Climbs 122
Rocktype Sandstone (hard)
Altitude 17m a.s.l
Faces N

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Coastguard Slab © Mark Davis

Crag features

Esoteric but still the most accessible and relatively amenable sea cliff crag on the Exmoor coast with plenty of routes in the low and mid grades. A lot of good slabby rock abounds but there are some areas of poor rock where experience is essential; most routes have grassy finishes to rusty belay stakes.
The western extent of the cliff (west facing), next to Bossington Beach has some good short, steep routes (tidal) and a boulderer's playground directly off the beach. The large, non tidal, central concave Coastguard Wall provides routes up to 60m. The rock on the lower half should be treated with caution but is no worse than some Cornish Culm cliffs. On the East side the slabs become more tidal but also more solid until the excellent Fledgling Wall, reminiscent of Baggy, is reached. High up above sea level and 400m east of the lookout are the Coney Combe slabs identified by the large circular recess in the centre.

A guide to the bouldering/topo is now up on


Approach notes

Park in the pay and display carpark in Bossington and take the coast path eastwards for 3/4 of a mile to the disused Coastguard lookout. The cliffs are directly below this.

Descent from Bossington Beach Crag. is awkward. The 'tricky scramble' looks desperate and the walk up to the Coastguard look-out is a very long way round. There are two stakes in place just above the top of the crag so easier to abseil down. The stakes are linked by tape with a krab to allow a retrievable abseil, but both tape and krab need replacing.
Bob M - 23/Oct/23
Distinctly unimpressed by Fledgling Wall. The cruxes are all at the start, up poorly protected frictionless-when-damp rock - if you can get up this then on the routes we did, the rest is several grades easier. Had to leave only 90 minutes after low tide as the water had reached the rock. Belay stake is a long way from the routes at the left end, after the first one we belayed from cracks at the top of the route instead. High tide retreat is pretty serious, on steep grass with the only "protection" provided by very rusty stakes which are mostly at the wrong angle anyway! Bossington Beach crag - some nice climbing, but not worth the horrific descent. The guide suggests roping up, but there seems little point when there's nothing to attach the rope to anyway! I couldn't find a way through the gorse bushes to get to the nasty-looking grass beneath so we ended up traversing all the way back to the coastguard building. Overall - not a bad "esoteric" crag, but doesn't deserve a place in a selected guide which is presumably meant to describe the best routes of the region. On the plus side, we had the whole place to ourselves on a sunny BH Monday :)
Simon Caldwell - 30/Aug/16
The stake at the top of Coastguard Wall is rotted to oblivion. There is another stake, which for some reason is lying at the bottom!? Its a great slab so if somebody has some spare they'd definitely be appreciated here although rock belays are possible in the shattered outcrops nearby.
Samuel Wainwright - 17/Jun/15
Climbed here today, what a hidden gem! Loved Coastguard wall, generally pretty solid and good gear, with a nice belay at the top. Fledgling Slab was good, some good climbing with varying degrees of protection. However, a word of caution, the stakes at the top of this slab are rusty (gave one a gentle tug to test and it snapped off!!!) and another looks suspect. One really solid stake still in place, which was comforting! There may have been more but couldn't see any as they camouflage themselves pretty well. With new solid stakes this would be a great venue.
ianlaw - 13/Aug/14
The steep wall at the Bossington Beach area has become every bit the training venue of choice in the Exmoor Area. It stays dry in all but the worst rain, drys very quickly, is non-tidal and steep. (We have dubbed it 'Stoney Bossington'!) A range of eliminates, traverses and link ups exist. The rock is sharp and abrasive but your arms and shoulders will be ruined by the time your fingers get too sore. For those less inclined to steep bouldering, there are some nice slabs on good smooth wave washed rock here too (they are tidal though).
granticus - 03/Oct/12
A major Rockfall (back in 2008) on the 'Brandyman slab' has deposited a huge slice of slab on the screes below affecting the routes Brandyman, Voyage, Huckleberry Thin and Tranquility Base. No repeats known since the rockfall.
The Pylon King - 09/Jul/12
very good crag which deserves more publicity!
Stanners - 10/Jun/12
First Trip to Hurlstone - here are a few observations: Coastguard Wall Stakes at the top are reasonable. We took our own but didn't feel it necessary to use them. The climbs are reasonably secure, although each hold needs testing and handling with care. The top of the routes on hte right hand side look quite lichenous and would require a clean. Fledgling Wall We didn't climb on this wall as the top looked extremely herbaceous and we didn't really have the time for gardening Region between Fledgling and Coastguard (does it have a name?) Some of these routes are really clean and solid and very worthwhile. There are blocks at the top for belaying but we didn't see any stakes.
James Moyle - 04/Jun/10
The stakes and pegs are now reported to be bit rusty (in places very rusty), and should naturally be treated with caution, as befitting any sea cliff.
freelancer_85 - 27/Jun/08
Have to agree with Tom, the move is powerful and committing, but it's not a big fall and you're got lots of very good gear below you.
freelancer_85 - 10/Jul/07
Sorry but Brandyman is HVS, the move after getting onto the block is unexpectedly hard, but not E1.
thomasadixon - 09/Jul/07
I agree, Brandyman is E1. The belay bolts are gone, replaced by a stake 20ft above the top of the climb.
Rusty Peg - 26/Jul/06
Climbed Brandyman last year. Has to be worth E1. Was a little apprehensive sitting on the large jammed block below the roof; surprising but committing moving over it. There are some newish bolt stubs to use as belays - wire over the top. Thought the cleaning/wire brushing to the right of the climb was far too thorough!!!
Brad Jackson - 10/Feb/03
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