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Background

This activity centre is one of the best indoor climbing centers in County Durham. People can come here to join clubs, try a new sport and have a thrilling experience. There is plenty of different sorts of climbing activities of varying challenges thrown at climbers. This is also the place to develop new skills and fitness in young children.

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Image courtesy of Pavil Danilyuk

This climbing centre is located in the industrial estate of Meadowfield, less than 3 miles from Durham City Center. It is also one of the largest indoor bouldering centers in the UK.

Why you should visit this climbing activity centre in Durham

You should definitely consider visiting this climbing activity centre in Durham because it is essentially a hub for training and fitness, with activities suitable to people of all capabilities from beginner to pro. We will explore the activities that you can take part and have a go at…

Climbing activities

Climbing is actually an umbrella of different climbing related activities at the Durham Climbing Center which include:

  • Bouldering
  • Beginner climbing
  • Advanced climbing
  • Training area
  • Garden Wall

Bouldering is essentially like freestyle climbing. There are no safety ropes or harnesses required. People can tackle various climbing challenges at a low level near to the ground. On the ground is a soft mat for landing on. Bouldering is basically a branch of rock climbing that requires problem solving and learning basic climbing moves. With this activity you gain a full body workout, muscular strength and super flexibility and it is suitable for all ages.

The Beginner climbing area is located opposite the cafe. This is small section with easy climbing walls which are ideal for anyone new to climbing. There is also a Warm Up Area nearby, where there are various exercise equipment provided including:

  • Kettlebells
  • Balance boards
  • Free weights
  • Exercise mats

The Advanced Climbing activities area is the main activity hub of the centre. The activities here are suitable for all ages who are more experienced. The activities and challenges range from easy to hard. They have a traffic light grading system to help climbers determine the hardness levels of each climbing route/challenge.

Other activities include the training activities in the training area. These are recommended for those looking to build muscle and strength. Various challenges and exercises include the Beastmaker training board, large campus board and a peg board. All of these are great ways for people to practice and enhance their climbing skills.

The Garden Wall is one the center’s latest installments. This is used for private hire of up to 12 people. This activity area is located outside the back of the building with a series of climbing walls facing towards an outdoor terrace. People can spend 2 hours of combined climbing and chilling on some deckchairs in the garden area. As well as all that, you can also add a food & drinks package where they can provide toasties/paninis and a selection of drinks in the garden area.

Courses

As well as drop-in sessions, people can also join clubs and take on various courses in climbing. The following coaching sessions include:

  • Beginner taster
  • Adult beginner climbing course
  • Family taster
  • Personal coaching
  • Free adult coaching
  • Child sessions

The beginner taster is ideal for people new to climbing. You will get an induction as you embark your climbing adventure. The centre will provide 30 minutes of coaching to learn about warming up and basic climbing techniques. People will also receive climbing shoes to hire along with climbing chalk.

The adult beginner climbing course involves a series of coaching sessions upon several visits with a small group of people. There are 5 levels of progression and this course is suitable for anyone 16+.

Family taster sessions are suitable for up to 2 adults and 2 children. This session includes 30 minutes of coaching and is basically the same as the beginner taster but targeted to the whole family together.

People can receive personal coaching which involves an hour of 1:1 tuition. These private sessions are tailored to the individual based on their level of experience.

Adult climbing sessions take place every weeknight, where climbing coaches offer advice and guidance. Adults only need to pay an entry fee on the door to attend. Click here to follow their social media to check when these sessions are running.

Child sessions include a wide option of different sessions targeted at children of different age groups. They take place after school and on weekends and holidays. All sessions are inclusive to kids aged from 3-16 years old. Great for improving fitness, coordination and additionally social skills in young people.

 

To find out more about how to join any sessions, click here!

Events

This activity centre in Durham also runs regular events including:

  • Spring Send Fest
  • Free supper nights
  • Winter boulder series

The Spring Send Fest begins in March each year. It entails an exciting competition for climbers to join. Spectators can come to watch climbers take on set routes while a live DJ keeps the atmosphere electrifying. Spectators also don’t have to pay to come watch the final. You will need to book tickets to enter- click here to find out more!

