Can anyone climb?

Body shape, fitness level, strength... Here, we address common climbing concerns.

You might be worried that you need to be a certain shape, height or fitness level to climb. But climbing can be enjoyed by everybody and, at The Castle, everybody is welcome!

Castle staff believe climbing is amazing and we want as many people as possible to get to share in the thing we love so much!

We’ve answered a few common concerns in this article, which we hope will put your mind at ease. We look forward to welcoming you to the Castle soon.


A common question we get is “how fit do I have to be?”
The answer is simple: if you can walk up a flight of stairs, you can probably have a go at climbing. Our climbing routes are graded so you can start easy and gradually progress to more challenging climbs.

There’s no time limit once you’re in the centre (except for closing time!) so you can take plenty of breaks between climbs, visit our café for a drink and a snack, wander our organic garden, and take your time. Climbing is meant to be fun – so take your time and recover between climbs.

Size inclusivity

Climbing is all about having fun, and size has nothing to do with it. We have fully adjustable hire harnesses that can fit most adult body types, in sizes XS up to XXL for sit harnesses plus adult full body harnesses which are great if you don’t suit a sit harness. We have junior sit harnesses and junior full body harnesses for kids of all sizes and full body harnesses for pregnancy. Our Shop team can advise on what size and fit of hire harness is right for you.


Climbing can be enjoyed at almost any age. Some of our regulars are well into their 70s. For legal reasons, we have strict supervision policies that apply to under 18s. So, if you are an adult thinking about bringing your children, please check out the options we have available. We offer climbing courses for children from as young as 7, and taster sessions for the whole family to take part in. Check out all our family climbing options.

Misconception: You have to be tall

Some of the best climbers in the world come in shorter than you think. Lynn Hill, one of the most famous climbers in the world and the first person to free the Nose on El Capitan, is 5’2”. Sometimes short climbers need a different ‘beta’ – meaning your method of reaching the top – to tall climbers but that doesn’t need to stop you, just get your problem solving hat on! We also offer a Short Reach Circuit on our bouldering walls which focuses on a different centre of gravity and is very popular. Keep an eye out for the tags when you visit us.

Mental Health

Mental health is a complex and individual thing, and we aren’t going to pretend we’re psychologists and “prescribe” climbing as a cure all. But we can confidently say that many people find climbing is beneficial for depression or anxiety, can help people struggling to connect to their body and rebuild their relationship with themselves, and the social element of climbing brings friendship and confidence in addition to physical exercise.


There is a thriving community of paraclimbers at the Castle. We hosted a world class Paraclimbing comp, in collaboration with Blokfest, in 2019. This was a unique and special event that drew climbers from across the country to compete and celebrate the joy of climbing together. If you want to check out the vibes, we recommend looking at Paraclimbing Collective and Paraclimbing London who meet here regularly. We have one designated disabled parking space – please be aware all parking is extremely limited – and the ground floor is wheelchair friendly. As for the other floors, we’re working on it.

Climbers with additional needs

If you or someone you know has additional needs, the Castle might be able to help. We offer inclusive sessions which are run 1-2-1 with qualified instructors. Climbing helps develop problem solving skills, spatial awareness, physical strength and fine motor skills as well as building confidence. Our instructors have experience with (but not limited to) autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, MS, brain injuries and stroke survivors. These sessions need to be booked via our bookings team as we tailor sessions entirely to the individual. 

Community climbing groups

Community is everything to us. So, we encourage community social groups to meet at climb at the centre. Here are just a handful of the regular groups that visit us:

ClimbMuz (a climbing group for Muslim women based in London)
Wanderers of Colour (committed to social justice through improving access to travel & the outdoors)
Not So Trad (LGBTQ+ climbing group)
T-Climb (LGBTQ+ climbing group)
Queer Climbers London (LGBTQ+ climbing group)

Did we miss anything?

If you have any questions not answered in this article, drop our friendly reception team an email and they can help.

Got questions? Great!

Drop us a message and we’ll 
get back to you.

Or call us on 020 8211 7000.