The newly opened, ‘Vauxwall’ is a bright, friendly bouldering centre located in Vauxhall, London, is number 5 on my list. Situated in 3 old railway arches close to Vauxhall station, it is very easy to get to via public transport, which is always a bonus! This is actually the first wall I’ve visited which allows you to pre-register online, a great time saver so you can get on those blocs as soon as possible! The centre has a fresh feel to it with 3 different sections of varying angles and blocs from VB to V8. As well as this, there’s a small gym area and board so a good venue for training. Although small, the wall has all the slabs, power blocs and comp blocs you need for a good long session.
Number 4 on my list would be EICA Ratho. EICA regularly holds national and international competitions, so has amazing competition routes up almost the whole year – it’s definitely the wall for you if you want to practice your competition skills. Although it is notoriously cold, the huge hangar wall makes up for it – there aren’t many walls of this angle in the country, and the wall’s angle can even be altered. The centre has limited bouldering but has got a speed wall, one of only 2 in the country. I always love climbing and competing at Ratho, I love the angle of the hangar wall but also the contrast of the old comp wall next to it.
EICA Ratho Sandy Carr
The ever-growing climbing wall that is The Castle comes in at number 3 on my list. With over 450 blocs and 100 routes The Castle is definitely one of the biggest walls in the UK. Although The Castle is often busy, there are plenty of boulder rooms with plenty of well set, and hard blocs. In my opinion, The Castle’s grades are generally pretty stiff but it makes it so much more satisfying when you complete something. The Castle is always developing and I can’t wait until their lead walls are as good as their bouldering areas! And finally, I love the variety of blocs available at the castle; you can train technique on the slabs, power on the wave, comp style blocs on the comp wall and much more!
The Castle, Nick Pope
My 2nd favourite wall is The Foundry. Although it’s cold here too, it’s definitely worth the longer warm up. The angle of the main back wall would have to be my favourite thing – it’s always a surprise whenever I get higher up to feel how steep it is and always takes some getting used to! The wave bouldering area always has some powerful blocs, which is my favourite type of climbing! And there’s good cake upstairs!!
The Foundry Peter Wuensch
Whether you want to boulder or route climb, the Westway has got it all – there are 350 routes and over 100 blocs all set to a high quality and on a variety of walls. The blocs and routes are re-set regularly and also set by different setters, which is important in my opinion as its always good to be able to test yourself on new moves and styles. Despite Westway being my home wall, I still think it has some of the best setting I’ve climbed on in London or even the UK. The Westway also host a fun bouldering league, ‘The Superleague’ which is another bonus!
I’ve not been everywhere in the UK so I’m sure there are many more walls out there which are very good… I just hope one day I’ll be able to say I’ve climbed at them all! Thanks for reading!