When it comes to things do in the nation’s capital, there’s lots of stuff you can find. Nevertheless, bouldering in London is, for us, the best thing you can take part in! The sport has grown exponentially in recent years, and as a result, numerous gyms have opened their doors.
In this review, we will breakdown the most popular bouldering gyms in London, and give you our verdict. Each gym brings something different to the table, and we will attempt to give you as much info as possible.
Naturally, going to the gym and trying it for yourself is the ultimate experience. The best way to experience bouldering in London is to go out there and do it, and hopefully have fun along the way!
Bouldering in London – The List of Gyms
In the following section, we will list all of the bouldering gyms in London. We’re going to provide some key information, such as opening hours and location and will follow it up with our verdict. We’ve tried them all, so we are speaking from experience.
The Arch Building One+
Tower Bridge Business Centre,
Mo – Fr : 06:30 – 22:30
Sa – Su : 09:00 – 21:00
Verdict – Our Favourite
Situated near the Bermondsey Underground (Jubilee), this is a bouldering heaven. There’s 15,000 sq ft of climbing over two buildings, originally it was just the Biscuit Factory, but it expanded in 2018 to be incorporate an additional building. There are over 300+ routes from V0 – V9, and they are reset regularly.
There’s a top training area, as well as a cafe, changing and shower facilities, and other amenities. There are also lessons for beginners and more experienced climbers. The centre is dedicated solely to bouldering, which is something we love here at TopBouldering! The best thing about the Arch is that there are other centres, North and Acton, and if you get a membership you can visit all of these under one fee!
Unit 2a & 3a,
Neptune Trading Estate, Neptune Rd,
Mo – Fr : 10:00 – 23:00
Sa – Su : 09:00 – 22:00
Verdict – The Biggest
If you are in North West London, then this is the place to be. It boasts to be the largest bouldering gym in the UK with over 40,000 sq ft. They even have a manßmade caving system, which is something we have never seen anywhere else!
Their centre has hundreds of routes, with a great comp wall. They have a training wall, yoga and gym areas, a shop, a cafe, changing rooms and much more. They also have some auto-belays, but focus predominantly on bouldering. It truly is a top centre and is very popular amongst Londoners.
Arch 45b – 47a,
South Lambeth Road,
Mo – Su : 06:00 – 23:00
Verdict – The Best Opening Hours
Bouldering in London would not be complete with the VauxWall. We are concentrating on the West wall, located in three arches at Vauxhall rail station. There is an East Wall too, with shorter opening hours and is also a top choice.
They provide a convenient self-check-in service and the air conditioning is great in the summer months. The three rooms of climbing offer a variety are reset on a rolling 8 week basis. They also have a 35-degree training board, a comp wall, a traverse, campus board, and some great permaset routes.
Overall, it is a great facility and many of the top names in the country come to train here.
Mile End Climbing
Mile End Climbing Wall,
Mo – Fr : 10:00 – 21:30
Sa – Su : 09:00 – 18:00
Verdict – Top All-Rounder
As the name would suggest, this centre is located five mins from the Mile End Tube Station. It is maintained by the charity ‘DEVELOPMENT through CHALLENGE’ hand has around 16,000 sq ft of climbing on offer. It’s not just bouldering that can be found here, with top-rope and lead climbing also on offer.
Even so, the bouldering is pretty good with 100s of routes, as well as top training areas. The Board Room and the famous Monkey House, really do make this place stand out. The Monkey House is basically a small room that is an overhanging roof, and will definitely get those forearms pumped!
Overall, there’s a great mix of bouldering for Londoners here. From roofs to slabs you’ll definitely find your preferred style here.
The Climbing Hangar
5, Parsons Green Depot,
33-35 Parsons Green Lane,
Mo – Fr : 07:00 – 22:00
Sa – Su : 09:00 – 20:00
Verdict – Top Setting
The Climbing Hangar in London is a dedicated bouldering centre with around a hundred problems that are reset every week. It’s smaller than some of the locations we’ve listed but it does not mean that the quality of the climbing suffers.
We really like the setting here, and although for top-end climbers there might not be enough, we think it is perfect for those intermediate boulderers. There’s also a dedicated training area with a Moon Board and a cool area to chill out and watch other climbers from the comfort of a sofa.
Overall, if you are in Parsons Green, this is a great little spot for bouldering in London.
The Castle Climbing Centre
Green Lanes, Stoke Newington,
Mo – Fr : 12:00 – 22:00
Sa – Su : 09:00 – 19:00
Verdict – Wonderful Outdoor Garden
Castle Climbing is truly a great climbing facility. It’s massive and offers bouldering, top-rope, lead climbing, and even abseiling. It’s spread over five floors and caters for all climbing abilities.
There are 10 different bouldering areas, with three of them in their outdoor organing garden. Grades range from VB – V6, so if you are at the top end of the sport, it could be better to go elsewhere.
Overall, this centre makes fantastic use of its Victorian building and surrounding garden. It truly is a great place, built for climbers by climbers.
Stronghold Climbing Centre
18 Ashley Road,
Mo – We : 08:30 – 22:00
Th – Fr : 12:00 – 22:00
Sa : 09:00 – 19:00
Su : 09:00 – 21:00
Verdict – A Great Newbie
Another bouldering centre in a great location, Stronghold Climbing Centre is new to the scene, and their facilities are top-notch. Hundreds of problems, the largest circuit board in London, and a great training area are all on offer.
They have an in-house and professional setting team, and the variety of problems on offer is excellent. The great thing about this place is the encourage it to be a social place for the community. They have a license to sell beer, so you can always sit down with a cold one after a hard session.
Bouldering in London – Honourable Mentions
When it comes to bouldering in London it is clear that there are loads of gyms on offer. The ones we have listed above are the ones we have visited personally. There are still many gems we are sure we haven’t unearthed.
We will also add to this if and when we do go to a new place. We are also fairly sure new places will open up in the future too. So without further ado, we’ll list some places that we have on our list that we want to check out soon:
- The Reach
- Hackney Wick Boulder Project
- Westway Climbing Centre
- White Spider
If there are any others we should check out, use our contact page to let us know!
Outdoors Bouldering in London – Fairlop Waters Boulder Park
Ok, bouldering outdoors is not the point of this article, but it is still worth to mention the Fairlop Waters Boulder Park. Located at Boulder Park, its 35 mins from Liverpool St. Within the park, there are around 10 boulders to climb. It’s a cool little area.
Even so, although it’s free to access, it probably is not worth the travel unless you live nearby.
Lots of Options for Bouldering in London
It is fairly obvious that you will have lots of choices when it comes to bouldering in London. If we are being honest, the place you choose will most likely come down to the location. Of course, some places are better equipped than others, and we’d recommend trying a few before committing to a membership.
We’ve reviewed other bouldering gyms in different cities, so maybe it is a good idea to compare them too. Our best advice is to go out there and have fun. If you are a beginner or more advanced there’s lots for you.