Getting your outdoor workout fix, inside? This might sound like a pointless statement, but let us explain…
Getting active in the great outdoors is right up our street, especially if it involves doing something a little bit different – whether that’s rock climbing, kayaking or mountain biking. Unfortunately, that’s not such an easy feat when you live in the midst of a city, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up and hit the gym if that’s not your thing. We’re getting our outdoor workout fix, inside, thanks to London’s booming climbing scene. Here’s why you should give it a try…
First, here’s what you need to know about the two most common types of climbing:
Bouldering: is a style of rock climbing that is done rope-free over crash mats. It’s done at a low height, to avoid the risk of serious injury. The routes are graded based on their difficulty and little equipment is needed – just climbing shoes and a bit of chalk!
Top-rope climbing: this is where climbers are harnessed and attached to a rope – this goes through an anchor at the top of the wall and back down to a partner on the ground. Whilst you scale the wall, their job is to pull the rope tight and make sure you don’t fall if you take a slip!
Keen to get cracking? Here’s some of the best place to climb in London:
The Castle is the UK’s largest climbing centre. For bouldering, there are over 10 different areas (3 outdoor ones are housed in their organic garden). But there’s plenty of opportunities to try your hand at top-rope or even lead-climbing (climbing on longer walls, without a fixed rope, clipping yourself into safety equipment attached to the wall)at the centre too.
For those looking to push boundaries, Mile End Climbing Wall has some of the highest bouldering walls in the city, and boasts a “Monkey Room” where you can boulder across the ceiling! They also have plenty of training areas for more serious and experienced climbers to really push their skills to the max.
The Arch is a total all-rounder. It’s a huge spot – 10,000 square foot to be precise – and have a massive array of walls to climb, ranging in difficulty. If you’re keen to focus on your strength, they’ve got plenty of facilities to help you out – from gym rings and fingerboards to your more equipment.
Despite the terrible pun, VauxWall in (you guessed it) Vauxhall is our top recommendation for beginners. It’s a bouldering-only centre, with over 250 routes, all graded using easily distinguishable colours and patterns. They do Sunday morning socials for those looking to find some like-minded pals to climb with…