Benny Beg

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The Costa Blanca comes to Scotland! At last Scotland has a very accessible and well bolted low to middle grade sport climbing venue. At present the grades range from 3 - 6a+ and the close and well-considered spacing and placing of the bolts especially on the easier grades has meant that they are appropriate for beginners and kids.

The crag is made of Quartz-Dolerite and faces South, South East, getting the sun all day until early evening. Muthill and Crieff are well sheltered by the Ochils and Ben Chonzie and Ben Vorlich, meaning that it is often surprisingly dry even when pouring in the central belt. The crag dries very quickly after rain.

A word of warning to newcomers to Benny Beg rock, the seeming abundance of huge holds, belies their often rounded and frictionless properties. Combined with the steep nature of the crag, little in-cuts, sneaky side-pulls and bulges, Benny Beg can and will give a thoroughly enjoyable pump! The routes have all been given a French Sport Climbing Grade. A 30-metre rope, 10 quickdraws, and your usual safety kit are more than enough for the sport routes.

First Ascents and History

Undoubtedly Benny Beg has been climbed on for years using a combination of top roping and traditional methods but was never considered worthy of inclusion in any of the SMC Guidebooks to Scotland. Pupils from Glenalmond College started visiting it in September 1974. At that time there was no evidence anyone else had been there recently, there was loose rock and vegetation everywhere. Kevin Howett on-sight soloed most of the lines on the highest part of the crag between 1989 and 1990. The crag is still used most frequently by centres and local climbers and it is hoped that the good will between fellow climbers will continue, working around and with each other. As more information is sent to me on the history of climbing here, I will update this section until we have a clear picture of the past. The routes have been named, graded and claimed by the person who made the First Bolted Ascent. The first 21 bolted routes were done between the 25 June - 10 July 2003.

New routes should be reported in the route logbook at the Ceramic Experience, and reported to SC so we can update this guide. Alternativly you can edit the ScottishClimbs wiki guide yourself.


The writers of this mini guide would like to point all climbers at Benny Beg to read the BMC's Participation Statement found in all of their publications as well as to their advice on the use of bolts for climbing. Using the bolts is a personal responsibility. You should check and assess the bolts before using them and ensure that you are certain they are fit for the purpose intended.

Neither the person that placed the bolts or Drummond Estates is responsible for any injury caused to self or possessions whilst climbing at Benny Beg. The usual climbing precautions and safety techniques should be employed when climbing sport routes. The bolts are Camp Hangers with 10mm Trubolt expanders and have been placed by amateur local climbers adhering to manufacturers best practice and in good faith, but bolts can and do fail, especially through corrosion over time. The rock in places is loose and changes stability on a regular basis. Remove loose rock with care. Belayer's and climbers may wish to wear helmets. Loose bolts can either be reported to Scott Muir on 01764 681506, logged in the routes book or re-tightened using the spanner, both left at the Ceramic Experience.

Local Facilities

Benny Beg is the ultimate crag venue, offering a diverse range of local attractions to keep everyone amused. At the crag itself is the Benny Beg Nursery, offering a great range of gardening and outdoor products, The Ceramic Experience, offering ceramics painting and firing, kids inside play area, events, kids and adult parties and not to forget the local Cafe. Try the giant Chocolate Muffins! The Smiddy, which has been their for over 200 years still makes impressive gates and metal wear and the pottery has a great selection of unique products.

Also locally, 300m back up the road towards Stirling is Drummond Castle Gardens. They are the most impressive stately gardens in Scotland. Heading towards Crieff you have Stuart Crystal and the Visitors Centre with the new singing and dancing 'Drovers' show. Locally, is the Famous Grouse Experience at the Glen Turret Distillery and plenty of other shops, places to eat and sleep and fuel. Muthill also has a Tea Shop, and the Muthill Village Hotel offers a great selection of Bar Meals and well looked after Real Ales, the only real ales available for miles! The beer garden is very relaxing after a hard days cragging.

Access and Parking

Benny Beg is located to the west of the town of Crieiff. Follow the M9 North from Stirling, turning off for Braco. Signs can be followed into Creiff to the Ceramic Experiance and eventually the Benny Beg Nursery where the crag is located.

