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LONDON BRIDGE GR 923 627

This area now has a reasonable collection of deep water solos, most of which are fairly intimidating in nature!

Approach: If approaching from the Exeter (A38/A380) follow signs for Babbacombe (turn left at traffic lights!). These should lead you through Babbacombe, after which carry straight on until a DIY store and garden centre is seen on the left ( LQP parking). Carry on, passing a hotel (left turn for Black Head), until a left turn (just passed zebra crossing) leads downhill (good pasty shop on right!). Keep following the main road, and it will lead you to Meadfoot Beach (on left). Ascend the hill beyond this, then take a left for Daddyhole Plain (at the top-ish of the hill and signed for Daddyhole). This leads to a sharp left, which in turn leads to parking above Daddyhole Maincliff. Alternatively from the town centre of Torquay, head out on Daddyhole Road (passing the Imperial Hotel). This will lead to a right turn and signs for Daddyhole Plain.

From the parking head right (looking out to sea) and follow the path through an arch thing,down steps, then back up a couple of sets of steps. About 20 feet after this a left turn leads down through the trees via a vague path, and down to a natural rock bridge type feature - The London Bridge.

Tides: Mid and above might be a good idea! i.e. 3 hours either side of high.

London Bridge topo

Cross the bridge, descend the other side then traverse left (facing in i.e. west). This leads you to the NW face and:

1) Freddie the Frog Hits Torquay XS 5c 25ft S0 #
A short route above a nice, safe splashdown zone which takes the obvious countersunk crack in the NW face of the bridge. FA Martin Crocker 31.3.97 (onsight)

2) Pumping Dancefloor Energy XS 6b Fr. 7a+ * 40ft S1
To the left of Freddie Fishcake is an overhanging arete. This proves to be sustained, fingery, pumpy and weighing in at about Fr.7a+!! Climb the right hand edge direct. FA Martin Crocker (after top rope inspection) 13.4.97

3) Atheist XS 5c S2
The groove to just beyond Pumping Dancfloor Energy. There is some poor rock in the final 10ft so the safest option is to traverse right off right to avoid this. FSA Martin Crocker (onsight) 18.4.97 - likely to have been soloed before - send your bid for the FSA.

4) Luv-Groove-Dance-Party XS 6a/b S1 *50ft #
A superb route of character with a high crux (25ft). Move left from the start of Atheist and gain a high jug-line. Swing left , then make hard moves to a layaway followed by good pockets which enable the bottomless groove to the L to be gained. Climb the groove to the top. FA Martin Crocker 18.4.97 (after top rope inspection)

5) Donít Fear the Reef XS 6b 45ft S1 #
Fierce and fingery; this is the broad rust-stained rib left of Jehovakill. Traverse in as for Jehovakill to its niche. Reach a hand ledge up and right then attack the rib and short curving ramp and crack above. Exit leftwards being careful with the rock. Beware of sub-surface rocks. Fr.7a+ FA Martin Crocker 3.10.98 (solo after cleaning top-out and top-roping)

6) Jehovakill XS 6b S2 60ft
ďA fabulous adrenaline flood! The crux is at 30ft and requires confidence in a rather large and somewhat shaky undercut flake". Descend the eastern side of the Bridge and hand traverse the HWM towards the bridge beneath the overhanging face. A steep line up flakes leads wild moves up the right arete of an overhanging groove (past the first old bolt stub) to reach and power off the undercut flake, thereby accessing the chimney groove on the east side of the bridge. FSA Martin Crocker 18.4.97 (after top rope inspection of the flake area).

Long Dong Village XS 6a/b Fr7b S0 **
120ft This pumpy, safe and excellent route takes a fairly low traverse around the bridge, basically linking the initial traverse into Jehovakill to the bottom of the Athiest groove. Down climb to the left (East) of the bridge and traverse, above the high water line rightwards, moving up to the pumpy crux section beneath the arch. Continue on beneath the groove of Athiest and around the west wall to finish. Also goes right to left - probably a little easier. FA Dave Henderson (os solo) July 2001

7) Arch Temptress XS 5b S1
A bit of a scary job! From the mainland, descend down steep grass to the right to gain a rock-fin. 50ft Climb some prominent undercut flakes rightwards beneath the arch until it is possible to climb up the corner to finish. FSA Probably Martin Crocker 3.10.98

The following routes can be reached by down climbing or, more easily, by abseiling from a stake just to the left (looking out) of the arch to gain a ledge.

8) Dance on Dinkies XS 6a S2
40ft
Traverse left along the ledge then move up into a white groove. Follow this and then the wall above until you can finish rightwards (take care on the finish!). FSA Martin Crocker 3.10.98

9) Beak Roamer HVS 4c S0
35ft
From the same ledge step right to gain an arete. Climb this! FSA Martin Crocker 3.10.98 (first recorded - may have been soloed before).

Frolics Fr.7a+ S0 **/*** #
An excellent route with a crux reminiscent of the Berry Head classic Rainbow Bridge. On the back of the landward section of London Bridge is a short wall of immaculate fused limestone. This traverses the wall above great water starting at the seaward arete. Climb along the obvious low line with feet at or just above HWM to a good jug below the roof. Sketch rightwards (crux) to a finish up the steep crack. FA Tom Rainbow, John McShea 17/07/10)

Fun Fr.6b S0
Climb along Frolics to the centre of the overhang (avoiding the chance to climb up early - slightly contrived). Climb through the overhang at its widest point on undercuts to a good finish. Would be exciting at low tide! FA Tom Rainbow, John McShea 17/07/10

The Watchtower sea level traverse now goes free at XS 6a (FFA Martin Crocker 31.3.97 (solo). A short length of rope was used to protect the crux - fortunate seeing as Martin took a bit of a slip! The rope can then be retrieved by a novel de-lassoeing manoeuvre (patented by Martin).

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