Climbs 410
Rocktype Sandstone (soft)
Altitude 22m a.s.l
Faces W

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St Bees © Alex Messenger

Crag features

Beautiful location by the sea. Selection of fine sport routes - Nectarine, Toxic Rock, Dreaming of Red Rocks, Fisherman's Friend - and awesome bouldering - Clash of the Titan's, Apiary Arete, Fisherman's Dyno, Hueco Crack...

Many routes have recently been re-bolted, but not all. Beware, the old bolts can be lethal.

Approach notes

Cliffs are owned by the RSPB. Take heed of the access agreement detailed in the guidebook. (Bird Bans from February to July, etc). 15 minute approach.
Southern climbers descent (by lighthouse - above apiary wall) has been badly damaged by erosion and rockfall in recent floods. It has since been repaired and ropes have been replaced, and it is accessible. For an easier approach, I recommend using the alternative descent path about 100m further north. Beware however as light rain can make this path quite slippery.

Car park fee is £3 so make sure you take coins with you - 10/04/2022

Access Advice

The main bolted areas (Apiary Wall and Scabby Back) are unrestricted. All other areas of the crag including Fisherman's Steps are restricted.

There was a landslide on the steep descent to the north of the lighthouse in November 2021 causing damage to the bolt anchors and fixed ropes. The recommended alternative descent is by the easier route further north. The Fishermans steps is another alternative to the south but this is only recommended to those who are really happy with strenuous and exposed descents. 

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 1 February to 31 July

Reason: Nesting Birds

The area has very important Guillemot, Kitttiwake, and Razorbill breeding colonies and The RSPB have stipulated no access to the area south (right) of the route Army Screamers between the above dates.

Other restricted St Bees areas:

  • St. Bees Far South Boulders - South of Fisherman's Steps / "Fishermans Dyno Boulder
  • St. Bees Head South - sectors beyond "Cryptozoo" and the cliff top access path

Access to Fleswick Bay is permitted all year round, but only south of the inlet where the path meets the shore.

At South Head the small bouldering area is only accessible outside the nesting season.

Went on a club trip here a few weeks ago, although the descent was steep, we all managed it okay and the fixed ropes seemed secure and safe. All the problems were in great condition although the routes on the back cliff were dripping wet - they probably take a good few days to dry out after rain.
Morgan P - 24/Mar/15
A few of the blocks at the southern area have shifted in the spring storms. Kracken block pushed up against rear rocks. Still well worth the visit.
rice boy - 06/May/14
Was at the crag on 29/10/2012. Sizeable fresh-looking rock fall in gully down to the boulders. Rock all over the place, so didn't trust any of the manky fixed ropes. The "path" has taken a battering, making it a fair bit worse. Care advised on the way down!
1234None - 30/Oct/12
The walk in down the slopes is horrendous! especially when windy. An easier walk can be found if rather than crossing by the stile at the foghorn continue until the next style - here you can log you mats down safely. FANTASTIC place though!!
Fluvial - 27/Aug/11
just checked the guide, the route was the 'Ancient Mariner'
SGD - 24/May/11
I was at this crag on the 18/5 climbing one of the 1st routes on the approach (lovely layback crack given 5+/E1 in the selected guide) which is outside of the restricted bird ban area. Anyway, there are gulls nesting on the ledge about 10m up, you can't see them from the ground but they are there.
SGD - 24/May/11
As part of the work of the Cumbria Bolt Fund we where there on Sunday 4th April and have replaced a number of lower offs on the Apiary Wall area. There is still allot of work to be done before the climbs all have new bolts in though so watch this space. For more info go to...
Dan Robinson - 07/Apr/10
Parking is now 2 at the farm.
bentley's biceps - 01/Mar/09
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