The local businesses and Drummond Estates have asked all climbers to please park considerately in the space provided through the farm gate 100m North on the right, past the main entrance as you approach from Stirling. The gate is often shut and care should be taken on the fast stretch of road whilst opening the gate and on leaving. If this car park is full, then considerate parking is permitted as far from the businesses in the main car park as possible. Please do not park on the main road. The crag is clearly visible and reached in a tiring 2 minutes from the car park.


The cliff has no public toilets but the Ceramic Experience has toilets for its customers! - Please do not abuse this. A visit is in itself a great excuse to stop and reward yourself with some of their fantastic tea and cakes.

All litter must be removed from the crag and disposed of at home. Please help to keep the area clean by removing any other litter found. Dog owners in the area are terrible for letting their dogs foul on or near the path, especially under the crags! With a show of intolerance for this, the situation may improve with time. There is a dog poo bin at the main gate.

The Routes

The routes have been described in two sectors from left to right. Starting with the first and lowest section reached as you approach from the Car Park.

Sector 1

Bennybeg s1.jpg

Route minus one, 3+
there is one route to the left of the tree

Route Zero 4+
A tricky start leads to easier ground

1. Bill and Benny the Flower Pot Men 3
FBA - K Howett, July 2003
Bolted for beginners and kids - a fine little outing up the shallow gully.

2. Benydorm 5
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
Think of the sun and climb like the wind.

3. Driven Round the Benny'd 5+*
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
A fingery move leads quickly to better holds.

4. Benny and the Banshee's 4
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
An out of balance move will either have you screaming or rocking to the top.

5. Benny Hill 5+
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
Deceptive, short but very enjoyable.

6. United Colours of Bennytton 3
FBA - K Howett, July 2003
Another fine outing bolted for beginners and kids

Scorchio! 5

Route Eight 4
The last line of bolts in Sector 1

Sector 2

Bennybeg s2.jpg

At the far left of this sector are 2 bolted routes.

The first lies just to the left of left arete of sector 2 and follows the scrappy and vegetated steps Benny's Groove 2

The next route is just to the right of the Arete

Beggars Belief 4

There is some vegetated ground then the main wall

1. New Beginning 5
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
No better place to start. A good place to learn to read Benny Begs strange rock.

2. Beguile 5
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
Good sustained climbing leads to an exciting finish

3. The Spanner 5
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
Join Benny's Black streak at the 3rd Bolt and finish up this

4. Benny's Black Streak 5+
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
Great wall climbing leads to a romp to the lower-offs. Excellent

5. Lady Willoughby 4
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
A fantastic Outing up the curving break and short corner

6. Beg to Differ 5+
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
obvious Plaque, climb straight up to the lower off beneath the tree.

7. Beg'tastic 5
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
A few tricky moves leaves the arms feeling a little tired

8. Benny Lane 6a*
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
Continuous sustained interest and one of the best routes here.

9. Ally's in Wonderland 3+
FBA - S Muir, June 2003 A great introduction to Sector two being steep, rounded and very well bolted.

10. The Beg Issue 4
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
Climb into the niche before blasting up right to the lower off on the beggar

11. The Beggar 6a
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
Beg for mercy powering up the left side of the bulge

12. Beggar's Banquet 6a
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
Feast yourself on a full course of steep Benny Beg Wall climbing. Don't forget the desert

13. The Smiddy 6a
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
If you've done the rest - your arms will feel like steel and only the 200 + year old Smiddy will pound them back to working order

14. Begone 5
FBA - S Muir, June 2003
Time for a well earned Cake and Coffee stop at the Car Park or a pint of real ale in the Muthill Village Hotel

15. Beg Pardon 5+
FBA - K Kelly, June 2003
A truly antisocial outing, but one of the best routes here! Climb to the Second bolt on New Beginning, step down and traverse right passing the 3rd bolt on Benny's Black Streak. Step up and clip the 3rd Bolt on Lady Willoughby and continue past Beg'tastic to a lone bolt beneath the large overgrown Crack in the middle of the sector. Keep traversing right clipping the 4th Bolt on Ally's in Wonderland to the last bolt on The Smiddy. Climb straight up to the lower off with relief.

Originally from a guide by Scott Muir.

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