• Top 10 Outdoors

Ascend the UK's climbing capital

Photo by Duncan Philpott.

Whether it’s a day-long trip to a gritstone edge where challenging routes combine with stunning views, or half an hour indoor bouldering on your lunch break, there is something for every climber in Sheffield.

Some of the best outdoor climbing in the country can be found minutes from Sheffield city centre while there is a huge range of indoor facilities to suit all needs, ages and abilities.

Traditionally, climbers used indoor centres, like Foundry Climbing in Kelham Island, as cold weather, off-season training grounds when conditions made it impossible to venture outside. However, more recently people have begun to use the indoor locations as a more exciting alternative to the gym, visiting purely to tone up and increase strength and flexibility.

Sheffield has a proud heritage of climbing. In 1991 The Foundry became the first dedicated climbing centre in the country, setting the standard for hundreds of other walls across the UK. Meanwhile The Climbing Works, off London Road, was the world’s biggest bouldering centre when it opened in 2006. There are other places to do indoor climbing, such as Awesome Walls in Burngreave and the University of Sheffield’s bouldering wall at Goodwin Sports Centre, one of the largest fibreglass moulded walls in the country.

Novice climbers of all ages can find tuition and classes at all of the indoor centres. Meanwhile there is enough variation and range of routes to allow experienced climbers to challenge themselves every time they visit the walls.

Stanage Edge, which towers above Hathersage and offers some of the most expansive views of the Peak District, is the most famous Gritstone climbing location in the area, with modern climbing taking place as far back as the 1890s. However, Burbage Edge and Wharncliffe Crags offer excellent alternatives. There are also opportunities to tackle limestone faces further south towards Tideswell and Stoney Middleton.

All of the Sheffield indoor centres can advise on outdoor climbing, with many arranging trips in the summer months. There are also independent clubs, such as Peak Climbing Club and Castle Mountaineering Club, which accept members of all ability and organise regular events.

If you haven't got time to climb out in the Peaks but would rather be outdoors than indoors, there are also thirteen artificial boulders which can be found in the city's parks. 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.

Written by Will Roberts



Recommended guidebooks: Burbage, Millstone and Beyond by BMC
Eastern Grit by Chris Craggs
Useful links: For more tips on getting active in Sheffield, take a look at Move More.

Latest on Twitter

Latest on Instagram

You might also like...