Bull's Hollow Rocks outdoor rock climbing
The rocks lie in a hollow and are North West facing. Unfortunately due to shading from trees, not much sunlight and a secluded location, they are rarely in condition. The ground gets damp and muddy especially after rainfall and you should beware of the crocodiles rumoured to live in the boggy ground! Best climbed in the summer and autumn. The outcrop is L-shaped and the average height of climbs is 8 metres.
When in condition, the central area of ‘The Wall’ provides some great climbs. Rock quality has been affected by quarrying and holds can crumble easily and are soft underfoot in places. Climbs are often slimy, especially at the start. Climbing grades vary from 1a to 6b and it is not known as a site for boulderers.
Bull's Hollow is the site of a disused Quarry. The Quarry stopped being used in 1890 and is named after Robert Bull - a quarryman who worked and built a cottage there. The Lord of the Manor at Rusthall owns the site which is managed by the Tunbridge Wells Commons Conservators. The rocks were an early twentieth-century beauty spot which was first used in 1905, there was also a military firing range there in 1918-1919. The rocks were first published as a site for climbers in 1936 and continued to be a popular site until the 1980’s when lack of management of the tree population and resultant shading changed characteristics of the rock surface. This alongside decreased traffic has lead to the site being mostly unclimbable in non-dry spells. Much has been done recently to improve conditions by the Sandstone Volunteers Group. Keep your eye out for the Egyptian face carved into the rocks on the way to Bulls Hollow…no one knows its origin but it may be a carving from the Victorian times!
Bull's Hollow rocks are located near to Toad Rocks approximately 1 mile west of Tunbridge Wells. When parking near to Toad Rocks you can access Bull's Hollow by walking up the hill and turning left at the junction. Walkthrough the two boulders and immediately turn right. The rocks are located in the woodland below. Alternatively, you can access the rocks from Rusthall road. There is a footpath near to the bus stop on the right-hand side. Though this is fairly hidden so make sure you keep an eye out for it!
There is free on road parking opposite Toad Rocks. Bull's Hollow is approximately 4-5 minute walk from here.
It is essential when top roping to use a non-stretch belay sling and to position a karabiner over the edge of the crag in order to minimise damage to the rocks. For set up there are some bolts in situ for popular climbs otherwise use trees as anchor points. The Sandstone Volunteers Group cleared the crag in 2003 and made it more open. It was cleared again in February 2014 and lines were cleaned, undergrowth removed and drainage created to remove build up of water in the ground below. Bulls Hollow is part of the Rusthall Common geological SSSI due to its rock formation and natural erosion features.