If you didn’t already know, Sheffield is “climbing capital of the UK”, with one of the largest concentrations of climbers anywhere in the world. Surrounded by the Peak District, with its countless recorded climbing routes on boulders, edges, crags and quarries, it’s no wonder that the city has become a mecca for climbing enthusiasts.
Not only do we have thousands of climbing spots around the outskirts of the city centre, we’re also spoilt for choice when it comes to indoor climbing centres. Sheffield is so climbing mad that you even get people practising on the city’s aged and weathered stone walls in places like Broomgrove Road and Mushroom Lane. To many in Sheffield, climbing is a way of life.
So it's unsurprising that the city’s parks have also succumbed to the appeal of climbing. Several purpose-built climbing boulders have popped up all over the city in recent years. Built to closely mimic the natural boulders and slabs found out in the Peak District, these public facilities offer a convenient and fun opportunity for novices and experts alike to work on their technique – all for free.
All the boulders are different shapes and sizes, so explore each of them and find your favourite.
The folk behind the Sheffield Boulder site have handily put together this Google map showing where to find these free public boulders. Their site also contains topos of boulders and a wiki for documenting any problems.
Tips for using the boulders:
- All the boulders have landing surfaces below them, varying from small stones to thin matting. These won’t guarantee your safety though, so remember that you’re climbing at your own risk and read the BMC's safety advice before you get started.
- Before climbing up a boulder, make sure you can climb back down again. Walk around and locate the easiest way down.
- You may be lucky enough to meet one of Sheffield’s many resident climbers at any of these boulders, who will probably be happy to give you some tips. If you’re wondering what strange equipment they’re wearing, read our climbing kit guide. And if you enjoy it, find out more about Sheffield's many great indoor and outdoor climbing spots.