Climbs 311
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
Another heads up, uni taster sessions happening here 14th + 15th October.
edprince - 11/Oct/17
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.
Dale 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
Login as Existing User to add your comments

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 173
7 Bosun's Crack VD 307
8 Bosun's Wall HVD 4a 247
  Poop Deck
10 The Gangplank M * 938
11 Poop Crack VD 4a 98
12 Handy Crack D 669
13 Handy Wall V0- * 46
14 Visitors Only HS 4a * 529
15 Visitors Wall V1 25
16 All Aboard D 507
17 Saltheart Foamfollower HVS 5c * 94
18 Howships Lacunae f6C * 20
19 PDCLW f5 * 3
20 Poop Deck Crack S 4a 374
21 The Pirate E2 6b 3
22 The Pirate Start f6B *  
23 Master and Commander V5 * 1
  Emma's Slab
25 Disabled Seaman f6A+ * 48
26 Cabin Boy f7A ** 86
27 Cabin Boy Variation f6C * 23
28 The Cabin f6A+ ** 86
29 Log f5+ * 48
30 Sling Your Hammock f5 ** 32
31 Dan's ArĂȘte f6C * 32
32 Crow's Feet f5+ * 15
33 Land Ho! HS 4c * 196
34 The Crow's Nest VS 4c ** 1032
35 Scrim Net f6A ** 156
36 Lookout ArĂȘte S 4a * 250
37 The Funnel D * 585
38 Kiss Me Hardy HVD 4a * 646
39 The Dancer E1 5c 16
40 Kiss Me Arse
-
f6A * 65
41 Kiss Me Arse (Sit-Start) f6C ** 63
42 Monocled Mono f6C * 27
43 Kiss Me Softy f6B ** 54
44 Victory Crack HS 4b * 784
45 Victory Gully S 4a * 336
46 Emma's Slab VS 4b * 627
47 Roger the Cabin Boy f6C ** 7
48 Technical Genius f7A ** 42
49 Technical Genius (Sit-Start)
-
f7A+ ** 8
50 Technical Genius ArĂȘte V4 * 19
51 Emma's Dilemma S 4a * 1489
52 Emma Royd VS 4c * 412
53 Emma's Temptation HVD 4c * 1303
54 Emma's Delight HS 4b * 842
55 Deluded VS 4c * 287
56 Emma's Delusion S 4a * 532
57 The Prow VS 4c * 808
58 Artificial VD 77
59 Oak Gully M 62
60 Oak Tower
-
VD 59
61 Heather Corner
-
D 40
62 Heather Corner Slab M 43
63 The Lash * V10 1
  Nelson's Slab
65 The Rigging
-
D 59
66 The Bunk Ladder S 4a 43
67 Captain's Prerogative HS 4b * 900
68 Captain's Bunk HS 4b * 821
69 Telescope Tunnel M ** 566
70 Captain's Crawl
-
M 161
71 Porthole Buttress S 4a * 349
72 Porthole Direct VS 4c ** 1292
73 Victor Hugo E4 6b * 1
74 Captain Birdseye VS 4c 176
75 Blind Eye S 4b * 267
76 The Proprioceptive Octet none 31
77 Admiral's Flushed Head D 13
78 Dead Eye HVS 6a 37
79 Iron Eye V7 3
80 Nelson's Slab Direct
-
V3 11
81 Nelson's Slab HS 5a * 754
82 Half Nelson VS 5a * 313
83 Left Ladder Chimney VD 204
84 Spliced S 4a 18
85 Right Ladder Chimney HVD 4a 153
86 Iron Eyes * V8  
  Sail Buttress
88 Midshipman / Plain Sailing E2 6a *** 103
89 Nor'-easter
-
HVS 5a 23
90 Cold Compass E2 6b * 1
91 The Kraken E6 6c *** 2
92 Sail Buttress HS 4b ** 2044
93 Roger the Cabin Boy VS 4c * 138
94 Ratline HVS 5b ** 599
95 Amazing Grace E2 6a 4
96 Sail Chimney S 4a ** 1185
97 Topsail VS 4c ** 2760
98 Marie's Gone to Canada E1 5c 3
99 Spinnaker VS 5a 26
100 Monument Chimney Crack VD * 486
101 Monument Chimney D * 724
  Orpheus Wall
103 Pillar Wall S 4a 175
104 The Bow S 4a * 286
105 Bugger V1 16
106 Orpheus Wall HVS 5c ** 592
107 Underworld V2 16
108 Peaches E4 6b *** 45
109 Peaches Start V3 6a 15
