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.
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 and 400m down here is a steep left turn best accessed by turning around. A short distance up here is parking on the left. Parking on Station Road is also possible as the main spot is known for car crime. From either parking 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. 53.476898193359375,-1.5560400485992432. SK 29563 97888
Scarlett's Wall. 53.476661682128906,-1.55594003200531 SK 29570 97862
Tensile Test. 53.47629928588867,-1.5557600259780884 SK 29582 97821
Photo FInish. 53.475868225097656,-1.5556999444961548. SK 29586 97773
Cheese BLock. 53.4757194519043,-1.5556700229644775 SK 29588 97757
Petes Sake. 53.47502899169922,-1.5554800033569336. SK 29601 97680
Great Buttress. 53.47483825683594,-1.5553699731826782. SK 29609 97659
Putrell Progress. 53.474281311035156,-1.5548399686813354 SK 29644 97597
Twin PIllars. 53.47414016723633,-1.5546799898147583. SK 29655 97582
Blue Defile. 53.47404098510742,-1.5545599460601807. SK 29663 97571
Himmswillen. 53.473838806152344,-1.5544099807739258. SK 29673 97548
Hell's Gate. 53.47365188598633,-1.5542700290679932 SK 29682 97527.
Long John's Stride. 53.4698486328125,-1.5463800430297852. SK 30209 97108
Far South. 53.4686393737793,-1.5444899797439575. SK 30335 96974