Elevation: 67 ft
GPS: 51.323, -3.017 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 4,067 total · 47/month
Shared By: Nick Russell on Oct 31, 2013
Admins: Chris Owen, Euan Cameron

Description

Brean Down is a small peninsula a short way South of Weston-Super-Mare, the last outcropping of the Mendip hills as they disappear into the Bristol channel. It offers a pleasant seaside situation, South-facing and relatively sheltered. Add in that it takes very little seepage and dries very quickly, and it is a perfect winter venue.

The climbing is on natural limestone, generally well-featured but starting to show wear on some routes. The most popular sector is the steep sport climbing further along the beach, where you can find good quality routes from 5.10d to 5.13d. A lot of the old bolts have been recently replaced (around 2010) with new stainless-steel staples. Some of the old bolts (hangars) remain, so make sure you clip the right ones!

If sport climbing is not your cup of tea, the nearer part of the crag offers some adventurous trad climbing, commonly described in various shades of harrowing. The rock may be sound, but protection is often sparse. Overcoming the infamous 'sand cornice' at the top is the crux for many, but don't get too smug should you succeed. The steep, sandy, grassy slope above the crag doesn't take gear too well, or stakes, so building a belay can be a right challenge. Often a pre-placed static rope from an outcropping or fence-post well back from the crag edge is advisable.

Getting There

From the M5, take junction 22 then follow signs to Burnham and Brean leisure park. Continue on the same road for about 8 miles, passing various caravan sites and holiday villages. Right at the end of the road you can park in the Bird Garden cafe's car park, for £2 per vehicle per day, or free if you buy tea and a slice of cake. The latter option is preferred!

The easiest access route to the crag is by walking across the beach, possible except for about 1 hour either side of high tide. An alternative approach over the top of the down can be made, but it takes longer and finding the descent path can be tricky.

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