CLIMBING AREAS

Southern Sandstone is situated in the South East of England on the borders of Kent and East Sussex where outcrops of sandstone have formed over millions of years. Due to the rock having only a thin outer layer, the rock is very fragile and can only be soloed or top-roped.  Lead climbing is prohibited and placing trad gear would easily rip out and damage the rock.

There is a CODE OF PRACTICE for climbers that should be read before climbing and setting up top-ropes.

First timers to sandstone may find climbing very different here from other rock they are used to climbing on, but with time and technique, this can be overcome. Grades used here vary from the traditional UK technical grades to French grades for routes and Font grades for bouldering; please refer to your guidebook as to which type of grades you are climbing.

Please keep in mind that you will need to bring adequate different length slings with you, as your rope and karabiner needs to hang over the edge of the rock to avoid erosion at all crags. Please also avoid the use of boulder brushes and toothbrushes as these will wear away the thin outer layer of the rock, leaving it unclimbable. So if you are used to climbing at an indoor bouldering wall or in the Peak District etc, please put away your boulder brushes before you climb here.



UKC Crag Links

Harrison's Rocks


Harrison's Rocks is a sandstone crag approximately one mile south of the village of Groombridge in the county of East Sussex. Harrison's Rocks is owned by the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) and is managed on their behalf by the Harrison's Rocks Management Group (HRMG). Harrison's Rocks is situated next to Birchden Wood which is owned by the Forestry Commission.  There are an extensive amount of climbs at Harrison’s ranging in style and grade. Around 80% of the lines at Harrison's have bolts in place for setting up top ropes. The Forestry Commission now own and maintain the toilet, car park and camping areas, and the car park is pay and display (take change with you). Dogs are welcome but they must be kept on a lead near the climbing areas. Please report any issues to the BMC at access@thebmc.co.uk

ROPE SETUP: All ropes must be set up with a sling and karabiner hanging over the edge of the crag, so the climbing rope does not touch and cut into the rock.

Submit new route information here (UKC Logbook)

ACCESS

Car park - OPEN (pay and display: Cars £1 per hour, £4 for the day - have change with you.(Or £27 for a yearly discovery pass) Visit the Forestry Commission website for updates)
Toilets - OPEN
Campsite - OPEN (Camping fees: £5 per adult & £2.50 per child per night - use the pay and display machine - have change with you)

Access Issues: Harrison's Rocks - OPEN - 'Isolated Buttress access issue' you can no longer step across onto the Isolated Buttress. For now the situation is being monitored and a bridge is not being built at this current time. Climbers will have to use their own means to get across at their own risk. Any traverse ropes set up is considered by the BMC as being unsafe, any ropes must be taken down at the end of the day. - see news item for more information'.

Bowles Rocks


Bowles is situated one mile south of Eridge Station and is owned by the Bowles Rocks Trust and is run as a non-profit making charity. The centre runs activity courses including dry slope skiing, canoeing  and climbing.The centre charges for climbing and this must be paid at reception. Climbers can pay a daily fee or buy a yearly pass at the reception desk. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.  Bowles Rocks is very open and faces south, meaning that the crag dries quickly in the sun. As a result the crag can become very crowded on warm sunny days. Bowles Rocks has bolts at the top of the crag, making setting up top-ropes easier. Do not use the fence posts at the top as these are not strong enough. Free parking is also available.


ROPE SETUP: All ropes must be set up with a sling and karabiner hanging over the edge of the crag, so the climbing rope does not touch and cut into the soft rock.

Submit new route information here (UKC Logbook)

Eridge Rocks


Eridge Rocks are situated in a beautiful woodland setting owned by the Sussex Wildlife Trust. Climbing was banned for many years but thankfully climbing is now permitted again.  As part of the access agreement, certain climbs in the amphitheatre and Demon Wall area have been banned to preserve the rare plants that inhabit the area, please respect this restriction. Reaching the crag top to set up ropes is sometimes difficult, there are no bolts at Eridge.There is a small car park with limited spaces.


ROPE SETUP: All ropes must be set up with a sling and karabiner hanging over the edge of the crag, so the climbing rope does not touch and cut into the soft rock.

CHALK AND BOULDER BRUSHES: Boulder brushes and toothbrushes must not be used. It wears away the thin layer of the rock and also makes it harder for you to climb. Only use a minimum amount of chalk, and in some areas, chalk is not allowed (please refer to your guidebook or the sign at the car park). Eridge is a site of special scientific interest and climbing will only be allowed to continue if these rules are followed.

