school group rock climbing

Rock climbing

Bowles is one of the best rock climbing venues in the South East, with its south-facing, quick drying sandstone and excellent access.

Bowles is the only UK outdoor centre with its own natural sandstone outcrop suitable for climbing – there are more than 230 climbs up to 10m in height with grades from 1a to 6c. Bowles is soft sandstone so our guidelines should be followed to look after the rock.

Rock climbing courses and lessons

For beginners learning to climb, our instructors are very experienced and will build your confidence and rope work skills to get you to the stage where you can climb independently.

Book online

For children we run climbing courses throughout most school holidays as well as birthday experiences.

For Bowles’ courses and lessons we provide all equipment, except rock shoes.


The rocks are open at all times to climbers with their own ropes and harnesses. However you might be asked to relocate along the crag if a Bowles-organised session is taking place in a particular area.

There is a charge of £5 per adult (£4 after 5pm) or £3 for under-16s. A season ticket is available for £33 per person and can be bought from our office on weekdays or Saturday mornings. If the office is closed and there is no climbing collector please put the money in the honesty boxes in the office entrance and by the barrier

We charge climbing instructors bringing groups to Bowles £5 per person, including the instructor, regardless of age. Instructors need to contact Bowles in advance to register with the office showing proof of qualifications and insurance. We strongly advise you to check availability as preference on climbs is given to Bowles instructed groups.

Our charges cover car parking and the use of our facilities.  Any surplus goes towards repair and maintenance of the rocks and supporting our charitable work with young people.

We do not rent out or sell climbing gear, apart from guide books. A Bowles pamphlet guide is available for free from the office.

Getting here

Bowles has easy access by road or from Eridge train station (with a short walk). There is a map here for walking and driving directions

Rock Climbing ‘Top Tips’

If you are new to climbing or finding your way outdoors, book a lesson with an instructor who will soon bring you up to speed.

You don’t need much gear to climb outside on sandstone, just a rope, two harnesses, some karabiners, a couple of slings and a belay device.

If you take to climbing, buy your own climbing shoes, they will help you climb harder grades.

Bowles is a great place to climb in the summer evenings, the car park is so close to the crag that you can get several climbs in a short time.

Bowles Rocks faces south – this makes it quick to dry after rain and a sun trap in the summer.

The Southern Sandstone Leaders Award

Bowles hosts the Southern Sandstone Award, a climbing instructor award that is recognised by the main outdoor providers in the South East and which covers all the main outcrops including Bowles, Harrisons, Eridge and Stone Farm.  The Southern Sandstone Award includes a training section a consolidation period and an assessment.

Visit SSLA page to find out more.

To find out more or to arrange a course, contact the office on 01892665665 or email