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U18 assessments

Young climbers aged 14 to 17 may climb unsupervised at The Castle if they pass an assessment. Parents and young climbers must read the Information Sheet (available for download) and complete the registration form and parental consent. Young climbers may not supervise other climbers.

All climbers must be able to boulder safely and top-rope climb and belay.

  • 14-15 year olds: Climbers must be able to boulder safely and  top-rope and lead climb and belay.
  • 16-17 year olds: Climbers must be able to boulder safely and top-rope climb and belay. Climbers may pass an optional lead climbing assessment if they want to lead climb.

Young climbers must re-register as adult climbers (either Roped Climbing or Bouldering Only Registration) when they turn 18.

The Assessment

Assessments are conducted by Castle Duty Managers who will judge whether the candidate has the necessary maturity, experience and skills to climb unsupervised.  The assessments usually take 30 to 45 minutes and must be booked in advance by phoning Reception on 020 8211 7000. There is a £5 fee for the assessment payable whether the climber passes or is deferred.

We are able to conduct assessments at the following times:

  • Mon:  2.30 – 5.00
  • Tue:  1.30 – 5.00
  • Wed:  1.30 – 5.00
  • Thu:  1.30 – 5.00
  • Fri:  2.30 – 6.00

Please note that your child must bring someone to climb for them during the assessment so that they can demonstrate belaying skills.

Parental attendance and consent

  • 14-15 year olds: Parent/guardian must sign parental consent and attend the assessment.
  • 16-17 year olds: Parent/guardian must sign the consent form, but does not need to be present at the assessment.

Training Aid Restrictions

14 and 15 year olds may not use The Castle Gym. 16 and 17 year olds may use The Castle following an induction. Contact Reception to book the free gym induction.

The BMC recommends that young climbers do not use the campus board.

Further Information

The BMC has an excellent guide on Climbing, Hill Walking and Mountaineering for Young People that can be downloaded from their website.

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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

Monday 5th April
12pm to 6pm - Castle Garden Fete
Explore the Castle’s open garden and meet local projects and practitioners who will be hosting activities for everyone. Plus cob fired pizza and drinks on sale from the Castle's roundhouse from mid-afternoon.


Garden Volunteers

Did you know that much of the garden has been built by volunteers? Want to get involved?

• Garden warm ups. Get a good warm up before you climb by ferrying wheelbarrows of material. We’ll give you tea and cake in exchange!
• Weekend workdays. Learn new skills and meet new people. We’ll provide the training, equipment and lunch.
• Garden volunteer programme. Mondays - Herbs. Thursdays - Fruit and Veg.

For more information, please take a look at our Garden page

Get in touch or pop in the centre if you are interested.




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