Good review - one point though - building was never an actual castle. It was originally a Victorian water pumping station for the reservoir next door built to look like a castle. Those crazy Victorians and their OTT architecture…
Castle Climbing Centre
Stoke Newington, London
Green Lanes, London N4 2HA
- Turnpike Lane Station (0.3 km)
- Canonbury Railway Station (0.7 km)
- Dalston Kingsland Railway Station (1.1 km)
- Contact us:
020 8211 7000
- Opening hours:
Open Weekdays 2pm-10pm
Bank Holidays 10am-10pm
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11 reviews of Castle Climbing Centre in English
As someone who wrote a glowing review of Mile End Climbing wall, you may wonder what on earth I’m doing here? Well, I’m not a spy; after some thought I’ve decided to make the migration. I’m after a more active social scene and some new faces. For me, 2009 is about doing new stuff so in terms of climbing that means a) stopping bouldering as those traverses are wreacking havoc on my fingers and b) trying a new place. I’m far too lazy to bother schlepping it all the way over to the Westway and back after a hard day’s work, so The Castle it is!
I was always so resistant, as a staunch Mile End supporter, of people’s protestations that the Castle was a great and wonderous experience… now I see what all the fuss was about. For a start, the place is HUGE… in a 'oh no, I think i’ve lost my friends’ kind of way. They do some really well thought-out classes, such as climbing with grace and learning strong moves as well as the usual leading, bouldering and taster staples that you’d find at your usual wall. They have DJ nights on Thursdays, a well stocked climbing shop with hire facilities, a cafe with a dissapointing lack of healthy stuff on offer (what are you trying to do, people? Fatten me up?) But they don’t charge for lockers, which is ace. The variety of climbing styles here is exemplary. Caves? Check. Lead climbs? Check. Toproping? Check? They also had the kind of punishing overhangs that I used to be addicted to pre-carpal tunnel… They’re open very late too (till 10 on some nights, so why go out to the club at all?) Oh and best of all they even have 'Women with Altitude’ sessions on Mondays - a women only meet where you can find new climbing partners or if you are so inclined to (ahem) 'meet new people’.
Am I getting my membership here next week? Heck yeah!
I went along for the afternoon introductory course last Thursday and although (for a absolute beginner, i.e non-climber!) climbing the walls was pretty hard work on the arms (and I definitely felt it the next day!) and getting to grips with the climbing techniques, harness and rope knot tips was at times challenging, it was good fun and I'm glad I did it!
Jack our tutor was friendly and explained the basics well. You felt well informed and supported before you went anywhere near the wall!
The introductory course I registered for was for half a day starting at 2.15-7.15pm. Six students to one tutor. The course cost £50.00 (per person). It a great course for those keen to start climbing independently as soon as possible, those short of time, as well as for people wishing to refresh old skills. I was the only complete beginner on my course and at first felt a bit daunted, but with some coaching and guidance I felt I held my own!
There are a variety of other courses for different levels and at different (peak times) available:
Our course programme included climbing warm ups, how to put on a harness, tie knots & belay for a partner. By the end of the course I felt competent to climb with a partner without instruction - quite an achievement for an absolute novice. Now I've just got to get the confidence to go back! The good thing is there are plenty of classes you join so you can climb with a partner (if, like me, you don't have too many friends up for the challenge!). Women with altitude is the first one I'm going to try - wish me luck!
Certainly one of London’s best climbing walls. Offering a good selection of routes over 3 floors. There are a large amount of top ropes in place to suit the beginner as well as a good selection of leading walls and a range of bouldering to suit all types.
The first floor is dominated by a range of top roping and leading walls alongside a slabby to vertical bouldering wall and some more advanced training facilities, campus boards etc.
The middle floor offers a range of bouldering including some nice steep traverse around two large blocs, well set up especially for the beginner. It also boasts some traversing and the best bouldering area in a slightly dropped level. There are a good range of graded routes here from the 4s to 6s to suit all.
The top floor offers the tallest leading walls, a concrete featured bouldering wall and coffee shop.
Grades throughout are quite tough compared to most opther climbing walls, expressed in French and english tech grades for routes and V and English tech grades for Bouldering.
Whilst fairly expensive for a one off visit, around £15 including joining fee, there are longer term unlimited usage tickets available which offer verry good value if you can visit more frequently. e.g. £115 for a quarter which means you can climb for 7 or 8 quid if you are prepared to visit a couple of times a week.
Easy access from Manor House tube stop on the Piccadilly line. The only downside is probably the inevitable popularity although you never have to wait long as there are plenty of routes to do.
Now this is a marvellous place to visit especially if you are into climbing but don’t have any real mountains nearby. Just because you happen to live in a built up city doesn’t mean to say you cannot climb a mountain,as you can always go for an indoor climbing wall which is a lot better because you don’t have to worry about the cold,icy conditions.This one in Green Lanes that I like to frequent used to be apumping station and some-one has put it to good use.
It has two big floors with first class equipment with varying degree of bouldering walls,a huge range of courses for all levels run by some very friendly women.
Recently the climbing opened up a new cave room with a scaleable ceiling. It is a membership club and the prices are a bit steep,but don’t let that put you off-if its something you really want to do.
This indoor climbing centre is easily the largest rock climbing venue in London.
Some plus points:
- very well equiped
- includes an on-site specialist shop where you can purchase and hire gear from
- has courses of very different climbing grades which get changed weekly so you never get used to a certain climb
- based in a converted castle (hence the name) you can even abseil down on of the castle’s towers (around 80m in height)
- very friendly atmosphere where novices and experts mix easily, and advice is given freely
The only bad thing is that the changing rooms are a bit run down, but at the end of the day it’s the climbing that important.
Comment 1 comment on this review
verbanonfacta, 9 October 2008:
I’ve been to a few climbing gyms, mostly in Australia and in London, but this one is the best one by far.
It’s atmospheric, being in a building that looks like a castle is pretty cool.
It’s big, which means that even when it’s crowded you can always climb, and when its not, you have heaps of variety.
It has a great mix of begginer, top-rope, lead climbing, and my personal favourite, lots of bouldering.
It also has a nice little cafe, some funky music playing and reasonable membership deals.
The crowd is a nice mix of begginers, rambling club types, regular hacks and gym monsters.
This place is incredible and a good substitute for going to the pub. It is a disused waterworks that looks like a castle, by the resevoir and boating clubs. Inside the walls are studded with climbing routes, from beginners’ bouldering to expert scaling heights. There are introductory courses and different advanced courses in techniques. You need to show that you have the basic knowledge and safety skills before you can become a member; otherwise you need a member to accompany you. There is always great music playing and a comfy sofa to lounge upon if you need a rest. The cafe has wonderful toasties and cakes and teas and you can sit in awe watching the more experienced climbers hanging from the ceiling. Outside is a hammock, where those less energetically inclined relax and smoke.
This place is awe inspiring inside and out. When I first looked at it I thought it was a museum inside or something, but the place is amazing. It seems to cater for all types of rock climbers not just all levels. They have all the help and equipment you would need if you were starting out. They have a great cafe, where after a hard afternoon on the walls you can sit back and watch others go up and down. They don't just let you hit the walls, if you are new you have to do an induction and if you know your stuff you have to show a member of staff that you do. I think this is great as it keeps the place safe and therefore fun.
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