IF you fancy scaling cliff-faces but don't know one end of a piece of rope from another, then fear not - Gwent is an ideal place to learn the adrenalin-packed sport of rock-climbing.

But before you hit the rockface, it's best to start off 'bouldering' - scrambling from side to side on a climbing wall without any specialist equipment.

Centre director Rhian Thomas, of the Llangorse Rope Centre, in the Brecon Beacons National Park, told Mono: "Bouldering is a great way to improve climbing technique and perfect some moves, as well as getting used to being on a climbing wall.

"You're only about eight or ten feet off the ground, so there's no danger involved."

Two or three lessons on an indoor climbing wall are recommended before venturing up an outdoor rockface, and lessons come relatively cheaply at £11 for an hour-long taster session and £20 for a two-hour improvers' class.

There's also a two-hour climbing and activities session for the young - or young at heart - featuring aerial antics on rope bridges and zip wires.

An outside climb is a more expensive prospect for the solo adventurer, as individual tutors can charge £100 or more for a day-long expedition.

But a group of five can all be supervised by the same tutor, so it's wise to get together some like-minded friends.

Competent tutors should all be SPA-assessed - meaning they've gained their Single Pitch Award.

As well as the Llangorse Rope Centre, the area boasts the Gwent Mountaineering Club, who were formed in 1976, and have been conquering cliff faces on a regular basis ever since.

And the Welsh National Training Centre for rock-climbing, in Treharris, is only a short car drive away and provides climbing sheltered from the temperamental Welsh weather all year round.

Brynbach Park, in Tredegar, has also become a base for rock-climbing trips to the nearby Morlais Quarry. in Merthyr, which provides a variety of different routes to test climbers of all abilities.

* Llangorse Rope Centre can be contacted on 01874 658272.