|Grid Ref: NU074073 Aspect: N Routes: 29 Max Length: 18 Average Length: 13|
|Altitude: 304 mtrs Walk in: 30 mins Route quality: **|
The best approach is from Rough Castles, just off the A697 Morpeth-Wooler road. Turn left off the main road 800 metres north of the crossroads with the B6341 at a bend, signposted to Thrunton Wood. Park about 200 metres from the junction where a forestry road leaves on the left. Cross a stile, then walk along the forest road until the trees on the right end, just before the pylons. Trend right off the track and follow a slight depression under the pylons to pick up a good path that takes a break in the forest up the hill then contours round rightwards emerging at the moors edge. Continue up the well-marked path that follows the shoulder of Coe Crag Hill. Follow this to the top of the crag. The distance is 3 kilometres and it takes about thirty minutes.
A fine moorland crag in an exposed position on the top of Coe Crag Hill.
Fell Sandstone Carboniferous, Dinantian
Mostly good, but the exposed position, north facing aspect and low traffic mean that some routes get very dirty.
The routes tend to be discontinuous, but the climbing is good. Gradings on the Severes may seem harsh, but the steep bits are short and the protection os excellent.
The Kail Stone, on the hillside west of the approach path, has a few problems. There are also bits and pieces around the crag itself, but the rock is disappointing.
Prior to 1968 it is likely that most of the easier lines had been ascended as the crag had been visited occasionally for years, but records of specific routes cannot be traced. In that year Dave Roberts and Allan Austin climbed a number of notable lines including Ravens Buttress, Coe Crag Corner, Hippopotamus and Honeycomb Wall. Roberts returned in 1971 with Ernie Goodyear to climb the excellent Rough Castles Crack and in the same year Hugh Banner added the problematic Neb Crack. The crag lost popularity for many years but in 1984 a few visits by Hugh Harris, John Wallace and Graham Telfer resulted in Cave Wall, Rampart Wall and the large overhang of Orion Roof, albeit with a pre-placed friend. On a sunny evening in 2002, Tim Caterall teetered up the serious Raven Mad and added the obvious finish to Bumblebee Connection to create Worrisome Wasp.