Sheer Delight

Page Type
Pembroke, Wales, Europe
Route Type:
Trad Climbing
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Hard Severe 4b (5.6 - 5.7 YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Page By:
Sheer Delight
Created On: Nov 2, 2009
Last Edited On: Jan 16, 2015


Blockhouse Buttress might not be on top of everyone's Pembroke hit list, but that doesn't mean it's not worth describing, after all, pretty much everything in Pembroke is worth climbing at some point. Of the Buttress' routes, the aptly named Sheer Delight (Hard Severe 4b) is probably the best, taking the steep south face at a remarkably amenable grade.

The best climbing is on the first pitch, which although never overly challenging, is exposed and in places, poorly protected. The second pitch is more of an escape, but is still exposed enough to require the use of a rope and careful protection. So if you are looking for somewhere a bit quieter to spend a few hours, this route, coupled with ascents of some of the crags other interesting mid grade lines, such as Truckers Delight (VS 4b) and Mother Truckers (HVS 5a), is more than enough to conjure up a highly entertaining morning of climbing.

FA: M. Harber and A. Moore, April 20th 1980.

Getting There

Blockhouse ButtressAbseiling in
(Photo by Nanuls)
Blockhouse ButtressBlockhouse Buttress
(Photo by Nanuls)
Sheer DelightOn the belay ledge
(Photo by Nanuls)

Sheer Delight

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, 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 965 947). 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. Blockhouse Buttress is the cliff where this fence meets coastline above a large landward slanting slab (SR 951 936). Abseil from a nut and hex anchor to the base of landward slanting slab – the start of the route is just to the left.

Route Description

Pitch 1 (4a, 20m): Climb the left hand side of the slab to an obvious flake and climb this too. Protection is quite poor. After this the protection improves and one can enjoy the moment. Move upwards to a break and belay off a good ledge.

Pitch 2 (4b, 20m): Step up above the belay and immediately swing right. Continue upwards more easily on broken rock. An alternate finish is to simply climb straight on; the climbing is better but it pushes the overall grade of the climb down to Severe.

Essential Gear

The route is two pitches long and takes a variety of gear from small to large wires as well as a variety of cams, Double ropes are essential for avoiding rope drag. You should also carry an abseil rope to safely access to the base of the crag, along with a set of prussiks (or equivalent) to allow for self rescue should the need arise.

The Castle (Photo by Nanuls)


Open Space Web-Map builder Code
Navigation Maps

Ordnance Survey 1:25k Explorer Series OL 36 South Pembrokeshire/De Sir Benfro

Ordnance Survey 1:50k Landranger Series 158 Tenby & Pembroke / Dinbych-y-pysgod & Penfro

Road Maps

Ordnance Survey Tour Series 11 South & Mid Wales


Pembrokeshire Coast: The Official National Park Guide Pembrokeshire Coast: The Official National Park Guide by Alf Alderson, John Cleare and Ian Mercer.

A handy book full of useful information and interesting facts about the National Park.
Climbers’ Guides to Wales: Pembroke Volume 3 Range East - Stack Rocks to Hollow Caves Bay Climbers' Club Guides to Wales: Pembroke Volume 3: Range East - Stack Rocks to Hollow Caves Bay by Gary Gibson

A superb and extremely comprehensive guidebook to the climbing along this stretch of coastline; includes descriptions of most of the routes at Blockhouse Buttress.
Rock Fax Guide: Pembroke Rock Fax Guide: Pembroke by Alan James and Mike Robertson

Not quite as comprehensive as the Climbers’ Club guide, but lavishly illustrated with tons of large photo diagrams and topos.

External Links

Blockhouse Buttress Blockhouse Buttress (Photo by Nanuls)

Government Bodies and Other Organisations

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

Council for National Parks

Association of National Park Authorities

Natural Resources 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


Weather and Tides

The Met Office

BBC Weather

BBC Tide Tables

UK Hydrographic Office

Tourist Information

Visit Wales

Visit Pembrokeshire

Travel Information

Welsh Public Transport Information

UK Train Timetable


Youth Hostel Association in Wales

Independent Hostel Guide

Campsites in Pembrokeshire

Maps and Guidebooks

Ordnance Survey

The Climbers’ Club

Cicerone 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