
44 Victory Crack HS 4b * 756
45 Victory Gully S 4a * 329
46 Emma's Slab VS 4b * 602
47 Roger the Cabin Boy f6C ** 5
48 Technical Genius f7A ** 31
49 Technical Genius (Sit-Start)
-
f7A+ ** 8
50 Technical Genius ArĂȘte V4 * 17
51 Emma's Dilemma S 4a * 1455
52 Emma Royd VS 4c * 402
53 Emma's Temptation HVD 4c * 1265
54 Emma's Delight HS 4b * 814
55 Deluded VS 4c * 282
56 Emma's Delusion S 4a * 514
57 The Prow VS 4c * 794
58 Artificial VD 71
59 Oak Gully M 57
60 Oak Tower
-
VD 57
61 Heather Corner
-
D 38
62 Heather Corner Slab M 41
  Nelson's Slab
64 The Rigging
-
D 53
65 The Bunk Ladder S 4a 37
66 Captain's Prerogative HS 4b * 880
67 Captain's Bunk HS 4b * 798
68 Telescope Tunnel M ** 542
69 Captain's Crawl
-
M 151
70 Porthole Buttress S 4a * 336
71 Porthole Direct VS 4c ** 1240
72 Victor Hugo E4 6b * 1
73 Captain Birdseye VS 4c 164
74 Blind Eye S 4b * 259
75 The Proprioceptive Octet none 22
76 Admiral's Flushed Head D 10
77 Dead Eye HVS 6a 33
78 Iron Eye V7 3
79 Nelson's Slab Direct V3 11
80 Nelson's Slab HS 5a * 734
81 Half Nelson VS 5a * 307
82 Left Ladder Chimney VD 197
83 Spliced S 4a 17
84 Right Ladder Chimney HVD 4a 147
  Sail Buttress
86 Midshipman / Plain Sailing E2 6a *** 102
87 Nor'-easter
-
HVS 5a 23
88 Cold Compass E2 6b * 1
89 The Kraken E6 6c *** 2
90 Sail Buttress HS 4b ** 1970
91 Roger the Cabin Boy VS 4c * 136
92 Ratline HVS 5b ** 579
93 Amazing Grace E2 6a 4
94 Sail Chimney S 4a ** 1152
95 Topsail VS 4c ** 2664
96 Marie's Gone to Canada E1 5c 3
97 Spinnaker VS 5a 26
98 Monument Chimney Crack VD * 470
99 Monument Chimney D * 707
  Orpheus Wall
101 Pillar Wall S 4a 167
102 The Bow S 4a * 279
103 Bugger V1 16
104 Orpheus Wall HVS 5c ** 574
105 Underworld V2 16
106 Peaches E4 6b *** 45
107 Peaches Start V3 6a 15
108 Cream V5 5
109 Pixie V1 5
110 Pixie (Sit-Start) V5 3
111 Orgasmic Variations in a Broom Cupboard
-
E1 5c  
112 Nelens
-
E1 5b 1
113 Monument Gully VD * 296
114 Book Sniffer E6 6b 1
115 Monument Gully Buttress HVS 5b * 359
116 The Keel HVS 5b * 152
117 Naughty Nauticals E2 6b 12
118 The Boom HVS 5a * 2
  The Three Ships
  Victory
121 Orion f5 166
122 Neptune f4 * 189
123 The Victory Traverse f3 * 119
124 Euryalus f4 * 240
125 V for Victory f3+ * 318
126 Prow Left f4 * 303
127 Prow Right f4+ * 291
128 Prow Right Dyno
-
V4 * 24
129 Victor's Ledge f4 * 189
  Defiance
131 Finisterre f4 * 253
132 The Defiance Traverse f5+ ** 86
133 St. Vincent f4+ * 260
134 Calvi f4+ * 218
135 Aboukir f4 * 241
136 Tenerife f4 * 298
137 Tenerife Right-Hand f4+ * 160
  Royal Soverin
139 Royal f3+ * 232
140 The Royal Soverin Traverse f5 * 66
141 Bilge f4 * 206
142 Buccaneer Left V0- 69
143 Buccaneer f4 * 150
