Where no link exists we haven’t checked that site recently – but remember that doesn’t mean it can’t be used.
Aberdeen – Beach LC
Abseil Tree – Balmullo
Atlantis Leisure, Oban
Auchengillan Outdoor Centre, Glasgow
Avertical World, Dundee
Beach Leisure, Aberdeen
Beecraigs Country Park, nr. Linlithgow
Benny Beg, Crieff
Blackford Glen, Edinburgh
Bonaly Camping & Training Centre, Colinton
Branrigg Centre, Forest of Ae
Callander – McLaren LC
Carnegie Leisure Centre, Dunfermline
Craig a Barns, Dunkeld
Craig Lug by Dairsie
Craigmore nr Auchengillan Scout Centre
Craigshields, Forest of Ae (replaces Branrigg)
Craigton Quarry, West Lothian
Drumcarrow Crag – nr St Andrews
Dundee – Olympia LC
Dunfermline – Carnegie LC
Edinburgh – Alien Rock
Edinburgh – Meadowbank Sports Centre
Edinburgh Trefoil Campsite
Edinburgh -Heriot Watt University
Falkirk – Hadrians Wall
Fordell Firs Activity Centre
Fort William – Lochaber LC
Glasgow – Kelvin Hall SC
Glasgow Climbing Centre
Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore
Herriot Watt, Edinburgh
Inverness Leisure Centre
Kelvin Hall, Glasgow
Kirkdale Port Campsite
Lapwing Lodge, Caplaw, Paisley
Lowport Education Cente, Linlithgow
Mill Dam – Kirkcaldy
Milton Crag, Aberfoyle
Perth – Tiso
Peterhead Community Centre
Quad Rocks, Largs
Ratho Adventure Centre
South Newton Campsite
Templars Park Campsite, Maryculter
The Thirlstane, Kirkudbrightshire
Tollie Scout Camp
Ullapool LC (Lochbroom LC)
This is a large Scout Association Centre with residential facilities which is also an AALA licensed centre.The Scout Association, Lochgoilhead Centre, Shelter Park, Lochgoilhead, Argyll, PA24 8AA. Tel:01301 703217 Fax:703562
There is a small climbing/bouldering wall in the centre, and a crag 10 minutes’ walk up the hillside at the back. The crag has an access track enabling disabled access.
The centre have an in-house qualification for their leaders at their crag. This qualification is equivalent to the GUK Level 2 qualification and is perfectly acceptable to Girlguiding. Consequently Guide groups are able to have Lochgoilhead staff instruct their sessions.
Lochgoilhead also have a few high ropes elements such as a Jacob’s Ladder – their staff are assessed by an MIA and therefore are accepted by GUK.
Overall: A superb centre amidst beautiful scenery. The staff and management were extremely friendly, efficient and helpful.
OS Map 63 ref 338673 site telephone 01505 872 838
This centre has a new climbing wall indoors and new equipment. There is also a crate challenge activity outside. All instructors will hold the GUK Level 1 Award.
Ross & Sutherland Area Scout Camp, Tollie Brahan, Maryburgh, near Dingwall, IV7 8HQ. Tel: 01349 866827
This scout site has a small crag to the south in the woods; it is ideal for an abseil although climbing is not feasible at the section nearest the site as the rock is covered with vegetation at this point. There are however apparently up to 4 miles of discontinuous crag and some of these may be suitable for climbing – these sections are not generally used and they are not covered here; the information concerns the abseil section only.
The crag has a whole forest at the top, so it is an ideal Level 2 site.
Top of the crag The crag
Stockiemuir Road, Blanefield, Glasgow, G63 9AU.
This centre has a 45 foot abseil and climbing tower which is a good facility with climbing sides including the facility to lead on one side (please remember that only an MIA/MIC qualified instructor should teach this).
Please check that SPA qualified instructors are offered as the Scout Form M is unacceptable.
The site used to use Craigmore crag, but doesn’t now that there is a tower.
Level 1 (wall) and 2 (crag)
Fife, near to Forth Road Bridge
Bob Brodrick 01383 414892
Simple crag for abseiling, and climbing wall. This centre has an outdoor climbing wall and a small crag which is ideal for abseiling with plenty of tree belays at the top (see photos).
The centre’s staff are assessed by an MIC, and consequently are acceptable to GUK as one of the schemes which are of the same standard to GUK’s own. You may therefore book their staff with confidence. They also have an AALA licence.
This Scout centre was visited as it offers abseiling; however this is offsite at Neilston Quarry, Barrhead and is run by an SPA qualified instructor.
