Rockclimbing might be one of the most underrated sports out there. Not only is it fun, it helps build body strength and grip, improves your balance and even helps your problem solving skills. Of course, you don’t have to start scaling cliff faces to be a climber: there’s plenty of indoor climbing walls around where you can get stuck in.
We’ve made a list of the best places to go climbing in London, whether you’ve rock climbed before, or are trying to get past your fear of heights.
The Arch climbing centre has not one but three different venues across London: one in Bermondsey, one in Acton and one in Edgware. Each venue is pretty massive, with the Bermondsey one being some 15,000 square feet. There’s hundreds of climbing routes to choose from at each venue, and they’re regularly switched up to keep things interesting.
Each location also has a training area, with introduction sessions available for £20. There’s also improver sessions for those who’ve just completed a training session and want more, or who’ve climbed before but want to get back into things. The huge array of climbing with the latest in these amazing high tech centres makes The Arch one of the best places for indoor climbing in the capital.
Bermondsey, Acton & Edgware
Mile End Climbing Wall
A fantastic place to get into climbing, Mile End Climbing Wall has a very modern look and feel to it, and there’s multiple options for learning how to climb, from private instructor sessions to rope climbing tasters and introductions to bouldering. Younger climbers will find plenty of opportunities to develop their skills, and there’s a big emphasis on teaching the tricks of the (climbing) trade.
The site even has videos detailing different climbing techniques, if you really want to become skilled and knowledgeable climber. Mile End also offers a range of outdoor climbing sessions and courses on actual cliff faces, though these of course take place outside of London.
Haverfield Road, E3 5BE
If you head over to Surbiton, you can find White Spider, an excellent climbing centre aimed at all ages. There’s plenty of options here if you’ve never climbed before or haven’t for a long time, with introductory and starter sessions available, where you’ll be taught the ins and outs of wall climbing and safety.
Kids will have fun with facilities like the Spider Castle, and there’s holiday clubs and party options available. For the adults, you can find plenty of challenging climbs here, as well as sessions to improve your skills and and coaching to become more confident. The site also holds socials for getting together with budding climbers and meeting new people.
225 Hook Rise South, SURBITON, KT6 7LD
Castle Climbing Centre
Another fantastic place to go climbing in London is The Castle Climbing Centre. While the exterior looks like a castle, it is in fact an old Victorian water pumping station, but that doesn’t make the location any less awesome. The centre is spread over five floors, and there’s several hundred different climbing routes. The venue also has a fully kitted out shop if you’re looking to invest in new climbing gear, and you can also find yoga, massage and fitness classes. Castle Climbing might just be the most versatile climbing centre in the city.
Green Lanes, N4 2HA
Clip N Climb
Clip N Climb is a great climbing company, operating three venues around London: Chelsea, Waltham and Sutcliffe. There’s a huge array of very colourful and zany climbing courses that you can choose from, and you can opt for adult only sessions in the evenings for a quieter and more focussed climbing experience.
Special attractions here include “Leap of Faith” and The Vertical Drop Slide. There’s plenty of family activities, parties and even toddler climbing on offer too, if you want to take your kids. Head to The Gallery Cafe to find all the refreshments you need after an hour of wall scaling. Do note that the site is currently closed until 1st April, when it’ll be reopened in a new building next door.
Chelsea, Waltham & Sutcliffe
The Reach is the home of the biggest climbing wall in South London, and is located just next to the Thames in Greenwich. You can go bouldering, top roping, lead climbing and auto-belaying, though remember you’ll need to register your details for a one off £5 fee. After that, you’re free to get stuck into the climbing fun.
There’s also the Body Works studio, where you can take part in yoga sessions to relax after climbing, strengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility for the next time you want to scale a wall. There’s plenty of options for lessons, and starter climbing courses for kids.
Unit 6, Mellish Industrial Estate, Harrington Way, SE18 5NR