Rock climbing

The North York Moors isn't as well-known for its climbing as the Yorkshire Dales or the Peak District but it has plenty of challenges up its sleeves too.

If you're already a climber, there are a number of excellent crags, mostly sandstone but also a couple of limestone options in the North York Moors. Many are on private land, not necessarily on access land. Every crag is different and access agreements can change without notice and it is your responsibility to check any restrictions in place. The BMC’s regional access database provides the most up-to-date information and as well as general advice on climbing, safety and good practice in the outdoors. NB: North York Moors is found under the North East area rather than Yorkshire.

For those in the know, there are some exciting crags and tough bouldering challenges around, all in wonderful settings. Popular spots include the Wainstones (a 'must visit' crag and good for a bit of scrambling too), Raven's Scar, Scugdale and Highcliffe Nab.

Scugdale is ideal for bouldering, a small sandstone outcrop that rarely gets more than 10 metres high, it's home to dozens of boulder problems at the easier end of the spectrum. It's south-facing, in a beautiful spot, quick-drying with plenty of sun and close to the pubs in Swainby for a well-deserved pint at the end of the day.

For more information on rock climbing in the north east of England, go to the Cleveland Mountaineering Club website which provides information for experienced climbers planning a trip. A definitive list of crags in the North York Moors is available on the UKC website.

Rock climbing

Instruction and private guiding

If you'd like to have a go at rock climbing, check out our Events Programme for the school holidays. Most of the Activity Providers in the North York Moors also offer rock climbing taster sessions, with experienced, qualified instructors. They'll also have access agreements with local landowners.

Once you've got the bug, then a Mountaineering Instructor can guide you on the best routes the area has to offer, and teach you the skills needed to become an independent climber. The Association of Mountaineering Instructors website lists local instructors.

Indoor climbing walls

Indoor walls come into their own in winter and when the weather isn't playing ball. There are a couple of smaller indoor climbing walls available at Pickering and Malton for testing your techniques. There's also some larger walls in York.

Energise, York

The Red Goat Climbing Company, York

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