Castle Climbing Centre

Brownswood Park
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(3 user reviews)
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This climbing centre is splendidly housed in an old Victorian pumping station. Classes for nine- to 14-year-olds are held on Monday and Tuesday, and during the holidays; over-14s may climb unsupervised, with parental permission, once they have passed an assessment. For private tuition, the Gecko Club ( is based here (£40/hr plus £12.50 admission). Call for details of the party service.
Venue name: Castle Climbing Centre
Address: Green Lanes
N4 2HA
Transport: Tube: Manor House; Bus: bus 141, 341
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Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
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I think this is one of the best climbing centres in the whole of London and even better it’s held within an impressive castle. First of all the centre is massive and well set out with plenty of lead climbing walls and bouldering walls. There is a vast variety and great accessibility so it offers plenty of scope whether you are a new beginner to an advanced climber. There are secure lockers to keep you stuff and a shop where you can buy or rent climbing gear. The good thing is that this is a very sociable climbing centre and they will always try their best to pair you up with a climbing buddy if you are in need of one.

Ros A

There's a pretty strong North/South London divide when it comes to climbing. I've heard many a conversation about why The Castle is superior to all others in every single way so I went along to check it out myself a week or so ago, and to see if the hype lived up to expectation. 

It's housed in an old pumping station that looks like a mad old castle, just sitting there in zone 2, a short walk from the tube. It's got a lot going for it - digital check in, a proper shop where you can buy chalk and any other equipment you might need, as well as rentals for shoes etc if you're bringing someone in who's a novice or new to the sport. There's also a cafe and generally good facilities. Oh, and you can bring well behaved dogs in. Always a plus. 

The Castle has floors and floors of bouldering and rope climbing although the emphasis to me seems to be on rope climbing for the most part. It's graded more harshly than other centres I've been to. This hurt my ego more than anything else because I had to drop a few grades. 

For me though, the thing that makes The Castle stand out is what's outside. That's right guys, you can boulder outdoors in the fresh air, watch the sun set and chill out. That's pretty unique for London and it's super fun. Also good practice if you plan to start doing some outdoor climbing. 

I'd definitely return although as a creature of habit and a lazy "this place is closer to where I live" I still love my South London spots for my weekly climbs. 

Tom Bruce

"Why do they call it the Castle?", my Northern friend asked me several times on the way there. I didn't reply.

"Ah, I see why they call it the Castle", my Northern friend said when he saw the Castle. "It is an actual Castle".

And indeed he's right. There's not any other way to tell people about the Castle. It can't be explained; it must be experienced. People have to go there, see that it is in genuine reality a gigantic Gothic structure modeled on a 17th century stronghold (with parapets, and a flipping flag) which has been converted into a modern rock climbing facility, and then get exploring its bowels for a few hours. 

The Castle is probably my favourite place to be in all of London. It has this superb atmosphere to it, it is so quirky  and so vast. You could lose yourself for an entire weekend. Forget days out to the zoo (aka the animal Gulag) or the races (aka Betting Money on Who Whips Horses the Best) or the beach (aka...the...the...bloody...recreational sand zone? Nah, it's just the beach really), going to the Castle with a couple of mates is where it's at. Come rain you can wallow in the depths, clambering endlessly expanding rooms of boulder walls - a new nook or cranny is discovered on every visit - and enjoy soya mochas and vegan baps and flapjacks at the top notch cafe. Come shine, you get to scramble all over the outdoor bouldering walls or take part in one of the many yoga, meditation, or gardening projects they have going on. Want to take a nap in a hammock? Here, you can!

Those new to the place might even mistake it for a commune, what with all the self-sustaining vegetable produce and the dreadlocked dudes and dudettes and the dogs running amok. That's right, on weekdays you can bring your dogs in too. But really the Castle is just a mega-fun, friendly place to exercise and hang out with your buddies on a wide variety of roped walls and boulder problems. £12 entry for non-students and a couple of quid for gear rental should you require it.

Storm the Castle as soon as you possibly can. You'll never go to a normal gym again.