Indoor Climbing Walls Suitable For Children in Essex

If your children are climbing the walls at home why not take them out to climb instead (sorry that joke was too obvious). There are a range of climbing walls in Essex from clip and climb locations with colourful walls to dedicated climbing and bouldering centres which focus on teaching the skills of climbing and offer coaching. It is surprisingly hard work and requires a good amount of arm and leg strength.

You will be expected to sign a waiver and have a briefing before climbing. It is pretty safe if they follow the instructions, but it's really important they pay attention to where they walk and don't go in the drop zone underneath where someone is climbing.  The more serious climbing centres like The Lock Climbing Wall, Colchester Climbing Project and Rock and Boulder require proper shoes, the more "fun" locations sensible closed toe footwear like trainers is fine.

A view of colourful climbing walls in Essex with an adult and child visible
My children and I had great fun when we went to the climbing walls at Lakeside, Essex

Age recommendations vary between sites, but younger children are often limited in what they can climb on due to their strength and length of their limbs. 

Basildon Sporting Village

Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, SS14 3GR
The climbing walls are currently closed as the Leisure Centre has claimed it is not possible to social distance. I'm keeping it on this list in case they reopen.

Colchester Climbing Project

Unit B&C Global Park, 12 Moorside, Colchester, Essex CO1 2TJ
Essex's only dedicated bouldering centre. Bouldering is a type of climbing that doesn't use ropes, but has padded flooring. For children that don't want to do classes they have a weekly "one off" session for £15 an hour including shoes and a coach. Their courses are for children aged 7 and up, but children can climb from age 5 with the appropriate supervision.

Essex Outdoors - Lock Climbing Wall

Burntmill Lane, Harlow CM20 2QS
The Lock Climbing Wall claims to be Essex's largest indoor climbing wall. Children can climb from age 7 with either an adult supervising (if they are a competent climber themselves) or in an instructor led session. They offer intro sessions and training for children to progress. There are over 120 climbing routes available. This is a climbing centre for people who are serious about climbing rather than bright colourful adventures for a party. They offer 1:1 training sessions for children aged 3 upwards. There is also now an outside clip and climb open for children 6 and over and a high ropes course on site at Harlow High Adventure.
Limited free parking onsite or use the free car park at the Moorhen pub

Jump Street (Chelmsford)

12 Richmond Road, Dukes Park Estate, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6UA
There are 32 climbing challenges at this large clip and climb including 3 extreme challenges (stairway to heaven, the leap of faith and the vertical drop slide) which have a minimum height of 1.2m. A session starts at £13.95 for an hour, but the extreme challenges cost extra.
Children age 4 and over can take part in sessions.

NAMCO Funscape/ Clip n Climb Braintree

Freeport Leisure Village, Charter Way, Braintree, CM77 8YH
A clip and climb with 8 different challenges. Children can take part from age 4 upwards for £11.50 an hour. The climb time is 45 minutes with 15 minutes introduction and harness fitting.

Rock and Boulder

Unit 5, Brooklands Mews, Brooklands Approach, Romford RM1 1DX
Children must be 8 or over to climb and be supervised by an adult at all times, from £7.50 a session plus shoe hire. Boulder climbing  doesn't use a hardness or ropes. Limited parking. 

Rock Up Lakeside

intu Lakeside, Thurrock Way, Grays RM20 2ZP
A climbing centre inside Lakeside shopping centre with 27 fun climbing walls for age 4 and upwards and a softplay for 8 and under. They also have a Toddler climb & play session for children aged 5 and under. Normal climbing sessions last 90 minutes which includes safety briefing and harness fitting. Free parking.
Read my review from our visit to Rock Up.

Vertigo, Harlow Leisurezone

Second Avenue, Harlow CM20 3DT
There is a climbing wall at Harlow Leisurezone called VertiGo which is suitable for age 6 and up. Children under 8 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Sessions last 90 minutes which is 30 minutes briefing and 60 minutes climbing. Leap of Faith and Step Tower (called stairway to heaven elsewhere) cost extra.
Make sure you ask for a car park token when you pay so you don't have to pay for the car park.

Information as accurate as possible at time of posting, but may be changed by the venues without notice. Check their websites/ facebook pages for the latest information.

Where to go climbing with children in Essex, climbing walls, clip and climb and bouldering
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