Rock ClimbingThe climbing at Crickmail Point can be split between four distinct areas – The West Face, The South Face Lower Tier, The South Face Upper Tier and the East Face. In addition to these two Girdle Traverses have also been recorded on the headland. Most of the climbing at Crickmail Point takes place on its upper tiers and is not affected by the tide, however, the lower tier is and the degree to which it is affected is very much dependant on the time of year and the weather.
Climbs are listed from left to right, and are graded and rated with the aid of the Climbers’ Club Guide to Pembroke, the Pembroke Supplement and the new Rockfax Pembroke guide, so for full descriptions, please refer to these books. Technical grades are generally only given to climbs graded adjectivally as Severe (S) or above.
Routes are graded using the British Adjectival Grading System. With the exception of Tenby South Beach Quarry, bolting is strictly prohibited everywhere in Pembrokeshire, so don’t even think about it here. A conversion table of international climbing grades by SP member Corax is available HERE!
South Face Lower Tier
This Lower Tier can be reached by abseiling down the groove that gives Slipway at the eastern end of the South Face to a half height terrace. Continuing the abseil down the groove of Galaxy to a tidal platform will give access to the routes.
Soft Centre, Yorkie and C.D.M start very close together at the arête bounding the western end of the lower tier proper, while routes right of Milky Way (inclusive) are to be found in a broad alcove at the right end of the sea level platform.
South Face Upper Tier
This Upper Tier can be reached by abseiling down the groove that gives Slipway at the eastern end of the South Face to a half height terrace. At the left-hand end of the terrace is a large pillar one third of the height of the crag. The first routes start left of this.
Catch is the first route on the right-hand side of the pillar. To the right of Tinker, Taylor is an undercut wall with a small rightward leaning ramp at its left-hand end – routes between the The Bouncer and Slipway (inclusive) begin on this wall. Warsaw Pact to Cheese Please (inclusive) start from the extreme right-hand end of the terrace to the right of Slipway.
The East Face can be clearly view from the top of Triple Overhang Buttress and is bounded on the left by a sea-level cave and on the right by a large sloping shelf above the high tide line.
The first two routes start from a ledge on the left of the cave and can be reached via a low tide approach from D-Day Landings. The remaining routes are best reached by abseil.
*According to the Pembroke Supplement this route is considered to be undergraded by at least two grades.
A couple of girdle traverses have been recorded on the crag. The first traverses the West Face from left to right and ends on the ledge that splits the South Face's tiers, while the second is a longer high level left to right traverse across both the West and South Faces.
Weather Conditions and Tides
This section displays the weather forecast for Bosherston, which is located just to the east of Crickmail Point. This gives a pretty good indication of what the weather will be like on the crag, as both Bosherston and Crickmail Point sit at around sea level.
Tide times can have a significant impact on where and when one climbs. It is therefore extremely important to check the timetables before embarking on trip to the area. UK tides information for all standard and secondary ports is provided by the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO), and displayed on the BBC's website. The link below provides a link to the nearest port to Crickmail Point:
When to Climb and Essential GearThe most reliable conditions are in the summer, but the low altitude of the crag may make it a viable option in winter. The gear needed depends entirely on the routes you plan to do. Easier routes will only require a moderate rack, while harder routes will require a something more comprehensive; a good compliment of friends or other camming devices will certainly help – smaller ones will generally be of most use. A singe 50 metre rope should serve well on the few easy routes, however, double ropes would be a wise choice for the harder stuff. In addition to your usual gear, you will need an abseil rope to access to the base of the crag.
Getting ThereCrickmail Point lies around midway between Mewsford Point and The Castle in the Range East portion of the Castlemartin Range. When approaching from Carmarthen (SN 405 196) take the A40 Truck Road signposted for Saint Clears (SN 274 160). At the Saint Clears roundabout, take the A477 Trunk Road towards Pembroke Dock (SM 969 036). Before reaching Pembroke Dock, turn left onto the A4075 (SN 019 027) to Pembroke (SM 989 012). In Pembroke, drive straight over the first small roundabout you reach and drive along the A4139 a few hundred metres and turn left and take the B4319 south towards Castlemartin (SR 915 983). Around 2.5km after Saint Petrox (SR 971 975), take a left hand turn (SR 965 964) signposting Bosherston (SR 965 9470). Drive through Bosherston (or stop for a cup of tea at Mrs Weston's Olde Worlde Café) to the Saint Govan's Car Park (SR 966 930).
From the car park, walk south to a small guard house and turn right (west), cross the stile at the guard house, and walk along a gravel road passing Stennis Ford and Huntsman's Leap and the Devil’s Barn. Follow the track and cross a fence at a cattle grid. Soon the buildings and masts near The Castle will come into view (SR 955 933), keep these to your left and carry on towards a second fence. Cross the cattle grid at the second fence and continue along the track to a junction, where another track from the right joins the track you’re on. Crickmail Point (SR 947 938) is now directly to your left (which is more or less due south. To reach the abseil point, leave the track and walk onto the now obvious but small headland.
Red Tape and Access
Crickmail Point is located in the Range East portion of the Castlemartin Range. This area is an Army firing range, although they do not use exploding ammunition. Access is permitted whenever firing is not taking place, which is normally on Weekends, Bank Holidays, and in the evenings (after 4.30). The night firing normally occurs on alternate Mon/Wed and Tues/Thurs nights. The Range is sometimes open during the week, but it is best to check before travelling. Phone the 24 hour help line on (01646) 662367.
It should be noted that Pembroke nesting restrictions are complex and vary annually. Please check the notice boards in Stack Rocks or St Govan’s car parks for more information. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority also produce an excellent annual information leaflet illustrating the restricted areas on a clear map - download it from this LINK.
It is also available from the BMC, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Mrs Weston’s Café in Bosherston.
Camping and AccommodationThere’s an almost unlimited supply of accommodation within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park so it would be inappropriate to list it all here. For budget accommodation it’s worth checking out some of the following sites:
Youth Hostel Association in Wales
Independent Hostel Guide
Campsites in Pembrokeshire
For everything else and more see Visit Pembrokeshire’s website.
Government Bodies and Other Organisations
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
Council for National Parks
Association of National Park Authorities
Pembrokeshire County Council
Carmarthenshire County Council
Ceredigion County Council
Countryside Council for Wales
Forestry Commission Wales
Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales
Dyfed Archaeological Trust
The National Trust
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Outdoor Organisations and Companies
British Mountaineering Council
Pembrokeshire Climbing Club
Pembrokeshire Outdoor Charter Group
South Wales Mountaineering Club
The Climbers Club
Weather from the Met Office
Weather Channel UK
BBC Tide Tables
UK Hydrographic Office
South West Wales Tourism Partnership
Local Information from Pembrokeshire Pages
Local Information from Pembrokeshire Online
Welsh Public Transport Information
Uk Train Timetable
Youth Hostel Association in Wales
Independent Hostel Guide
Campsites in Pembrokeshire
Maps and Guidebooks
Climbers Club Guidebooks
Mid Wales Climbing
Cordee Travel and Adventure Sports Bookshop
Wildlife and Conservation
Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre
South West Wales Wildlife Trust
Pembrokeshire Bird Group
Welsh Language Board
Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg Welsh language pressure group
Cymuned Welsh language pressure group
Yr Urdd (Welsh Youth Association)
Welsh-English / English-Welsh online translator
Welsh-English / English-Welsh Online Dictionary
Welsh-English / English-Welsh Online Lexicon