Climbing In London

There is a disappointing lack of climbable rock in London. However, there are some excellent climbing walls and a few other climbing venues.

Major climbing walls

View London Climbing Walls in a larger map

Mile End

Extensive bouldering, and reputed to have the highest bouldering walls in the country.  Some roped climbing, though less extensive and less high than at other walls. NLMC meets here every Wednesday evening from about 7pm. After the wall closes, we head over to the Palm Tree, a highly individual pub situated in the middle of the adjacent park. BMC discount.

The Castle

It’s not hard to spot this climbing wall: it’s 200ft high and a castle (in fact a converted Victorian water pumping station).  It has extensive roped climbing and bouldering. It can get quite busy at popular times. It’s expensive for the occasional visitor, though membership deals make it more reasonable. There’s good bike parking. Several club members meet here on a Monday night and often at the weekend if the weather is too poor to go away. Does not offer a BMC discount.

The Biscuit Factory

The Biscuit Factory, is set in, surprise, surprise an old biscuit factory in Bermondsey, and is a large bouldering-only wall. There are free improvers sessions run on Mondays and Fridays. The walls is popular with some club members (particuarly the south londoners!). Entry is significantly cheaper if you purchase a block of ten entries and they have a BMC discount. The centre is run by the same people that used to run the Arch wall in London Bridge.

WestWay

Situated under the Westway, near Latimer Road tube.  More roped climbing than any of the other London walls – 120 roped lines – with walls up to 14.5 metres high, probably the best venue if you want to train your leading. It also has a good amount of bouldering. BMC member discount on Mondays and Fridays.

The Reach

Situated in an industrial estate in Woolwich, and somewhat awkward to get to by public transport. Extensive roped climbing and a good training room. There is some bouldering, though less than at the other major walls (though looks set to be developed further). BMC discount.

Other venues

High Sports run a number of smaller walls around London including Brixton, Crawley, Crystal Palace, Hackney, Hendon, Swiss Cottage and Marylebone, as well as others in some of the counties surrounding London. The Swiss Cottage wall offers dry tooling.

Vertical Chill is London’s only ice-climbing wall, situated in the Ellis Brigham store in Covent Garden. It’s quite a good place to go if you’re keen to try ice climbing and have never done it before, or if you want a brief refresher.

Fairlop Waters is an artificial boulder park in the London Borough of Redbridge. Actually, quite a lot of fun, and it’s free.

There are, of course, plenty of other things that can be climbed in London.