There is also a high ropes course here on site since about 2010; this is not covered by the climbing scheme but is included as information.
Bonaly Camping and Training Centre, 71 Bonaly Road, Edinburgh, Lothian, EH13 0PB.
Tel: 0131 4411878
Fax: 0131 4416169
This Scout camp has a scaffold and wood climbing wall/tower. The holds are wooden, and participants climb to the top and are lowered off (no actual abseiling). There is ladder access to the top of the tower, and this should be used only by the instructor to set up the ropes – no young person should ascend the ladders as access is open at the sides.
The Warden is familiar with the GUK rules for climbing, and measures are in place to ensure that the centre’s instructors will be qualified by 2003 season.
(from the Bonaly website)
Alien Rock, Edinburgh
Pier Place, Newhaven, Edinburgh Tel: 0131 552 7211
|Inverness Leisure Centre – SPA
Tel: 01463 667505
This is situated within the Inverness Sports Centre and Aquadrome complex at Bught Park on the A82 to the west side of the town. The wall’s instructions dictate SPA as a qualification. Please contact for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note this used to be called ‘Climb Caledonia’
|Gairloch Leisure Centre
Tel: 01445 712345
This centre has a good wall; it’s a little remote so the occurrence of GUK groups using the wall isn’t frequent – however the wall can be rented out and they will put you in touch with a local instructor. Their preferred local MIA is perfectly able to arrange a session for you – please contact the wall.
Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore
As Glenmore Lodge is the national centre for Scotland for mountain activities and issues qualifications, it is acceptable for GUK groups to use any facilities and instruction offered.
|McLaren Leisure Centre, Callander
Website: http://www.mclarenleisurecentre.co.uk/This leisure centre has a wall facility with a very active management who are keen on climbing and promoting activity in the area, especially among young people. Ropes are in situ and there are several routes in the relatively small room, of varying difficulty. An MIA (Andy Cloquet) supervises the instruction at the centre and it is thus approved by GUK.
|Craig Lug by Darsie
OS map 59 ref 404183This is a nice crag with some good climbs, but there are no belays at the top and you would need to fix stakes.Access is via the road to Fingusk Farm – you will see a field on the right with the crag at the top. Park just inside this field, which belongs to the farm. MAKE SURE you leave enough room for the farmers to access the field, or access will be stopped – at the moment they are happy for you to park there.The crag itself is owned by another local landowner. Please call in advance – you need to call Guide HQ to give them notice as we can’t publish their telephone number. Again, they are happy for Guide groups to use the crag as long as you do this! The climbs are not as hard as they look here!
|Craigmore, near Auchengillan Scout Site
SPA GR 527797
This crag is just off the B821. Turn onto the B821 from the A809 Milngavie – Drymen road, go a few hundred metres and you will see a metal gate on your left with no sign, and some boulders just inside the gate. This is the entrance to an area of holiday cottages, all green, hidden in the woods, of which there seem to be several areas locally. Drive up through these until the top of the gravel road, where there is a small layby just before the road goes down again (to another entrance to the B821). Cross the fence going N, turn immediately R along the fence, and you come into a field, The left edge of the field is the top of the crag (care!). Go further until the descent path is reached on the L. There is an alternative approach from further along the road, but limited parking there.
|Craigton Quarry SPA
OS Sheet 64 ref 525 769
Must contact Alison Ashford, 32 Ochiltree Crescent, Midd Calder, West Lothian, EH53 0RT, as she has a local access agreement. Mrs. Ashford tells us that since Foot & Mouth, when access was prohibited, the quarry has not been used. It seems as if this may not be a location available in the future.Please don’t confuse this with a Craigton Quarry at Craigton just south of Auchengillan Scout site, which has no climbing or abseiling possibilities.
|Drumcarrow Crag, St Andrews – SPA
OS map 59 ref 460132For access please call Mr Hamish Lohoar at Drumcarrow Craig Livery on 01334 850115. He is happy to allow access to the crag, but please let him know in advance.One slab that can be used for an abseil; site fairly limited. Could be a simple crag, but needs stakes in place. There are a lot of gorse bushes at the top and base; overall this is not a great crag but can be used for an abseil. The local coastguard sometimes use it to practise. Top of the crag – no belays!
|Rosyth Quarry SPA OS map 65 ref 125834A very popular and easily accessible crag, right next to the roundabout just north of the Forth Road Bridge. Ideal for access, but belays at the top are sparse and mainly stakes of uncertain origin. No belays at the top The crag (part)|
|Ratho Adventure Centre
Tel: 0131 333 6333 Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Ratho, South Platt Hill, Newbridge, Edinburgh, EH28 8AA.
