|Belfast Climbing Wall||SPA||Yes|
|Boulder World, Belfast||L1||Yes|
|Clip and Climb, Dundonald||n/a||Yes|
|Delamont OE Centre, Downpatrick||SPA/ELB||Spoken|
|Ganaway Centre, Millisle||Level 1||Yes|
|Share Centre, Lisnaskea||Level 1||Yes|
|We Are Vertigo||n/a||Yes|
Northern Ireland notes –
NI was visited again in March 2015, but please let us know if you have anything useful. Not every location is visited as this isn’t an ‘inspection’ regime, but an information gathering exercise.
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Northern Ireland Education & Library Board Awards
These are all assessed by MIA’s and MIC’s and are therefore acceptable as appropriate climbing awards for climbing walls/abseil towers in Northern Ireland.The five Library Boards merged on 1st April 2015 and are now administering the whole of NI – in effect they are like LEAs (Local Education Authorities) in the rest of the UK.
2. The AALA licensing scheme doesn’t apply to Northern Ireland, so any commercial centre must be checked out individually if using anything other than NGB qualified staff. Many centres are using other routes such as Adventuremark and AHOEC.
Boulder World is a straightforward bouldering wall of a good standard. Staff are appropriately trained to lead GUK groups bouldering and the facility is well maintained, spacious and friendly.
Clip ‘n Climb centres are becoming more popular. They are based on auto belays and ideal for younger participants. This centre has appropriately trained staff and can be used by GUK members and groups.
20 Bridge Road South, Helens Bay, County Down, BT19 1JT.
Contact: 028 9185 3307
This Scout centre has 3 facilities:
1. An indoor climbing wall about 25 feet high (can be lit for night use) and 35 feet long. There are plenty of routes easy enough for groups and there are safety mats installed. This is a relatively new facility and is of high quality. It is in a ‘hangar’ type area with ceiling but no sides, so it is protected from the weather.
2. An outdoor tower, 4 sided, 30 feet high with slabs, an overhang and a steep wall which is good for more experienced climbers. Abseiling is available on one side using in situ chain belays. Access to the platform is by vertical ladder, but it is possible for climbers to climb up then abseil down. The walls were constructed by Entreprises. Again, a good facility.
3. A large high ropes-style swing.
These are good facilities; please view the page on the NI Scouts website
(Please note this web address is published incorrectly on various sites including the Scouts own ‘Scoutbase’ site)
The belay system utilises ballast bags rather than ground anchors. There are leading bolts on the tower (please be aware that at Level 1 you cannot use these).
Please note that the centre have some instructors qualified with the SPA or CWA. Some staff however have only a Scout permit, and their on site award is not assessed by an MIA. Therefore if visiting and using their instruction, make sure you ask for an instructor with SPA or CWA and remind them that GUK members cannot be instructed by other staff.
Level 1 / On site award
This Guide centre has an abseil in the grounds down an embankment about 15 feet high. The activity is suited to those abseiling for the first time. There is also a ‘Cube’ high ropes course, and a climbing tower.
As this is a Girlguiding Ulster site, all staff are assessed by an MIA and activities are delivered according to GUK guidelines.
For more information on this Girlguiding site, please view their page on the Guide website at:
Ozone Leisure Complex, Belfast City Council, Ormeau Embankment, Belfast BT6 8LT
Tel: 028 90 458024, contact manager Sam Miller
This leisure centre has a large wall on the end of some indoor tennis courts. It is about 5m high and of good quality. The centre only recognise the SPA and above or the Education & Library Board award.
Sessions are available, and gear is available to hire.
Hotrock, Tollymore Mountain Centre, Hilltown Road, Newcastle phone 028 43722158
Contact Kieran O’Hara, Head of Mountaineering
This centre has a very good indoor wall with a high main section as well as a bouldering wall. It is the centre for mountaineering in Northern Ireland and you will need an SPA to be able to teach there.
Ganaway Activity Centre, The Boys Brigade, Ballywalter Road, Millisle, Co Down
phone 028 9186 1297
or contact Belfast Battalion, 14 May Street, Belfast, BT1 4NR phone 028 90324853
This centre has a tower with climbing wall and abseiling, an indoor climbing wall of a good standard, zipwire, high ropes course and other activities such as tunnelling and assault course.
Share Centre, Shanaghy, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh Phone 028 6772 2122
This centre has some in house qualified staff, but the Association does not recognise their award currently (pending further enquiries), so if you are staying there and booking an activity be sure to specify that an SPA qualified climbing instructor is needed for your Guide group.
It is hoped that the centre will recognise the Level 1 award, but please check first.
Gortatole Outdoor Centre, Western Education and Library Board, Florencecourt, Enniskillen Co Fermanagh Phone 028 6634 8888 Contact Alan Curans MIC
This centre has an indoor wall (small) and an outdoor tower with climbing and abseiling. They don’t usually have instructors visiting as they provide activities for groups residential at the centre. You’d have to contact them regarding use of their facilities.
Corralea Outdoor Activity Centre, Belcoo, Co Fermanagh, Phone 028 66386668
This centre has an outdoor tower; a good modern facility in a lovely setting. They don’t usually have instructors visiting as they provide activities for groups residential at the centre. You’d have to contact them regarding use of their facilities and check whether the Level 1 is accepted.
The centre’s own staff should hold the SPA;so if you are booking an activity be sure to specify that an SPA qualified climbing instructor is needed for your Guide group.
Delamont OE Centre, nr Downpatrick
Contact Tom Liddy on 028 44 821010
This centre operates only with Belfast Education & Library Board registered groups, so you can’t just book climbing sessions with them (even if you are local). You need to be a group in the Belfast area, register as a group with the centre and go on their mailing list, and then enquire about dates etc. Sounds as if thsi would work best if you wanted to organise a full annual camp with several activities.
The centre’s staff hold either SPA or Education & Library Board qualifications, and these are currently accepted by Girlguiding UK.
1, Newtownbreda Factory Estate, 1 Cedarhurst Road, Belfast, Castlereagh BT8 7RB
028 9064 1229
This centre is very much a commercial activity centre with trampolines, ski slopes etc in addition to roped activities.
The advertised zipline is no longer operative (April 2015).
Principal activities offered concerning this scheme are a small high ropes course and a climbing tower with auto belays. These are supplied by Innovative Leisure, a commercial activities equipment company, who train Vertigo staff annually – this is an accepted method of training and GUK groups can use this centre.