Spring seems to be here – mild(er) and warm(er) weather has arrived, and long evenings allow mid-week climbing after work. There are some fantastic venues within easy reach of Edinburgh, and some a bit further away that offer more adventurous climbing. Evening instruction available from £50 per person. Contact me here.
Traprain Law is just outside Haddington, about 25 minutes from Edinburgh, and gives some good lower-middle grade climbing in a rural setting. The downside is the crag is popular and polished. A good teaching venue and I use it regularly as it has lots of good routes for an aspiring trad leader.
In Fife, the other side of Edinburgh we have the Hawkcraig near Aberdour – an lovely sea cliff that is great on a summer’s evening.
Don’t forget Ratho Quarry which still has some good harder routes and some more recent bolted lines.
Within Edinburgh itself there is a rather grotty Blackford Quarry, which does have a hidden gem, Corbies Crag, on Blackford Hill which boasts a very fine easy route, Retromingent Ridge.
Further south, the cliffs of Berwickshire give sea cliff climbing at The Souter and Fastcastle Head – The climbing here is adventurous in flavour – with everything from a sea stack to abseil descents onto wave cut platforms above crashing waves. Some local knowledge when visiting these cliffs is definitely recommended.
Further south still, we cross into Northumberland for some of the finest single pitch cragging and bouldering – at an hour+ driving, it’s still do-able on a long, midsummer evening after work.
Heading north into Perthshire brings us to the excellent crags above Dunkeld – an hour+ drive again. Polney Crag gives a wide selection of mid grade to low extreme grade routes in an impressive surrounding – with a handful of multi-pitch routes.
Lower cave crag has a handful of excellent HVS routes, and Upper Cave has some hard trad and sport, as well as a couple of very good easier routes