Introduction - Money Head is a small but pleasant climbing areas on the coast SW of Stranraer. The rock is Greywacke, but noticeably more solid than other Greywacke climbing areas. The easiest approach is a scenic 25 minute walk from the farm called Meikle Float.
Access The easiest approach is from the farm at Meikle Float. To get to the farm follow the A77 or A75 towards Stranraer then the A776 southwards to Sandhead. From Sandhead take the B7042 (signposted Portpatrick) for a short way west before turning onto an un-numbered road just after a sharp 90º bend. This unmarked road leads straight to Cairngarroch crossroads. Turn left here and drive a bout 300m to Meikle Float farm. Just before the first buildings make a sharp right onto a (concrete) farm road. The farmer has kindly given permission to drive this road for about 1km to double gates just before a steep descent. Park here being sure not to cause an obstruction (GridRef 054489). Walk down the continuation of the track, then the continuation line of wall towards the sea, then more or less in the same line downwards across the moor to the headland (sometimes with a few short boggy sections). Once on the uttermost grass descend slightly rightwards to drop down a 3m scramble to a platform below the main cliffs. As you descend, Bear Pit is immediately on your right and ECU wall on your left.
The rock is greywacke, a kind of hard sandstone that tends to break in layers and slabs. Routes are mainly about 15m to 25m long. There are a few nesting sea-birds here, but most areas are probably still climbable in the spring.
Linda Biggar chequeing out the right hand finish to Martins Bank, Money Head.
Guidebook For a definitive list of all the climbs here see the SMC published Lowland Outcrops guidebook.
Dangers These are adventurous sea cliffs and the protection is not always reliable. This is one of the most open stretches of coast so most of the crag will be hazardous in big seas and is open to rapid weather changes.
A good introduction to the crag is ECU wall. It is on the left as you descend towards the sea. Just after the short descent scramble a long ridge of rock runs out leftwards into the sea, and there are good views of the cliff from this feature. Most routes can be easily started from the left end of this ridge, but Insider Dealing is better started by scrambling down from the right. Insider Dealing starts quite a long way further right than this photo-diagram shows. It's a really long rising traverse, about 45m in total length! ... best split into two pitches with a belay as shown beneath the huge roof.
Cranesbill flowering in June at Money Head, The Rhins, Galloway.
Bear Pit Area
The Bear Pit Area is on the right as you descend towards the sea. Just after the brief descent scramble go out onto a platform on the right from where there are good views of this cliff. Most routes can be easily started from here. This area is prone to seepage and will need two or three days at least to be dry. I've only looked at a couple of lines on the left. There are a number of VS, HVS and E1 routes further right.
The Cioch Area has the best climbing and most solid rock at Money Head, with 6½ great routes. This area of steep slabs is about 100m north of the Bear Pit. There is a nice grassy area at the top for gearing up and picnicking. Approach this crag from the moor by descending easy slabs immediately south of the routes. There are two good, but tricky, VS's and four good Severe's on the slabs.
The routes are actually about 20m to 25m long. The photograph above is very fore-shortened.
All routes are best started in much the same area at the foot of the lower slabs, which
is just accessible at high tide (but not in big seas!!). Descent is by
easy slabs on the right, graded about "Easy" but not exposed.
Pot of Gold and Martin's Bank both have hard climbing for the grade, and are also quite bold... definitely pushing HVS. Quantitative Oozing, Creditworthy and Loan Shark are all well enough protected.