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.

Two pitches: F7a+ (7b+ direct), F7b.
Start at a belay below the left edge of the largest ceiling.

P1. Climb a huge flake to a ledge. Work up leftwards through bulges to a break. Step left for a rest, then move up to a small pillar. From the top of the pillar traverse right to the belay. The direct climbs straight up to the belay from the break.

P2. Follow the groove above to the top.

Ticklists

Littlejohn South West Climbs , West Country Climbs , Classic UK F7s , Cheddar Road To 7a Ruins , The best the UK has to offer for beasts (apart from the lakes cos its always wet) , Rock cats getting strong , The road to paradise lost , Bolts to clip in Cheddar , The post lockdown local list , Paul Dearden's classic rock climbs , 7Bs with stars near Bristol , Cianchi's Hit List

Feedback

User Date Notes
Matt Clifton 14 Mar, 2022 Show βeta
βeta: 14 Mar 22 The single crabs which were on the top two bolts and enabled you to lower off the top pitch have been removed. Therefore you either need to top out (either to walk off or to walk 30 mtrs right and ab from a tree with situ sling back to the Nirvana/ Space Tourist ledge) or leave two old crabs on those bolts.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: 14 Mar 22 The single crabs which were on the top two bolts and enabled you to lower off the top pitch have been removed. Therefore you either need to top out (either to walk off or to walk 30 mtrs right and ab from a tree with situ sling back to the Nirvana/ Space Tourist ledge) or leave two old crabs on those bolts.

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Voting
High 7b+
Mid 7b+
Low 7b+
High 7b
Mid 7b
Low 7b
High 7a+
Mid 7a+
Low 7a+
Votes cast 22
Votes cast 24
Style of Ascent
Lead
Alt Leads
Followed
Not Set
Onsighted
Dogged
Redpoint
Repeated
Flashed (β)
DNF
Ground Up
Not Set
Route of Interest
Living Dead

Grade: 7b ***
(Uphill Quarry)

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