Burry Holms

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Burry Holms
The Littlejohn Legacy Area - Burry Holms
The Littlejohn Legacy Area - Burry Holms
Rock Type Natural Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time 30 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area North Gower
WGS-84 Location 51.608717, -4.312907
OS Grid Ref. SS 399 925
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.609668, -4.289170
GR Parking Location SS 415 925
Parking Postcode SA3 1JP
Base Elevation 0 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction South
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Never
Climbing Type Normal
Seepage Quick drying
Before/After Low Tide 2.0 hours (See Note)
Crags Within 400m

Burry Holms


2½ hours either side of low water. Note the tidal nature of the island.


As per Blue Pool Area. New sport routes allowed.


There are four areas of climbing on Burry Holms, which is itself a tidal island accessible until about half-tide. The climbing areas consist of the Southern Area, with pleasant easy routes on excellent rock, the overhanging Littlejohn Legacy Area, the cave of Midsummer Cove and the Pincer Cove area on the far side of the island. The crags dry very quickly except for Pincer Cove, which is almost always sea damp.

The best approach is from Llangenith village.

On entering Llangennith, follow the (narrowing) road past the front of the Kings Head for approximately 300m until you reach a mini-roundabot. Cross the roundabout and take the road signposted to Broughton. This road ends at a car park (SS 41587 92575)

Follow the footpath leading from the car park into the dunes to eventually reach the beach after about 1km. To the north (right) is a tidal causeway leading out to Burry Holms island.


As for Blue Pool Area to the beach, from where the island of Burry Holms is clearly visible, as is a tidal causeway leading out to it. The Southern Area of Burry Holms is reached by skirting round the island to the south (left). Pincer Cove is reached by following the path which leads up from the tidal causeway to the west side of the island. The Littlejohn Legacy Area is reached by starting up the same path, but contouring south (left) down the first gully.


Descent is by walking off. For the Southern Area, walk leftwards (west) down a sloping platform. For the Littlejohn Legacy Area, walk rightwards (landwards) and skirt back out to sea down the gully. For the Pincers Cove Area, walk down the 'Northern Pincer' (right when looking out to sea from the top).


Southern Area

About 200m west of the start of the island is a gully. It contains a very prominent cave crack (Promontory Crack).

1. Left Wall 15m M

The buttress left of the obvious crack of Promontory Crack, taken by a vague central scoop.

2. Promontory Crack 25m S **

Bridge into the crack from the seaward end. Climb the crack with a brief detour onto the left wall at half-height.

3. Right Wall 20m VD

As for Promontory Crack, but 5m in, break out onto the right wall. Climb this by a series of scoops.

The Littlejohn Legacy Area

Littlejohn Legacy Area - Photo: Joe Squire

These routes are below the prominent roof towards the seaward end of the gully, 100m on from the Southern Area.

1. Burry Slab - VD

Climb the slab direct on the left side of the wall gain the gully at the top.

2. The Littlejohn Legacy 28m HVS,5a

Climb the prominent groove below the left side of the prominent roof. Pass the roof on the left.

3. Gower Reality 28m E5 6b 1pt **

Climb the wall to the right of the Littlejohn Legacy to gain thin cracks in the roof. Cross the roof with difficulty.

4. The Right Hand One 25m HS,4b *

Climb the centre of the wall to the right of Gower Reality

5. Holmes Wall - S

Start at a hole and crack on the right side of the face climb direct to a ledge below the grass walk off down & right.

6. The Sissy Traverse 45m HVS,5a

Start about 5m right of The Right Hand One. Traverse the crag at high tide level, to finish as for The Littlejohn Legacy.

7. Sling Galore 20m VD

Right of the most prominent crack on the crag. Climb into the corver on sharp holds, then step out left onto the arete and follow this past some loose rock to belay on the ledge.

Mid-Summer Cove

To the right (land-ward) of the Littlejohn Legacy Area is a west-facing inlet with a cafe and prominent roof towards its eastern end.[1]

Mid-Summer Cove

  1. Bridge to the Sole - VD
    Start below the left hand side of the roof and climb the pillar, traverse along the ledge just above the roof and descend to the terrace on the right hand side of the roof to belay. 25m.

  2. Oh Bum, the Tide's in! - VD
    Start on the right hand side of the cave and climb up the blocks moving right a few feet at the level of the cave mouth. Climb the slab to the top.

Pincer Cove

The cove at the west end of the island contains some routes on the north (right when viewed from the top) pincer. These are centred around a prominent open corner. To gain the routes walk down the top of the pincer to a platform and traverse in to gain the wall (on the Pincer Cove side).

1. Great Corner 15m D

Traverse into the prominent open corner and climb it, turning the overlap on its left.

2. West Wall 15m HS,4a

As for Great Corner, but traverse out on the right wall of the corner to finish up cracks. Alternatively, finish up a groove 1m further on.

Additional Photos

First Ascents

Southern Area

  1. D.Jones, R.Edwards Pre-1960
  2. D.Jones, R.Edwards Pre-1960
  3. D.Jones, R.Edwards Pre-1960

The Littlejohn Legacy Area

  1. Joe Squire (solo) 2018?
  2. J.Mothersele, D.McCarroll 00.07.1997
  3. S.Doerr, J.Mothersele 1pt (rest) 00.08.1997
  4. J.Mothersele, D.McCarroll 00.04.1997
  5. Joe Squire (solo) 2018?
  6. J.Mothersele, S.Doerr 00.00.1997
  7. Jacob Isaac, Matt Woodfield 29.02.2024

Mid-Summer Cove

  1. Melinda Hill, Steve Hill, 20.06.2018
  2. M. Winder, P. Hill, 20.06.2018

Pincer Cove

  1. D.Jones, R.Edwards Pre-1960
  2. D.Jones, R.Edwards Pre-1960