Introduction The Clints of Dromore are a group of rocky outcrops near Gatehouse of Fleet that make a good venue for beginners with many pleasant climbs at V. Diff and Severe. The crags are south facing and relatively quick drying. The climbing is on generally very good rock, but there are a few damp patches. Lichen and moss are a problem on one or two routes. The longest routes, such as Spanish Inquisition and Central Buttress are up to 60m long by the time you find a belay..... Unfortunately a bird ban can place restrictions on climbing in some areas during the springtime (mid-February to end of May). The Clints make a good autumn and winter venue, when they catch any sun going, and can be pleasantly warm even in February. However summer evenings can be a bit midgy.
Access The access is nice and short for the Galloway Hills. To get to the Clints drive north up the B796 from Gatehouse of Fleet to the disused Gatehouse of Fleet station (which can also be reached from Creetwon). You'll see the view above of the crag as you approach the end of the road. From here a short public road leads rightwards past the SNH Nature Reserve office to the big old railway viaduct where you can park. From here make a ten to fifteen minute walk along the forest road to the west to a signposted nature walk and gate onto the moor. Cross the moor on a quad-bike trail to reach the crags in a further 10 minutes.
A family day out at the Clints of Dromore. Mother, two daughters and even grandparents watching from below! This is the belay at the top of Left Edge/Left of Centre.... for the avoidance of doubt the rope is not attached to a clump of heather, but a large heather covered boulder!
There is more climbing fairly nearby on the Knee of Cairnsmore and Spout of the Clints, see my Cairnsmore of Fleet page.
Descents Descent routes can involve quite exposed traverses on steep grass and heather. Generally speaking, if in doubt, climb or scramble higher first!.
Dangers Some of the routes here are very poorly protected and in general protection can be a bit fiddly to find. Lots of small to medium cams are recommended. Belays are often a long way back form the top of the routes. Descents can also be quite complex, and it is a very good plan to check them out (at least partly) in advance from below.
Guidebook A selection of the better routes that I know personally are shown in the following diagrams, for full details of all the routes climbed to date here you will need the SMC "Lowland Outcrops" guidebook, 2004 edition.
The first good routes you get to at the east (right hand) end of the crags are detailed here. The 30m White Slab - a mitre shaped slab - sits high up on the hill on the left. The route climbs the slab near the right hand edge - great rock, good runners in general and easy climbing. A variation with fewer runners on the left hand side has also been climbed. The small amount of moss and lichen that are usually present don't affect the routes too badly. Left Slab is also a particularly fine climb, about 35m long in total. Far Right Rib (FRR) is one of the best scrambles in Galloway, there are three (or more) possible ways to start the initial steepening. If pitching, it is about 50m to the first good belay.
Descend well to the left for White Slab, For Left Slab and Far Right Rib descend the steep grassy gully just right of FRR.
Climbing on the White Slab at the Clints of Dromore, Gatehouse of Fleet.
Across the broad grassy gully to the west (left as you look at the crag) is the Black Streaker Slab. It is partly hidden from below by a wee rise. There are four easy but bold routes on the Black Streaker slab itself and two new shorter, steeper and better protected routes on the rib up to the left. From the main slab descend on the right after traversing about 100m first. The direct start to Black Streaker, starting up the slab just left of the black streak is also very nice, about HS. The best belays are at least 15m higher up the hillside from the top of this 30m crag.
A short way further west is the largest area, the Central Slabs. Routes here are up to 50m long and are sometimes best split into two pitches. Descend to the left from the left hand buttress (make a 50m traverse first) or by going well over to the right from Spare Rib (exposed grass and heather!). Belays can be hard to find, so 60m or even 70m ropes are recommended.
A really nice combination is to climb Spare Rib, descend a short way down the gully on the left then climb the clean and much more pleasant upper section of Spanish Inquisition (still VS 4b).
Climbing on the Central Slabs at the Clints of Dromore, Galloway, May 2019.
Black and White Walls
Quite a long way further west is the small crag of the Black and White Walls, giving shorter more sustained routes. There are several harder routes here as well, all described in the SMC guidebook, but I haven't climbed them!