110 Cream V5 5
111 Pixie V1 5
112 Pixie (Sit-Start) V5 3
113 Orgasmic Variations in a Broom Cupboard
-
E1 5c  
114 Nelens
-
E1 5b 1
115 Monument Gully VD * 310
116 Book Sniffer E6 6b 1
117 Monument Gully Buttress HVS 5b * 374
118 The Keel HVS 5b * 154
119 Naughty Nauticals E2 6b 13
120 The Boom HVS 5a * 2
  The Three Ships
  Victory
123 Orion f5 180
124 Neptune f4 * 198
125 The Victory Traverse f3 * 130
126 Euryalus f4 * 252
127 V for Victory f3+ * 334
128 Prow Left f4 * 323
129 Prow Right f4+ * 310
130 Prow Right Dyno
-
V4 * 28
131 Victor's Ledge f4 * 202
  Defiance
133 Finisterre f4 * 268
134 The Defiance Traverse f5+ ** 98
135 St. Vincent f4+ * 273
136 Calvi f4+ * 229
137 Aboukir f4 * 257
138 Tenerife f4 * 317
139 Tenerife Right-Hand f4+ * 174
  Royal Soverin
141 Royal f3+ * 244
142 The Royal Soverin Traverse f5 * 72
143 Bilge f4 * 217
144 Buccaneer Left V0- 75
145 Buccaneer f4 * 156
146 Press Gang f5 * 103
147 Orlop f5 * 168
148 Mini Roof V2 * 32
  The Promenade
150 Cutting Corners S 4a 18
151 The Promenade D ** 1273
152 The Promenade Direct HVD 4a * 877
153 PromarĂȘte f6A ** 49
154 The Chain S 4a * 811
155 Megamix Left f7A+ *  
156 Gritstone Megamix f7A *** 35
157 HMS Daring f7B+ *** 3
158 Splendide Audax
-
V8+  
159 Thing on a Spring f7A ** 100
160 Hollybush Gully VD 4b * 382
161 Anchor Traverse HS 4b * 224
162 Floating Anarchy HVS 5a 55
163 Powder Monkey Parade S 4b ** 1765
164 Oarsman ArĂȘte f6B+ * 9
165 Oarsman f6B+ ** 21
166 Oarsman Sit-Start
-
V6 ** 1
167 'Oar 'Ouse f7A * 6
168 Hornblower f6C *** 109
169 Obstructive Pensioner f7A+ ** 6
170 Pensioner Right-Hand
-
V7 *  
171 Jumpers for Trousers f7C+ ** 10
172 Eliminate Flake f4+ * 7
173 Hangover HVS 5b 84
174 Admiral's Progress D * 524
175 Polaris Exit D * 254
176 The Admiral's Head
-
D 3b 18
  Trafalgar Wall
178 Bulbous Bow f5+ * 185
179 Hammock VS 5b * 204
180 Camperdown Crawl HS 4c ** 1984
181 Camperdown Crawl Right-Hand Variant VS 5c 50
182 Barnacle Bulge HS 4c * 1055
183 Trafalgar Crack VD 4a * 2618
184 Trafalgar Wall S 4b ** 2433
185 The Defiance Variation
-
V0 5b 13
186 Defiance Crack
-
VD 4a 26
187 The Long Promenade VS 4b ** 61
  Stoker's Wall
189 Bell Bottom ArĂȘte S 4a 299
190 Sailor's Crack S 4b * 298
191 Sailor's Problem VD 701
192 Whatknot? S 4b * 367
193 Reef Knot S 4b * 722
194 Sheetbend S 4b 338
195 Nautical Crack VD * 1094
196 Heave Ho S 4a 355
197 Yo-Ho Crack VD * 1574
198 Rum Wall VD 802
199 Rum Break VD 125
200 Stoker's Break VD 894
201 Stoker's Hole HS 4a * 1039
202 Stoked S 4a * 1159
203 Stoker's Wall D * 1111
204 Stoker's Wall Traverse
-
VD 3c 41
205 Stoker's Wall Crack
-
M 2c 46
206 Stoker's Wall Flake V0- 35
207 Chasing the Dragon V9 7a  
  Copenhagen Wall
209 Scandiwall S 4b 46
210 Copenhagen Corner Left-Hand Variant VD 31
211 Copenhagen Corner S 4b 448
212 Copenhagen Wall Traverse
-
S 4a 31
213 ScandiarĂȘte VS 5c * 389
214 Dane's Delight HS 5b * 662
215 Dane's Disgust HS 5b * 393
216 Carlsberg Export f6B 20
217 Mermaid f7C * 3
218 Copenhagen Wall VS 5a * 510
219 MP3 f7B ** 71
220 Wonderful Copenhagen VS 5a * 348
221 Mast Gully Ridge VD * 515
222 Mast Gully M 266
  The Fo'c'sle
