In this article I’ve compiled a quick overview of the four climbing centres in Bristol. Giving you some quick and handy information, plus a mini review of what these places have to offer.
Winter is upon us, and the days of t-shirt weather are nearly coming to an end. For me out here in Norway, I’m squeezing in as many outdoor climbing days as I can before it starts getting too cold to feel my fingers. Saying that, it’s about 5 degrees this weekend and I’m venturing sport climbing around Oslo. In Britain, folk will either be layering up and hard-coring it outside or, like the majority, be migrating indoors for some plastic climbing action for the next few months. Luckily for you lovely Bristol lot, there is plenty of places to choose from!
*With all indoor climbing facilities, a good understanding of the basic rules and safety methods of climbing must be abided by in order to use these areas. You must be able to present this knowledge to centre staff members before joining these walls. If you are not fully aware of these rules (bouldering or rope climbing) it is advisable you are taken by a competent climber. Or join one of the introduction courses that are run frequently at the following centres
Part of a chain of leading indoor climbing walls, the team converted this old cinema building into a multi-level climbing space, creating a space for all ability of climber. With enough room for a separate café to welcome you into its walls!
Redpoint also host a regular Guaranteed Partner Scheme evening weekly, in order for new climbers to the area, or those looking for a new climbing partner
Unique feature: Hanging spire in the middle of the lead wall makes for interesting angles. Plus the bar serving alcohol is conveniently on your way out.
Good for: Kids clubs, segregated climbing areas, large reception/restaurant area,
Opened in: Summer 2013
Following prices are with £5 annual membership:
Entry: £8.50 (4pm – 10pm), £7 (12pm – 4pm)
Bouldering entry: £5.50 (12pm – 4pm), £7 (4pm – 10pm)
Non-members: £10 (all entries)
Shoe hire: £2.50
Harness hire: £2
Full Gear Hire: £5
Bristol’s original climbing facility, this converted church has created many a rock athlete in its time, and is still going strong! Unfortunately, weddings are no longer held here, but a few religious proclamations can sometimes still be heard inside its walls on weekday evenings.
Unique feature: It’s in a church. A CHURCH!!
Good for: Birthday parties, its close proximity to the city centre, originality, cheap tea, surrounding bohemian setting (St. Werburghs), historic background
Opened in: 1987
Following prices are with £3 annual membership:
Entry: £6 (9.30pm – 5pm), £7.50 (5pm – 10pm)
Bouldering entry: £5 (9.30pm – 5pm), £6 (5pm – 10pm)
Shoe hire: £2
Harness hire: £1.50
The Climbing Academy
Bristol’s first bouldering specific centre, this compact space packs a punch. Always a friendly welcome, this centre offers all the facilities needed to practise climbing movements, without the height fear.
TCA also provide a lot of competitions and events year-round, ensuring there is an event for everyone in the calendar.
Unique feature: “Cave” roof area; steep angled boulder wall, for those of you wanting to test your strength!
Good for: those not so comfortable with heights, the cosy atmosphere, the variety of angled walls, wide café selection.
Opened in: Summer 2005
Membership for life: £10
Adult Entry midweek: £6.00 until 5.00pm; £8 after 5.00pm
Adult Entry weekends: £6.00 until 12.00 noon; £8 after 12.00
Climbing Shoe Hire: £3.00
The ‘new kids on the block’, Bloc bouldering centre faced tough competition on opening, but instead has expanded the Bristol climbing scene population, and introduced fresh (and higher) aspects of bouldering to Bristol.
Unique feature: High competition wall
Good for: the open air feel, variant height of the climbing walls, the clear panel roofing (allowing you to see what the weather’s doing!)
Opened in: February 2014
Membership for life: £4
Entry: £6 (12pm – 5pm) £8 (5pm – 10pm)
Youth (under 17): £5
Shoe hire: £3