/ best city for climbers
I am looking for opinions, currently looking to move to a new place. the reason for a city would be for consistent work, different people, socialising, also like to do judo. obviously I like to climb a lot indoors and outside as well. mainly sport and trad.
my options follow;
I also like to surf as well, which is why Bristol is top of my list.
any other options, or are any other like minded people already living in some of these locations.
Leeds? Loads of evening cragging, time varying depending on where you live, but can be on your doorstep.
A lifetime of climbing within 1 hour to peak/yorkshire dales/lancashire/north york moors
2 hrs to lakes/shropshire/roaches
2.5 to north wales/northumberland
Surf is 1.5 hours to the east coast, which I assume isn't as good as bristol
Plenty of bouldering walls and one roped wall
Perhaps other options:
The stock answer as to where to live as a climber would perhaps be along the lines of Sheffield, Llanberis or Keswick or surrounding areas. Given you like surfing would Bangor be an option?
Cardiff. Good cragging (trad & sport), surfing, biking, fell running within an hour. Great city, loads going on, but small enough not to feel like a city.
Manchester (or ideally it’s south/east surrounds) is perfect. From where I am in New Mills theres a good number of urban crags, 40 mins to eastern grit, Roaches, Chew, an hour and a half to Yorkshire grit. Hour and a half to Llanberis and Ambleside. Sheffield is a lovely city, and despite being Manchester born, actually my preference but don’t believe it when they say it’s the best city for climbing.
For surfing don't just think of the south west. The east coast is world class on its day for surf conditions - probably better than Cornwall if less consistent. East and North Yorkshire and Northumberland have some amazing spots. Top Cornish surfers will make the trip to Yorkshire on the right forecast.
So in thinking of the compromise between climbing and surfing also think of the east coast. People regularly do day trips surfing from Sheffield, Leeds etc. And North Wales (Hells Mouth etc) is doable in a day from Sheffield.
If it was me I'd stay north.
Bristol. Even Sheffield doesn’t have a crag walkable from the city centre. Plus: easy access to SW and S Wales, and Bristol is such a cool place generally.
Has to only be in Englandshire?
Aberdeen for example, has most of what you’re looking for.
Doesn't cover the surfing aspect but worth looking at this thread
Having lived in Glasgow, South Wales, Sheffield and Leeds, with friends from Manchester I'd say Sheffield is by far the best for climbing. The dark peak is normally drier than the high peak. The white peak is close enough for sport on a hot evening after work. Climbing in West and North Yorkshire is a nice change and easily accessed. Scottish mountains are a long drive away but actually they are from anywhere else too, and I've had success summer winter and climbing from Sheffield more often than Glasgow. The lakes are close and North Wales, the wye valley and Avon gorge are all easily accessible for dry weekends. Plus it's friendly and easy to find partners who are willing to make the effort to go elsewhere. I'm pretty sure it's the best place for accessing good quality climbing days and dodging forecasts hence why I'm staying in the area.
Grenoble, Geneva or Turin.
Sheffield or Leeds are obvs for climbing. Great cities with grit and lime within easy reach. If you don’t mind being out of town, then in the Peak, near to train stations is great, I use it for getting into Manchester and Sheffield. Manchester also a great place. Choose the right place with easy access by train and the M6/M60 and Western Peak could be a great solution.
You have to ask yourself what you would do on a summers evening after work, roaming the moors soloing on grit 15 minutes from home is one of life’s great joys.
my surfing mates all seem to head for the North West, so maybe Newcastle might suit? I’m up there quite a lot and the city, climbing walls are awesome. Great access to NE bouldering and NYM. Also we regularly head over to Eden Valley and The Lakes.
The Lakes, Yorkshire Dales on your doorstep and you can surf the Kent bore.
Baildon / Shipley - crags on your door step. Nearly all the Dales within an hour - Lakes quick drive as is North Wales
Surfing at Saltburn etc just over an hour
Lived in Baildon until recently - climbed and surfed regualry. Even been know to do a morning tide then climbing at Almscliff on way home.
In decent pub for tea time pint.
Also 20 minute train into Leeds
Also perfect opportunity to take up caving as well
Zippy used to walk to the Cowperstone from Nether Edge
crap surf though
Bristol is only a 90 minute drive from Croyde, Puttsbrough, Saunton etc. Arguably the best surfing beaches in the country.
PARIS OR BARCELONA.
> Baildon / Shipley..... Saltburn etc just over an hour
I think we’re talking about the same Baildon, but our definition of quick drives must be a bit different. North Wales could never be considered a quick drive from Baildon unless you drive at double the speed limit with no traffic, police or speed cameras.....
How does that work then?!
In what way? Drive from Shipley / Baildon to Saltburn then surf.
How does "nearly 2 hours" equate to "just over an hour"?
Am I going to be the boring one and ask... what do you do for work? I would imagine for a lot of people that may well be a huge deciding factor!
I live in Hayfield and commute daily to Manchester as I was able to get a good job there, I couldn't think of a better location, I love it! I was running over Kinder from my front door this morning, now sat in a posh bar in the city centre.
Bell Hagg is about 2 miles from the Hallamshire. Crag too small or distance too great?
