22 Picturesque Places to Go Rock Climbing in Wales
From the craggy peaks of Snowdonia to the towering sea cliffs of Anglesey, Wales is an action-packed playground for rock climbers. Diverse landscapes and a passionate local climbing community ensure there are routes for every skill level, from beginners to seasoned pros. So, chalk up, clip in and get ready to discover some of the most picturesque places to go rock climbing in Wales.
1. Tryfan, Snowdonia
Set in the heart of Snowdonia National Park, Tryfan is a bucket list peak for climbers. With an elevation of more than 917 metres and a distinct pointed silhouette studded with rocky crags, it’s one of the most recognisable peaks in Wales.
Tryfan offers routes for athletes of all levels, including the classic North Ridge. It’s a challenging but rewarding mountain scramble and starts on the shores of Llyn Ogwen. It’s a grade one scramble if you opt for the easiest route, though there are plenty of alternative ascents if you’re craving a more technical climb.
If you’re new to climbing, Milestone Buttress offers less demanding routes with equally stunning views across Snowdonia National Park and the Ogwen Valley. After a forearm-burning Snowdonia rock climbing experience, head to the Cwellyn Arms in the lively village of Rhyd Ddu for a hearty meal and a pint of Welsh ale.
2. Gogarth, Anglesey
Head to the Isle of Anglesey to discover Gogarth, a seventh heaven for sea cliff climbers. The towering quartzite cliff is set on the western side of Holy Island and has been on the British climbing circuit since the 1960s. This is a rock climbing in Wales destination best reserved for experienced climbers. You’ll need decent ropework and route-finding skills to tackle most ascents. Many are also tidal so don’t forget to check times before you plan your climb.
Iconic routes like Dream of White Horses offer exhilarating exposure and breathtaking views over the Irish Sea. You’ll also be following in the footholds of legendary British climber Ed Drummond, who founded the route. The rush of the wind and the sound of crashing waves make this rock climbing Anglesey experience truly memorable. When it’s time to refuel, head to the White Eagle in Rhoscolyn. Popular with locals, this cosy pub is a great place for a post-climb meal.
Pro tip: if you love a good holiday read pick up a copy of Ed’s book, A Dream of White Horses: Recollections of a Life on the Rocks to immerse yourself in the climb.
3. Pen-y-Pass, Snowdonia
Pen-y-Pass is a hub for climbers and gateway to some of the most iconic rock climbing Snowdonia routes. Clogwyn Du’r Arddu, or ‘Cloggy’ as it’s known by locals, is a sight to behold. British climbing legend Leo Houlding describes the set of rhyolite cliffs as “the best crag in the world” and you’ll soon understand why.
Classic routes like Cemetery Gates and Great Wall will test your skills, endurance and nerve. The views are stunning and take in Mount Snowdon and the surrounding peaks.
After a day of climbing, the historic Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel is an excellent choice for a meal. It’s famous for its mountaineering heritage and knows a thing of two about how to feed hungry climbers.
4. South Stack, Anglesey
If you’re craving adventure, look no further than South Stack on Holy Island, Anglesey. Routes like Smuggler’s Chimney offer a challenging ascent, while Gymnopedie is an accessible option for beginners.
For a full-body workout combine your rock climbing Anglesey session with a hike up Holyhead Mountain. As well as conditioning your leg muscles, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the surrounding coastline.
5. Pembroke Coast, Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire’s coastline is a haven for rock climbers and boasts some of the best routes in the UK. Sea cliff climbs like the Range West Face and Stennis Ford will push you to your limits.
When you’re not conquering cliffs, stretch your legs on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. It winds through some of the most picturesque coastal landscapes in Britain. Pembroke Castle, a historical gem built in the 13th century, is also worth a visit.
6. Llandudno, Conwy
You’ll find more than just Victorian charm in the seaside resort of Llandudno. The limestone cliffs of the Great Orme provide world-class climbing opportunities. Routes like Kinkyboots and Over the Rainbow promise some of the best rock climbing Llandudno experiences. As you ascend, you’ll unlock a bird’s eye view of the town’s 19th century promenade and Llandudno Bay.
7. Glyderau Range, Snowdonia
Find routes for all skill levels in the Glyderau Range. Another prime rock climbing in Snowdonia destination, the range features challenging scrambles like Bristly Ridge. Find more traditional routes on the East Face of Glyder Fach, one of the tallest peaks in the range. There’s no better way to appreciate the rugged natural beauty of Snowdonia than on this mighty mountain.
While you’re in the area, consider hiking around Llyn Idwal, a glacial lake framed by dramatic cliffs. Tours of Penrhyn Quarry offer a glimpse into the region’s industrial past.
8. Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd
Climbing the towering sea stacks and cliffs of the Llyn Peninsula provides a sense of adventure that’s hard to match. Take your pick of hundreds of well-marked routes, including classics like Path to Rome and Vulture on Cilan Head. South-facing aspects and a mild coastal climate mean many routes can be tackled year round.
After a white-knuckle climb, treat yourself to a relaxing beach day. The Llyn Peninsula is home to famous swimming spots like Porth Oer Beach, where the sand is so soft it literally squeaks under your feet.
9. Slate Quarries, Gwynedd
Perched in the north-west of Wales, Gwynedd combines beautiful landscapes with a proud industrial heritage. The region is dotted with historic slate quarries that offer unique climbing experiences. When you’re not climbing, visit the National Slate Museum to learn more about the industry.
10. Brecon Beacons, Powys
The limestone peaks of Brecon Beacons seem purpose-built for climbers. Routes like Gilwern North and Taff’s Well West offer plenty of variety for climbers of all skill levels. You don’t need to gain much elevation to gain spectacular views over the surrounding hills and valleys.
