Climbs 648
Rocktype Gritstone
Altitude 227m a.s.l
Faces W

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Emma Homard on Just a Minute (E1) on Great Buttress at Wharncliffe. © Alan James

Crag features

Tucked away northeast of the mainstream of Peak climbing, Wharncliffe used to have a rogue reputation owing to tough grades and its rather industrial location. The main section of cliff has routes across the grade spectrum and, although only up to 14m high, they are usually action-packed. The climbing tends to be steep and fingery, with many small sharp holds rather than the roundedness usually associated with gritstone. Many of the landings are awful, so make a point of getting an early runner in - small cams are especially useful here.

Wharncliffe was significant at the birth of British outcrop climbing with Jimmy Puttrell first scratching the rock here with his nailed boots in 1885. By 1900, Wharncliffe was probably the most popular cliff in the country, due to the nearby railway line. An article published in 1910 described 110 routes here. Nowadays Wharncliffe is a place to escape the crowds found elsewhere in the Peak. Strange to think that it is one of the few venues in the UK that is less popular now than it was 100 years ago.

Approach notes

The cliff flanks the eastern side of the Don Valley 10km north of Sheffield. 

The Main Edge is most easily approached from the A616 Stocksbridge bypass taking the turning for Deepcar. The first left on entering the town from the north is Station Road. Parking is now only available along Station Road, as the old parking spot area is now closed off. After parking take the obvious sharp left turn around 400m down Station Road (the road up to the old parking area) up into the woods and follow the track uphill through two tunnels (often muddy) under the railway line and across a cycle track. Continue to a large pool and turn right. The path rises out of the trees to arrive above the first buttress on the cliff. Alternatively, turn right along the cycle track to a pylon where a steep path joins the other approach.

Long John's Stride, Cascade Buttress, The Bass Rock and Lodge/Ewden Buttresses are best approached from a minor road that connects the A61 and Grenoside to the A616/A629. Park at a small lay-by almost opposite a stone yard, about 1km south of the A616/A629 junction. From the parking, walk back up the road towards Grenoside to a bridleway on the right by two boulders. Go down here, keeping the wall and Wharncliffe Heath just on your left and ignoring any tracks veering off to the right. After about 1km you arrive at the edge. Turn south (left - looking out) and walk along the edge for about 200m to the top of Long John's Stride.

  • Prow Rock. 53.47689,-1.55604. SK 29563 97888
  • Scarlett's Wall. 53.47666,-1.55594 SK 29570 97862
  • Tensile Test. 53.4762,-1.5557 SK 29582 97821
  • Photo FInish. 53.47586,-1.55569. SK 29586 97773
  • Cheese BLock. 53.475719,-1.55567 SK 29588 97757
  • Petes Sake. 53.47503,-1.55548. SK 29601 97680
  • Great Buttress. 53.47484,-1.55537. SK 29609 97659
  • Putrell Progress. 53.47428,-1.55484 SK 29644 97597
  • Twin PIllars. 53.47414,-1.554679. SK 29655 97582
  • Blue Defile. 53.47404,-1.55456. SK 29663 97571
  • Himmswillen. 53.47384,-1.55441. SK 29673 97548
  • Hell's Gate. 53.47365,-1.554270 SK 29682 97527.
  • Long John's Stride. 53.46984,-1.54638. SK 30209 97108
  • Far South. 53.46863,-1.544490. SK 30335 96974


No Access Issues

Antisocial behaviour is occasionally a problem at Wharncliffe (more so at the Popular/Deepcar end of the crag) , including boulders being trundled from the top of the crag causing damage on some routes. It is hoped that the presence of climbers might discourage this, but if you are at the crag, see this taking place and feel confident in approaching those involved to explain why it is damaging and ask them to stop, please do so. Otherwise please report it to the police non-emergency number 101 - the police may not attend but at least reports will help to build a pattern of behaviour and may lead to more frequent patrols in future to discourage bad behaviour. 

I've left my skin kit at the bottom.of sneaky little fingers. It's in a green bag. If anyone finds it can you contact me through UKC and I will collect it. Many thanks Dawn
Dawn B - 08/Jun/23
Left kit in a green bag at sneaky.little fingers on 7th June 2023. If someone finds it can u give me a buzz on 07341255977. I'll pay.postage to pick it up... cheers D
Dawn B - 08/Jun/23
My local crag I'm slowly working my way through every route left to right
Wsdconst - 09/May/15
Excellent crag for beginners and experienced climbers
danrhodes1987 - 12/May/09
Good crag. If your looking for a bit of solitude you may just find it here, except for the motocross bikes and the noise of the road.
Jonathan T - 02/May/04
Wharncliffe is a great crag and provides a wonderful evenings soloing.
Michael birkby - 04/Sep/03
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