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Just wanted to thank you and all the fab people - café, front desk, instructors, all - at the Castle for a super day. We were so well looked after and everyone enjoyed it immensely. I'd have no hesitation at all in recommending it to others.  (Charlotte)

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Introduction to climbing

There are three types of climbing that you can do at The Castle: Bouldering, Top Roping and Lead Climbing.

Rules of the Game

Climbs are created by bolting resin holds and wooden or fibreglass volumes to the wall.  You can climb the walls using all the holds (rainbow), but once you’ve mastered that you’ll want to challenge yourself by climbing a designated route or bloc using only a certain colour hold for your hands and feet. You are generally allowed to use the natural features of the wall (edges, corners, cracks) unless otherwise stated on the route board at the bottom of the route.

All of our routes and blocs are graded so you can keep track of your progress and push yourself. We change our routes and blocs on a regular basis to ensure that you don’t get bored climbing the same thing. With over 450 routes and 8 different bouldering areas you won’t run out of things to try even if you climb here several times a week.


You don’t need much equipment to climb indoors. You can start bouldering with just a pair of rock climbing shoes.  If you want to top-rope you'll also need a harness, belay device and a locking carabiner.  Most climbers also have a chalk bag to keep their hands from slipping on the holds. You can hire all of this equipment from The Castle Shop. Helmets are also available to hire from the shop.

When you start lead climbing you’ll need to supply your own rope. The Castle Shop often has special deals on wall ropes. These are ropes that are shorter than usual (30m instead of 70m) reflecting the shorter height of most climbing walls.

climbing rope


If you climb outdoors you’ll need more equipment: slings, carabiners, quickdraws, nuts and cams. You’ll also need a longer rope than indoors. 70m is the recommended minimum length for sport climbing in Europe.

climbing shoes

Climbing shoes will be the most important thing that you purchase, so we recommend that you try on several different pairs to get the best fit. Climbing shoes are designed for climbing, not walking so they’re not as comfortable as approach shoes. They need to fit tightly around your toes to give you the support you need to stand on small foot holds. How long will your shoes last? It depends on how good your footwork is and how often you climb.

Bit baffled by all these new terms? Read our climbing glossary

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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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