Rich in mountain history, the UK is home to the biggest variety of traditional rock climbing anywhere in Europe. There are few places in the world where you can climb on such a broad range of different rock types in such diverse landscapes, all within a relatively small area – as a rock climber, it’s an amazing place to live! Hiring your own private Uk rock climbing guide is a flexible way to go – whether you’re an individual or a small group we can offer skills for general mountaineering, coaching in trad climbing techniques, or guiding on any of the UK’s great classic routes.
Please visit our Covid-19 Climb Information page for Covid FAQs, details of our new participation requirements, travel advice and what to expect on your trip.
British Mountain Guides
All our UK guides are fully qualified IFMGA guides and members of British Mountain Guides, the professional association for mountain guides in the UK – meet some of our team here. Only a small number of guides working in the UK are holders of the IFMGA guides carnet, which is the highest professional qualification in mountaineering.
In terms of added value, climbing with an IFMGA guide is a great option if you want to learn from someone with the widest possible range of experience, or you aspire to/are already obsessed with winter or Alpine climbing! We climb and work worldwide on rock, ice, glaciers and ski – so we can offer training, advice and recommendations for all your future plans, whatever and wherever they may be.
You simply pay the guides daily fee in advance, then cover the guides and your own expenses as you go during the trip. Any items of specialist climbing equipment that you need for the activity are also included (eg helmet, harness, rock climbing shoes etc). Afterwards, we’ll send you plenty of great photos and video of your trip to share with family and friends.
- Fully qualified IFMGA British Mountain Guide
- Everyone welcome – beginners to experts!
- Fully personalised program
- Equipment hire included
- Photos and videos of your trip
Just get in touch with your group size and requirements and we will create an itinerary for you. When you are happy to proceed, we will then send you a link to make your booking.
Private guiding is suitable for any fitness/technical level, from 1-5 (see Fitness and Experience guidelines). However, your group should be well matched in terms of fitness and ability, so everyone can make the most of their holiday.
As a guideline, these general guiding ratios apply:
- Scrambling routes – 1:2 to 1:4 depending on difficulty
- Classic multipitch rock climbs – 1:2 max ratio
- Introductory level skills training – 1:4
- Intermediate level skills – 1:3
- Training involving multipitch climbing – 1:2 max
- Serious/technical/big objectives – 1:1
Just let us know which activities and objectives you have in mind and we will advise on the maximum guide to client safety ratio.
For trips of 1 or more days in length.
Our season runs from April to November, with best conditions/chance of good weather between May and September.
Guide fees (price per day)
- Rock climbing, scrambling and instruction – from £200
- Bigger objectives – from £300 (eg Skye ridge attempts, higher grade rock climbing etc)
Please contact us to discuss your plans and we’ll send you a personalised outline itinerary, guiding fee quote and an estimate of all expenses. When you are happy to proceed, we will then send you a link to make your booking.
The following expenses are payable during your trip:
- Local travel – fuel and tolls, for use of guides vehicle
- Your travel to resort
- Your insurance
You are responsible for organising your accommodation at the venue – we are happy to make some recommendations to suit your budget.
We offer rock guiding and skills training across the Uk and across the grade range – just let us know your plans and we’ll put together a personalised program. Popular outings and types of climbing include:
Uk Scrambling and Mountaineering
All of the main mountain regions in the Uk are home to fabulous scrambling and mountaineering routes, that allow you to explore exhilarating high mountain terrain without the need for full-blown rock climbing. From classic grade 1 scrambles along airy ridges, to technical grade 2 and 3 scrambles that require ropes to protect, we offer guiding and instruction on all of the Uk’s classic scrambling routes.
- North Wales – Tryfan, Ogwen, The Glyders, Snowden Horseshoe
- The Lake District – Hellvellyn, Blencathra, Langdale, Borrowdale, Scafell
- Scotland – Ben Nevis, Glen Coe, Skye, Torridon, An Teallach, Assynt
We regularly combine several classic scrambling routes together into a great mountain holiday. Please get in touch to discuss your aims and objectives and we will be happy to create an outline itinerary for you.
Multi Pitch Classic Climbs
Th Uk has an unrivalled selection of classic, traditionally protected multipitch rock climbs throughout the country. We guide guide multipitch trad classics across the Uk and throughout the grade range.
- England – Southwest, Peak District, Lake District, Yorkshire
- Wales – Pembroke, Mid Wales, North Wales – Snowdonia
- Scotland – Glen Coe, Ben Nevis, Cairngorms, Northwest Highlands, Sea Stacks, Old Man of Hoy
If you’ve got your eye on a particular line, or you’d like to spend a few days climbing classic rock routes in the Uk, then please get in touch to discuss your aims and objectives and we will be happy to create a bespoke itinerary for you.
Peak Grit and Limestone
The English Peak District holds the greatest concentration of Gritstone and Limestone rock climbing venues anywhere in the Uk. It’s a great place to enjoy a few days of excellent cragging and get in plenty of mileage with minimal approaches and tons of variety.
- Gritstone – Stanage, Curbar, Birchens, Burbage, Froggatt, Baslow, Gardom’s
- Limestone – High Tor, Stoney Middleton, Ravensdale, Dovedale
The Peak District is easily reach from southern England via the M1, or a train to Sheffield.
