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Choosing an outdoor course provider

There are a number of outdoor course providers – how do you know which ones to choose? First, think about your needs. Most people want either guiding, instruction or coaching.

  • Guiding - a professional takes you out for the day and lead you up a route.
  • Instruction – a professional teaches you safety skills so that you can eventually climb unsupervised. We recommend using someone with a professional qualification (see below).
  • Coaching – a professional will work with you to develop specific aspects of your climbing (eg technique, training, psychology). Coaching is not safety instruction, so the climber should already be able to climb independently.

The Mountain Training Associations ( issue the national qualifications for climbing instruction and guiding. Below is a summary of the qualifications and what they entitle the award holder to do to help you choose someone with the appropriate level.

  • Walking Group Leader (WGL): can lead groups in non-mountainous terrain
  • Mountain Leader (Summer): can lead hillwalking groups in summer conditions
  • Climbing Wall Award (CWA): can supervise climbers on climbing walls. The Climbing Wall Leading Award (CWLA) is a further module that enables holders to teach lead climbing indoors.
  • Single Pitch Award (SPA): can supervise climbers on single pitch crags and climbing walls
  • Mountain Leader (Winter): can lead hillwalking groups in winter conditions
  • Mountain Instructor Award/Certificate (MIA/C): can instruct all aspects of mountaineering and climbing
  • British Mountain Guide (BMG): An international award that allows guides to operate internationally

Selected outdoor course providers advertise on the designated notice board next to the Featured Bouldering Wall upstairs.

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What's On

The Castle is turning 20!!!!

So we've decided to have a Halloween themed UV fancy dress party!
Saturday 24th October - from 3pm
9pm - 1am: A mix of UV lights, funky costumes & amazing Halloween decor this promises to be a huge party with DJ's & licensed bar


Sunday 18th October - from 2pm
Top rock climbers James Pearson & Caroline Ciavaldini will be running masterclasses before presenting a special screening of Redemption: The James Pearson story. More information available on our Events Page



Castle Tour

Take a tour of the Castle Climbing Centre and discover what we're all about!

Castle Climbing Center - A Day in the Life from Tim Ewins on Vimeo.




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