Rock Climbing has been one of the world's fastest growing sports for more than a couple of decades. Not least of all because it is a fun adventurous activity that keeps you fit and healthy (both physically and mentally), and also allows you to spend a lot of time in some of the most beautiful places on the planet. When on the rock you will experience the world from a whole new perspective.
Maybe surprisingly to some, the UK comes in at the very top. It is one of the most geologically diverse countries on the planet containing almost every rock type, often within less than an hour from each other. From Pembrokeshire to the Wye Valley, North Wales to the Peak District and Cornwall to the South-East. As a consequence, the climbing is extremely varied and offers something for everyone: trad, sport, ice climbing and mountaineering.
Our top picks: Pembrokeshire, the Peak District, Cornwall, North Wales, the Lake District, Cairngorms
When to go: All year round - depending on your chosen discipline
Guided climbing: To find suitably qualified instructors and guides, the Association of Mountaineering Instructors is a good place to go.
Spain is probably the main sport climbing destination in Europe, if not the world. There is more rock than you can shake a stick-clip at. From seemingly featureless slabs and pocketed vertical walls to steeply overhanging rock faces. Spain is home to some of the most beautiful rock architecture to be found anywhere on the planet.
Our top picks: Costa Blanca, El Chorro, Mallorca, Rodellar, Riglos, Chulilla, Margalef, Albarracín
When to go: All year round
Guided climbing: Rock & Sun offer Sport Climbing Holidays, Bouldering trips, Multi-pitching, Performance Coaching and Learn to Lead Courses in the Costa Blanca, El Chorro, Mallorca and Albarracín.
Everyone who has ever been on a climbing trip to Kalymnos wants to go back. This small island near Kos is one of the world's newest climbing destinations. Its top-quality well-bolted routes, combined with the island's holiday feel, beautiful beaches, great food, cheap accommodation and friendly people, are some of the reasons why Kalymnos has quickly turned into a climbing mecca.
Our top picks: Everywhere
When to go: Spring or Autumn. (summer can be a bit hot)
Guided climbing: Rock & Sun organises Sport Climbing Holidays in Kalymnos in spring and autumn. Outside of these times why not try Kalymnos Climbing guide Simon Montmory.
Thailand brings together all that is great about climbing: exotic locations, tropical climate, beautiful beaches, a friendly welcoming culture, an international climbing community and world-class routes. Many of the climbs start right off the sand allowing you to enjoy a beach style holiday while participating in your favourite adventure sport. A climbing trip to Thailand is guaranteed to be a truly unforgettable experience.
Our top picks: Lao Liang, Koh Yao Noi, Chong Phli, Ton Sai
When to go: November to March
Guided climbing: For a 12 night package guided climbing holiday with highly qualified and experienced English climbing instructors, have a look at Rock and Sun. On Ton Sai and Railay, Basecamp and Hot Rock offer 1 or 2 day courses with Thai climbing instructors.