Castle Climbing Centre

Brownswood Park
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(1 user review)
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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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5 / 5

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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.