"I started climbing at the Castle some years ago, at the suggestion of one of my trainers. Since starting, I have always had the same instructor, Sophie Charles. It is good for maintaining my general fitness and allows me to “train” parts of my body and brain, in a safe environment.
I have been in a wheelchair full time since I was involved in a car crash in 1992. I can safely visit the climbing centre, in the knowledge that they will have all the facilities I may need, from expert and experienced instruction, to a disabled toilet.
I have found over the years that I am a very complicated case and having an instructor who is familiar with the idiosyncrasies of my disability can save time and allowed me to build my confidence quickly. This is very important when you are learning something as complicated as rock climbing which involves coordinating arms, legs and balance.
It is a good way of combining therapy with enjoyment and I would highly recommend it."
Fran Brown is a London climber and 2012 World Champion. Keep up with Fran (if you can!) on her blog or on Twitter.
Anoushé is a Castle regular, currently competing on the para-climbing circuit! Follow her journey on Facebook and on Anoushé's blog.
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We have specialist instructors who have experience with rehabilitation and working with all kinds of physical and mental disability. We treat each case on an individual basis and will customise the training programme so that you see the most benefits while still having fun!
How can climbing help?
Climbing deals with hand to eye co-ordination, transference of weight, muscle strength, balance and problem solving with the added excitement of height.
For people who have suffered a brain injury, long-term physical activity can encourage neuroplasticity and recovery even beyond the normally accepted six-month post-injury plateau.
For children with learning disabilities, climbing is a creative way to encourage concentration and confidence.
If you'd like to give climbing a go you could try one of our Inclusive Family Tasters. These are ‘Have a Go' sessions for over 16's with physical or non-physical special needs. With a maximum ratio of 1:4 our friendly, knowledgeable instructor will guide you through your climbing and bouldering experience. Ideal as a trial before committing to more sessions.
Fun and Therapy
If you'd like to take your climbing further we run one to one 'Fun and Therapy' sessions. Working together with an experienced instructor, you will set goals to ensure that these sessions are individually customised and that you'll see the most benefits while still having fun!
These ‘Fun and Therapy’ 1:1 sessions are bought in a block. If you'd like to find our more or buy a block of sessions, please contact our bookings team via email or phone on 020 8211 1082.
The Castle welcomes climbers of all abilities. The ground floor (boiler house) is completely wheelchair accessible and offers all types of climbing: traversing, bouldering and top-roping. There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor and two step access for The Castle Shop. We are happy to assist with access to our non-step free facilities. For example, you can order your snacks, food or drinks from The Café at Reception and we’ll bring this to you.
The Castle hosts a round of the BMC Paraclimbing Competition Series each year. To find out more visit The BMC.
This year we're hosting Round 2 on 17 October 2017. More information for this round can be found here.
Getting to The Castle
Our nearest tube station, Manor House (Piccadilly Line) is not wheelchair accessible. The following buses stop within 100 m of The Castle: 141, 341 and 106. For a complete list of transport options see How to Find Us.
"Climbing has made my muscles stronger. Now I’m able to do challenging and adventurous activities.
Before I was not able to do much exercise because my muscles were weak, Sophie’s instruction has helped me develop my climbing skills. This has also helped me in activities away from climbing. I have discovered that disabled people can get involved in the community and take part."
Simon Degan (22)
Below are 2 films Simon has produced himself showing one of his climbing sessions at The Castle.