UKC

Restricted Access

The south side of the gorge is privately owned by Cheddar Caves & Gorge and forms part of the Longleat Estate. It is not Open Access land under the CRoW Act (2000), unlike the National Trust owned land on the north side of the Gorge. Cheddar is unique in the fact that many of the crags are directly above a busy road which forms part of a major tourist attraction in the area. Unlike many crags, where a dropped piece of gear or rock is unlikely to have any impact on a member of the public, in Cheddar it has far greater potential to injure a visitor or damage a car. 

Because of this, for climbing on the south side the year is split into three seasons according to the number of visitors to the gorge.  During the busiest periods, all crags on the south side are closed, during the moderately busy periods only the restored routes (which have been cleared of loose rock as far as possible) on the south side are open, and during quiet periods all routes are open. These seasons are based on school and public holidays so change slightly every year.

Anyone climbing on the south side of Cheddar Gorge must carry civil liability cover of at least £10 million. This comes as standard with BMC or MCofS membership or can be organised separately. BMC/MCofS membership cards or details of your individual policy must be carried as proof of cover whilst climbing on the south side of the Gorge and the climbing warden and CC&G staff carry out frequent checks. Civil liability is also recommended for anyone climbing on the north side of the Gorge, but is not a requirement.

The BMC Cheddar Gorge Access Map has full details of which areas can be accessed during which periods. This should be considered required reading for any climber visiting the Gorge, regardless of which side or area you plan to climb on. A trial started in 2019 allows additional access to some areas so check the map before you visit as new year round access is available on three crags, but climbers need to demonstrate an ability to follow the agreed restrictions to make this a permanent lifting of restrictions.

The latest guide to the Gorge - 'Cheddar Gorge Climbs' (M. Crocker, 2015) – has a definitive list of restored routes on the south side as well as routes on the north side. It is available from The Gorge Outdoors shop in Cheddar village, as well as other climbing and outdoor shops in the area.

The latest guide to the Gorge - 'Cheddar Gorge Climbs' (M. Crocker, 2015) – has a definitive list of restored routes on the south side as well as routes on the north side. It is available from The Gorge Outdoors shop in Cheddar village, as well as other climbing and outdoor shops in the area.

It has been reported that there is some confusion or misunderstanding of the use of the terms "restored" and "unrestored" routes in relation to access.  Restored routes are trad routes that were cleaned and equiped with lower off bolts, and sport routes that were  bolted or rebolted and equipped.  This work was carried out as part of the Cheddar Gorge Climbing project between 2003 - 2005.  All these routes are described in the current guide book  - Cheddar Gorge Climbs by Martin Crocker.  The access agreement  only includes routes found in this guide.  Some restored routes in the guide remain as winter only routes. This includes most of the multi pitch routes in the gorge. Full details are in the guide.  The climbs on the South side listed in previous guide books and not found in the current  book, including the previous CC guides are winter access only - 1st October -- 15th March.

Annual loose rock removal carried out by the landowners has nothing to do with access changes for climbers and has no bearing on on the climbing access agreements.  It is carried out entirely in the interest of safety for visitors to the gorge.

 

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 16 March to 30 September

Reason: Public Safety

Due to the proximity of Cheddar's cliffs to the road and tourists below, there are complex access restrictions which vary depending on the time of year and section of cliff on the south side of the Gorge. These restrictions are fully detailed in the BMC's Cheddar Gorge Access Map.

Please ensure you follow the access agreements detailed on the map to ensure that future access is able to continue. It is imperative that climbers self police otherwise access permission may be withdrawn by the landowner Cheddar Caves & Gorge.

120m, 5 pitches. Start 15m left of Coronation Street, below a break in the overhang.

1 - 5b 25m Climb up and to the right to join the groove (loose block). Move up the grove past a number of pegs until its possible to swing out right on to the rib, move up and belay in the corner.

2 - 5a 25m Climb the corner and then the slab above to mantelshelf onto the ivy ledge.

3 - 5c 25m Go up the wall behind the belay and swing right over the overhang to mantel onto the grassy ledge. Move up the finger crack on you right above until a move leftwards leads to a peg belay under the main break.

4 - 5c 25m Traverse left to the base of the corner, move up with tricky moves and slightly right, until its possible to swing right on to a ledge and belay below the final corner.

5 - 5a 20m Follow the crack to just before the top, then bear left to top out.

P Littlejohn, M Chambers 1970.

Ticklists

Littlejohn South West Climbs , West Country Climbs , Ultimate E3 ticklist , South West Climbs - Pat Littlejohn (1st Ed.) , So you think your an Avon Climber? , Paul Dearden's classic rock climbs , Birds , E1-E3 adventure routes: seacliffs, outcrops just not mountains. , Cianchi's Hit List

Feedback

User Date Notes
Xavierpercy 18 Jan, 2022 Show βeta
βeta: The belay at the end of pitch 3 seemed ok Really good rock 4 at chest height plus a good larger nut up to the left in addition to the in-situ stuff.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: The belay at the end of pitch 3 seemed ok Really good rock 4 at chest height plus a good larger nut up to the left in addition to the in-situ stuff.
Tall Oak 22 Oct, 2021 Show βeta
βeta: Led P1 and P2 no issues. Seconded P3 no issues. Seconded P4 and fell on crux. Repeated and up. Seconded P5 no issues. Only tired. Thanks to the folks who cleared much of the vegetation. The 'ivy pitch' was not as bad as perhaps depicted. Actually, for me anyways, was fun. Belay at end of P2 is backed up with high nuts and actually safe. The only bolt (presume ascensionist) is next to useless. Belay at end of P3 is pretty dire. Potential for cams (larger size) up higher in the break. Tat in bolts. And red nut wedged at waist height. Defo combine P4/5 together if have the stamina.
Show beta
βeta: Led P1 and P2 no issues. Seconded P3 no issues. Seconded P4 and fell on crux. Repeated and up. Seconded P5 no issues. Only tired. Thanks to the folks who cleared much of the vegetation. The 'ivy pitch' was not as bad as perhaps depicted. Actually, for me anyways, was fun. Belay at end of P2 is backed up with high nuts and actually safe. The only bolt (presume ascensionist) is next to useless. Belay at end of P3 is pretty dire. Potential for cams (larger size) up higher in the break. Tat in bolts. And red nut wedged at waist height. Defo combine P4/5 together if have the stamina.
fammer 9 Oct, 2021 Show βeta
βeta: In situ belay at top of p3 is grim, hard to adequately back up the pegs. I continued the traverse for another 5m or so and belayed at the base of the groove - a little uncomfortable but not too bad. Veg not too bad, get on it!
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: In situ belay at top of p3 is grim, hard to adequately back up the pegs. I continued the traverse for another 5m or so and belayed at the base of the groove - a little uncomfortable but not too bad. Veg not too bad, get on it!

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High E4
Mid E4
Low E4
High E3
Mid E3
Low E3
High E2
Mid E2
Low E2
Votes cast 20
High 6a
Mid 6a
Low 6a
High 5c
Mid 5c
Low 5c
High 5b
Mid 5b
Low 5b
Votes cast 5
Votes cast 22
Style of Ascent
Alt Leads
Lead
Followed
Not Set
Onsighted
DNF
Repeated
Dogged
Flashed (β)
Not Set
Route of Interest
Rustic Wall

Grade: E3 5c ***
(Split Rock (Milton Hill Quarry))

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