Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, here are the very best climbing centres you’ll find in Leeds.
Leeds is home to five of the best climbing centres you’ll come across in the UK. From venues with 250 rope-climbing routes to centres that do away with ropes for a sophisticated bouldering set-up with weekly resets, you can quickly get to grips with a host of challenges for all skillsets. And you don’t need to be an expert or a grown-up to have a go, because they all offer special beginners classes and kids sessions. So it’s time to get chalked up ready to tackle those walls.
City Bloc is a climbing centre dedicated solely to bouldering. It’s the brainchild of four former members of the Great British Bouldering Team, so they know their onions. They welcome both beginners and confident climbers – you’ll just have to demonstrate your skills to be able to climb unsupervised. If you’re experienced, you can make the most of the competition-style routes that are reset weekly. Need a helping hand? You can easily bag a few hints and tips from the staff.
If you’re a first timer to the world of bouldering, you can learn how to climb safely with their group climbing sessions. The hour-long class will teach you all the basics, from safety tips to the correct techniques. From there you can continue to develop your skills in your own time, as you’ll have access to the centre for the rest of the day.
City Bloc, 1-4 Kitson Road, Airedale Industrial Estate, Hunslet, Leeds, LS10 1NT. Entry starts from £6 for adults and £5 for children. Adult group climbing sessions start from £6 per person for one hour, depending on group size.
The Big Depot
If you want to enter the world of roped climbing, head to The Big Depot. It’s taken over the former Leeds Wall with shiny new routes, training areas and even bouldering facilities. There are over 250 routes that range from f2 to f8b in difficulty, alongside five auto belay lines. All climbing levels are covered across three different classes you can choose from, including regular clubs for little ones.
Beginners start with the Induction, which will cover all grounds so that you’re prepped to scale the walls. But if you want to climb unsupervised, join their Adult Beginners sessions, where you can get signed off in three classes. If you’re serious about learning to lead climb, you’ll need six months of top rope climbing experience to access their Learn to Lead classes. It’s the only climbing centre in Leeds offering this type of training.
The Big Depot, 100a Gelderd Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 6BY. Entry starts from £8 for adults and £7 for children. Inductions start from £30 per person, Adult Beginner sessions are £30 and Learn to Lead sessions are £30 per person.
The Climbing Lab
This open-plan climbing centre is known for its top-quality bouldering facilities. From slab to vertical walls and plenty of overhangs, The Climbing Lab is a playground for climbers of all abilities. They also have one of the only top-out boulders in Leeds. For training facilities, you can work through their circuit boards and Beastmakers or test your strength on their Moon Board. Kids get their own special climbing area as well, so the whole family will be kept happy.
If you want to get to grips with the basics of bouldering, they do an adult introduction course where you’ll tick off techniques and safety in an hour-long session. Once that’s completed, you’ll get sign off to go it alone, with the centre at your fingertips for the rest of the day. If kids aged eight and above are serious about climbing, they can even complete the National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme.
The Climbing Lab, Units 14 & 15, Kirkstall Industrial Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2AZ. Entry starts from £7 for adults and £6 for children.
Clip ‘n Climb
If it’s a fun and leisurely climb you’re after, head to Clip ‘n Climb. It’s one of Leeds’ favourite family-friendly attractions where kids as young as 4 can have a go. It boasts 32 unique climbing challenges with a bright and colourful theme running throughout. And to make the experience less nerve-wracking, they have an auto-belay system that takes the slack as you climb before lowering you gently to the ground.
You’ll kick off with a briefing and safety session before you’re let loose to tackle the challenges for a full hour. From the Stairway to Heaven balancing challenge to the strenuous Astroball climb, you can pick and choose from three difficulty levels. Feeling brave? Try the daunting nine-metre Vertical Drop Slide. It’s a great place for both kids and adults to get acquainted with the world of climbing in a fun and light-hearted setting.
Clip ‘n Climb, Unit 3, Tristam Centre, Brown Lane West, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 6BF. Entry is £12.50.
The Depot is a bouldering-only climbing centre in Leeds and they take things seriously here. We’re talking 1000 square metres of climbing surface with circuits graded from V0 to V11+ as well as a dedicated circuit board that’s graded 6a to 8b+/8c. Throw in weekly resets that create up to 40 new climbs and you have the perfect set-up to learn new skills each time.
If you’re new to the game, pop along to an Induction, where you can get to grips with all there is to know about bouldering. The aim is to learn how to do it safely onsite without any supervision. To increase your competency, make use of their sophisticated training area, which is kitted out with campus boards, and 30 and 50 degree training boards starting from grade V6. If you’re bringing the kids along, they offer five different clubs, from Rock Tots for little ones aged six and below to a N.I.B.A.S club where they will complete the National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme.
The Depot, 173 Richardshaw Lane, Stanningley, Pudsey, Leeds,West Yorkshire, LS28 6AA. Entry starts from £8 for adults and £7 for children. Inductions are £15.