1 hours 20 to Saltburn from Hollins Hill, Baildon
Guess Otley would be an option to
Bristol has a large trad venue right in the center (Avon Gorge) and a selection of sports and trad venues within 45 minutes drive in the Lower Wye Valley. If you live out of town the Wye Valley climbing is even closer.
Surfing is around 1 hour from Bristol.
There's also two indoor lead walls and a couple of good bouldering centres.
Just down the road in Birch Vale, great innit! Just wish they'd reinstate the Hayfield branch of the train.
Hebden Bridge....it's only 40 minutes to Baildon
Hebden might have a lot going for it but it’s no city as per thread title.
And it smells of hippies
If it's likely for 1-5years then I'd vote for Swansea/ Cardiff. More than enough to go at for a while.
Rest of your life, somewhere just north of Manchester, lots of great places around an hour away. Forget the surf though, start caving!!
The Wirral? Snowdonia is a little over an hour away, about the same to Peak District, evening cragging even less of a drive. No idea about surfing, lots of people kite surfing though at New Brighton. A lot depends on what you do for a living though
And also this. in Bristol................. https://www.vimeo.com/267255855
For when you can't be arsed to drive
> crap surf though
Stick a sail on top of the surf board and there's plenty of fun to be had in the alpine lakes, and the med though 🙂
> Hebden might have a lot going for it but it’s no city as per thread title.
The OP said that the city element related to being able to access work, you will find that significant numbers of people in Hebden Bridge work in a city, or rather one of four. Manchester, Salford, Leeds or Bradford.
Not that I am saying Hebden is the answer to the OP's question. For the OP, I guess it comes down to the balance they are seeking between climbing and surfing, what type of climbing they are in to.
Came here to say Innsbruck but it's already been said.
Seriously though, consider a city in Austria/Swizz/Southern Germany/Southern France.
The climbing is out of this world and the exposure to foreign culture is a massive bonus.
> Bell Hagg is about 2 miles from the Hallamshire. Crag too small or distance too great?
Ok, but Bell Hagg is hardly the Gorge. And Bristol has another Bell Hagg-sized crag at Trym Valley!
Can not believe you moved away from the mecca of Stockport and the local incredible crags of new mills and hobson moor to where you are now.......
Having visited Innsbruck I can firmly state that Stockport is a much better base for the climber 😉☹️😢
In my defence I have ticked New Mills, aside from a couple of boulder problems and Grim Reaper 😅
Do miss the grit on a regular basis but it's not like it's gone. Can always come back!
Meanwhile at the weekend I'll be playing on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGQXGAgwvX8
Montpellier France everything on your doorstep couple hour to Briancon couple hours to Barcelona the Med but sorry no surfing
> Seriously though, consider a city in Austria/Swizz/Southern Germany/Southern France.
If considering European cities than it's got to be one in Asturias or Basque country, where you can go surf a world class spot before work, climb at a world class crag after work, and go do alpinism on your days off at places like picos in the former or Pyrenees in the later.
However there's limitations as to languages and job requirements to be able to move to Europe, let alone the imminent divorce, so that may not be an option.
Within the UK it'd have to be Bristol or Cardiff and would avoid anything with grit or limestone polished fests, otherwise it may be some long summers to endure too hot to climb and without swell to surf.
Another vote for Sheffield:
Lots of crags within a very short drive, decent bus links. Such a high density of climbers that you don't need a car - you can always grab lifts. Lots of people keen to head further afield at weekends. You can walk to Rivelin, bell hagg, Burbage North too.
Having lived in Manchester I would suggest that Sheffield is much better for convenient cragging for a quick session. Hobson moor and New mills tor are just not as good as millstone, curbar etc. And loads more climbers live in Sheffield.
One thing to think about is the number of crags within, say, an hour and a half's drive. That is to say, where you can happily go in a day without an epic drive.
Down here in Bristol, I have done most of what I can at Avon and Wintours over the last 20 years. So when my partners can only come out for the day, we either repeat the same old local routes (may be 3 stars but done five or ten times), or (very occasionally) go to Swanage. The 2 hr drive there makes for a long and tiring day out, so we rarely do it more than once a year.
If you lived in N Wales, the Peak or Yorkshire, you'd have far less need to repeat the same 'old friends'.
- Dartmoor behind you. Cu koo rock bouldering is 20 mins out of town
- Torbay 30 mins drive (allegedly once done in 12 mins by Richie Mayfield on a fast bike)
- West Penrith ( Bosigran Etc) 2 hrs drive
- great surfing (bantham is a 30 min drive)
- sailing etc in Plymouth sound.
I did my PhD in Plymouth. Best 4 years of my life.
Simply no contest.
> Down here in Bristol, I have done most of what I can at Avon and Wintours over the last 20 years. So have far less need to repeat the same 'old friends'.
What about Wyndcliff, Wyndcliff Quarry, Shorn Cliff, Ban-y-gor and even Symond's Yat, have you done all of those routes too?
> The Lakes, Yorkshire Dales on your doorstep and you can surf the Kent bore.
Relatively cheap cost of living, Silverdale AONB and Forest of Bowland within 30mins, Lakes, Lancashire Quarries and Yorkshire 50 mins to 1hr 30, Wasdale 1 hr 45, N Wales 2 hrs, Glen Coe 4hrs.
Best city in England if you like your pints warm and your climbing close at hand.
Sheffield, not from here but love it. It also gives access to Henderson's Relish.
Reel em in!
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