Altitude 293m a.s.l
FirsticepitchDruCou.jpg © Various
Hidden, sometimes neglected, but increasingly popular, Turningstone Edge has always kept its delights camouflaged under a green cloak. The slope below the cliff is smothered in rhododendrons and this invasive species has taken quite a hold on the cliff too. Concerted efforts by keen locals (last major clearence in summer 2016 by members of a local climbing club) have cleared sections of the cliff face and its base, making the place worth a visit. A pair of secateurs should be an addition to your normal rack to help keep the shrubs in check.
The buttresses face east and only receive sun in the morning. The area is best avoided after damp weather though it also makes a good retreat on hot summer days as it is almost always shady. It is also very sheltered from westerly winds.
Access has changed here and climbing is only tolerated if climbers use the approach and parking described below. Park off the lane leading northeast from Red House Farm on Holestone Gate road. Walk down this lane as it drops down the hill. Break left up a steep path towards Cocking Tor. For the main Turningstone Edge, continue over the top of Cocking Tor and follow the cliff edge path eventually into some woods. There is a sign discouraging access further but climbers have unofficial permission providing they keep a low profile. The edge is directly ahead.
Since the BMC Froggatt to Black Rocks Guide Book was published in 2010, ownership of the woodland above Overton which includes Turning Stone Edge has changed. The current owners live at Old Engine Farm on Holeston Gate Road, directly opposite the public footpath indicated as the access route for Turning Stone in the guidebook. There is no longer any permitted access from this footpath to Turning Stone where it meets the private woodland. Alternative access has been granted however, following careful negotiation with the landowner via Coffin Lane and Cocking Tor but it is crucial that this approach route is used to ensure continued access – see ‘approach and parking’ section below.
Access is granted on the condition that it remains low key and doesn't attract attention. The permision does not include permision to clean/remove vegetation, camp, or light fires/bbqs. Any of these or other activities beyond simply climbing will result in access being lost permenantly so please respect the landowners wishes.
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