Nidderdale AONB’s unique geology and dramatic natural landscape make it a superb location for rock climbing in the Yorkshire Dales. The AONB hosts a wide variety of different rock climbing locations and climbing routes to try within a relatively small area, and, wherever you choose to climb, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views of the Yorkshire countryside.
Most well known for climbing in Nidderdale is Brimham Rocks – an intriguing collection of amazing rock formations carved into the millstone grit, on the hills between Pateley Bridge and Ripon. Brimham Rocks is a fabulous outdoor playground with the most varied rock climbing on offer in Yorkshire - to suit a wide range of grades from beginner to expert.
If you’re new to climbing and would like to learn some basic climbing techniques How Stean Gorge in Upper Nidderdale is a great place to start. The gorge is a limestone ravine, which has been carved out with thousands of years of water flow, and a climbing route has been specially designed up the walls of the gorge. Working with the Harrogate Climbing centre (who host an indoor climbing wall if the weather is really bad!) How Stean Gorge provides climbing sessions for all ages and abilities.
Another location in Nidderdale, popular with rock climbers is Slipstone Crags in Colsterdale. Tucked away on the edge of the moors these millstone grit crags are only about 8 metres high but host numerous rock climbing routes and boulder problems.
Images: Climbers at Brimham Rocks courtesy of Paul Harris.