There are many indoor rock climbing centres in London but one in particular; The Castle, In Mile End, London was recommended to me by a client of mine.
This proved a great choice as Ash and I had a fun half-day climbing the walls and testing our functional strength.
We hired all our gear when we arrived and I was able to act as Ashleigh’s mentor so that we could top-rope climb here for the first time without going through a more expensive beginner’s course.
It would be a lie to say the day went by without a hitch. Ash being pulled into the air by my body weight as I fell off a particular wall was one in particular that springs to mind! But after an hour or so, she had the hang of using the belay to do almost all of the work. Using a ground anchor to begin with would have prevented this.
We spent most of our time top rope climbing (where you climb with a partner who belay’s you from the ground using a rope which is already anchored at the top of the wall), but you can also lead climb and practice bouldering on the multitude of walls.
We both enjoy rock climbing so much that we are currently shopping around for our own gear to use so that we don’t have to hire it all every time. Like many sports/hobbies though, initial setup costs can be quite expensive, so we may settle for second-hand gear where necessary.
As the weather here in the UK gets warmer, we will also begin hunting for the best outdoor rock faces to tackle. A mate took me out to a great set of outdoor faces in Royal Tunbridge Wells last year, so I’m sure you will be seeing posts about places like this before long.
All in all, we would highly recommend The Castle to rock climbers of all abilities. The prices are good, the facilities are excellent, and the staff were friendly and helpful. It’s fair to say we will be spending quite a bit of time here in the near future.
Check out their website if you want to learn more about The Castle.