They host free supper nights for adults, where people will be treated to a free pizza during their climbing session. Follow their page by clicking here to see when the next event will take place.

During the winter months, Durham Climbing Center hold their Winter Boulder Series. Contestants will be faced with new climbing problems from easy to hard, and they will collect points to add to their own score after each round. This event is free to enter and suitable for climbers of all experience levels. Click here to find out more!

Coffee lounge & cafe

Their coffee lounge- The Rock Hard Cafe- is open during opening hours and is located alongside the Beginner Area just passed the reception and main entrance. They serve all kinds of snacks and refreshments. Hot drinks including coffee with flavored syrups, specialty teas and hot chocolates. Soft drinks including fizzy pop and juice. Snacks including bags of crisps, protein bars and cakes. Hot food including toasties and paninis as well breakfast meals.

There is also an ice cream freezer in the reception room serving cold treats.

The cafe is furnished with leather armchairs and sofas, low height coffee tables and hot food is bought to the tables. The coffee lounge is on a raised floor that faces the beginners area, along with some extra tables and chairs just outside the changing rooms. Food and drink is bought at the reception desk.

Equipment shop

In the reception room, they have a small shop area where they sell various climbing equipment including shoes, chalk bags, and branded merchandise such as T-shirts.

Accessibility

This venue is accessible making is welcoming to people with learning disabilities, autistic people and people with physical disabilities too.

Wheelchair access

While climbing activities may be inaccessible for wheelchair users, this activity centre in Durham has made their venue easy to access. There is a sloped entrance at the front, with wide double doors to get inside the reception area. More double doors lead to the coffee lounge and beginner climbing area. There is enough space for wheelchair users to sit by the lounge in the space outside the changing rooms. This is ideal for watching friends/family climbing in the beginner area while having food/drink.

The rest of the climbing area is inaccessible to wheelchairs however. The viewing area in the main advanced climbing area is up some stares looking over the large L-shaped room.

Toilet facilities

The men’s and women’s toilets are just to the right as you walk from the beginner area to the advanced climbing area. There is no disabled toilet unfortunately.

There are three individual changing cubicles with locks on the doors for full privacy so climbers can get changed comfortably.

Cafe menu

The menu at their cafe includes light bites that are suitable portion sizes and also include healthy options like salads. There is a wide selection of both hot and cold drinks making sure there is something that everyone will like. They have vegan and gluten-free options too, please ask staff for allergy information.

Activity difficulty

Of course, climbing is a challenging sport but we encourage everyone to give it a try! This climbing activity centre in Durham has put in place an easy-to-follow grading system for the various climbing routes on all activities. This includes:

  • Different color-coded climbing holds based on difficulty level.
  • Grade sheets that are displayed on a notice board in the climbing areas.
  • A climbing app that can be used to track your own progress to help determine your capability. The app can be downloaded by clicking here.

Trainers and coaching staff are always on hand in the climbing areas. All climbers will receive thorough inductions and health and safety training prior to activities.

Atmosphere

This activity centre in Durham can get busy during weekends and school holidays. On event days like the Spring Fest, there will be music playing throughout the main climbing venue. There is always soft music playing in the background. It never gets overcrowded due to health and safety, and the size of the space. This makes it friendly to autistic people and people with sensory needs.

Parking

They have their own onsite parking right outside the building. There are disabled spaces right by the entrance.

Public transport

The nearest public transport available is the bus stop on the A690 main road which is a 3-minute walk from the activity centre. There is no train station nearby.

Conclusion

We hope you found this listing helpful in your search for things to do and activities in County Durham. There are plenty of other activity centers we recommend that are accessible and great for fun days out with the family. Check out our listings for:

 

Q Do they do rock climbing with ropes/harnesses?

Q Do I need to bring my own climbing footwear?

Q How many people can I go with to just a drop-in session?

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  • Monday10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
  • Tuesday10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
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  • Thursday10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
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  • Saturday08:30 AM - 06:00 PM
  • Sunday08:30 AM - 06:00 PM
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