Armathwaite, Cumbria

Billed in the Lakes selected climbs guide as “Cumbria’s hidden gem” Armathwaite also has the benefit of being just off the M6 south of Carlisle, and therefore the perfect spot to explore and bag a couple of routes on our way home.

It’s an unusual crag – soft sandstone carved out by the River Eden and therefore in an idyllic position above the babbling water.

The crags don’t look very impressive from below – a bit broken and vegetated, but the couple of routes we did were excellent.

… both taking steep and heavily featured climbing via surprising (but occasionally fragile!) holds. The crack lines do take gear, but apparently the routes are typically top roped. Flashman, VS, pictured below, has an awkward move over the initial bulge (until you find a brilliant jug!) followed by more fun climbing to the top.

Erection, (recently upgraded to E1) takes the very bouldery wall just to the right (tricky!) to climb the series of flake block overhangs – all very athletic and enjoyable.

Well worth dropping in if you are passing, and there are a couple of lovely looking pubs in the village for post climb refreshments!

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