The Peak District is rightfully famous for its fantastic rock climbing, most of the climbs being short and severe. The two key rock types are gritstone and limestone and the variety of climbing is immense. There really is something for every climber here!
The limestone edges are mainly in the centre and south of the Peaks – to the east of Buxton (around Millers Dale) and between Leek and Ashbourne (near Dovedale). Limestone can be brittle with often quite vertical cliff faces with undercut bases. In the Peak District there is a lot of bolting on limestone climbs.
Gritstone is completely different! Abrasive, this can be harsh on the hands but it does have great friction – useful when the climbing has so much variety and challenge. Probably, the more famous gritstone ridges are at The Roaches (just north of Leek in the southern Peaks) and Stanage (at the other end near Sheffield).
Party Houses properties are all within C 20 mins drive of the gritstone at The Roaches, Hen Cloud and Ramshaw Rocks and the limestone at Ilam, Dovedale and Beeston Tor. Roaches Hall, as the name suggests, is right under the rocks and you can be bouldering or climbing in 5 minutes from the front door (in the photo above, the drive way seen leads to Roaches Hall). There are over 100 plus climbs on Hen Cloud alone from Diff to E3, and up to 30m tall. The neighbouring Roaches has about 300 route in two tiers for all levels of climber. The bouldering is especially good if you have children with you!
The BMC has a number of publications of interest for this area; The Roaches, Western Grit and Peak Bouldering are all published by Rockfax.
If you are not an experienced climber it is worth walking up there to marvel at those who are (and the kids love jumping on the big boulders lying all over the hillside).
Other famous places to climb in the Peak include Stanage Edge near Hathersage and HighTor near Matlock Bath.