Submit new route information here (UKC Logbook)

High Rocks


High Rocks is the best for mid to higher grade climbing where the climbs are generally longer and more sustained than those at other outcrops. High Rocks is not far from Tunbridge Wells, it has a large car park, a bar restaurant and it is also used as a wedding venue.  The access situation is very fragile so there are quite a few rules you need to be aware of before visiting. The Rocks are privately owned there is an entry fee that needs to be paid at the lower bar before entry. 

Rock climbing is by appointment only. Give them a call first to avoid disappointment as weddings may be taking place. (Tel: 01892 515532). Entry for climbing is £10 per day, discounted to £6 if arriving after 5:30pm. Tickets must be purchased at the lower bar on arrival. Entrance through the garden gate.

High Rocks is closed to the public (including climbers) on Mondays & Tuesdays. Please be aware that bouldering at High Rocks is currently not allowed. Roped climbing is allowed Wednesdays to Sundays and bank holiday Mondays from 10:15am. Please arrive either before 11:30am or after 5:30pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as weddings may be taking place.
For more information please check the High Rocks website before you go, where up to date information will be provided HERE.

Climbers are reminded to not set up their ropes behind wedding parties when they are in the grounds having their photos taken. please respect the owners wishes if asked to show your ticket or move due to a wedding party arriving. The access situation is very fragile so please follow the rules. The Spa Valley Steam Railway also runs from Tunbridge Wells to Groombridge and stops at High Rocks on route.  Bolts are only on a few routes, the majority of climbs do not have any and trees will have to be used instead. Ensure you bring slings that are long enough for karabiners to hang over the edge of the crag. Submit new route information here (UKC Logbook)

Stone Farm


Stone Farm Rocks are situated 2 ¼ miles south-south-west of East Grinstead and just to the south of a public bridleway that leads west from Stone Hill House. The rocks are owned by the British Mountaineering Council and look over Weirwood reservoir. The height of the rocks here is lower than many of the other sandstone crags. Bolt belays have been placed at the top of the crag in an attempt to minimise any further erosion. There are no bolts above Stone Farm Crack and Pine Buttress, and instead the rotten tree stump has to be used for a belay - caution is advised. There are routes of all grades here. Parking is restricted. Please report any issues to the BMC at access@thebmc.co.uk


ROPE SETUP: All ropes must be set up with a sling and karabiner hanging over the edge of the crag, so the climbing rope does not touch and cut into the soft rock.

Submit new route information here (UKC Logbook)

Bull's Hollow


Near to Rusthall Common, one mile west of Tunbridge Wells, this is a disused quarry dating back to 1890. The crags average about eight metres in height and the ground here can get boggy after rainfall. The quality of the rock is variable and is mostly in condition during the summer and autumn months due to being secluded and sheltered by trees.
Submit new route information here (UKC Logbook)

Bassett's Farm Rocks


Located near Cowden Railway Station this  crag consists of a steep smooth central wall and some
smaller walls either side. This outcrop is on private land so please respect the area. The central wall provides some good sustained climbing.
Submit new route information here (UKC Logbook)

High Rocks Annexe


Opposite the main venue of High Rocks is a hidden area just off the road leading back to Royal Tunbridge Wells. Permission is needed from the owner whose bungalow can be found up and behind the outcrop (this is the bungalow at the right-angle bend on Tea Garden Lane). The Rock remains green for a majority of the time, but in summer when hopefully it's much dryer, it's a favourite with highballers and boulderers.
Submit new route information here (UKC Logbook)

Under Rockes


Under Rockes is a secluded outcrop but worth a visit.  Best time to visit is spring or autumn when there are less leaves on the trees so sunlight can get through. There is a good selection of routes here with a primary steep wall that has some harder grades. This outcrop is on private land. You will need to follow the guide books directions to find it.
Submit new route information here (UKC Logbook)

Happy Valley


Located west of St Paul's Church on Rusthall Common about a mile west of Tunbridge Wells.
The crag is small in size and consists of some low main walls which are good for bouldering. The rock dries quickly here and is a good venue for most abilities.
Submit new route information here (UKC Logbook)

Toad Rocks


Also known as Denny Bottom Rocks. These rocks are located on Rusthall Common, a mile west of Tunbridge Wells and also close to Bull's Hollow Rocks. There are numerous boulder problems here and short climbs. There is also a pub nearby for that post-climbing drink.
Submit new route information here (UKC Logbook)