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Sustainability bite

Water water everywhere…
and it’s all free to drink! You can fill up your water bottles for free here- we’re a filling station.
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Route Areas

Visit Explore the Floors for a map and pictures of our different route areas.

The Slabs (walls 0-10)

These were the original Castle walls, built by our CEO/Founder Steve Taylor. They might not be anything fancy, but they still get a crowd. Walls 0-2 are the tallest top rope lines in the centre. The door next to wall 3 is the access to our Abseil Tower. We used to have a window looking into the Tower from which we could run short abseils down the wall.

The Quarry

Built in 2005 by Crispin Waddy (Living Stone), we called it the Quarry because the clean, gray walls reminded us of the slate quarries in North Wales. Building this area was not as easy as it looks because we had to stack the three enormous diesel tanks that are protected by English Heritage. There are five tanks in total in the boiler house. Two of them are in the ‘tanks area’ which is visible through a window in the bike park stairs. The other three are behind the Quarry.

The Rockley Wall

Built in 1997, the Rockley wall is modelled on the sandstone walls of Kent- our nearest climbing area. Although we mostly use this area for easier routes, a great challenge is to try to climb as many of the featured only routes as possible. The two arêtes on either side are particular favourites!

The Stack

The left side of the stack (Zawn wall) was built in 2001. The right side (the Fang wall) was built in 2003). Later we added three cracks: the Lemon (based on the Peapod at Curbar edge in the Peak District), crack inserts on wall xx and a hand crack on wall xx. Though the routes are shorter than our walls upstairs, they’re usually fiendishly tricky and pack in a punch! The slab on lines 59 and 60 are ideal places to take beginners and to teach lead climbing.

The Lead Area (walls 12-28)

The lead area has also seen many changes over the year. It used to be the home of our infamous twin roof cracks that were reported to have been climbed in gardening gloves by Niall Grimes (now of BMC guidebook fame). These were replaced by the pillar in 2008. Walls 12-16 were featured top-rope panels that were redeveloped into a cutting edge lead area in 2013. Future plans include the re-design of the remaining walls (19-28) to keep up the high standards set!

The Wells (1&2)

Opened in 2014, Wells 1 and 2 are two of four vast underground chambers below the current café/lead area level. This area was a collection of 13m deep wells used when The Castle was a water pumping station and decommissioned in the mid-20th century, more than 100 years after they were built.

These new tall walls provide us with more, much needed tall lead lines, with 15 in total in the first 2 rooms. Up to 13m in height, Well 1 (largest room) is a selection of vertical and overhanging lines whilst Well 2 is vertical and slabby. It could be considered a work out in itself just descending into the bowels of the building, but the experience in climbing deep underground is worth the trek and it can often be quiet when the lead area upstairs is busy. You will notice a change in temperature as you descend further with temperatures hovering at an average of 14degrees, making it a great place to climb in the summer.

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