Climbs 221
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 58m a.s.l
Faces S

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Alan James on the upper slim corner of Machete Wall (E2) at Chudleigh Rocks, © Mike Hutton

Crag features

Chudleigh Rocks South Face is a popular and pleasant woodland venue with a rich climbing history. The impressive set of buttresses, walls and corners are composed of excellent limestone that, in general, gives well-protected climbing on sustained and technical pitches. There is something here for all, ranging from multi-pitch lower grade classics to a clutch of fingery testpieces, plus a host of superb VS and HVSs. Whilst wire placements are generally solid and reliable, cams can potentially fail to grip in parallel cracks.  The odd peg will be encountered on some routes. These get intermittent check and replacement from the locals but not in any organised way, so take a careful look at their condition and back up with other gear wherever possible.    

Chudleigh is in the rain shadow of Dartmoor and receives less rainfall than The Dewerstone, Haytor and Cornwall.  The sheltered, lowland setting means that climbing is a year-round prospect at Chudleigh, although a bit of seepage can develop in the winter months.  As the climbing faces largely south east, daytime heat can be a problem in summer although some shade can be found at most times of the day. As with other limestone venues, polish exists on more popular climbs, which creates an additional challenge on hot days.  A good option in that scenario is to look out a less popular line, as virtually all of the climbs at the crag are worth doing.    

Approach notes

To reach Chudleigh Rocks from the north, turn off the A38 for Chudleigh. Go through the village and continue straight on through the centre to left turn into Rock Road (by the Police Station). Continue down the road for 100m to parking by a kissing gate on the right.

Go though the kissing gate and follow the path to where it starts to drop down the hillside. Take the path that contours off rightwards around the slope until the shady North Face is seen on the right (private land). Continue a short distance and the first buttresses come into view. Descend easy rock-steps to the base of the crag and the cave of Pixie's Hole.

If approaching from the south, take the first Chudleigh exit off the A38, drive into the village and turn right at the Police Station.

Access Advice

Climbing at Chudleigh Rock is an inherently dangerous activity and climbers should be aware of the risk of personal injury and death. The landowner (The Clifford Estate), is very supportive of climbing at the crag, but requires that all climbers using the crag have 3rd party liability insurance cover up to £10 million. This is an integral part of BMC or MCofS membership or can be obtained elsewhere providing it gives the same level of cover.

Fixed equipment on the crag has not been installed by the Clifford Estate Company Ltd and is not the responsibility of The Clifford Estate Company Ltd. Please be aware that the fixed equipment is not checked or maintained by the Clifford Estate Company Ltd and the Clifford Estate Company Ltd accepts no liability for the death or injury of any person involved in climbing arising from fixed equipment failure.

Do not light fires - in the past this has caused damage to plants and the local bat colony, and could gain climbers a poor reputation if it happens in future.

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 4 April to 30 June

Reason: Nesting Birds

A nesting owl has been reported near Stalactite Direct - avoid this and nearby routes until the young birds have fledged (likely to be in mid-late June). 
The large rock at the top of Tar Baby is now in the undergrowth at the bottom of Tar Baby. Nobody was hurt.
jlbs - 03/Dec/22
Very large loose block at top of tar baby, only a matter of time before it comes out be extremely careful
ride_998 - 18/Feb/19
Updated the Chudleigh section to be in line with the new definitive South Devon guidebook (2018).
Kafoozalem - 31/Oct/18
Chudleigh has a strange proliferation of pegs and in-situ threads that are right next to bomber wires. I ain sayin all the fixed stuff is right next to bomber wires, but that which is - any reason it shouldn't come out?
Andy Moles - 05/Apr/15
Bees nest seen at the top of Barn Owl Crack yesterday (6th March), instead of following route line I just went to the right finishing up at probably the same grade.
Matt Smith - 07/Mar/15
Does anybody know if there is any seepage at the moment?
tomwheeler - 03/Dec/13
Combined Ops and Machete wall are no longer soft E2's since both have lost pegs. Co-Ops is strenuous and fiddly to protect the moves into the white groove. Machete has only one Cassin Ring Peg at the crux and these have been known to fail. It is vital to back this peg up with small wires before running it out to the next resting hold.
Kafoozalem - 23/Oct/13
Took the secateurs up Central Pillar today and left it in a much more enjoyable state. If more people yanked the ivy off, bashed the stinging nettles down and trimmed the brambles Chudleigh would be almost perfect :-)
Kafoozalem - 10/Aug/13
Probably the most polished crag i have ever been to!
Dean177 - 07/Apr/13
Didn't see any bees up Barn Owl Crack yesterday. Did see a rather vicious looking hornet at the bottom of salome though!
Richard Morgan - 23/Jun/09
Often considered as polished and rubbish, chudleigh is a lot better than you would be lead to believe. Major scope for great days out - beautiful valley location with great views and easily accessible by Bus (25mins) from Exeter. "The Spider" (E1 5b) is spectacular!
SCGale - 18/Jun/09
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