Approach & Layout

Llanbradach must lay claim to being the biggest sandstone quarry in South East Wales and after recent developments, which are still ongoing, has the amount of routes to match. It also has to lay claim to having the biggest routes on sandstone to date: two pitch routes up to a height of 160ft almost all of which are fully equipped with bolts and lower-off stations to provide a convenient mode of access and escape.

Many of the remaining walls are typical of the area with a plethora of routes throughout the grade spectrum, although 99% lie in the extreme category. For variety there is no quarry that matches Llanbradach for variety and atmosphere and all within five minutes walk from the car.

There is only one main drawback, that of the amount of seepage that parts of the cliff can develop over the winter months. Of the sections of cliff in the quarry, both the Upper Tier and the Eastern Walls do not fall into that category and dry relatively quickly after rain.

In conclusion the future looks bright for the quarry and with its expected increase in popularity the likelihood is that the remaining areas of undeveloped cliff, of which there are plenty, will not remain that way for long.

Layout

Various footpaths cross the quarry floor but if the edge of the quarry is followed, a good idea of the general layout is quickly appreciated. Much work has been done on structuring this path and it is slowly becoming very manageable.

Area A: The Luxury Walls

Situated behind the murky pool. A good area with a variety of climbs, some in the relatively easier grades.

Area B: The Sinister Walls

Mean, overhanging and impressive. An area for the die-hard gymnast with strong fingers and quick reactions.

Area C: Expansionist and Cascade Walls

The towering centre-piece of the quarry with some of the most impressive (and longest) routes on sandstone. The lower, Cascade walls offer something for the less intimidated.

Area D: The Western Walls

A combination of two walls with one of the best face routes on sandstone. Other good routes surround these. A little hard to negotiate the approach but work at it.

Area E: The Upper Tier

A much vaunted area with a variety of pitches in all grades and one of the best E5's on sandstone. Althought a little more difficult and time-consuming to reach (10 minutes walk!), the area will provide numerous hours of entertainment for those making the effort.

To reach it, follow the main track skirting the edge of the quarry until just beyond its far edge (beyond an area of marshy ground). From here a vague track leads up the left-hand spur to finally arrive below the Upper Tier. Set your picnic out and prepare for action.

Approach

The quarry is just north of Caerphilly. Take the A469 north out of Caerphilly and at the first roundabout turn left for Llandbradach. After a short distance go through a road narrowing and look for a parking place on the right.

Look for a path leading under the railway line and into the quarry.