This enormous new development is now fully open after a few issues whilst being built, and could possibly be the UK’s best climbing facility. The size and scope of the facilities is too much to describe here, so please go to http://www.eica-ratho.com/ for a complete picture. There is certainly plenty of scope for taking groups here with indoor natural rock (a covered quarry), a huge indoor wall, adventure training gym, abseiling, mountain biking and more.
|Avertical World, Dundee AVERTICAL WORLD
7 BLINSHALL STREET
DD1 5DFPHONE 01382 201901Level 1www.averticalworld.co.ukThis wall has not been visited, but we have spoken to the manager, Simon Jenkins. Simon is an MIC holder and British Mountain Guide and assesses all of the centre’s own staff, so it is perfectly acceptable to use the wall’s staff for instruction. Please contact Simon should you wish to instruct your group yourself if you are a Level 1 holder.
Carsluith, Newtown Stewart, Wigtownshire, Borders, DG7 2HS
Tel: Warden John McCulloch 01557 814006/ Nigel 07719 381599
This scout site has moved from the land on the Kirkdale Estate and is located several miles further east. There are, as we understand, no climbing abseiling or high ropes activities at the new site.
The Thirlstane is a nice crag in Kirkcudbrightshire, on the Solway Coast near Southerness and about 20km south of Dumfries.
A local MIA, John Biggar, has compiled a good web page with all you need to know about this popular crag for groups. You can find it at:
Level 3 (SPA)
This superb crag is accessed by parking in the car park of ‘The Ceramic Experience’ on the main road about 1m mile south of Crieff. The management are happy for crag users to park and there is ample space. A path leads to the obvious crag and access to the bottom and top are simple.
NB: We were told in 2013 that some people have been asked by the owners of a different shop on site to park in a different location; however the owners of the Ceramic Experience have no problem whatsoever with climbing groups parking in their car park so the additional requirements are unnecessary. Please use the cafe in Ceramic Experience as a reward for their generosity!
Some routes have pairs of bolts at the top, although care should be used when accessing these. In general the sound sections of rock have been bolted, although there may be scope for one or two other routes or abseils using the plentiful trees at the top. The crag is a smooth volcanic rock about 10m high at its highest point. Some areas are lichen covered. The highest section has no bolts at the top, but there are large trees about 5m back (and more further back) – so bring long setup ropes. The centre section has at least 5 bolted routes with chains at the top, and trees if needed.
GR: NN 497013 (This is approximate, taken from a different scale map)
This very small crag offers a few routes, but on close inspection the rock is rather better than the first impression suggests. There are plentiful tree belays (to say the least) and access to the top is straightforward. The routes are slabby and good for beginners.
This GGUK centre offers a range of outdoor activities, provided by an outdoor company contracted to Netherurd. This company is ‘Inside Out’ who can be viewed on the AALA website (www.aala.org.uk) and whose AALA registration number is R0823.
Visiting GGUK instructors may use the facilities on completion of a familiarisation course prior to their visit and subject to meeting the standard required. You must provide original proof of your qualification in advance.
For information please see the centre’s website at: www.netherurdhouse.co.uk
Girlguiding Edinburgh Trefoil Campsite
Grid Reference 169 706
This centre seems to have closed down (2012) – any information gratefully received.
On the A702 Edinburgh to Biggar road is a small village with a car park in the centre at the back of which is a large rock. The top is bolted and for groups this venue would be most suited to abseiling, for which it is apparently used. The climbing is not only somewhat fragile but is steep and most routes would not be suitable for groups.
Take great care with group management and keep participants away from the bottom of the crag at all times, ensure helmets are worn, and walk each particpant to the top of the crag. This is a potentially hazardous area.
These rocks are on the hillside above the National Sports Training Centre – indeed you park in the top car park and simply walk directly up the path (marked) to the crag. It’s steep! The crag itself is really good, with amazing views over Largs and the sea and plenty of easy routes – however belays aren’t great and there are several stakes – be careful when setting up belays. Prior visit recommended.
Craigmore seems to be a common name which might mean ‘white cliffs’. There’s also one near to Benny Beg in Crieff.
Please note that this crag overlooks Drummond Pond on the Drummond Estate and apparently the estate aren’t too keen on people climbing there – you must ask permission beforehand. Don’t just expect to climb there! The army used to use this for training so it has been used for climbing, but the owners do not have to permit this so be aware.
