At UKC we are all climbers and we understand the strong urge to be outdoors as the weather is finally improving. Please proceed with caution though.
Altitude 182m a.s.l
Temporary Approach to Castle Inn Quarry © Mark Reeves
There is no "roadside" crag more roadside than this one! The main face at Castle Inn is a slabby wall with many fine routes on natural rock which has stood the test of time without becoming unduly polished.
In 1991 the crag was bolted up to make a sport venue but this provoked outrage in certain quarters and the bolts were removed. However, after the intervention of several people, including Colin Goodey one of the crags original developers in the 1950s, all the removed gear was replaced with resin-bolts to leave it as it is today.
The pub is now closed and is a private residence.
In 2008 the obvious wall 50 yards to the left of the main crag was developed. It relinquished 5 excellent routes (2 sport, 3 trad) on superb, rough rock and was named Fine View Wall.
In 2011 a number of small slabby walls were developed (mostly by Colin Goodey again) offering many much needed lower grade sport climbs and resulting in Castle Inn becoming a complex of crags.
From the east (chester) come off the A55 expressway at Llanddulas (JCN23). Turn right at the roundabout by the filling station and then left towards Old Colwyn(A547). Follow the road for 1 mile to just before the crest of the hill. Turn left up Highlands Road and after 0.4 miles fork right into Tan y Craig road (between 2 limestone walls). After another 0.4 miles turn left into the car park (you can see the cliff on the left as you approach).
From the west, come off the A55 expressway at Old Colwyn (JCN22). Turn right under the bridge and turn left at the roundabout towards Llanddulas/Abergele (A547). After 1.5 miles and after the crest of the hill, turn right onto Highlands Road and after 0.4 miles fork right into Tan y Craig road (between 2 limestone walls). After another 0.4 miles turn left into the car park (you can see the crag on the left as you approach).
July 2020 Update - The current parking is closed. Please use the one described below for the time being. The current featured crag photo shows the map.
Turn up Highlands Road, after 0.4 miles the old approach forked right into Tan y Craig road (between 2 limestone walls). Don’t turn down here carry on for another 500m and then turn right onto Fford Brin Y Llan, then almost immediately turn onto a gravel track and parking. The crag is a 10 minute walk away, head southwest out of the parking on a grassy path, cross another gravel track and pick up a continuation of the grass path. Follow the path to the left side of the house the track you crossed leads to and follow this along the top of the cliff to a small path that descends between Fine View Wall and the Main Face.
The owners (Conwy Council) have in general no problems with climbers using this site, however developments to the west of the main cliff have involved gardening and rock removal on a site known to be important for a nationally rare butterfly, the Silver Studded Blue. Climbers are asked to minimise gardening and vegetation clearance at this location, which is an SSSI, and avoid damaging the grassland below the rock face. There have also been concerns that trees and other scrubby growth have been cut on the east side of the cliff. It is important that no tree or vegetation clearance takes place without prior approval from the site warden, contactable via the BMC.
The right-hand side of the car park has been sold to a private owner, and climbers should not enter the fenced area or land belonging to the old Castle Inn. However, the cliff face is still owned by the council and climbing is allowed.
Climbers need to be aware that the cliffs are very close to and overlook residential areas and any undue noise or unsociable activity will cause antagonism and possible access issues. This is particularly true for larger and organised groups - this is not a school playground, so instructors and leaders, please manage your groups accordingly!Updated by UKC: 7th July
Moderators Updates to this page are checked by a UKC volunteer michael burrows