GR873740 to 884732'
Highly variable, but never more than 3½ hours either side of low water at the east end of the cliff and never more than 3 hours either side of low water at the west. Normally about 2 hours average either side of low water along the cliff. Recessed areas like The Biscuit slightly longer. Some routes, especially those on Elephant Wall, Scutch Buttress and Fire Wall have platforms which extend accessibility.
With no shadow of a doubt, Ogmore is one of the most important sea cliffs in Britain. Unsurprisingly it contains the greatest concentration of South East Wales' best traditionally protected routes. It is wild, steep, exciting and seriously underrated. You will either love it or hate it but whichever it is you must encounter "the Ogmore experience". Climbers used to Pembroke will probably find it a little intimidating, but with petrol at the price it is, perhaps fiscal prudence will overcome fear.
Ogmore is a limestone sea cliff situated between Ogmore by Sea and Southerndown. It offers climbing of a strenuous nature; steep, overhanging, but generally well supplied with holds. The rock is mostly good but some of the finishes may require care. It can suffer from seepage and is extremely tidal, with the tide rising 6m to 9m up the cliff, so beware of in-situ gear and use tide tables. It is a great crag for those who value adventure and excitement in their climbing, but is no place for the incompetent.
Ogmore has recently been touted as a deep-water soloing venue. Whilst it is true that there are some routes with good depths of water below them at high tide, it is important to remember that the tidal range is staggering and staggeringly variable. More importantly, the soloist should be aware that there are very strong currents hereabouts and a lot of low- level sea caves. Being swept into one of these and drowned is a serious possibility. Aspirants should always check the fall out zones at low water, before conisdering a deep water solo. The impressivedeep-water solos that have been made at this crag are not listed separately unless they cover genuinely new ground, although some are mentioned in the history section. The lunatic solos of some routes at low water are not listed separately either.
The layout of Ogmore is difficult to get to grips with and abseil in is the most practical way of approach. However, due to the tides, escape can be difficult, without a little forethought. It is therefore strongly recommended that climbers unfamiliar with the cliff view the familiarisation page. There are two approaches from the road. The western approach is the most useful, for anything to the west of Mother Earth. For the eastern end of the crag, the Southerndown Approach is more useful, but a parking fee is due at some times of the year. Most climbers who are familiar with the crag will tend to abseil in from various points. These are noted in the Crag Familiarisation Page, but be warned that the stakes are of unknown origin or age; always find a way to back them up.
1. Western Access
Follow the B4524 from Ogmore by Sea towards Southerndown (Dunraven Bay) until it reaches a sharp bend passing West Farm (just after the sign marking the boundary of Southerndown). Park above the cliffs in a grassy area bounded by concrete posts. The "Old Stable Tea Shop" was ideally situated here for those who have cocked the tides up or require a "pick me up" after their route, but is currently not trading. Descend a grassy gully towards the sea to reach a narrow path running westwards. When facing out to sea, a pinnacle is visible to the east (left). This marks the start of Exposure Explosion and is more or less directly above the line of Jumping Jack Flash.
2. Southerndown Access
Follow the B4524 a little further to a sharp left-hand bend at the "Three Golden Cups" pub, but go straight on down the smaller road sign-posted "Beach". Park in the car park at the base of the hill (parking fee in spring and summer) and walk out to the concrete slipway. Turn back west (right if facing out to sea) to walk into the crag. Note that it is only possible to walk all the way along the base of the cliff at dead low water on spring tides, due to the cut off points round Davy Jones' Locker and Scutch.
See Ogmore Crag Familiarisation and by abseil.
The Areas of Ogmore
Routes are described relative to each other looking back in at the crag from below.
- The Western Crag
- Twinkle Buttress
- Ogmore Popular End
- Fools Fantasy Area
- Elephant Wall Area
- Tusker Chimney Area
- Scutch Buttress
- Tiger Bay
- Bute Street Buttress
- The Castle Area
- The Biscuit
- Davey Jones' Locker and the Sea Caves
- Phaser Wall
- Dirty Harry Walls
- Mitzy Wall
- Right Hand Wall