Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing, with the use of aids such as ropes, belay devices, and other equipment, goes beyond hiking, scrambling, and bouldering, as it allows you to conquer the seemingly impossible. The activity involves ascending up a vertical cliff face, and is a thrilling test of strength and stamina. The Lake District is brimming with crags (cliff faces) of all shapes and sizes, and is often claimed to be the birth place of modern rock climbing, and thusly, is the perfect place to try out this challenging activity.

What Rock Climbing Involves

There are a number of different techniques for rock climbing, most of which fall under two subsets. Free Climbing uses equipment, such as ropes, etc. purely as a safety measure, and the climb is completed using the participant’s strength and skill and the natural rock formations. Aid climbing uses a variety of equipment, often hammered into the rock, to provide a way up the cliff face. Rock climbing isn’t without risk though, which is why knowing what equipment to use where and when is an essential part of this adrenaline-fuelled sport.

If you are trying rock climbing for the first time with an activity company, you can typically expect to receive tuition and instruction on the equipment you will be using for that particular climb. You will be guided throughout the session, and you will get the opportunity to try out some of the techniques, such as setting up belay devices and rope holding.

What to Wear and Bring

You should wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing. Trousers should give you plenty of movement, such as hiking or combat-style trousers or jogging bottoms. Jeans should not be worn. Wear layers during the winter, such as a vest, t-shirt, and fleece. During wet weather, you will also need waterproofs. During warmer weather, do remember to apply sun cream. Shoes should be firm-fitting with good ankle support, such as walking trainers or boots.

Your activity company should supply you with all safety equipment, including a helmet, but do check in advance that this is definitely the case, as this is absolutely essential. You will probably want to bring some refreshments, as you will certainly be burning off plenty of calories, but again, these may be provided for you and it’s worth enquiring with your activity company about what they supply.

Where to Go Rock Climbing in the Lake District

Unless you are an experienced climber with all of the necessary safety equipment, we do not recommend that you try rock climbing without the professional guidance supplied by an activity company. In the Lake District, there are plenty of companies offering rock climbing as one of their activities, each with its own unique selling point.

Lakeland Mountain Guides

The Lakeland Mountain Guides was established in 2012 and organises events, such as the Lakeland Festival of Lights. Their motto is 'Live for the Now' and offer rock climbing escapades for individuals, families and even corporate events.


West Lakes Adventure

This family run organisation are based in Eskdale with access to some of the more remote parts of the Lake District. Rock climbing sessions are personally tailored to suit your needs and abilities.

  • Address: Woolpack Farm, Boot, Eskdale Valley, CA19 1TH
  • Tel: 01946723753
  • Website:
  • Cost: Price available on application

Adventure North West

Adventure North West offers rock climbing in Coniston for people of all skill levels and promise to "literally show you the ropes"! The climbing takes place on a real rock face with SPA qualified instructors.


River Deep Mountain High

Half day and full day climbing sessions are available through RDMH, with sessions taking place in Langdale, Coniston, and Tiberthwaite. Beginners and children are welcome.


Keswick Adventure Centre

Climbing sessions take place in and around the picturesque Borrowdale Valley, and begin with simple climbing techniques close to the ground, before moving up to more dizzying heights.


Mobile Adventure

With Mobile Adventure you can either book onto a three-hour climbing taster session taking place in Borrowdale Valley that is ideal for beginners, or a full day Multi Pitch Climbing session that is perfect for those with some climbing experience.

  • Address: Laal Moota, Blindcrake, Cockermouth, CA13 0QE
  • Tel: 01697323548
  • Website:
  • Cost: From £30 per person

Real Adventure

Bespoke technical courses and family adventures in climbing are provided by Real Adventure at various locations across the Lake District. Furthermore, the company offers professionally recognised outdoor qualifications in climbing, as well as in mountaineering, and first aid.

  • Address: Goodhamscales, Selside, Kendal, LA8 9DS
  • Tel: 07816870756
  • Website:
  • Cost: Price available on application

Adventure Makers

Dave's Adventure Company:

Located in the south of the Lake District, Adventure Makers offers climbing sessions that can be tailored to match all abilities and experience.

  • Address: Row Barn, Lyth, Nr Kendal, LA8 8DD
  • Tel: 01539568805
  • Website:
  • Cost: Price available on application

Lakeland Ascents

Established by a member of Kendal's Mountain Rescue Team, Lakeland Ascents specialises in mountaineering activities, both in the Lake District and further afield. Rock climbing sessions are available for all abilities at various locations throughout the Lake District.

  • Address: Registered Office C/O Saint & Co, The Old Police Station, Church Street, Ambleside, LA22 0BT
  • Tel: 07702942980
  • Website:
  • Cost: From £35 per person when booked for two or more people

Keswick Extreme

Half day rock climbing sessions are available for all abilities from age 7 and up. Sessions take place in Borrowdale and conclude with an abseil.

  • Address: Nichol End Marine, Portinscale, Keswick, CA12 5TY
  • Tel: 08000016201
  • Website:
  • Cost: From £25 per person

Distant Horizons

From their base near Ullswater, Distant Horizons can provide you with the opportunity to either try rock climbing for the first time, or brush up on your established skills with a qualified instructor. Family groups are welcome.

  • Address: Leeming Farm, Watermillock, Ullswater, Penrith, CA11 0JJ
  • Tel: 01768486465
  • Website:
  • Cost: From £30 per person