X-Treme: Three places to try rock climbing

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The Castle Climbing Centre

Greens Lane, Stoke Newington, London N4 (0181-211 700). Prices for registered adults pounds 6 or pounds 3.50 students/UB40/children. A C4 Improvers Course is pounds 99. The four-week course includes beginners safety procedures, belaying and harness attachment, through to advanced boulder techniques and customised personal training programmes.

The National Mountain Centre

Capel Curig, Gwynedd, Wales (01690 720 280). Offering residential rock climbing, abseiling and indoor wall-climbing courses. A five-day beginners course is available, but the centre is aimed at serious climbers wanting to improve. Courses range in price from pounds 165 to pounds 365, one-day clinics are available from pounds 30.

Dartmoor Expedition Centre

Rowden, Widecombe in the Moor, Newton Abbot (01364 621 249).Group bookings are available for every level of experience. Climbing also is available as part of a multi-activity package. A six-day rock-climbing course will set you back pounds 200 and includes equipment and full-board accommodation.