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Climbs 203
Rocktype Limestone

Faces N

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The Prow © sim.monkey

Crag features

A series of short limestone walls offering routes of surprisingly good quality. The roof climbs are especially worthwhile for those climbing in the E grades, although the exits from many of the routes on Swallow Cliff are vegetated and the belay stakes may be hidden. Reconnaissance of the cliff top is advisable before an ascent.

For those operating at more modest grades The Point and the west buttress at Middle Hope are of interest, with generally adequate belays in the rock outcrops at the top of routes. In addition, the old stakes are still in place above the climbs around Elgar on Swallow Cliff, and a quick rummage through vegetation should locate them.

If climbing at The Point then sunny, windy weather is adviseable in order to dry out the mud. The West Buttress at Middlehope is more forgiving of marginal conditions and has enough friction on many routes to be climbed when wet.

Approach notes

Owned by The National Trust. Climbers are asked to comply with the Trust's standard code of conduct.

Situated on a north-facing coast 3 miles north of Weston-Super-Mare. Follow Satnav directions for BS22 9UD, then continue on a short distance to the end of the road. A car park is situated on the right which is entered through a gate, with another gate visible immediately infront of you as you enter. The Middle Hope area is accessed through this second gate. Walk through the gate and bear towards the hedge on your left where you'll soon see a path through that hedge heading north up the slope. This crosses an access track, and then continues as steps to a smaller gate and open grassland. Turn right at the gate, pass an old stone wall, then after a few hundred metres you'll see a shingle bay over to the left. The boulder problem "The Prow" is located at the far (eastern) end of this bay, with the West Buttress of Middle Hope just beyond, and the Main Cliff beyond that again.

For the Swallow Cliff to The Point sector, leave the car park through the gate you entered, then take the steps to the right up the hill to the top. Turn left and head west out to near the end of the peninsula. The base of the cliff for The Point climbs can be accessed here by an easy scramble down at various points on the right (north). By walking back along the base of the cliff to the east Swallow Cliff can be reached. The beach at the eastern end of Swallow Cliff provides an alternative exit and access point.

The climbs can be accessed for around 3 hours either side of low water, although this can vary significantly between spring and neap tides. On spring tides the water advances at an astonishing rate, so leave plenty of time to escape.

Went down to Swallow Cliff on the 14th July. Belay stakes and possible topouts completely buried in vegation! Also there's a pair of Red Kites nesting close to the first cave.
Steve nevers - 17/Jul/13
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