If you fancy a few days cragging, or want to learn to lead traditionally protected rock climbs, then drop us a line and we’ll create a bespoke itinerary for you.
Sea Cliff Climbing
As an island nation, the Uk is blessed with many fantastic sea cliffs. These wild and atmospheric climbing venues provide some of the best rock climbing adventures anywhere in the Uk. A combination of tricky access, committing lines and the ever present ocean makes for a heady mix of sensations.
- Southwest England
- Pembroke (South Wales)
- Gogarth (North Wales)
- Northwest Scotland
If you want to learn about specific skills for sea cliff climbing, or enjoy some great climbing on many of the best routes in Britain, then get in touch and we’ll create you a bespoke itinerary.
Alpine Skills Training
If you want to learn skills and techniques in the Uk to allow you to climb in the Alps, then you’ve come to the right place! We are experts in alpine guiding and training, with a team of highly experienced, internationally qualified IFMGA Guides. Alpine skills training we offer in the Uk includes:
- Moving together techniques
- Short pitching
- Direct belays
- Multipitch abseiling
- Glacier travel
- Personal prussiking
- Crevasse rescue training
- Navigation and route choice
- Putting in all together
Just get in touch to discuss your aims and objectives and we will be happy to create an outline itinerary for you. NB We also run scheduled alpine skills weekends in North Wales.
Outdoor Coaching and Rock Skills Training
If you want to try outdoor rock climbing for the first time, improve your technique or learn to place trad gear and lead multipitch climbs, we run a bespoke rock skills teaching and coaching service;
- skills and technique coaching
- placing trad gear and anchor building
- top roping and abseiling
- multipitch leading
- improvised crag rescue training
- alpine skills training
- Mont Blanc and Matterhorn training
Just get in touch with your requirements and we’ll design a bespoke training course specifically for you.
Higher Grade Rock Guiding
For strong and experienced trad climbers, we offer specialist rock guiding in the higher grades.
This is a bespoke 1:1 service – so if you’ve got your eye on some classic Hard Rock ticks, or want to push yourself on E grade classics, then drop us a line with info about your current level of fitness experience and we’ll get in touch to discuss plans and ideas to make the most of your climbing time in the Uk.
We will provide help with your travel arrangements once final plans are in place.
To view all climbing Technical and Fitness Levels, and for advice on trip preparation and training, please visit our training advice page.
UK Rock Climbing Kit List
Above all, your kit needs to do the job but be as light as possible. Lightweight breathable fabrics are ideal for waterproofs, which are carried as often as worn (hopefully!).
- Waterproof jacket – lightweight breathable model
- Overtrousers – with long side zips
- Socks – warm ‘Smartwool’ type, plus thin liner socks and spares
- Wicking thermal tops/t-shirts
- Softshell jacket – or equivalent light insulating layer
- Mountain trousers – light/mid-weight windproof softshell model
- Thin gloves – windproof ‘hardfleece’ model is good
- Warm hat – must fit under a helmet
- Spare warm layer – fleece or lightweight synthetic belay jacket
- Water Container – at least 1 litre
- Headtorch and batteries
- Map, compass and whistle (optional, but a good idea)
- Personal medications and blister kit – zinc oxide tape, compeed, painkillers etc
- Sun Glasses – CE rated 3 or 4
- Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
- Sun hat
- Shorts and t-shirt
- Rucsac 35/45l is perfect for general use
- Approach shoes or trainers – sticky rubber models are excellent
- Rock climbing shoes – must be comfortable enough to wear for several hours
- Climbing Harness – with locking karabiner and belay device
- 120cm sling and locking karabiner
- Climbing helmet
- *Semi rigid B2 mountaineering boots – Axe, Boot and Crampon advice
Depending on the trip, these may be ‘nice to have’ or ‘required’ items – see individual joining instructions.
- Superlight rucsac – superlight 15/20l model, for taking on long multi-pitch rock routes
- 2 prussik loops and karabiner – if in doubt, bring 3m of 6mm climbing cord!
- Trekking poles
- Camping gear if you choose to camp in the valley
Your guide will have ropes, climbing rack, first aid and survival equipment.
*On trips where boots are required, these should be reasonably stiff 3/4 season mountaineering models. They will be needed if we decide to go ‘big boots’ climbing on easy rock climbs or scrambling terrain. Soft bendy walking boots are not very good for technical scrambling/climbing (you may be better off in a pair of ‘sticky rubber’ approach shoes). See below for advice.
Recommendations and Advice
Visit the Knowledge Base section of our website or our blog for equipment advice. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch!
Backcountry UK in Otley offer an excellent mountain boot fitting service and general equipment advice.
It’s best to have your own rock climbing shoes so you can get a proper fit, but if you need to hire some please get in touch. Other safety equipment can also be hired from us (subject to availability) – please see our Equipment Hire page for details.
For UK residents – we strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury.
For non UK residents – search and rescue is currently free in the UK, but you may be charged by the NHS for certain treatments, and you should also consider the need for emergency repatriation in the event of a serious illness/accident. We also strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury.
Please arrange your insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed to run.
Please find further details on our insurance info page.