An huge, eco-friendly climbing CASTLE in London, complete with coffee, community garden and dogs. Yes please.
It’s not just a rad place to work on problems – there’s a real feeling of community centred around the Castle that’s refreshing to find in London. Dogs are allowed to hang out when it’s quiet here, and squashy sofas are peppered about for a nice sit down between climbs. Big noticeboards heave under the amount of cool stuff going on in the neighbourhood – a choir meets here once a week, there’s a canoe and sailing club on the reservoir next door and the Castle holds scheduled courses, kid’s climbs and talks. There’s a big emphasis on sustainability at the Castle, too, with everything from the coffee beans to the cleaning products sourced responsibly.
It might be pretty chilly right now but I can’t wait to come back and climb outside. The grounds are home to big boulders for summer training, as well as an acre of community garden that grows produce for the Castle’s cafe and for social initiatives in the area. Volunteers can join in and gain some green-fingered know-how growing herbs and veg in exchange for discounted climbs (and tea and cake), or even ownership of a mini plot to grow produce in. If I lived round these parts I don’t think I’d ever leave.