Where To Go Indoor Climbing In London

By Tessa Dunthorne

6 months ago

Because every millenial and their dog climbs now


Living or working in London, it’s impossible to miss the popularity of bouldering in the city. Setting out on the tube? Expect a pair of climbing shoes – tied at the laces to the straps of a commuter’s backpack – thrust in your face. Spending a second at the work watercooler? Your colleague climbed their first V4 route at the weekend (and you best believe you’ll hear about it).

According to London Climbing Centres (LCC), the sport is growing by up to 20 percent a year, and each annum a million people will try an indoor climb for the first time. The three main indoor types of climbing are:

  • Bouldering: the climber scales a short wall without ropes, with the goal of following a set route of coloured handholds to the very top.
  • Top-rope climbing: the climber is attached to a fixed point at the top by a moving, belayed rope, and climb a taller wall with the safety of a harness.
  • Lead climbing: another roped climb, but rather than the climber being attached to a fixed point, the rope is instead attached at periodic intervals to a ‘quick-draw’ secured to the wall, or another climber.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro, a qualified lead climber, or just starting out on your journey up the wall, here’s where you can indoor climb in London.

Indoor Climbing Centres In London

Multi-Venue London Bouldering Centres

London Climbing Centres

London Climbing Centres (LCC)

Where? Euston, Bethnal Green, Vauxhall, Canary Wharf, Harrow, Ravenscourt Park, Croydon

The LCC climbing centres are dotted across the entire city, and a membership gives you access to all eight gyms. These are particularly hot on inclusive, fun social events, and offer queer and women’s nights. Of course, the biggest draw are the regular reset climbs, and most of the gyms have access to a free-weights section, kilter and training boards. 

Cost: Super off-peak £7; off-peak £11.60; peak £16; anytime memberships £79. Shoe-hire £4, chalk hire £2, and new climber registration fee £2. londonclimbingcentres.co.uk

CityBouldering

Where? Aldgate, White City, Stratford (coming soon)

Citybouldering Aldgate claims to have over 100 challenging bouldering problems across is 2,000sq/m of gym space. Its sister venue White City, only a moment from Westfield shopping centre, also boasts nine auto-belay routes for top-rope fans. Both offer a buzzy social calendar and opportunity to meet fellow climbers; ‘CB lates’, for example, promises a night of climbing, complete with DJ sets and body paint. Their new Stratford bouldering venue is set to open at some point in the near future, too. 

Cost: Pay-as-you-go entry starts at £13 (off-peak), shoe-hire is £4, and new customers must pay a registration fee of £2.75. Alternatively, an annual membership is £810. citybouldering.co.uk

The Arch Bermondsey

The Arch

Where? Acton, Burnt Oak, Surrey Quays, Bermondsey

With four venues across London, the Arch is London’s original bouldering centre. You can expect clean, modern gyms from this climbing chain, and large, regularly reset routes to work through. An added plus is that some of the centres occupy interesting buildings – Acton’s Arch lives in an old cinema, meaning ducking between and scaling beautiful decor.

Cost: Single off-peak entry is £11; on-peak £14.50; monthly membership £69.50. Shoe hire and equipment starts at £3.50. archclimbingwall.com

Stronghold

Where? London Fields, Tottenham Hale

Enjoy a view at the café in Stronghold London Fields, overlooking Regents Canal. After your coffee, take on the climbing – which also promises pretty vistas. Bright well-lit and biweekly-reset bouldering problems dot this centre and these range in difficulty from V0-V11. Tottenham Hale offers equally as pleasant a climbing experience, just moments from the tube station. 

Cost: £15.50 for a day pass; monthly membership £72. Shoe hire is £4, and first visit registration fee is £3. thestrongholduk.com

Central London Climbing

The Font, Borough

The Font in Borough is a 7,000 sq/ft bouldering centre with regularly updated routes that follow progressive grading. It also offers a variety of other functional fitness options if bouldering doesn’t cut it for your fitness regime… Such as PT sessions, endurance classes, and yoga to stretch it all out after the climb. 

Cost: A single session pass is £16, or get five passes for £72.50. Shoe hire is £4. the-font.co.uk

East London

Mile End Climbing Wall, Mile End

This sprawling centre offers lead and top-roped walls in addition to bouldering challenges, with specially-dedicated rooms for those advanced climbers looking to push themselves. Mile End Climbing Wall is housed in an old pipe engineering works, so expect large industrial spaces filled with regularly reset routes. Plus, if you’re a bit sore after, why not stop off in its Finnish sauna room? 

