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Rock Climbing Photo: Front Cover

Rock Climbing in Snowdonia

Paul Williams - Frances Lincoln New Ed edition (July 19, 2006)

Even though it's a select there's a big collection of routes in this guide, and not just the total classics - more than enough for a climber making a vacation visit. Due to space constraints the descriptions are not as colorful as the individual guidebooks, but it's great value.

A must have for anyone interested.

Paul Williams was a well-known rock climber and mountain photographer. He died at the age of 49 in a climbing accident on Froggatt Edge in 1995.
Rock Climbing Photo: Front cover (paperback)

The Mountain Men

Alan Hankinson - out of print do a web search.
I love this book.

Here's a review by Colin Wells of On The Edge Magazine (posted at

What’s the gist?
Eccentric elements of the late Victorian & Edwardian bourgeoisie invent mad new British sport one drizzly Easter bank holiday. It involves slimy gullies, waxed moustaches, Meerschaum pipes, and standing on each others’ shoulders in a manfully, but vaguely homo-erotic way. Rock climbing is born!
Are they any good?
In other hands, the narrative could have been as dry as a gentleman’s snuff box but ex-ITN newshound Hankinson employs his journalistic skills to great effect, bringing the landscape and the characters of the protean Edwardian climbing scene come alive as if it were but yesterday. The Mountain Men recalls the hard nuts who grappled with the Welsh volcanic battlements of Snowdonia, which is both educational and entertaining.

Avon and Cheddar

Martin Crocker/The Climbers Club (2004)

The definitive guide for Avon Gorge and some outlying areas (Goblin Combe, Brean,...) though the Cheddar volume is out of date.

Not the most modern style (published 2004), so lacking full-colour topo photos, but very useable. A particularly handy feature is the small size of the volume, meaning it fits in a pocket to take up the multi-pitch routes.

South West Climbs

Multiple authors/The Climbers' Club

An excellent, extensive work in two volumes, covering the best of the climbing in the South West of the UK. Volume 1 (2012) covers Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset; while volume 2 (2014) covers the rest (Cornwall, Devon, Lundy and even the Channel Islands).

West Country Climbs

Mark Glaister/Rockfax (2010)

The Rockfax select guide to the region, covering Avon & Somerset, Dorset and Devon & Cornwall (inland and coastal). In the usual Rockfax style, the guide is very clear and easy to use: an essential purchase for the occasional (or even frequent) visitor.

Coverage is good across most major crags/areas (except Cheddar Gorge and Lundy which, although mentioned, are not described in any detail) and quite a lot of minor areas, allowing you to escape the crowds.

Llanberis Slate

Pete Robins and Mark Dicken (amongst others)/Ground Up (2011)

The slate guidebook.

This is a definitive guide, produced by local activists to an exceptional standard. It includes coverage of all the routes at the time of publication, and extensive historical anecdotes. The photo topos are very clear, and the numerous photos are inspiring. This book is set to be a classic in itself.


Iwan Afron Jones/The Climbers' Club (2009)

The latest in a long series of guidebooks to the Llanberis Pass. Now up to date with colour photo topos, updated route descriptions and a set of inspiring action photos. Coverage is for the numerous crags on both sides of the pass, but not of the slate quarries.


Paul Harrison/The Climbers' Club (2008)

Fully revised since the last edition, in the modern style. The guidebook covers over 1000 routes on the island, including the new addition of a section on DWS. Also included is a 1:10,000 scale map of the island to aid the often complicated approaches.

Two supplements have been released since publication: one correcting major errors in the Knight Templar Rocks area; the other documenting new routes. Available for download at the link above.

Cheddar Gorge Climbs

Martin Crocker (2009)

The only up-to-date guide to Cheddar gorge, detailing all the sport climbs and a selection of the best traditional routes. Also essential reading is the information about the strict access agreement, although this can also be found online.

The topos are good, as are the descriptions for the trad routes, but it can be a bit tricky to navigate at first, with its constant switching between portrait and landscape format. The binding is also pretty poor quality - don't expect the cover to stay on if you're using it heavily.


Steve Taylor/The Climbers' Club (2008)

The 2008 definitive guide, documenting most of the routes (including the few remaining trad routes) and a lot of the bouldering on the island. A spate of new bolting following (due to?) its publication means that quite a lot of routes, particularly in the lower (sub-5.10) grades were missed out. The guide also contains extensive information about the climbing around Lulworth.

The book is very clear, following the modern style of full-colour photo topos alongside the route descriptions. It is printed in a strange A5 landscape format, but this doesn't affect usability in any way.


Pete Oxley, Mark Glaister/Rockfax (2012)

A select guide to the Dorset Jurassic coast, including extensive coverage of the popular areas of Portland, Lulworth and Swanage. In fact, this is the only current guidebook for Swanage. Due to its later publication date, it also includes a lot of routes on Portland that just missed inclusion in the latest definitive.

The guide conforms to the usual Rockfax style, with clear photo topos, concise route descriptions, and detailed approach information.

Scottish Rock Climbs

Andy Nisbet/The Scottish Mountaineering Club (2005)

A popular (very) select guidebook, covering over 1200 routes across most of the main climbing areas in Scotland. This guidebook is great for the occasional visitor, but it must be emphasized that it really just scratches the surface: there are 11 comprehensive guidebooks (of a similar size) covering the same area as this one!

The Roaches

The BMC (2009)

Staffordshire Gritstone
The Roaches
The Definitive Guide

The BMC have really pulled out the stops in producing this excellent guidebook, one of the best in the country. Comprehensive coverage of the Staffordshire gritstone outcrops, including:
The Roaches
Hen Cloud
Ramshaw Rocks
Newstones to Back Forest
The Churnet

The descriptions are colourful, the photos inspiring, and the historical anecdotes interesting and entertaining. In summary, this book is a must-have for the occasional visitor, the seasoned local, or any climber who just wants a good read!

Gower Rock

Stuart Llewellyn, Matt Woodfield/Pesda Press (2012)

The most popular guide for the area is this new selective guide. It aims to document the best of the established trad lines, as well as the newly-added sport climbing on the peninsula.

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