Restricted Access

It is important that climbers wanting to deepwater solo on these crags MUST call Brixham Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre on (01803) 882 704 before descending to the base of the cliffs. Climbers have caused a number of false call outs in the past - this creates significant problems for the rescue service and may jepordise future access on the Nature Reserve.

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 1 March to 31 July

Reason: Nesting Birds

Berry Head is becoming a mecca for deep water soloing, but it is also an important breeding site for many seabirds. Historically, access was completely restricted during breeding but thanks to the efforts of local climbers, the BMC and Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, the restriction has been made variable. This means it will be lifted as soon as nesting has been completed. The variable restriction has been granted on the condition that the following is adhered to:

1) The Great Cave and pitch 1 of Rainbow Bridge is still covered by the restriction (1st March to 31st July) and NO ACCESS is permitted. This is because the birds frequent the large platform. The standard approach for Rainbow Bridge (and The Great Cave) crosses this platform and will disturb the birds so climbers must choose one of the following options: a) Abseil from the metal post en route to The Great Cave (just beyond a red access notice) to an in-situ thread at the end of pitch 1. b) Down-climb HVS rock just to the left (looking out) of the post. This is not recommended for those who don't know the route.

2) The final Terminal Zawn (pitch 11) is still restricted. A marker just before this shows the extent of the ban. Climbers should exit up VS territory above the marker.

3) Access restrictions still apply to the following: - White Rhino Tea Buttress (Barnacle Traverse Continuation) - The Oz Wall - The Ledges above the Oz wall, beyond the Terminal Zawn. - The Great Cave and Bismark Wall. Markers have been positioned at both ends of the "open" section and these will show whether or not you are allowed on the traverse. This can be checked by contacting the Berry Head Rangers office (01803 882619).

Please contact the ranger if you are confused about cliff accessibility. A few other considerations: If you fall into the sea (during the restricted nesting season) getting out is now much more problematic as you must NOT get out at the Great Cave ledge (doing so would disturb the nesting birds). Those concerned by this should opt to abseil in (see b above) - doing this allows you to leave a rope through the in-situ thread at the base of the abseil to facilitate pulling out of the sea....or make the big swim to the ‘ Red Walls’ area.

76m, 3 pitches.

Rockfax Description
One of the UK's greatest HVSs. A stunning atmosphere and position, with steep climbing on big holds. Start at a hanging belay just above the high-water mark and 6m right of the first good tidal ledge reached on the approach traverse.
1) 5a, 27m. Make a diagonal traverse up right to a slight rib past a peg, climb round the rib to the base of a steep crack. Climb the crack to a chockstone, then traverse up leftwards across the wall to a stance on a ledge at the base of a corner-crack.
2) 4c, 17m. Climb the corner to a steepening, then head left across the wall to a comfortable stance on a pedestal. Peg, thread and sling belay.
3) 5a, 32m. Move out right to the base of a steep corner-crack. Climb the crack on good holds to an easing at its top. Move left to a smooth walled corner-crack and jam and layback up this all the way to the top. Belay on a large metal pole. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
Please note that this route is bird banned from 1st march to 31st July. It is important that this is respected to allow continued access to this amazing crag.

Check the BMC RAD for full details:

FA. Peter Biven, Pat Littlejohn 06/Aug/1967.


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User Date Notes
charlesmfrench 13 May, 2021 Show βeta
βeta: Only the best HVS in Britain.
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βeta: Only the best HVS in Britain.
gem_stone12 4 Aug, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: Currently a seagull chick nesting half way up!
Show beta
βeta: Currently a seagull chick nesting half way up!

Logged Ascents

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Guidebooks for Berry Head - The Old Redoubt

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High E1
Mid E1
Low E1
High HVS
High VS
Mid VS
Low VS
Votes cast 115
High 5b
Mid 5b
Low 5b
High 5a
Mid 5a
Low 5a
High 4c
Mid 4c
Low 4c
Votes cast 43
Votes cast 115
Style of Ascent
Alt Leads
Not Set
Flashed (β)
Ground Up
Not Set
Route of Interest
Bridge of Sighs

Grade: HVS 5a ***

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