Cost: single entry day pass £14.50; monthly membership £60; shoe hire £3.50. mileendwall.org.uk

This is Yonder climbing wall

This is Yonder, Walthamstow

Yonder is not just a climbing centre. It’s also home to a coworking space, a yoga/pilates/exercise studio and its Pinch café-bar. But as a climbing centre, it’s an exciting option. The east London bouldering wall has a cave space and offers one-off event nights like ‘Yawn Wall’, in which you stay in the centre from dusk ‘til dawn, testing out head torch climbing while enjoying food around a campfire. 

Cost: Single entry is £13.50; students can grab Tuesday and Friday entries for £7.25; monthly membership starts at £63 (couples can also benefit from a joint membership of £110). Shoe and chalk hire £4 in a bundle. thisisyonder.com

Rise Climbing, Canning Town

Rise offers a full height bouldering space as well as a traverse wall for warmups and technical practice. One of its social climbs is a strength-specific and practitioner-led session on the moonboard, so those looking to boost their workouts need look no further than Rise Climbing. 

Cost: Single peak time entry is £12 (off-peak is £9.50); or anytime monthly membership £49.50. Shoe hire is £3. rise-climbing.com

West London

The Climbing Hangar, Parsons Green

The Climbing Hangar is actually a chain, with sister venues up north (among these are the spaces in which Olympian Shauna Coxsey began her professional training), but it has one sole London venue. Small but mighty by Parson’s Green Station, and tucked away in a cute railway arch, it offers challenging but low climbs that are regularly reset. Added bonus: shoe hire is free here, included in entry.

Cost: £16 for a single entry, including shoe hire; monthly membership £57.99. theclimbinghangar.com

Clip ‘N Climb, Chelsea

Somewhere between climbing centre and adult soft play, Chelsea Clip ‘N Climb has Ninja Warrior-esque challenge walls alongside its infamous DropSlide. This is a belayed climbing space with set session timings and perfect for families and parties alike. 

Cost: A session starts at £22.50 for an hour. clipnclimbchelsea.co.uk

Hang, Houslow

Another climbing centre with all the perks (bouldering, training areas, plus a co-working lounge and café – who said boulderers can’t have the perfect work-life balance?). Hang sports dedicated zones for different levels, from beginners right through to those wanting to test their mettle against world cup-standard climbs. 

Cost: Adult single-entry £13.50; shoe hire £3. Monthly rolling membership £60 (three month minimum term). hang.co.uk

North London

The Castle, Stoke Newington

The Castle is a whopping five floors, and houses over 450 roped and lead climbs, alongside a massive range of bouldering problems. No surprise, then, that it’s the UK’s largest climbing centre – but do be warned that it’s also one of the busiest, and you may experience waits for climbs.

Cost: £16.50 for a single-entry; £3 registration fee; kit hire all £3/item. A rolling anytime adult membership starts at £79, and weekday climbers can nab a cheaper membership at £50 with certain time restrictions. castle-climbing.co.uk

South, South West & South East London

The Reach, Woolwich

The Reach is South London’s biggest climbing wall, offering bouldering, top-roping, lead-climbing, auto-belay climbs plus a dedicated training room. On top of that, it runs regularly roped climbing courses for those beginning to test the water with longer, continuous climbs, while experienced climbers will enjoy their offer of development coaching. 

Cost: £13, with a one-off registration fee of £5; kit hire costs between £1-4 depending on what you’re hiring (shoes are £3). Monthly subscription is £49.50. thereach.org.uk

Parthian Climbing Centre, Wandsworth

Parthian in Wandsworth is the only centre in SW where you can rope climb, and has 120 roped routes from beginners to advanced levels. Its bouldering is varied, too, and – the website claims – you can test yourself against the 2024 Paris Olympic Boulder wall ‘The Titan’.

Cost: A day pass is £15, monthly membership £75. parthianclimbing.com

A bouldering wall at Substation Brixton

Substation, Brixton

Substation doesn’t use typical grading – so you get to use more of the wall and in theory avoid queuing at busy times – rather approaching each route with clear start and top tags signaling levels of difficulty. The space offers regular socials and contains a brand new gym which runs cardio, yoga and strength classes.

Cost: a climbing membership is £60 a month, or a combo membership with gym access is £75. substation.co.uk/brixton