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An Introduction to Rock Climbing at Symonds Yat

21st May 2021


Rock climbing is one of the most exhilarating sports you can take part in and our location, Symonds Yat, is one of the best climbing destinations in the country. The physical challenge, the imposing rock face and the breathtaking scenery all add up to an unforgettable experience. Knowing where to start with rock climbing can be the hardest part, but that’s where we come in! We’ll help you get to grips with the basics of rock climbing and abseiling and put you at ease so that you can enjoy all that Symonds Yat has to offer.


Symonds Yat is home to some amazing crags. The steep limestone cliffs offer a wide range of graded routes of all difficulties, mainly between 10 and 30 metres high. You’ll get the full climbing experience from the anticipation and excitement on the approach to the adrenaline rush from the abseil down. Standing at the bottom of the rock face looking up is intimidating for anyone, but when you’ve gotten to the top and you’re looking down, you’ll wonder why you were ever worried.


What to expect


Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned climber, our instructors will show you the perfect section of rock for you and how to get the most out of your climb. The aim is to make sure that you’re only focussed on making your next hold by creating a safe, reassuring environment to climb in. We provide all of the safety equipment and a qualified instructor who will take you on the routes that are perfect for you over a half-day session. Our professional experienced instructors will help you achieve even more than you thought you were capable of by raising the difficulty as we see you progress. Plus we’ll make sure you have a great day out and enjoy the experience!


Exploring the Symonds Yat area


This beautiful section of the Wye Valley is not only home to hundreds of brilliant rock climbing routes, it’s also surrounded by many awe-inspiring views. The steep banks and limestone vertical faces of the cliffs around Symonds Yat sit above the beautiful River Wye, which cuts through this meandering gorge. Once you’re done with your climb, that doesn’t have to be the end of your adventure! Why not take one of the walking paths along the river and explore the valley from the riverbank, looking back up at where you just climbed. We’d also recommend heading to the Symonds Yat Rock viewpoint, an amazing lookout point over the Wye with one of the most iconic views in the area.


Rock climbing is tiring work and you’ll definitely build up an appetite. Luckily, there are a lot of options when it comes to food. There are riverside pubs and restaurants dotted along the banks that make for a great pit stop after your climb. There is also a well stocked cafe at the Symonds Yat Rock carpark that serves a variety of hot food and drinks. Alternatively, you could take full advantage of the area and have a picnic.


Advancing your rock climbing skills


If you discover a love for rock climbing and abseiling after your session with us there’s always the option to join a local climbing club. A club can help you develop and build on the skills that you learn on your trip with us. Indoor climbing gyms are also a great option and a lot of fun. Climbing outdoors isn’t always possible, especially in the darker, wetter winter months. Indoor climbing and bouldering are great ways to build up your endurance and improve your technique all year round. You may even find yourself wanting to go further and get some rock-climbing qualifications! We’ve taken many people out rock climbing for the first time who have done just that. Your local club can also advise on this and the British Mountaineering Council website is a good resource for information too.


Got the adventure bug?


We also provide combination activity days for those who don’t want the fun to stop! A half-day of rock climbing at Symonds Yat is easily combined with a half-day of stand-up paddleboarding on the River Wye or a guided kayaking trip. Both are perfect introductory watersports for those looking to see the valley from the water, take in the scenery and have a splash about with friends.


Hopefully, you’ll find your climbing experience at Symonds Yat as thrilling as we do, and it inspires you to explore the world of rock climbing and abseiling. One thing’s for certain, you’ll never forget it!

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