If your arms need a rest, mix things up with a hike up Pen y Fan, one of the highest peaks in Southern Britain. The bustling market town of Brecon is a great base for a rock climbing in Wales holiday. As well as comfortable guesthouses and B&Bs you’ll find plenty of cosy pubs too.
11. Cwm Silyn, Gwynedd
If you’re up for a challenge, Cwm Silyn offers exhilarating mountain crag climbing. Routes like Pinnacle Rib and Cave Gully Wall are guaranteed to get your pulse racing.
For a change of scene consider a hike up Yr Aran, a 747-metre-high peak with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Alternatively, slow down the pace in Beddgelert Forest, a sun-dappled woodland laced with scenic trails.
12. Carneddau Range, Snowdonia
Push yourself to the limit on the Carnedd Llewelyn East Face, another Snowdonia rock climbing mecca. The range towers over the north side of the Ogwen Valley and is relatively easy to access. Some routes can be reached from the main road and others are closer to the historic slate quarrying village of Bethesda.
13. Llangollen, Denbighshire
Find some of the best limestone rock climbing in Wales routes in Llangollen. Located in the county of Denbighshire, the town is a gateway to the Clwydian Range and Eglwyseg Valley. The glacier-carved limestone scarp is speckled with epic climb sites. Back in the town of Llangollen, you’ll find some great pubs and restaurants where you can refuel after a day in the valley.
14. Cwm Idwal, Snowdonia
Another Snowdonia National Park favourite, Cwm Idwal offers routes for all skill levels. Climbs like Hope are perfect for beginners, while Spiral Stairs will challenge more experienced climbers. The Tyn-y-Coed Inn in the riverside village of Capel Curig is a terrific place to refuel.
15. Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, North Wales
Looking for vertical thrills in North Wales? The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a haven for rock climbers. Characterised by dramatic peaks, the area combines challenging routes with incredible views.
Some approaches involve scrambling through scree. Keep your eyes peeled for coral and seashell fossils hidden in the rocks as you explore this rock climbing in North Wales gem.
16. Wye Valley, Monmouthshire
Discover landscapes that made William Wordsworth swoon in the Wye Valley. The region has enchanted writers, poets and artists for centuries and it’s easy to see why. In recent years the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural has captivated a new demographic – climbers.
The limestone gorges and sandstone crags of the Wye Valley are a dream come true for climbers. Find everything from beginner-friendly climbs to challenging routes on Symonds Yat. The limestone face of Shorn Cliff will push your fingers to the limit while Wintour’s Leap promises thrilling exposure. Visit in autumn to see the surrounding beech, ash and oak forests explode in a sea of colour.
17. Criccieth, Llyn Peninsula
Get your pulse racing with sea cliff climbing in Criccieth. The seaside town is perched on the Llyn Peninsula and offers adventure-fuelled climb sites like Craig Dorys. Take your pick of routes with cheeky names like Grandad’s Challenge, Safe as Milk and Error of Judgement. As you ascend the cliffs, you’ll be treated to fantastic vistas over Cardigan Bay. Plan your rock climbing in Wales trip in the summer and Criccieth Beach is a great place for a post-climb dip.
18. Rhossili Bay, Swansea
Set on the Gower Peninsula, Rhossili Bay is another world-class sea cliff climbing destination. Routes like The Green Bridge of Wales combine challenging moves with stunning coastal views. It’s this combo that makes Rhossili Bay one of our top rock climbing in Swansea picks.
When you’re not scaling cliffs, explore Worm’s Head, a tidal island connected to the Gower Peninsula by a narrow causeway. Don’t forget to check the tides before you set off as they can affect access to many Swansea rock climbing routes.
19. Taff’s Well Quarry, Cardiff
Cardiff isn’t just a hub for art, culture and entertainment. It’s a gateway to some of the best rock climbing routes in Wales. Head to Taff’s Well Quarry for a rock climbing Cardiff experience that will take you to new heights. It’s a great spot for beginners to hone their skills and experienced climbers to test their limits.
In nearby Wenallt Quarry, you’ll find more traditional and sport climbing routes. For a serious challenge tackle Clogwyn y Wenallt, a dome-shaped rock with fantastic views over the surrounding woodland.
20. Tremorfa Crags, Cardiff
Looking for more Cardiff rock climbing adventures? Tremorfa Crags offers some of the best bouldering near the Welsh capital. Proximity to the city makes the site popular with locals heading out for an after-work climb.
21. The Gap, Gower
Less than an hour’s drive from Cardiff, The Gap treats climbers to exhilarating sea cliff routes. There’s plenty of variety when it comes to grades, making The Gap ideal for all skill levels.
22. Lower Pen Trwyn, North Wales
Lower Pen Trwyn is often crowned one of the top sport climbing destinations in Wales. Take your pick of routes, including some serious finger-burners on the left-hand side of the crag. This destination is tidal so be sure to check times beforehand.
Reach new heights on a rock climbing in Wales adventure
Whether you’re a veteran climber seeking a new challenge or a beginner looking to scale your first crag, Wales is packed with climbing destinations for all ages, skills and fitness levels.
From quartzite sea cliffs on the Isle of Anglesey to volcanic mountain peaks in Snowdonia National Park, each rock climbing in Wales location promises stupendous views. No matter your climbing style, getting vertical is a great way to discover the natural beauty of Wales and experience the country from an exciting new perspective.
Nick, your trusted guide to Wales travel and exploration, shares a deep passion for this enchanting land. With years of exploration, Nick offers expert insights into the best of Wales. Join him on a journey through its captivating history, culture, and hidden gems, as he inspires you to create unforgettable Wales travel experiences.