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The British Mountaineering Council is the national representative and governing body for climbers, hillwalkers and mountaineers.  The BMC works hard to ensure that our access rights are protected and that our climbing environment is protected.  They also organise national competitions, seminars and climbing meets in addition to compiling guidebooks for a number of areas. The BMC relies heavily on a network of volunteers. You can get involved by joining the BMC and attending a local area group meeting. The BMC’s website has a wealth of information about climbing, hillwalking and mountaineering.

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Climbing Outdoors


Getting Started

There are several types of outdoor climbing:

  • Bouldering  - Like indoor bouldering, you climb without ropes on shorter crags or boulders. Climbers bring their own bouldering mats to protect their landings. Boulders (also called blocs) are graded using either V-grades or Font grades (link).
  • Trad climbing – ‘Traditional’ climbing where the lead climber places their own protection in the rock. The second follows up removing the gear thus leaving no trace of the climbers’ passage. Traditional climbing uses the English grading system. (link)
  • Sport climbing – In this style of climbing, protection points (bolts with hangers) have been glued into the rock. Sport climbing uses the French grading system (link).

Read more about choosing an outdoor course provider  and our Castle Associates who provide outdoor climbing experiences: Climb Catalunya and Mountain Magic.

Castle courses

During the spring and summer The Castle runs one day and weekend bouldering and top-rope days out in The Peak District National Park (South Yorkshire) and on Southern Sandstone (Kent). We run these courses with a small student to instructor ratio so that you get the most out of your trip.  Check our course page for more information or sign up for updates to find out when the next course is running.

Climbing Clubs

Traditionally in the UK many climbers join clubs to learn to climb, share use of huts and meet climbing partners. There are many local, national and university clubs, many of which welcome novice climbers. The Castle has a designated notice board by the Featured Wall for clubs to advertise.



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Climbing Clubs

Clubs that regularly use The Castle include:

Prominent national clubs include The Climbers Club and The Alpine Club.

The London Rock Climbers Meetup Group also have regular sessions at The Castle.



What's On

Big Wall Courses

with Andy Kirkpatrick
Wednesday 14th & Thursday 15th May

If you’re planning a big wall adventure or interested in the techniques and systems involved in aiding and big wall climbing, this may be the course for you.

FREE Garden Events

Thursday 17th April
11am to 4pm - Family Easter Crafts Day
Join us for this free family craft day to explore our garden and turn your hands to some Easter creativity!
6pm to 8pm - An Evening of Foraging
From nettle beer to water mint ice cream, come and find out what is at your finger tips when it comes to eating in the outdoors with John Rensten.


We're Filming!

Thurs 17th and Fri 18th April

The filming will take place in and around the centre's climbing areas, cafe, outdoor boulders and the garden. The primary use of the film and images will be for promotional use on the Castle Climbing website, associated social media and advertising campaigns.

If filming is going on in the vicinity of where you are and you do NOT consent to the use of your image being used for marketing purposes, please let the filmmakers know and they will not film you.

The Castle offers a commitment to only allow said pictures and film to be used appropriately and sensitively.




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