Guide to Bowles Rocks
About the climbs
Bowles rocks is a natural sandstone outcrop on the Kent and Sussex border. There are around 200 routes of all grades from 1a to 6c. Due to the soft nature of the sandstone, bottom roping is the only type of climbing allowed. Traditional protection such as placing nuts and cams will not hold so bolts have been placed at the top of the cliff to set up the climbs.
Here are some of the best routes at Bowles Rocks. These topos have been taken with permission from the Jingo Wobbly Sandstone Climbing in the South East. This informative guide is available from our office or www.jingowobbly.com.
1. Charlies Chimney ** (3a) 2. Pigs Nose *** (5a) 3. TT *** (5b) 4. Pigs Ear *** (5c) 5. Hate *** (6a) 6. Love * (6b) 7. Watson Watt * (6b) 8. Upside Downies *** (6b)
Geology of Bowles
The rocks were laid down on the bed of an inland sea that covered most of the Wealden District during the Creataceous period, around 135 million years ago. The rocks are part of the Tunbridge Wells sandstone formation that also outcrops at other cliffs in the area: Harrisons, High Rocks, Eridge and Stonefarm Rocks. The outer layer of the rocks has become very hard through a process known as Case Hardening. This tough outlayer protects the softer rock behind. This is why climbers must be careful not to damage the outer case.
Bowles has easy access by road or from Eridge train station (with a short walk). There is a map here for walking and driving directions
There is a charge of £5 per adult (£4 after 5pm) or £3 for children. A season ticket is available for £30. This covers car parking the use of our facilities and repair and maintenance of the rocks. Any extra goes to support our charitable work with young people.