Altitude 125m a.s.l
the crag in the city © jamestheyip
This striking geological feature overlooking central Edinburgh has been popular with local climbers for generations. The quantity of good climbing is not proportional to the quantity of rock, but its convenience makes it a great resource for Edinburgh climbers, with superb views.
The South Quarry offers some good bouldering and short routes, and is often busy on summer evenings. The steep and polished testpieces of the Black Wall are the highlight, but there is plenty more to play on. A new guide detailing the all problems, old and new is available here.
The routes are usually soloed, as protection and belays are generally lacking. The best lines of descent in the quarry are the Moderates, otherwise walk around the long way. Many unlisted routes and variations have also been climbed.
Expect curiosity from tourists.
Currently access to the quarry and radical road is banned for all activities. Additional signage has been added dissuading climbing.
A geological survey has been delayed by covid.
Please do not risk access to this popular climbing spot at this time.
Permission to climb is in theory granted by getting a free pass from the Historic Scotland Park Ranger Service, who hide in a wee glass fronted building behind Holyrood Palace. The requirement of the pass isn't heavily enforced, and because most climbers stick to bouldering in the South Quarry, reports of problems are rare.
Significant geotechnical rock scaling has recently taken place all along Salisbury crags. Be aware that some long standing "loose" sections may have been disturbed and previously easy access routes are now covered with dislodged rubble.