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Climbs 70
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 182m a.s.l
Faces S

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Temporary Approach to Castle Inn Quarry © Mark Reeves

Crag features

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.

Approach notes

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).

Access Advice

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

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Guidebooks

North Wales Climbs

North Wales Climbs covers the best climbing from the whole of this huge and varied area. The book is modelled on the very popular West Country Climbs which set a new standard for selected climb guidebooks back in 2010. It contains all the routes from the 2010 publication North Wales Classics and many more routes and areas, with expanded descriptions and much bigger photo-topos. The book covers all the major mountain crags from Llanberis Pass, to Cloggy; and from Ogwen to the Carneddau. It also includes the Llanberis Slate quarries, Tremadog, the Moelwyns, the Gwynant Valley, Mid-Wales, Gogarth and the North Coast Limestone.
More info
More Guidebooks:
A55 Sport Climbs (2019)
North Wales Limestone (2014)

Out of print:
Used to love this crag, climbed here as an Autumn through spring venue for more years than I care to remember. However its popularity has resulted in a high degree of polish on most routes which has made them less attractive and more insecure.
Angry old man - 17/Oct/19
The second bolt on Mogadishu is still loose...it appears it has been for 4 years though!
SebCa - 02/May/19
One of the bolts on Ffrind is loose
kate8 - 02/Sep/18
Was there a few weeks ago and there are a couple of loose holds on Taid a move or two below the lower off. A couple have chalk crosses on but they might have washed off by now.
Murfle - 01/Sep/16
The second bolt of Mogadishu is loose.
charlieg0pzo - 24/Sep/15
Went there yesterday, no rubbish to be seen and all of the routes/lower off's were in tact. Brilliant place to climb.
ChristineLouise89 - 21/Aug/13
3 new easy routes up and left of Fine View Wall, however the far left route shoud not be climbed due to the lower off resin not setting/still wet. Be careful.
Zoomer - 12/Jul/12
Was there today, 1st bolt of Zimba missing and on the Taid Wall lots of climbers rubbish i.e. chalk wrappers/rope cards etc. Its not the cleanest place but lets at least make the effort as climbers to clean up after ourselves!
Zoomer - 12/Mar/12
Was climbing here on saturday and the lowest bolt on the most left route on the lost world sector fell out, no weight was placed on it, i think the belayer stepped back and put a small amount of pressure on it. Bit worrying!!
tomjagger - 12/Mar/12
Don't rely on what "chers" says! The approach given is completely accurate and from the "A55 Sport Climbs" guidebook. Also all routes have lower-offs and are very much "still there"! In addition there has been much development in 2011 of a number of small slabby walls providing many much needed lower grade sport climbs. These are included in the second edition of "A55 Sport Climbs".
rockcat - 19/Dec/11
Don't rely on these directions to get you there...came across it more by chance. Also, the pub appears to have been shut for a long while...and whilst I didn't climb here, I couldn't see more than a handful of lower offs...are all the routes still there?
chers - 19/Mar/11
A nice little afternoon's sport climbing is this. the HVS and E1 (yes, I know I said sport, but that's how it's written in the old Rockfax guide!) in the middle of the face are nice and pleasant. There is some harder stuff there which may merit a revisit sometime. Oh, and the pub that owns the carpark with the face gets on well with climbers - pop in for a pint.
Al Urker - 12/Mar/04
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Climbs at this crag

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