Pobbles Bays

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Pobbles Bays
Steve Hill on Quergang.
Steve Hill on Quergang.
Rock Type Natural Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time 20 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Three Cliffs and Pobbles
WGS-84 Location 51.569777, -4.109186
OS Grid Ref. SS 539 877
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.566835, -4.087865
GR Parking Location SS 553873
Parking Postcode SA3 2DH
Base Elevation 0 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction South
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Seldomly
Climbing Type Family
Seepage Never
Before/After Low Tide 2.0 hours (See Note)
Crags Within a Half Mile.

Anemone Wall, First Corner, High Slab, Monty's Slab, Pobbles Bays, Pobbles Quarries, Ramp Zawn, Ravens Cliff Gully, Second Corner and South Wall, Shire Combe Buttress, Three Cliffs, White Cove


Pobbles West 4 hours, Pobbles East 1½ hours, Scoop Corner 1 hour either side of low water.


No Bolting


Pobbles Bay West lying only 100m to the east provides a useful overspill for Three Cliffs, or somewhere to retreat to when the tides threaten. Pobbles Bay East is considerably more tidal but offers some easier routes, which are far better than the over-popular venue of King Wall and on better rock. Scoop Corner is a recent rediscovery, perhaps worth a quick solo if in the area.


To find your desired crag, type the name in to the Filter Markers box (top right corner of the map).

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1. Penmaen Access

On the A4118 before Penmaen, when approaching from Swansea turn right (north) at a telephone kiosk and bench (GR 532 887), into a National Trust car park. Cross back over the road to an obvious track (at North Hill Farm) and follow signposts for the beach. Cross the river via obvious stepping stones. The rear of the Three Cliffs is visible ahead. At low to mid tides, Pobbles Bay can be reached by walking eastwards round the front of the arch.

2. Southgate Access

Take the offshoot of the B4436 leading into Southgate, then a right-hand lane (Bendrick Drive) just after the Golf Club (it will be necessary to park a little further on and walk back). Follow a path through fields and round a wood to gain a path leading down through dunes to Pobbles after about 15 minutes. It is also possible to follow the cliff top road and path as described in the Shire Combe area approach.


Pobbles West by easy scrambling at several places along the crag. Pobbles East and Scoop corner, by scrambling down and left in both cases.


Pobbles Bay West

GR SS 53923 87770

A series of inlets and gullies lined with slabs provide a number of short easy routes at the far west end of Pobbles Bay (100m east of Three Cliffs). It is ideal for a visit with novices or when the tide is closing in on Three Cliffs. The first feature, lying some 75m right of Disappointment is a cave. To the right of the cave is a small slab with overhangs above its left side and a slabby pillar on the right.

1. Main Wall - 11m S

Climb a frequently wet corner at the left end of the cliff. Step left at half-height to finish up the wall.

J.Talbot, R.Corbett 1954/55

2. Gwyn's Route - 11m VS,5a *

From a pedestal at the base of main wall, climb through the three overhangs directly.

SUMC Pre-1973

3. Left Corner - 11m VD

Climb the shallow corner right of Gwyn's Route.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

4. Left Pillar - 11m VD

Takes the left side of the raised slab right of Left Corner.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

5. Pillar Route - 11m D

Climb the right side of the same slab.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

6. Right Edge I - 10m M

Follow the edge to the top.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

To the right (east) is a small gully. The first route is on the left arête.

7. Brant Minor 11m - VS,5a

Climb the arête on its left. Swing left onto a ledge and finish up the wall above.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

8. Brant Direct Minor - 11m VS,4c

Climb the slim groove immediately right and finish up the crack above.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

9. Barry Slapper - 11m E2,6a

The slim groove to the right gives a difficult problem with a bad landing.

G.Ashmore solo 21.05.2001

10. East Fissure Wall - 11m VD

Climb the steep back wall of the gully.

J.Talbot, R.Corbett1954/55

11. Shy Slab - 10m S

The steep narrow bubbly slab to the right of the gully is bold.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

12. Square Cut - 9m D

The next narrow slab to the right.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

13. Right Edge II - 9m D

The next arête to the right.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

14. Two Tier Slab - 9m D

This is obvious by its name and can be climbed by many variations at about the same grade.

Unknown Pre-1973

Deep Gully

Right again is a deep gully, with a coulourful slabby back wall. Its base is sometimes scoured out to leave a deep pool.

