November 25, 2017 | Sidney Sherborne
Yet another crag only 45 minutes drive away from campus, aren't we spoiled? Wishing-Stone Crag is located in the grounds of Bradgate Park, a particularly beautiful public deer park in Charnwood Forest. The park surrounds the ruins of Bradgate House, which is the supposed birth place of Lady Jane Grey. The crag is granite, about 6 meters in height and is situated overlooking the main path running along the River Lin. Ancient oaks and giant monkey puzzle trees are passed along the approach and provide a great setting. The Wishing Stone itself lies slightly further on, to the right of the path next to the river. It has been called this for a long time, postcards from the 1908 exist depicting it. Sadly I haven't been able to find out how the Wishing Stone got its name.
The climbing is easy (nothing harder than V1 unless you start doing sit-starts) but good, though some of the routes are a little dirty. The rock is solid and the landings are mostly good, if a little slopey for some problems. Grades range from f3+ to f5 (VB to V1) with many of the routes being easier for the tall. Make sure to check out the arête down and right of the main crag for Flying Buttress f5 (V1) and have a go at the sit-start f6A (V3). Also try the Tree To Tree left to right traverse of the crag f5 (V1), making sure to stay low entering the start of Cenotaph Corner.
Though the climbing was good, there wasn't a whole lot of it. For a more full day Wishing-Stone Crag can be linked with visits to the two other crags in Bradgate Park, Sliding Stone Crag and the Stable Pit. Another crag exists, Memorial Crag, a short sharp set of slabs below the Leicestershire Yeomanry War Memorial, however a sign indicates that you shouldn't climb here. A good route for if you wanted to spend a full day at Bradgate Park and see all it has to offer: Wishing-Stone Crag -> Memorial Crag -> War Memorial -> Old John Tower -> Sliding Stone Crag -> Ruins of Bradgate House -> Stable Pit.
It is unclear how tolerated climbing is in Bradgate Park. The 1993 guidebook is a little ambiguous on this front, however no reports of being asked to leave have been posted the crag's UKClimbing.com entry. When we were there nobody paid much attention to us, other than the odd passer by gawping at us.
Another really good crag. I said that Oaks Pinnacle was the best crag I'd been to so far but I reckon the Wishing-Stone Crag *might* just pip it. Even if you didn't climb anything you can end up having a top day taking in the setting and history of the park.
The guidebook says it is best to avoid going on weekends due to how busy the park gets
45 minute drive from Warwick Sport
Park at the Bradgate Park car park. £3, cash only
Go through the main gates into the park, walk for 5 minutes down the path by the river, the crag is clearly visible up the hill to the left of the path
Geoff Mason and Ken Vickers - Leicestershire Climbs - Online Copy
Our Recommended Routes:
The Stretcher f5 (V1)
Flying Buttress f5 (V1)
The Rack f4 (V0)
Tree to Tree Traverse f5 (V1)