May 10, 2012

Review of two of the big rock climbing London centres

The Reach

Right, I'm going to introduce a few of the larger rock climbing centres in the city of London. First of all, let me talk about a climbing centre called The Reach - a place which most of my colleagues in London go to have a climb. One thing to say is that it is a little bit further away from the city itself in contrast to some other rock climbing walls such as Mile End and The Arch. It is located not far from Woolwich on an industrial estate, and could perhaps be fairly tricky to reach it by trains or buses. When you do make it there, however, it's worth it. My favourite thing concerning this particular climbing centre is the fact that it is rarely overcrowded. Hence, few queues or spending time waiting around in between routes. It is new: it only opened in 2010, but has without a doubt already convinced me as well as my climbing friends that it is the best place for climbing if you're visiting the capital.

With more than 150 leading and top roped lines including overhangs and slabs and lines for beginners and climbs that are graded high, The Reach is good for everyone. Also, the problems are reset on a regular basis. There is a section for bouldering as well. Said area for bouldering used to be on the small side a while ago, however The Reach have now unveiled their BRAND NEW section for bouldering - a couple of times the size that it was previously. The staff are pleasant and the atmosphere is good. Roughly speaking, the facilities are in good nick, you can also make use of a climbing store and a coffee shop too! Okay, I will now think about the cost. The Reach only £8 to get in those membership holders and £10 for non-members, therefore, for those of you who are serious rock climbers, I advise that you become a member. For NUS holders, discounts can be obtained if you climb at off-peak times and, similar to some other rock climbing venues, there is also a BMC discount.

Westway Sports Centre

I'll now consider Westway, the venueplace] where you'll find much more top rope and lead climbing than in some of the other climbing and bouldering London gyms. As it happens, there is over 120 roped and leading lines with heights of up to 14.5 metres - pretty decent! The climbing gym makes up one element of the bigger Westway Sports Centre which is situated in the north of Kensington, a short stroll from Ladbroke Grove station. Offering something for every kind of climber, there is ample to occupy lead climbers, top rope climbers and not forgetting boulderers. On the other hand, for those who are tired with climbing walls, you might want to try some of the other sports that Westway offer. There are football pitches, tennis courts, a swimming pool and a gym.

Although this climbing centre is really one of the largest London climbing walls, it can often get extremely busy. This usually happens at peak times and has a bad effect on the climbing vibe. For this reason, if I were to want a bouldering session only, I would go to The Arch bouldering centre nearby London bridge everytime - a more relaxed climbing atmosphere. However, Westway is really good if you are with a group of friends and also for those who are bringing the children for a climb. Normal costs are £10 a head, hence it is more value than The Arch climbing centre as an example, however remains fairly dear in my opinion.

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