224 Mast Gully Wall VD 4b 162
225 Mast Gully Crack HS 4b * 239
226 Mast Gully Buttress VS 5a * 228
227 Fo'c'sle Wall VS 4c * 411
228 Fo'c'sle Crack S 4b * 764
229 Fo'c'sle Chimney VD * 286
230 Fo'c'sle ArĂȘte VS 5b * 91
231 Fo'c'sle ArĂȘte Direct Start V1 4
232 Broadside f6A+ * 29
233 Lowside V5 * 6
234 The Brigand f7C+ ** 6
235 The Buccaneer f7A * 3
236 Cave Gully VD * 103
  Tar's Wall
238 Ta Very Much HS 4c 119
239 Tar's ArĂȘte VD 4a * 435
240 Ta Ta For Now HS 5a 302
241 Tar's Crack VD * 535
242 Tar's Teeter VS 4c * 14
243 Tar's Wall HVD 4b 686
244 Sodomy f6C ** 38
245 Tar's Traverse D 362
246 Tar's Climb M 227
247 Tar's Gully D 413
248 Pig Head S 4c 292
249 Pig Head Start f4+ * 7
250 Pigtail S 4a 338
251 Pigtail Start f4 ** 7
252 Wavedance f4+ * 133
253 Prow Wall M 266
254 Prow Wall Start f2+ * 6
255 Prow Gully M 43
256 Prow Gully Prow
-
HD 3a 27
  Barbette Buttress
258 Barbette ArĂȘte S 4b 38
259 Barbette Crack HS 4b * 255
260 Barbette Wall S 4a 169
261 Barbette Buttress S 4b * 431
262 Cannonball Crack S 3c 111
263 Cannonball Wall Direct Start
-
VS 5a 74
264 Cannonball Wall VD * 453
265 Gunner's Gangway D 327
266 Lieutenant's Ladder D 193
  Seasick Slab
268 Midge's Manoeuvre E2 6a 12
269 Middy's Manoeuvre HS 4c * 157
270 Midway E1 6b 40
271 Torpedo Tube HVD 4a * 258
272 Flataback E1 6a 19
273 Das Boot VS 5a 28
274 Gunner's Groove D 300
275 Seasick ArĂȘte Left-Hand Variation
-
V0 * 20
276 Seasick ArĂȘte f5 ** 466
277 Seasick Slab f3+ * 640
278 Seasick Steve f6A+ * 18
279 Sick as a Parrot
-
HD 4a 31
280 Men United f5 * 33
281 Isle of Men f5+ * 22
  Wooden Leg Wall
283 Three Sheets to the Wind
-
HVD 4b 18
284 Cabin Fever HVD 4a 94
285 Wooden Leg Wall - Left Corner D 3b 24
286 Spotted Dick
-
V3 3
287 Moby Dick S 4a 183
288 Old Codger VS 4c * 89
289 Bold Codger E2 6a 5
290 Wooden Leg Wall HVS 5c * 67
291 Owd Gadgee E2 6a 4
292 Young Gadfly
-
HS 4b 17
293 Wooden Leg Wall - Right Corner
-
HD 3c 25
294 Stoker's Crack S 4b 104
295 Stoker's Saunter VD 126
296 Knick Knack E1 5b 44
297 Easy Corner M 48
298 Matelot's Meander S 4a 147
  Kismet Buttress
300 Yard Arm
-
V0- 35
301 Implosion HVS 5c 43
302 Explosion VS 5a * 199
303 Blast Hole Wall VS 5b * 139
304 Cor Limey! VD 28
305 Powder Keg S 4a 48
306 Refuse
-
V3 5
307 Fuse VS 5a * 263
308 Gun-Cotton Groove VD * 490
309 Cook's Rib E1 5c * 158
310 Horatio's Direct VS 4c * 174
311 Horatio's Horror HS 4a ** 545
312 Heavy Cruiser E1 6a  
313 Nelson's Nemesis VS 4b *** 858
314 Tom's ArĂȘte E5 6b 1
315 Victory Vice VD * 153
316 For Queen and Country HVS 4c 52
317 Device HVS 4c 164
318 Gunpowder Gully ArĂȘte S 3c 165
319 Gunpowder Gully D 123
320 Sea Dog Slab VD 154
321 Sea Dog Slab Direct
-
V0- 4b 10
322 Sea Dog Slab Indirect
-
V0- 5a 7
323 Sailor's chute HVD 4a 71
324 They Think It's All Over
-
VS 4b 6
325 It Is Now
-
VD 3c 15
326 It Is Now Direct VD 4b 11
327 Nelson's Slab Direct Sit-start Plinth Eliminate * f7A 2
328 Colder Compass * V5  
329 Scuttlebutt * V6 1
330 Traverse into Hornblower * V6 1
331 Anchor Management *
-
VE ** 1
332 Soverin Full Traverse * V4 6a ** 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