The Knave

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The Knave
The Knave from Third Sister Lower
The Knave from Third Sister Lower
Rock Type Natural Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time 35 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Thurba to Overton
Local Area Three Sisters
WGS-84 Location 51.552871, -4.263013
OS Grid Ref. SS 432 862
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.561586, -4.242797
GR Parking Location SS 446 871
Parking Postcode SA3 1PE
Base Elevation 5 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction Various
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Never
Climbing Type Normal
Seepage Quick drying
Before/After Low Tide 5.5 hours (See Note)
Crags Within 400m

Above Freelunchers Zawn, Deborah's Overhang, Deborah's Zawn, First Sister, Paviland Far Far Far West, Paviland Way Out West, Rams Grove Seaward Crag, Seaspit Small Cove, Second Sister, Sister 2 and Half, Stallion Cove, TV Zawn, The Hole, The Knave, Third Sister, Tooth Fairy


Access from the free parking at Pilton Green, (SS 446 871 or 51.561586, -4.242797). On the right-hand side of the B4247, approx. 2 miles before Rhossili. Park on the grass at the edge of the track leading to a farm. Cross the road, bear left and take the public footpath (signposted to Foxhole Slade) through the 'kissing-gate' on the left of the sandy-coloured house (Clifflands). Reach the top of a dry valley after about 20 minutes and numerous gates. (1.34km). At the landward end of the valley is a wooden kissing-gate (SS 438860).

Go through the gate and then, after a few metres of descent, join the Wales Coast Path' and then go through a green-painted steel gate on your right (signposted to Rhossili) and then go up the steep path 30 metres to the top.

At the top, head west along the wide and grassy path until you reach a gate/wall after 300 metres. Go through the gate/wall and, at a split in the footpath after 90m, take the left fork and follow the Coast Path for a further 300m as it winds through patches of gorse. Go down a short section between high gorse and hawthorn bushes to another gate. You can check your location by looking down the dry valley to your left; you will see a small pinnacle on the far side of the valley and also an agricultural roller in the corner of the field to your right. (8 minutes and 800m from steel gate)

Go through the gate and then cross the top of the dry valley and follow the path up and round to the left for about 110 metres until you come across a large abandoned steel roller (there are actually two). From here, head down towards the sea and down the steep grassy slope. Third Sister Main is on your right and the Tooth Fairy a little way down on your left. (Approximately 2.3 kilometres and 35 mins. from Pilton Green).

Approach The Knave from its western side by descending further and then scrambling around to its southward-facing side..

Bolting Policy

No bolting.


This is the mini-Paviland, forming the headland between Deborah's Zawn and Deborah's Overhang. There are a number of routes on the seaward face, starting from a shallow niche at the horizontal break, 8m left of the upper left-hand end of the sloping platform that leads to the underside of the blowhole on the eastern flank.


Descent is by scrambling down the slope on the landward side with extreme care!

The Routes

The Knave South Face.
Photo: Stuart Llewellyn
  1. Samphire - HS 4a
    From the ledge on the left side of the slab head up to the roof, then traverse right for a few meters to pull steeply through to the top. 28m.

  2. Hot Stuff - HS 4b
    From the same ledge head up to the roof, then traverse right under the line of roofs right across the crag. Pass under the awkward block then down climb a few meters to the ledge to finish. Probably best climbed in reverse and finishing up Samphire. 55m.

  3. Someone Else's Candle - HS 4a
    Start below the high water mark under a groove in the middle of the face where the rock is extremely undercut. Climb a direct line up the groove to easy ground before finishing steeply .

    The next routes start on a ledge half way up the crag on the seaward side of the face, best access from the east, passing the blowhole and heading up the sloping platform. 33m.

  4. Beyond The Swell - E1,5b
    Climb the slab to the left side of an obvious pedestal below the line of roofs at 7m. Reach over the roof for a jug and continue with care to ledges at a break. Finish up a tricky little groove in the leaning headwall. 17m.

  5. Between Two Storms - E1,5b
    Climb the pleasant initial slab to a brown scoop right of the pedestal. Pull up slight cracks in the bulging roof to better holds above. Swing left, move steeply up to rattling ledges then exit on the right.

    Above the upper left-hand (west) end of the sloping platform is a smooth grey slab, at which point the crag turns to an easterly orientation before the blowhole. The following routes start from the sloping platform. 17m.

  6. Not That Condor Moment - VS,4c
    From the base of the smooth grey slab, climb up to and over a bulge onto highly textured rock. Bear steeply rightwards to finish at the top of an unclimbed left-to-right gangway. 10m.

  7. Knave's Slab - S
    The smooth grey slab running diagonally rightwards, exiting with caution.

    The routes on the east side on The Knave are best approached from the left when facing out to sea. There is an impressive steep wall of compact rock on the other side of a gully/cave which has a blowhole at the back. 10m.

  8. Nothing Is Forever - E3,5c
    The left side of the grey diamond-shaped wall. Start below a line of weakness 3m from its right edge. Climb the wall up a difficult left-facing groove, to reach a leftward-rising break. Swing right to climb the headwall. 15m.

  9. Jack O' Diamonds - E3,5c *
    Starting from the lowest part of the grey diamond shaped wall, pull boldly up onto the wall and continue to the left rising break. Stretch into the hanging groove to gain jugs and proceed steeply to the top. 15m.

  10. Play Date - S 4a
    Start on the left side of the gully and climb to the apex of the cave before gaining the top. 10m.

First Ascents

  1. Samphire - Matt Woodfield & Stuart Llewellyn July 2021
  2. Hot Stuff - Matt Woodfield & Stuart Llewellyn July 2021
  3. Someone Else's Candle - Matt Woodfield & Stuart Llewellyn July 2021
  4. Beyond The Swell - M.Crocker 30.10.1998
  5. Between Two Storms - M.Crocker 30.10.1998
  6. Not That Condor Moment - M.Crocker 30.10.1998
  7. Knave's Slab - M.Crocker 30.10.1998
  8. Nothing Is Forever - M.Crocker 30.10.1998
  9. Jack O' Diamonds - M.Crocker 30.10.1998
  10. Play Date - Matt Woodfield & Stuart Llewellyn July 2021

Additional Photos