You CANNOT go out and buy all of the kit and go and attempt to rock climb if you have not been trained!
Rock climbing: its hard work, very hard work. However, get it right and you've found yourself the most exhilarating and rewarding way of ascending a mountain.
A Word of Warning
Climbing is dangerous if you do not wear the correct, strong gear. Do not go for the cheapest option. It can also wear you out before you have reached your goal (if you are not experienced). However, it can be rewarding and a lot of fun. DO NOT climb in icy conditions unless you have been trained to do so!
If you wish to climb unsupervised it is essential that you visit your local climbing wall to learn how. If you cannot climb well (for any reason) you must hire a mountain guide to supervise you.
Remember to warm up before climbing.
There are now many indoor climbing walls in the UK so even if you live miles away from the mountains you can still enjoy the thrill of rock climbing. Another good thing about climbing inside is that it is a great place to learn the skills that you will be able to transfer to actual rock. Most places with a climbing wall will rent out equipment so why not give it a go?
If you are confident enough to climb you will need
If you are low level climbing at a reasonably safe area and you are experienced you can climb without ropes but only for a few meters or you risk injuring yourself. This is called bouldering and was originally done as a warm up for proper rock climbs. Today many people just boulder rather than climb as it does not require expensive equipment that is usually hired from indoor climbing walls.