Upon researching something fun to do in Brighton as a way to get out of the house and keep active, we ended up looking up rock climbing centres in Brighton and finding the snazzy website of Boulder Brighton, a bouldering centre very close to wear we live. Immediately we thought, WTF is bouldering? Turns out it’s basically the same of rock climbing but without the safety harness, which means you have more freedom.
Sounds mental right? Well, to compensate for the lack of harnesses bouldering centres use high jump style cushioned mats underneath the walls and instead of being focused on height, bouldering appears to be more about problem solving and negotiating interesting shapes rather than just going straight up as high as you can.
The Boulder Brighton centre is on an industrial estate in Portslade, there’s a train station right next to it or it’s about a ten minutes drive from Central Brighton and since we’ve got a car now it’s pretty awesome. You’ve got two options with getting started here you can join a course which happen three times a week and come up at under £20 for a lesson for an hour, shoe hire, chalk hire and then unlimited climbing time right after the course, which makes it excellent value for money.
However, you don’t have to go on a course to get started, you can come along at anytime, hire what you need, fill in some paperwork saying you understand the rules and take responsibility for your own safety and then you’re free to explore on your own or with a friend. It’s an unsupervised session so you feel very at ease to just go for it, but there’s expert available in the centre staff and other climbers if you fancy a bit of guidance. For this option it’s about £10 off peak and that would include shoe hire and chalk (neither of these things are essential but they help) and there’s no time restriction on your session either so you can go at your own pace.
The routes on the wall include a number of colour coded paths ranked by difficulty so if you want to set yourself a challenge trying out these options is a great way to get started. I managed to complete all but one of the green routes (the easiest) I could easily manage climbing up in direct routes, but couldn’t quite manage climbing sideways.
Miz on the other hand appears to have far more strength that he looks to have and no fear and almost immediately set about attempting to complete on of the centres challenges, he got very close but I’m sure he’ll nail it next time! Not bad for someone who hasn’t done any climbing for a long time!
Our eagerness to get started meant that we stupidly didn’t warm up or cool down, which means that we’ve both ached for two days afterwards, surprised by how much of a epic work out it can be! I’m surprised that I did this, since I’ve got a little bit of nerves about height and generally such a safety freak that I don’t often take risks, even if they are fun.
Really impressed by the laid back, friendly attitude of the staff and centre, even when a group of college kids turned up for their class everyone was respectful and friendly so it was pretty much ideal for someone who can’t abide the gym going attitude. Plus, because it’s so chilled you can pretty much turn up wearing whatever you feel comfortable in, so no pressure to wear proper kit, jeans and a band tee are totally acceptable if you want! Anyway, we’ll definitely be going back and if it all goes to plan we’ll join the centre for £40 a month which gives you unlimited access and hire, which is pretty awesome value!
Have you tried rock climbing or bouldering? What’s your fave way to exercise?
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