Northumbrian Climbing Guide

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Drake Stone What the symbols
& colours mean
Grid Ref: NT921044   Aspect: All   Routes: 15   Max Length: 15   Average Length: 7 
Altitude: 275 mtrs   Walk in: 15 mins 
Click here for StreetMap  This crag is in an area designated as an SSSI
A short way beyond Harbottle on the Alwinton road is a Forestry Commission car park. A path leads from the south east corner through the Harbottle Crags Nature Reserve to the Drake Stone in about ten minutes.
The Drake Stone, the name of which is derived from the Anglo Saxon word for dragon, is Northumberland's largest isolated boulder. Lying in an exposed but scenic position on Harbottle Hill it is good quality sandstone, is quick drying and gives a number of good routes of different characters. The extreme routes on the south face are largely unprotected. There are numerous bouldering possibilities nearby but the exposed position of the crag makes it a warm summer evening venue rather than a year round crag.
Fell Sandstone Carboniferous, Dinantian
Access issues:
Ignore roadside red flags, the crag isn't inside the range boundary.
At 8m high, many of the routes are acceptable solos and, with a couple of notable exceptions, above good landings.
No recorded problems.
It is almost certain that the Drake Stone has been climbed for many centuries. Until recent times the huge boulder was thought to have miraculous healing powers, sick children being passed over the summit to aid their recovery. Obviously a place worth visiting for the modem tendonitis stricken climber. Details of early ascents have become lost in the mists of time, the first recorded activity being in November 1977 when Bob Hutchinson and John Earl added the Very Severes and Hard Very Severes with Hutchinson soon returning to climb Sir Francis. Andy Moss led Rhumba in 1983 and Bob Smith soloed Powder Monkey a short while afterwards. Lubbers' Hole, first climbed by Andrew Philipson in 1958 has been recorded here for the first time. Cliff Robson and Calum Mayland squeezed in Sol Pelicanos in 1995, the last recorded route on the crag.