Climbs 106
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 16m a.s.l
Faces S

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Lucia working Coral Sea © Ben.o.neill

Crag features

South-facing limestone sea cliff, with a range of mainly harder routes. Excellent winter venue. Rock quality good, despite reports of the opposite. Nearly all the bolt protected climbs are on the back wall of Boulder Cove. 

The National Trust owns Brean Down and asks climbers to avoid the sand 'cliff' and the rocks adjacent to it, where archaeological finds have been discovered recently.

Approach notes

Tidal, and this beach has one of the fastest and largest tidal ranges in the world! However the base of most of the cliffs can normally be reached ok, except within one or two hours of high tide.

For the more popular sport crag, Boulder Cove, access is a bit more restricted by the tide...

... if high tide will be less than ~ 8.5m, and in calm seas, it is usually still ok to walk in and out on the beach, but with a 13m high spring tide, you'll need to give around 2.5hrs for it to recede.

Tides can be checked by hitting the menu button right of the map button above,  or other sites , eg....

(See notes below, for high tide alternative walking access to Boulder Cove sport routes.)

DRIVING THERE .... From the A38 or M5 jct 22, take the B3140 to Burham-On-Sea and Berrow from where a minor road runs northwards to a dead end, with a café and car parks below Brean Down.

There are 2 car parks.. the National trust pay and display costs ~£5, check opening times, a gate may lock u in after a certain time.  There is a cheaper car park just past the café.

Don't block the Lifeboat access gate.

When the beach gate is open, don't be tempted to drive across the sands to the base of the cliffs themselves - your car will get stuck, and the tide will do the rest!

( For Boulder Cove sport routes, when the tide is in, there is an alternative walk in with a fixed rope for descent. This can be used for approach + exit,  but is tricky to find, so would definitely be best left until after you know where it is, i.e. after using it one day as an exit 1st! Getting it wrong on a slippy wet grass day could be fatal!

You can walk up the steps and over the top to a steep slightly  precarious descent that sometimes has a fixed rope in place, but the bottom section is loose and unstable so take great care.

Late 2017, the Fixed rope reaches the bottom of the crag, although the mid section isn't knotted, so less than ideal for descent assistance! But with care just use the obvious short windy unroped path section here, until you meet the knotted rope again. This would  all be best left until you know where it is, after using it as an exit.)

( old info ... The routes at the back wall of Boulder Cave can be reached by abseil at any state of the tide )... (? new mods note..., Off stakes? Trad gear? Never seen any stakes nor seen anyone ab in here, but  there is a precarious descent path + rope in place , as described above).


Accessible at high tides that are predicted at less than about 8.5m, without having to wait for the sea to go out. Unless there's a big swell, then you might have to wait a short while. At a spring high tide, around 12m, access + egress will be ok from about 2 hrs after high tide and upto 2hrs before the next high. There is an escape route, the start of which looks unstable, but seems ok, with a rope higher up. Takes about 10mins to walk in/ out this way, but don't go looking for it to get in if you aren't familiar with it. Take care on the grassy slopes above the cliff, theres some steps to a safer area.
Fakey Rocks - 29/Oct/17
a truely perfect winter venue from today's experience.
Stanners - 11/Jan/12
Great crag look forward go returniv and gettng some more quality routes. Is this crag a bit soft though?
Goonie - 14/Jun/10
Despite fear of making this crag even busier, I have to say Brean has again offered a still and dry spot while the rest of the UK suffered from howling winds and heavy bands of rain. Thank you microclimate.
Jon_Warner - 22/Nov/08
"... not strictly speaking sport climbs..." There's a fine collection of safe-as-houses sport routes. Well worth the trip - check out Mark Glaister's article on this website.
Jus - 01/Jul/05
the fort crags are well worth checking out although only about 30ft in height the rock quality is superb, excellent textured rock superb friction and good gear. A nice esoteric spot.
dylan burgess - 25/Aug/04
Cyclop's Slab (HVS), contrary to many guide books, has no stake or tree belays anymore, except a very long way away. Make sure you have plenty of spare rope, or a spare.
Mark Maynard - 27/Nov/02
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