Northumbrian Climbing Guide

Intro Access Accommodation New Routes Map Archaeology Winter NMC homepage

Kyloe Out (Collar Heugh) What the symbols
& colours mean
Grid Ref: NU040395   Aspect: SW   Routes: 96   Max Length: 30   Average Length: 11 
Altitude: 108 mtrs   Walk in: 10 mins   Route quality: ***   Bouldering quality: ** 
Click here for StreetMap    
The crag is easily reached from the AI 8 kilometres north of Belford. Turn west and follow the B6353 for 3 kilometres towards Lowick. At the crossroads turn due south and continue for 1 kilometre and park beyond a large farm on the left. The approach to the crag is by a farm track, often very muddy in wet weather, which leaves the road at this point. Follow the track until it branches. Take the right fork through a gated field. A well worn path winds up through bracken to the crag. The distance is about 800 metres and takes ten minutes. Please take care not to harm relations with the local farmer which are very cordial at the time of writing. Electric fences should not be climbed and there is no need to deviate from the described approach. Take care when parking not to block the entrance to fields. The crag itself is beginning to suffer from erosion and litter. Please consider the environment so that others may enjoy it also.
This superb sandstone crag is located in the north of the region on the flank of the Kyloe Hills. It lies on the northern boundary of Kyloe Wood, about 2 kilometres east of the village of Lowick. Its situation on the side of a small valley with a south westerly aspect and bounded by forest makes it very sheltered and the crags are often in perfect condition on dry winter days. This situation combined with its beautiful setting gives pleasant routes as well as some hard technical ones. It consists of a quarried section and a series of isolated buttresses which provide varied climbing in both character and difficulty offering some of the best routes in the county.
Fell Sandstone Carboniferous, Dinantian
Access issues:
Keep gates clear at all times, the track is in constant use. Park off the tarmac and on one side of the road only. The owner of the next farm down the road has mown the verges and put some white stones up to mark the mown boundaries ouside his property. Unbelievably, people had parked on his mown area! The farmer is extremely courteous but pointed out that the places he had mown get very wet. Cars have become stuck here in the past and he doesn't have tractor to pull them out, to say nothing of the mess thay make of the grass. Please don't park in between the white rocks, or in front of his gate, which has also happened!
Some brilliant routes, particularly in the S-E1 range with generally good protection.
The bouldering here is not the calibre of its near neighbour "in the woods", but there are some good problems.
The crag was probably climbed on in the early part of the century but there is no record of any lines ascended. Visitors also frequented the area in the late 1940's and early 1950's but the first recorded activity was not until the late fifties when the NMC produced a short guide showing sixteen routes, most of which followed the obvious lines. These were largely the products of Eric Clarke, Gil Lewis and Basil Butcher and included the fine Deception Crack and the awkward Trinity. Nineteen fifty seven was a prime year with Devil's Edge by Geoff Oliver accompanied by Derek Walton and Nev Hannaby, the latter also leading the superb flake crack of Tacitation to create one of the crags classic Very Severes. This brief surge in activity was followed by a long lull which lasted throughout the 1960's and although the crag was visited by the NMC and the Border Climbing Club nothing of worth was recorded. The next routes were done in September 1970 by Allan Austin who regularly visited the area with Dave Roberts. The companion routes of Penitent's Walk and the testing Coldstream Corner typified Austin's ability to tackle the harder lines. Around this time, in early 1971, Dave Ladkin also added the excellent Elevator. Hugh Banner had spied the line but was injured with a bad elbow (perhaps an early case of tendonitis) and urged Ladkin to attempt the route before the dynamic duo of Austin and Roberts had the chance to clean up. With the publication of the 1970 guide interest was spurred and Bob Hutchinson who had already made a big impression, jumped a quantum leap in grades by climbing the extremely testing Australia Crack. This remained unrepeated for two years and not surprisingly at its present E3 6b standing. The 1976 New Climbs Supplement stimulated further activity by John Earl, Paul Stewart, Steve Blake and Bob and Tommy Smith. In 1978 some excellent test pieces were found, notably Blake's technical and strenuous Prime Time and the necky Original Sin, which was done with Bob Smith, so named because of the first known use of chalk on a new route in the county by a local. In 1980 Bob Smith discovered The Sabbath and Baptism and went on to celebrate the arrival of his son with the difficult First Born, demonstrating his bold approach and an eye for a good line. Also around this time, Earl and Bob Smith shared leads on Hot Spring and Paternoster. Elder Brother was also added, a very bold and determined statement by Tommy Smith and Tim Gallagher on one of Tom's many returns from retirement. Hugh Harris contributed a number of hard routes, culminating in Seventh Day in 1991. Recent developments have largely been a mopping up process with few completely new lines, the only major advance being Albatross, circa 1995 courtesy of Andrew Earl and Steve Crowe, (though the purists may still be looking for the RP to be placed on the lead.). Mark Savage rediscovered The Final Frontier, which was climbed prior to the last guide by both Paul Stewart and Tim Gallagher but not included.