144 Press Gang f5 * 98
145 Orlop f5 * 159
146 Mini Roof V2 * 30
  The Promenade
148 Cutting Corners S 4a 17
149 The Promenade D ** 1239
150 The Promenade Direct HVD 4a * 851
151 PromarĂȘte f6A ** 45
152 The Chain S 4a * 791
153 Megamix Left f7A+ *  
154 Gritstone Megamix f7A *** 21
155 HMS Daring f7B+ *** 3
156 Splendide Audax
-
V8+  
157 Thing on a Spring f7A ** 83
158 Hollybush Gully VD 4b * 373
159 Anchor Traverse HS 4b * 219
160 Floating Anarchy HVS 5a 54
161 Powder Monkey Parade S 4b ** 1708
162 Oarsman ArĂȘte f6B+ * 9
163 Oarsman f6B+ ** 21
164 Oarsman Sit-Start
-
V6 ** 1
165 'Oar 'Ouse f7A * 5
166 Hornblower f6C *** 85
167 Obstructive Pensioner f7A+ ** 6
168 Pensioner Right-Hand
-
V7 *  
169 Jumpers for Trousers f7C+ ** 1
170 Eliminate Flake f4+ * 6
171 Hangover HVS 5b 84
172 Admiral's Progress D * 500
173 Polaris Exit D * 244
174 The Admiral's Head
-
D 3b 13
  Trafalgar Wall
176 Bulbous Bow f5+ * 181
177 Hammock VS 5b * 196
178 Camperdown Crawl HS 4c ** 1934
179 Camperdown Crawl Right-Hand Variant VS 5c 49
180 Barnacle Bulge HS 4c * 1029
181 Trafalgar Crack VD 4a * 2544
182 Trafalgar Wall S 4b ** 2362
183 The Defiance Variation
-
V0 5b 13
184 Defiance Crack
-
VD 4a 25
185 The Long Promenade VS 4b ** 51
  Stoker's Wall
187 Bell Bottom ArĂȘte S 4a 291
188 Sailor's Crack S 4b * 282
189 Sailor's Problem VD 670
190 Whatknot? S 4b * 357
191 Reef Knot S 4b * 704
192 Sheetbend S 4b 333
193 Nautical Crack VD * 1049
194 Heave Ho S 4a 348
195 Yo-Ho Crack VD * 1521
196 Rum Wall VD 785
197 Rum Break VD 123
198 Stoker's Break VD 870
199 Stoker's Hole HS 4a * 1019
200 Stoked S 4a * 1120
201 Stoker's Wall D * 1083
202 Stoker's Wall Traverse
-
VD 3c 37
203 Stoker's Wall Crack
-
M 2c 44
204 Stoker's Wall Flake V0- 35
205 Chasing the Dragon V9 7a  
  Copenhagen Wall
207 Scandiwall S 4b 40
208 Copenhagen Corner Left-Hand Variant VD 29
209 Copenhagen Corner S 4b 436
210 Copenhagen Wall Traverse
-
S 4a 31
211 ScandiarĂȘte VS 5c * 374
212 Dane's Delight HS 5b * 643
213 Dane's Disgust HS 5b * 382
214 Carlsberg Export f6B 20
215 Mermaid f7C * 3
216 Copenhagen Wall VS 5a * 496
217 MP3 f7B ** 61
218 Wonderful Copenhagen VS 5a * 340
219 Mast Gully Ridge VD * 502
220 Mast Gully M 261
  The Fo'c'sle
222 Mast Gully Wall VD 4b 156
223 Mast Gully Crack HS 4b * 233
224 Mast Gully Buttress VS 5a * 220
225 Fo'c'sle Wall VS 4c * 401
226 Fo'c'sle Crack S 4b * 737
227 Fo'c'sle Chimney VD * 283
228 Fo'c'sle ArĂȘte VS 5b * 89
229 Fo'c'sle ArĂȘte Direct Start V1 4
230 Broadside f6A+ * 27
231 Lowside V5 * 6
232 The Brigand f7C+ ** 3
233 The Buccaneer f7A * 3
234 Cave Gully VD * 101
  Tar's Wall
236 Ta Very Much HS 4c 115
237 Tar's ArĂȘte VD 4a * 420
