Climbing is fun and suitable for all ages. Its accessibility, and the fact that kids and adults can climb together make it an ideal family activity.
But climbing also involves falling objects (yourself and others). The mats make it feel safe, but climbing requires you to take personal responsibility for your safety in ways you, and especially your kids, might not have had to consider before.
Keeping safe is the key to keeping climbing fun.
If you're visiting for the first time, you will need to do an induction. For kids aged 4-6 or those only climbing in the Little Hangar, you can watch the induction video online before you come, register, and off you go.
You can still watch the video to prep and register online, but spending twenty minutes with our coaches in the centre is vital to keeping your little ones safe and having fun.
In the meantime, here's our quick guide to getting the most out of the Climbing Hangar.
- Children aged 7 and under can only climb in the kid's centre. You do not need to attend an induction to supervise in the kids centre, but you must watch our induction video. We recommend doing this at home and pre-registering with us to save time when you visit.
- Kids aged 4 and under must be supervised 121 and you need to be within reach of them at all times, this includes babies and non climbing children.
- You should always be within arms' reach of your little ones when they're climbing.
- Kids aged 8 to 13 and above can climb on our main walls under adult supervision. No more than two children can be supervised by an adult. This includes children who aren’t climbing.
- If you would like to supervise your junior climbers on our main walls you need to complete an induction. Inductions are included in the general admission price for your kids (you won't be charged as a supervisor). Book online to ensure you don't have to wait.
- Even if you're coming to an induction, we recommend that you take a few minutes to watch the induction video and complete the registration form before you arrive.
- Children from 14-17 can climb unsupervised if a parent or guardian has signed a waiver (in person at the centre) and we have assessed them as competent.
- There are a few basic safety guidelines:
- If kids aren't climbing, they should come off the mats (and all children under 4 must be kept off the mats). Adults can obviously be on the mats to keep an eye on the little ones.
- Never start climbing while someone is on the wall above you
- No running – the mats are soft but that also makes them an unstable surface
- Always make sure you and the kids know what’s happening above you – it’s not always possible to control a fall and climbers can be heavy
- When you’re on the mats, stay close to the middle, away from the walls
What equipment do I need?
You don’t need to bring anything with you except your enthusiasm and some comfortable clothes. Shoes and chalk are available to hire at The Climbing Hangar (included in Taster and 1-2-3 card entry), and if you want to buy your own kit then our on-site shop has everything you need, including a shoe fitting service.
I don't like heights - how high is the wall?
Bouldering isn’t about climbing high. The wall is only 4.2m at its highest point. And remember, while your hands might be at the top, your feet are unlikely to ever be more than 3m off the ground. The Climbing Hangar has crash mats throughout and we can teach you to land safely to minimise the risk of injury. As you gain in confidence you will stop noticing the heights.
How safe is bouldering?
Bouldering is a risky sport. But as long as you are aware of the particular type of risks associated with bouldering and how to avoid unnecessary dangers, it’s actually no more dangerous than normal kids’ play activities or adult sports. The induction video will tell you what to be aware of and how to stay safe, and our waiver document outlines your responsibilities as a Climbing Hangar customer. We’re fully insured and our team is qualified in coaching (and first aid should you need it).
Why do I need to pre-register?
We do everything we can to make climbing fun, but it is still a dangerous activity. Registering is our way of making sure that you've had the basic safety messages. It includes a short video that explains what bouldering is and tips on how to stay safe on the wall. You'll then answer a couple of questions to make sure you've got the main points and be asked to complete a waiver document stating that you understand what you're getting yourself in to!
It takes a few minutes and it's often easier to do it at home so when you arrive for your first climb you're all set to go.
We want to bring a group of kids down - how many adults need to be with the group?
You must have one adult with you for every two children, and this includes children who aren't climbing. So for four children you would need two adults.
Children under four can climb here but supervision must be one-to-one and you must be within arm's reach of your child at all times. So if you're bringing two children, one of whom is under four, you'll need two adults supervising.
You will be turned away if there aren't enough adults to supervise the kids as our insurance wouldn't cover you. Take a look at our guidance on supervising children at the Climbing Hangar.
The only exception to this is where you have done our instructor training in order to bring down a school or youth group.
Do you run children's parties at The Climbing Hangar?
No, we don't run children's parties. If you'd like to bring a group of children to The Hangar under your supervision you're very welcome - please get in touch with us before hand and we'll talk to you about what's possible.
I'm 16 and I'd like to come and climb without an adult. Is this possible?
14-17 years olds can climb at the Hangar unsupervised, but you must be accompanied by an adult on your first visit in order for the waiver to be signed off. This still applies if you complete the registration at home before your visit. Unfortunately if you don't have a parent or guardian with you on your first climb, we won't be able to let you on to the wall due to our insurance.
What's your cancellation policy for classes?
For all pay as you go clubs and classes, we're happy to refund the cost of the session providing you cancel at least 24 hours in advance. No refund is available if you cancel less than 24 hours in advance.
We'd like to hold our own self-supervised kids' party at the Hangar: Do we need to book?
There's no need to formally book if you're bringing a group of kids down, but there are a few things that make it easier for us to ensure you have a good time!
- Give us a call first, preferably 24 hours beforehand so we can ensure we have enough staff on. If you can let us know roughly when you'll arrive we'll make sure there's someone on hand to do a quick safety briefing with everyone
- Check you have one adult for every two children you're bringing
- Pre-register at home to save time when you arrive. You can register for yourself as a supervising adult and your junior climbers
- We don't allow anyone to bring their own food or hot drinks to The Climbing Hangar. Our cafe serves a range of drinks and snacks. If you have particular dietary requirements just have a chat with us beforehand - we're very
- In really busy periods (and especially during school holidays) we sometimes have to limit climbing times in the Little Hangar and we might reserve seating areas for customers who have purchased food in the cafe.