This lovely crag near to Crieff faces south and is on the North Shore of Drummond Pond. Perhaps 15 m high at its highest point and 100 m wide, there are many routes. It is quite steep. The location is idyllic and access to the bottom of the crag is very easy. Opposite Benny Beg ceramic experience there is a gate about 100 m north on the other side of the road. Go through this gate and it is clear that there is a stand of very young trees on your right; to the left more mature woodland. Continue with the young trees on your right until they stop and then carry on in a straight line for another 300 to 400 m. The crag comes into view.
Although there are some tree belays at the top, the area is only lightly used and slightly more complicated than Level 2; but SPA territory definitely. Clearly some clearance has taken place in a couple of areas but it is still rather overgrown. Definitely a lovely spot to bring a group!
This very easily accessible crag is just north of Dunkeld by a minor road on the other side of the river to the A9. Definitely SPA. You’d need to be familiar wit this crag to work here, but the climbing is plentiful and it’s an ideal group venue. Very close to the road, easy enough parking and good rock.
This lovely crag is an old quarry in a fairly central part of Edinburgh. It has a perfect slabby facet ideal for beginners and is bolted at the top; the bolts look new and in good condition (Dec 2013).
This Scout site near Aberdeen has a seven metre wooden tower fairly basic but sound. There is a bouldering wall at the base perhaps 2.5 m high.
Of more concern is the crate challenge which is distinctly home-made! I do suggest not using this as the main branch seems to be rather precarious; GUK members please do not use this activity.
This is a great crag situated at the top of a hill (Auchineden Hill) at around 350m, 30-40 minutes’ walk west of the A809. It is a bit of a walk for a young group, but slightly older climbers will appreciate the climbing and the scenery.
The crag is excellent, with a very unusual ‘corridor’ behind the main face and lots of areas to use with a prior visit and planning.
This is a most unusual crag in that it needs to be booked and paid for like a climbing wall – indeed it is referred to by the park as ‘the climbing wall’ even though it is an outdoor crag.
It is a good crag – straightforward climbing, although one section (see photo) seems to have been built up with stonework; easy belays by dint of a belay bar at the top and so on. The setting is pleasant and although perhaps the slightly contrived nature and booking system could rather be a shock to the regular climber’s system, young children probably won’t know or care about that.
This location was given to us as an abseiling spot, but Mill Dam as shown to me by the park staff is a distinctly uninspiring location and is not recommended by GUK. It would be possible to undertake a very short abseil here, but the ground is not great, belays not ideal and the tops of the walls are disintegrating, causing a hazard from ‘rockfall’ of lumps of cement or stone.
Frankly I can see no reason why a group would be taken to this location for any type of positive abseiling experience. There must be many more inspiring, pleasant and safe locations nearby.
This leisure centre was an early centre with a wall, but it is now distinctly dated and not used. Clearly it was a decent wall of its type. There do seem to be plans to replace it but I could not find anything specific, so if you know of any real information please contact us.
The Girl Guides have a residential centre at Balmullo in Fife – the Carmichael Centre. A mention was made to HQ of an ‘abseil tree’ but a visit and calls revealed no such tree, and no-one has heard of one. There is however a tree with a disused and disintegrating platform behind the centre, and this may once have been the source of this query.
If anyone has further information we would be grateful.
Inside Tiso Outdoors shop in Perth there is a wall for the use of customers. Instructors supplied by Tiso have either SPA or CWA, and any holder of an NGB award can take groups there. It is a good wall for a shop.
There is a climbing crag at Loch Duntelchaig which is not the subject of this entry; we refer to the crag on top of a small hill to the NW of the car park which is distinctly a single pitch, easily accessible crag. This has been used for groups in the past and is a good venue with an easy, short path to the base of the crag and good belays (in sections) at the top.
Use the crag with caution – the right hand, steeper side as you face the crag is not only probably too difficult for most groups but also has fewest belays at the top. The left side is clearly more suitable and is a good location for groups.
This is a straightforward SPA crag – easily accessible, good climbs, good view, plenty of space to work. Be careful at the top!
This was checked a few years ago and appears to have been a disused old crag, largely overgrown. It may have been used at one stage by the Branrigg Scout Centre, but doesn’t seem to be currently active. Please let us know if you have any other information.
This is a very easy crag to access, about 10m high and west facing just next to the road outside of Neilston, Paisley. Clearly used by groups, it has a few stakes at the top but not many. Belays using protection aren’t plentiful although they do exist, so a prior visit would be essential here. The crag is quite steep and many climbs will be difficult, but it would be a great venue for more advanced groups.