1. Little Corner - 6m VD

Climb the slab between the left end of the gully and Fissure Direct. Variations are possible at the same grade.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

2. Fissure Direct - 10m VD

Climbs the obvious polished fissure and the slab above.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

Deep Cut Gully
Photo: Matt Woodfield

3. Fissure Route - 9m D

Follow Fissure Direct until a step right gains the upper crack.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

4. Soap Gut - 10m VD

The slab right of Fissure Direct.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

5. Scoop - 9m D

From the scoop follow the cracks above.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

6. Girdle - 9m VD

The obvious line from right to left, starting at Scoop.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

7. Blind Crack - 8m D

The slab and blind crack just right of Scoop.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

8. First Slab - 9m M

Just right again lies the final route of the gully wall.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

9. Recessed Wall - 9m VD

This climbs the recessed wall just to the right.

Unknown Pre-1971

Pobbles Bay East

Pobbles Bay East

GR SS 54257 87498

This crag is on the far east side of Pobbles Bay and not immediately obvious. It is about halfway between where the path from the Southgate approach leads out onto the beach and the eastern headland (Shire Combe), just to the east (right when facing inland) of where a long rock platform 10m above the beach finishes, tucked into a cylindrical cove.

Cave Section

To the west (left) of the opening of the cylindrical cove is an obvious smooth slab.

1. The Groove - 12m M *

The groove left of the corner bounding the smooth slab.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

2. Slab Route - 12m S

Start up the corner bounding the left side of the slab, to gain a prominent slot out right. Swing right on this and finish

directly up the slab.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

3. Limpet Route - 12m HVS,5b *

Gain the vague groove in the centre of the slab from directly below. Hard to start and not well protected.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

4. Barnacle Bulge - 12m - VS,4c *

Gain the right arête of the slab via the small capped groove on its left. Tricky!

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

5. Insanity - 14m HVS,5b

A stiff boulder problem up the bulge 2m right of the arête gives access to an indefinite crack.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

6. Smalt - 15m VS,4c **

To the right is an obvious diagonal crack. Gain this with interest and follow it with superb moves.

G.Ashmore solo 20.02.1999

7. Blue Glass - 15m VS,5b *

To the right is an innocuous looking scoop. Somehow rock into it, and climb it more easily. Poorly protected.

G.Ashmore solo 20.02.1999

8. Corner Groove - 15m D *

The corner groove to the right.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

9. Twin Crack Slab - 15m M *

The cracked slab to the right.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

10. Jagged Edge - 15m HVD

The right arête of the slab.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

11. Blue Lights Crack 15m VS,5a

The steep bulging wall right of Jagged Edge.

J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55

12. The Poseidon Enigma - 15m E3,6b

Scurry into the cave at the back left side of the cove. Just before the back of the cave make a technical mantle and rock up to a tenuous position on the slab. Work along the lip of the slab rightwards with help from the back wall, to gain a crack leading to the top.

A.Berry solo 26.12.2000

The back wall of the gully contains a through hole and slab, whilst the east wall has a prominent conglomerate overhang and is bounded on its south by a small zawn.

East Wall

13. Nearly Dropped Me Brolly 12m E2 5c *

On the east wall of the cove three parallel cracks slant up to a large conglomerate overhang. Follow the left-hand crack direct to below the overhang, then a steep sequence of moves on undercuts and jams lead rightwards and up to an urgent exit. Interesting climbing with good protection.

F.A. Nick Taylor, 30.8.04

14. Fourth Buttress - 12m VS,4c

The buttress just to the right of the conglomerate overhang, has a v-cleft with a crack above. Follow this, then step right where it steepens to finish up a shallow corner.

J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959

15. Third Buttress - 12m D *

The corner 4m to the right of Fourth Buttress.

J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959

16. Second Buttress - 12m VD

The next corner/scoop to the right of Third Buttress.

J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959

17. Cracked Arête - 11m M

The arête with a cleft 5m to the right of Second Buttress.

Unknown Pre-1970

18. First Buttress - 10m M

The slab containing a flared crack to the right of Cracked Arête.

J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959

19. Gully Slab - 9m D

Climb the landward wall of the small zawn bounding the right side of the area.

Unknown Pre-1970

20. Quergang - 45m HS,4b

Start at the back of the small gully on the east wall. Climb to a point level with the middle of the slab. Traverse the slab leftwards and then cross a series of corners and slabs until below the conglomerate overhang. Step left onto the middle of the slab to a vague crack, which is followed past a prominent hole to finish.

J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959

Scoop Corner

About 100m on from Pobbles East, towards Shire Combe, is a recessed scoop like bay. At the back, facing west, a definite crack runs up and right, with two distinct corner slabs at different levels rising up and left from it.

1. Corners Edge - 10m VD

Start at the foot of the crack and step left onto the slab. Move left to the arête and follow this to finish.

Unknown Pre-1970

2. Lower Corner - 10m D

Starts as for Corners Edge, but swing through a bulge to gain and finish up the corner.

J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959

3. Upper Corner - 10m VD

Climb the lower crack on the right.

J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959

Additional Photos