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Frequently Asked Questions


What's the easiest way to start climbing?

For beginners over 14 we would highly recommend bouldering as a starting point. This requires no ropes, and is an accessible and quick way to learn your climbing basics.

See how do I start climbing today for details.

Can I bring my kids down?

If you are an experienced climber, yes — anything you can do, you can supervise them to do.

Otherwise you first need to learn how to climb before we would deem you able to supervise them safely. Or you can book them onto a session with an instructor. Here are some great options for you.

Can I just give it a go with an instructor?

Yes you can!

We offer fun Taster Sessions (which other people can also book onto).

Or you can book a private session with an instructor for yourself and up to 3 friends.

Check out see if you like climbing and want to do more for details.

What are the different types of climbing I can do at The Reach?

We have 4 types of climbing available at The Reach:

  • Bouldering
  • Auto-belay
  • Top rope
  • Lead climbing

See more about different types of climbing — including how to start them at The Reach.

What facilities do you have at The Reach?

We have many facilities at The Reach, including:

  • car & bike parking
  • changing rooms & showers
  • kit hire
  • cafe
  • shop for climbing gear
  • training room
  • bodyworks studio for yoga, warm ups & cool downs

See our facilities page for more details.

How much does it cost?

It depends what you're looking for. We have many different offerings, including kit hire, single visits, multi-visit passes, single lessons with an instructor, or ongoing instructed courses.

See our prices page for a full list.

Can I bring guests?

An adult who has registered at the centre and proved competency, may supervise up to two guest climbers, taking full responsibility for the safety of those people. The supervising member cannot climb.

See our bringing guests page for more details, including our supervision rules.

How do I get into roped climbing?

We offer a great value introductory course to teach you the basics of top-rope climbing. Suitable for complete beginners and those whose skills are a little bit rusty. It will give you everything needed to register for unsupervised roped climbing.

Check out our introduction to roped climbing page for details.

How do I start lead climbing?

Lead climbing, though great fun, comes with a lot of responsibility. Therefore you must meet certain criteria before you can attend our lead climbing course.

See our learn to lead section for details.

What length rope shall I bring to lead climb?

A 30 meter rope will work on all of our lead walls.

What type of lead anchors are at The Reach?

We have a selection of lead anchors at the top of the walls, including Screw Gates, 2 opposing quick draws, Eldered 'Topper Stations' & Petzl 'Easy Top Anchors'. Best practice is to always lower off from the anchors (not from the last quick draw). Please ask our desk team if you are unfamiliar with any of these anchor systems.

Do you have ground anchors?

Every top-rope & lead line has a ground anchors in place. You can borrow a ground anchor attachment using your keys as deposit.

Under 18s

Can I book my child in for a fun session?

If your child is aged 7-17, yes! We run lots of 'Kids Club' sessions for this age group at weekends and during school holidays.

These are 90 minute fun climbing sessions, supervised by an instructor, with all equipment included.

Suitable for complete beginners and possible to book over and over again, these sessions give lots of scope for climbing development.

These sessions book up fast so please make sure you book in advance.

Can I book a private session with an instructor for a group of under 18s?

Yes. We have a few different options depending on the size of the group and the ages of the participants:

For larger groups of 5-12 participants, all participants must be aged 7+

  • if all participants are aged 7-17, choose an under 18 larger group
  • if any adults which to participate, choose a mixed age larger group

For smaller groups of up to 4 participants, all ages can participate

  • Note: if there are any 5 or 6 year olds in the small group, there must be at least one participating adult. For each child aged 4 or below, there must be one participating adult per child. This helps keep the session under control and everyone safe.

In all cases, sessions are tailored to the ability of the people in the group — no previous climbing experience necessary.

See our instructed groups page for details.

How do I bring my child climbing?

An adult who has registered at the centre and proved competency, may supervise up to two guest climbers, taking full responsibility for the safety of those people. The supervising member cannot climb. A supervision form must be completed prior to the climbing session for each guest.

See our bringing guests page for more details, including our supervision rules.

If you are not a registered climber then your child can either climb with someone who is, or you can book your child onto an instructed session instead.

Can I bring my baby or infant in a pram or pushchair?

Yes you can! But please discuss with our team where the pram will be safest to park away from any 'fall zones'.

Infants must stay in the pram at all times.

Once they are toddling, they will need to be registered on our system with supervision forms signed by an experienced climber.


What are your bank holiday opening hours?

On Bank Holidays we open from 10am until 7pm.

However, we are closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New years Eve and New years Day.

I've booked a place on an instructed session, but I can't make it. Can I cancel?

For basic skills courses, taster sessions and fun sessions, bookings are non-refundable.

For private tuition, parties, corporate or youth and school group bookings, cancellations made with less than 2 weeks notice incur a charge of 50% of the session fee; sessions cancelled or changed with less than 1 week's notice must be paid for in full.

What should I wear for climbing?

We recommend that you wear comfortable, casual clothing that will not restrict movement. Trousers and a T-shirt would be fine, although the climbing area is not heated, so please have suitable warm clothing in cold weather.

Climbing shoes can be hired from reception if you do not have your own. Children should wear clean trainers or plimsolls if they do not have their own climbing shoes.

Rings should be removed prior to climbing as they can cause injury to fingers. We also advise that you do not wear bracelets or watches as these can get damaged. Long hair should be tied back.

How accessible is climbing at The Reach?

Climbing at The Reach is accessible to a very wide range of people. We actively encourage para climbers, people with visual or hearing impairment, those with Special Educational Needs and people of all shapes, sizes and ages to climb with us.

See our accessibility page for details.

Is there somewhere to park my car or bike?

On the estate there is a designated car parking area, accessed by turning right just inside the front gates. Parking there is free, but spaces cannot be guaranteed.

There is a bike lock-up area inside the big roller doors to the right of the reception. If you forget you bike lock, we may be able to lend you one for your visit. Please ask at reception whether one is available.

Do you have lockers?

Yes, we have lots of locker space available for storing all your valuables. Just bring a £1 coin to release the key (you get your £1 back when you return the key). We also sell reusable locker tokens which you can use instead of a coin.

We have a few extra large lockers - but cannot guarantee availability. Please ask at reception if needed.

What ages can use The Reach?

Climbing is suitable for all ages. We've had participants under 2, as well as those over 90.

Some of our instructed sessions have age limits for young people — you can use the filters on our 'What can under-18s do at The Reach' page to see the options for different ages.

Under 18s cannot use the cafe (unless under the signed supervision of an adult member) or the training room, and cannot supervise others.

Are there weight restrictions?

There are no weight restrictions for bouldering and roped climbing. Ground anchors are provided to assist lighter belayers with heavier climbers.

The auto belay devices have a maximum user weight of 23 Stone or 150 KG.

Can I bring my dog?

No. For safety reasons, customers cannot bring animals into the centre.

Can I buy a gift voucher?

Indeed you can!

Treat someone special with the gift of climbing. Great for Christmas, birthdays, or any other reason. You can match the cost of a course, or any amount you choose — see our gift e-card page for some suggestions.

Do I need to be a climber in order to use the cafe?

No, you do not. Anyone over 18 may use the cafe, though non-climbers must keep within the marked areas within the centre to keep them out of the fall zones of the climbing walls.

Under 18s can only be in the cafe under the supervision of a registered member.