238 Ta Ta For Now HS 5a 295
239 Tar's Crack VD * 518
240 Tar's Teeter VS 4c * 14
241 Tar's Wall HVD 4b 672
242 Sodomy f6C ** 31
243 Tar's Traverse D 350
244 Tar's Climb M 216
245 Tar's Gully D 400
246 Pig Head S 4c 279
247 Pig Head Start f4+ * 5
248 Pigtail S 4a 328
249 Pigtail Start f4 ** 4
250 Wavedance f4+ * 130
251 Prow Wall M 255
252 Prow Wall Start f2+ * 4
253 Prow Gully M 43
254 Prow Gully Prow
-
HD 3a 27
  Barbette Buttress
256 Barbette ArĂȘte S 4b 32
257 Barbette Crack HS 4b * 249
258 Barbette Wall S 4a 162
259 Barbette Buttress S 4b * 424
260 Cannonball Crack S 3c 107
261 Cannonball Wall Direct Start
-
VS 5a 69
262 Cannonball Wall VD * 443
263 Gunner's Gangway D 316
264 Lieutenant's Ladder D 185
  Seasick Slab
266 Midge's Manoeuvre E2 6a 12
267 Middy's Manoeuvre HS 4c * 154
268 Midway E1 6b 39
269 Torpedo Tube HVD 4a * 251
270 Flataback E1 6a 19
271 Das Boot VS 5a 28
272 Gunner's Groove D 295
273 Seasick ArĂȘte Left-Hand Variation
-
V0 * 18
274 Seasick ArĂȘte f5 ** 453
275 Seasick Slab f3+ * 623
276 Seasick Steve f6A+ * 17
277 Sick as a Parrot
-
HD 4a 29
278 Men United f5 * 30
279 Isle of Men f5+ * 21
  Wooden Leg Wall
281 Three Sheets to the Wind
-
HVD 4b 18
282 Cabin Fever HVD 4a 92
283 Wooden Leg Wall - Left Corner D 3b 24
284 Spotted Dick
-
V3 3
285 Moby Dick S 4a 179
286 Old Codger VS 4c * 88
287 Bold Codger E2 6a 5
288 Wooden Leg Wall HVS 5c * 66
289 Owd Gadgee E2 6a 4
290 Young Gadfly
-
HS 4b 17
291 Wooden Leg Wall - Right Corner
-
HD 3c 24
292 Stoker's Crack S 4b 102
293 Stoker's Saunter VD 123
294 Knick Knack E1 5b 44
295 Easy Corner M 45
296 Matelot's Meander S 4a 142
  Kismet Buttress
298 Yard Arm
-
V0- 34
299 Implosion HVS 5c 43
300 Explosion VS 5a * 194
301 Blast Hole Wall VS 5b * 137
302 Cor Limey! VD 28
303 Powder Keg S 4a 47
304 Refuse
-
V3 5
305 Fuse VS 5a * 254
306 Gun-Cotton Groove VD * 482
307 Cook's Rib E1 5c * 146
308 Horatio's Direct VS 4c * 171
309 Horatio's Horror HS 4a ** 529
310 Heavy Cruiser E1 6a  
311 Nelson's Nemesis VS 4b *** 833
312 Tom's ArĂȘte E5 6b 1
313 Victory Vice VD * 148
314 For Queen and Country HVS 4c 52
315 Device HVS 4c 160
316 Gunpowder Gully ArĂȘte S 3c 162
317 Gunpowder Gully D 121
318 Sea Dog Slab VD 152
319 Sea Dog Slab Direct
-
V0- 4b 10
320 Sea Dog Slab Indirect
-
V0- 5a 7
321 Sailor's chute HVD 4a 69
322 They Think It's All Over
-
VS 4b 6
323 It Is Now
-
VD 3c 15
324 It Is Now Direct VD 4b 11
325 Nelson's Slab Direct Sit-start Plinth Eliminate * f7A 2
326 Colder Compass * V5  
327 Scuttlebutt * V6  
328 Traverse into Hornblower * V6 1
329 Anchor 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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