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And we are so psyched to welcome home all our climbers! We have missed you so much.
In order to make sure you have an amazing climb, please read on to find out about the changes we’ve made to the centre and how things have been altered to ensure our climbers and our staff are kept safe. We’ve been working with the Association of British Climbing Walls, the BMC and Sport England to ensure we’re using the most effective measures.
Although this will feel a little strange at first, it will enable us to keep everyone safe and happy whilst we climb - in fact, limiting visitor numbers will actually mean we have significantly fewer people in the centre at a time.
Ultimately, it's still us, just with a few extra precautions to look after everyone, both you and our staff, as best we can.
We will not be taking payments on the door. You will need to book your slot online, in advance. This way we can manage maximum capacity and keep social distancing whilst we climb.
All slots must be booked individually, though you will be able to book for more than one person at a time.
From Monday 27th July onwards we will be open from 8am-10pm on weekdays, and 9am-10pm on weekends. Last entry 8pm.
Don't forget to book in advance - we won't be taking payments at Reception.
We’re using a new online booking portal to manage bookings. It’s the same as we used for the outdoor boulders.
Slots will be released on a weekly basis. All booking slots are currently for 2 hours. You will be given a coloured wrist band to indicate your slot and our duty managers will be keeping an eye on these. Please head on out once your time is up to help us manage numbers in the centre. We know our community is full of awesome climbers, so thank you in advance for helping us do this.
We will be rotating our roped climbing so that every other line is in use on both our top rope and lead walls. This means social distancing will be easier – more room between belayers and always enough space on the wall between climbers. We'll be asking you to use your discretion when choosing a line, always keeping at least one line between you and the next nearest climbers.
For bouldering, we will be careful in our setting and be asking all climbers to respect social distancing on the wall, checking even more carefully than you would do normally that your route doesn’t cross over another climber. Of course, this is something a considerate Castle climber would already do, so it’s just paying a little extra attention than normal.
As a multi-discipline centre with a complex layout, your selection of the type of climbing you'll be doing during your session helps us manage numbers in each area to account for social distancing and ensure the safety of all of our climbers and staff. It also means you won't arrive excited to climb and find the area too full! On our booking portal you will be able to choose from the full range we offer here at the Castle: bouldering, top rope, lead and autobelay.
We are strongly encouraging the use of liquid chalk. Liquid chalk will not be compulsory but will be strongly encouraged. As well as the high alcohol content, the main advantage of liquid chalk it helps keep the air clear and safer for our customers and staff.
Will be starting in August, with a full range of family and kids tasters for the summer plus our longstanding favourites ready for anyone keen to develop your skills.
We've been carefully considering how we can run our courses with new safety measures in place, and the good news is that we think we've cracked it. Our robust new plan for socially distanced learning means most courses will take place in exclusive areas just for you. Plus, we're lowering the number of participants on each course, significantly improving the client to instructor ratio so you'll even get a more personalised course.
Check out our Courses page for more info and to book in.
If you're worried your climbing skills went a little rusty in lockdown and you want to get a refresher, one of our friendly Castle instructors would be happy to help.
Just email our team on Bookings@castle-climbing.co.uk
There are fun changes to the Castle too!! We’ve made use of the wall being closed to make some exciting improvements around the centre, which we’d planned to do anyway, but now are ready even sooner with no disruption to your climbing session. Pretty cool, huh?
Booking online means you’ll have contact free entry and exit at Reception, showing your Castle card and booking confirmation on your phone. We have installed screens and distancing markers to aid social distancing – please respect these for both your fellow climbers and our staff team.
Card payments only - and that includes cashback, so make sure you bring your own pound for your locker, or be prepared to buy a Castle token for £1 using a payment card.
We haven’t asked anyone to wear masks at the outdoor boulders, however for inside the centre we’re upping the protection level.
You will be required to wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth whilst you are inside the centre and not actually climbing – so when you’re in the Reception area, walking between climbing areas, or using the bathroom.
You do not have to wear a mask when you are either climbing or belaying.
We strongly recommend that you use sustainable, reusable cloth masks. These can be washed with your normal laundry and prevent easily avoidable landfill waste from the fast fashion industry. We will have reusable cotton masks available to buy at the centre if you need one.
We will be asking all our climbers to sanitise your hands between climbs. To make this easier for you, we’ve installed hand basins and gel sanitiser stations conveniently around the centre for you to use, or you may choose to bring your own sanitiser gel if you wish. We’ll also be strictly enforcing a no climbing shoes in the loos policy – if you’re caught, we will be asking you to wash those soles before you pull on!
In order to reduce contact between people and make social distancing easier, we’re introducing a one-way system when you’re navigating the Castle’s many climbing areas. There will be clear signage and directional arrows on the floors, including in the changing rooms, and a traffic light system in place for the stairs to prevent congestion.
There will be live CCTV footage on the screens by the stairs so you can see how busy an area is before you get there.
Shoe and harness hire will be available when we reopen!
We will have a new and improved cleaning regime in place for people trying on shoes, including hand sanitation points. All returned items will be checked as usual, but from now on all returned hire equipment will also be cleaned using medical grade UV screening for all returned equipment.
Changing rooms will still be in operation, but with screens up to help with social distancing, and the showers will not be in use. We strongly urge you to come dressed ready to climb to alleviate pressure on these areas.
The Shop and Café have moved! For now, neither are fully up and running during August as we kit out a new building for these. However, in the meantime we have our new online shop and we’ll have a Café Kiosk, a mini version selling coffee, cold drinks and snacks to tide you over, but as always, we recommend you bring a reusable water bottle.
For now, the gym will be closed to the public.
At this time we will be unable to resume our memberships offering as before. Trying to balance the benefits we want to offer for our members, and what we can safely provide, has proved impossible. At the moment, we can’t offer unlimited access to the centre whilst restricting numbers safely. It is for this reason we have come to the conclusion that we won’t be able to reinstate our memberships right away. In the short term, the Castle will be exclusively operating on a pre-paid single visit basis.
Visit our Memberships page for more