Scotland’s Five Best Sea Cliff Climbing Locations

Five of the most epic spots for beginner, intermediate and hardcore sea cliff climbers, according to Robbie Phillips

Feature type Video

Read time 1 min

Published May 18, 2023

Photographer Hamish Frost

Base editorial team
BASE editorial team BASE writers and editors who live and breathe adventure every day. We love adventure storytelling as much as we love adventure itself.

What are the best sea cliff climbing locations in Scotland?

In the video below, Scottish pro climber and YouTuber extraordinaire Robbie Phillips talks us through his top five sea cliff climbing locations for beginner, intermediate and hardcore climbers – all within his bonny homeland!

Here’s a quick run-down of Robbie’s favourite spots for getting your fix of Atlantic Rock:

1. Isle Of Skye

Robbie recommends the cliffs of Elgol as a great spot for beginner sea cliff climbers (although probably not beginner climbers generally)! With a short walk-in, straightforward abseil and a number of lower-grade routes to get stuck into, it’s a great spot with stunning views across the Black Cuillin.

2. Aberdeen Coast

For an intermediate sea cliff climbing experience, check out the Aberdeen coast. With some challenging granite and trickier entry points, this location ups the ante somewhat.

3. Isle Of Lewis

A significantly more remote location (it’s an island after all), the Isle of Lewis boasts an array of grades to suit most sea cliff climbers. The challenge begins with getting there in the first place!

4. Isle Of Hoy

An intermediate-hard location with towering, intimidating sandstone sea stacks. The rock on Hoy is particularly ‘chossy’ (don’t know what that means? Watch the video for an explainer!) and care is to be taken. Robbie recommends this spot in the Orkney archipelago for confident, experienced climbers!

5. St. Kilda

Finally – only for the seasoned sea cliff climbers, the archipelago of St. Kilda is remote and relatively inaccessible. 100 miles from the Scottish mainland, climbers will need to be self-sufficient and capable of self-rescue should things go awry! The rock is sharp Gabbro and there are myriad challenging, technical routes for experienced climbers to get their teeth into.

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