Approach & Layout


The crags are located on either the upper or lower tiers and these are separated by a broad grassy plateau in between. The upper tier can be accessed at either end. On the south west side a path leads up from the Cairn Sector. From the north east side a track to the left of College Buttress leads to various short scrambles to the top.

There are a multitude of paths around the lower tier crags the choice will depend on which parking spot you use. See below for details.

Harpur Hill layout


Harpur Hill map

From the industrial estate 838m

From the centre of Harpur Hill take the Grinlow Road westwards out of the village. After about 300m turn left up Morland Way towards the industrial estate. Follow the road around and into the industrial estate. After 600m follow road around a sharp right bend go past Swain’s go kart track on the right to a couple of parking places on the left just before a bus stop shelter.

Walk back down the road to the bend and go straight on here along a track down the left of one used by lorries. After a 240m go right and up to gain another track. Follow along to open ground and the lower tier crags. Pass these on the right to get to the Cairn sector.

From the village 722m

Park in the village on either Grinlow Road or Harpur Hill Road, by the cemetary and St James church. On the south side of Grinlow road a path leads up just to the right of The Parks Inn. You can also go up a parallel path from the top of Grinlow Close. Follow this up for about 300m until it meets a gravel track and from go either either left or right…

For the crags on the western side (Cairn, The Sanctuary, The Retreat) go right through to where the track narrows. After 200m go up left and then back left follow the tracks which leads to open ground and the lower tier. For Cairn and other areas go to the right side of the lower tier.

For the crags on the eastern side (College Butress, Pool Wall, Long Wall etc.) go left on the gravel track. After 200 metres go through an obvious a gap in the fencing and follow the path around to to College Buttress and then toxic Blue Lagoon below Long Wall. Pool Wall is just a little way further.

From Hillhead Lane

When heading from either Miller’s Dale or going west on the A6 turn left on the A5270. Follow this until you hit the A515. Turn right then immediately left then immediatly right onto Brierlow Road. Go under a railway bridge and take the first left into Hillhead Lane. Park at the top of this lane (limited parking) alongside a bridle path.

Climb over the first stile and the next and follow the bridle path for 250m. (This bridle path can also be reached by parking alongside a derelict brown brick building on the right­hand side of Hillhead Road and following a path through a gate.) Go through the first gate on the left and up the hill to the bridle path.

Follow this along through two metal gates with the quarry on your left­hand side. 250m after the second gate climb over the fence on your left to enter the quarry alongside the infamous blue lagoon (now actually a muddy brown!) Directly ahead lies Long Wall. Continuing left will lead to Pool Wall, itself usually identifiable by a smaller pool at its base.

Continuing on towards the far corner of the quarry takes you past Racetrack area routes. Returning back to Long wall, 150m beyond in the corner of the quarry will be found College Buttress.

To get to the upper tier plateau climb up the short face just beyond the end of Long Wall. The first buttress in front of you is Perchsed Block Buttress. Going left takes you to the Dark Side, while right takes you to Papacy Buttress, the Exclusion and Prophecy sectors.