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"I can now scale a 60ft wall with a degree of confidence, which is great "

Tom Le Bas from completed an Intro Course here at The Castle.

Read his blog on how he got on:
Part One: Fear & Loathing
Part Two: Getting the hang of it

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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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