Shorn Cliff

Wye Valley & Forest of Dean

User attention

A large beach tree has fallen from above the route Laughing Cavaliers and the main stem now on the ground under the Great Central Cave area. However, a sizeable bough remains hung up in the remaining cliff top trees above the route - someone has tied it off to the yew tree which forms the belay/lower off for Laughing Cavaliers but there is a chance that windy weather could shift it into a less stable position from where it could threaten the route and area below the crag. The BMC is working with Forestry England to get a tree surgeon to safely remove the hung up bough ASAP, but in the meantime please be very careful when climbing in this area - climbers will need to make their own judgement as to whether the bough is still in a stable position or not. from 12/07/2022

A fantastic natural limestone crag with a real 'away from it all' feel, set in the woods above Tintern with a plethora of good quality single pitch routes up to 30m long, often on very good quality pocketed limestone.

Crag information
Climbing Area: South West & Southern Rock Type: Limestone
Importance: National CRoW Land: Yes
Ownership: Forestry Commission No. of Routes: 174
Within National Park: No Year Developed:
Grid Reference: ST543992

The rock at Shorncliffe is generally sound, but there are some areas of more questionable rock which need to be treated with caution - in particular at the top of the crag where the last few metres can be more broken. Placing an extra piece of gear or two in solid rock before topping out is worth considering.

Descent for all routes is by abseil from trees at the top of the routes. These have been fitted with rope slings and abseil rings to prevent damage to the trees so please use them, but don't forget to check the anchors (both the strength of the tree and the quality of the rope and ring) before commiting to using them. It is also worth having some spare cord to replace any rope which is showing wear. A single 60m rope doubled over should allow you to reach the ground on all routes but double check first.

Parking and Approach



Park at Tintern Abbey (pay and display) and follow a footpath along the river (behind the Anchor Inn) and through the village until a wide foot bridge allows crossing of the river. Continue along the footpath, turning left up a steep section into the woods at the upright metal posts. Take the right hand option at the next two path junctions and the path leads through the woods to eventually join a wide forestry track. Turn right down this for a few huindred metres to where the first of a series of signs indicate the approaches to different sections of the crag:

  • R4: Abbey Buttress (path leads directly to the base of Tigers Don't Cry)
  • R3a: Great Central Cave area
  • R3: Fallacy Buttress
  • R2: The White Towers
  • R1: Hit and Run Buttress

Alternative approaches can be made from a parking area off the B4228, 2 miles north of Woodcroft (the same parking as for Tintern Quarry), or on foot from Beeches Farm campsite. 

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Anonymous User
I went to Shorn Cliff on 15th May. Wanted to park at the forestry commission car park (off the B4228, same parking as for Tintern Quarry) as I checked at and it wasn't listed as closed.
When I drove there the heavy metal bar of the gate appeared locked. Ended up reversing and parking at the next layby/forestry track gate a couple of hundred meters north on the B4228.
At closer inspection I noted that the gate had just been moved in the closed position, but not locked (padlock and chain open).
Couldn't help but wonder if the parking is officially closed or not.