school group rock climbing

Rock climbing at Bowles

We are pleased to be able to open the rocks as normal from August 2021. There will be many Bowles groups on site during the autumn, so it is likely the Easy Gully and Hargreaves areas will be in constant use.

As there are shared toilets, please ensure that you wash your hands regularly and only use the toilets one person at a time.

Opening times for independent climbers

Currently unrestricted.

We close at dusk and climbing/bouldering by torches/lights is not permitted. There is a charge of £5 per adult or £3 for under-16s. If the office is closed and there is no climbing collector please put the money in the ‘honesty’ boxes in the office entrance or by the barrier as you are leaving. 

Season tickets are available to purchase onsite for £50

About climbing at Bowles

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, or for indoor climbers looking to move outside, our instructors will help you build your confidence and rope work skills to get you to the stage where you can climb independently.

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

Book online

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

Rock climbing private lessons

Bowles also offers private lessons. Book your own individual instructor for an hour to have lesson tailored just for you.

Book online

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 to Bowles Rocks

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.

Setting up climbs on southern sandstone

Southern Sandstone Code of Practice 2017_Page_1

View the full code of practice at www.southernsandstoneclimbs.co.uk

  • Use a non-stretch rope or bring long slings with you.
  • Make sure the karabiner hangs over the edge of the crag.
  • Use a rope protector or carpet – not only to protect your rope, but it also reduces damage to the rock.
  • Make sure moving ropes do not come into contact with the rock.
  • Clean shoes before each climb – bring a piece of carpet to wipe your feet, to avoid rock erosion and make it easier to climb.
  • Walk off when finished a climb, do not lower off or abseil.
  • Keep chalk use to a minimum.
  • Use of harsh boulder brushes and toothbrushes are strictly forbidden.
  • If working a route (redpointing), make sure your set up is perfect and sticks to all the points above. Continually hanging on a rope and trying a hard move over and over again with a poor rope set up is extremely damaging to the rock. This style of climbing must only be with a perfect rope set up where the moving rope does not come into contact with the rock.

How to set up safety

Nothing beats booking an instructor to take you through the process of how to stay safe on the rocks. We have created a page that is designed as a recap of all the information taught on our ‘setting up climbs course’. This guide has photos and videos of all the skills needed to set up the climbs.

kent-climbing-courses-setup

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 01892 665665 or email admin@bowles.rocks