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 400m

Pobbles Bays, Three Cliffs


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

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.

rock climbing topo for Gwyn's Route Area, Pobbles Bays, Gower, South Wales
Gwyn's Route Area
  1. Main Wall - S
    Climb a frequently wet corner at the left end of the cliff. Step left at half-height to finish up the wall. 11m.

  2. Gwyn's Route - VS,5a *
    From a pedestal at the base of main wall, climb through the three overhangs directly. 11m.

  3. Left Corner - VD
    Climb the shallow corner right of Gwyn's Route. 11m.

  4. Left Pillar - VD
    Takes the left side of the raised slab right of Left Corner. 11m.

  5. Pillar Route - D
    Climb the right side of the same slab. 11m.

  6. Right Edge I - M
    Follow the edge to the top.

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

    rock climbing topo for Brant Gully Left Side, Pobbles Bays, Gower, South Wales
    Brant Gully Left Side

  7. Brant Minor- VS,5a
    Climb the arête on its left. Swing left onto a ledge and finish up the wall above. 11m.

  8. Brant Direct Minor - VS,4c
    Climb the slim groove immediately right and finish up the crack above. 11m.

  9. Barry Slapper - E2,6a
    The slim groove to the right gives a difficult problem with a bad landing. 11m.

  10. East Fissure Wall - VD
    Climb the steep back wall of the gully. 11m.

    rock-climbing topo for Brant Gully Right, Pobbes Bays, Gower, South Wales
    Brant Gully Right

  11. Shy Slab - S
    The steep narrow bubbly slab to the right of the gully is bold. 10m.

  12. Square Cut - D
    The next narrow slab to the right. 9m .

  13. Right Edge II - D
    The next arête to the right. 9m .

  14. Two Tier Slab - D
    This is obvious by its name and can be climbed by many variations at about the same grade. 9m.

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 - VD
    Climb the slab between the left end of the gully and Fissure Direct. Variations are possible at the same grade. 6m.

  2. Fissure Direct - VD
    Climbs the obvious polished fissure and the slab above. 10m.

    Deep Cut Gully
    Photo: Matt Woodfield

  3. Fissure Route -
    Follow Fissure Direct until a step right gains the upper crack. 9m .

  4. Soap Gut - VD
    The slab right of Fissure Direct. 10m.

  5. Scoop -
    From the scoop follow the cracks above. 9m.

  6. Girdle - D
    The obvious line from right to left, starting at Scoop. 9m.

  7. Blind Crack -
    The slab and blind crack just right of Scoop. 8m.

  8. First Slab -
    Just right again lies the final route of the gully wall. 9m.

  9. Recessed Wall - D
    This climbs the recessed wall just to the right. 9m.

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 (Pobbles Pebbles) 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.

rock climbing topo for Cave Section East Left Hand Side, Pobbles Bay, Gower, South Wales
Cave Section East LHS
  1. The Groove - M *
    The groove left of the corner bounding the smooth slab. 12m.

  2. Slab Route - 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. 12m.

  3. Limpet Route - HVS,5b *
    Gain the vague groove in the centre of the slab from directly below. Hard to start and not well protected. 12m.

  4. Barnacle Bulge - VS,4c *
    Gain the right arête of the slab via the small capped groove on its left. Tricky! 12m.

    rock climbing topo for Cave Section East Right-Hand Side, Pobbles Bays, Gower, South Wales
    Cave Section RHS

  5. Insanity - HVS,5b
    A stiff boulder problem up the bulge 2m right of the arête gives access to an indefinite crack. 14m.

  6. Smalt - VS,4c **
    To the right is an obvious diagonal crack. Gain this with interest and follow it with superb moves. 15m.

  7. Blue Glass - VS,5b *
    To the right is an innocuous looking scoop. Somehow rock into it, and climb it more easily. Poorly protected. 15m.

  8. Corner Groove - D *
    The corner groove to the right. 15m.

  9. Twin Crack Slab - M *
    The cracked slab to the right. 15m.

  10. Jagged Edge - HVD
    The right arête of the slab. 15m.

  11. Blue Lights Crack -VS,5a
    The steep bulging wall right of Jagged Edge. 15.

  12. The Poseidon Enigma - 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. 15m

East Wall

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.

Rock climbing topo for East Wall, Pobbles Bays, Gower, South Wales
East Wall

  1. Nearly Dropped Me Brolly - 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. 12m.

  2. Fourth Buttress - 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. 12m.

  3. Third Buttress - D *
    The corner 4m to the right of Fourth Buttress. 12m.

  4. Second Buttress - VD
    The next corner/scoop to the right of Third Buttress. 12m.

  5. Cracked Arête - M
    The arête with a cleft 5m to the right of Second Buttress. 11m.

  6. First Buttress - M
    The slab containing a flared crack to the right of Cracked Arête. 10m.

  7. Gully Slab - D
    Climb the landward wall of the small zawn bounding the right side of the area. 9m .

  8. Quergang - 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. 45m.

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 - VD
    Start at the foot of the crack and step left onto the slab. Move left to the arête and follow this to finish. 10m.

  2. Lower Corner - D
    Starts as for Corners Edge, but swing through a bulge to gain and finish up the corner. 10m.

  3. Upper Corner - VD
    Climb the lower crack on the right. 10m.

First Ascents

Left Sector

  1. Main Wall - J.Talbot, R.Corbett 1954/55
  2. Gwyn's Route - SUMC Pre-1973
  3. Left Corner - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  4. Left Pillar - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  5. Pillar Route - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  6. Right Edge I - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  7. Brant Minor - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  8. Brant Direct Minor - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  9. Barry Slapper - G.Ashmore solo 21.05.2001
  10. East Fissure Wall - J.Talbot, R.Corbett 1954/55
  11. Shy Slab - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  12. Square Cut - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  13. Right Edge II - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  14. Two Tier Slab - Unknown Pre-1973

Deep Gully

  1. Little Corner - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55'Unknown Pre-1973
  2. Fissure Direct - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  3. Fissure Route - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  4. Soap Gut - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  5. Scoop - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  6. Girdle - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  7. Blind Crack - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  8. First Slab - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  9. Recessed Wall - Unknown Pre-1971

Cave Section

  1. The Groove - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  2. Slab Route - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  3. Limpet Route - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  4. Barnacle Bulge - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  5. Insanity - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  6. Smalt - G.Ashmore solo 20.02.1999
  7. Blue Glass - G.Ashmore solo 20.02.1999
  8. Corner Groove - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  9. Twin Crack Slab - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  10. Jagged Edge - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  11. Blue Lights Crack 15m VS,5a - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  12. The Poseidon Enigma - A.Berry solo 26.12.2000

East Wall

  1. Nearly Dropped Me Brolly - F.A. Nick Taylor, 30.8.04
  2. Fourth Buttress - J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959
  3. Third Buttress - J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959
  4. Second Buttress - J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959
  5. Cracked Arête - Unknown Pre-1970
  6. First Buttress - J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959
  7. Gully Slab - Unknown Pre-1970
  8. Quergang - J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959

Scoop Corner

  1. Corners Edge - Unknown Pre-1970
  2. Lower Corner - J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959
  3. Upper Corner - J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959

Additional Photos