Our Visit to Clip ‘n Climb in Ipswich, Suffolk
This week we visited the UK’s first purpose-built indoor climbing centre for the first time, and it was amazing!
The Suffolk centre has 42 walls, each with different challenges you can attempt to climb for your one-hour session. You don’t need any climbing experience and there’s a safety tutorial before each session. The tutorial explains how to use the safety equipment and how to climb walls safely.
The 10 metre tall walls are numbered using a difficulty rating, with the higher numbers being the easier to climb. My son’s never climbed before so was nervous, but within the first try he was hooked. By the end of the session he managed to get to the top of one wall and his face beamed with pride which was lovely to see.
There’s a great variety of walls including some with timers so you can race to the top and hit your buzzer first. Some are different shapes, including spheres, zigzags and even poles to balance on. Each wall features a new challenge for your hands and feet. My partner found the purple spheres difficult, because there were limited places to put your feet.
I liked the double-sided wall which is see-through so you can see whoever is climbing on the other side. My partner and his son climbed together and I managed to get some sweet photos of them climbing together.
The motto spread around the building is ‘Keep Clean & Carry On’ which is encouraged by the various hand sanitising stations spread across the building. Face masks are worn by the staff helping in the climbing section and those serving in the upstairs cafe.
They’ve halved the number of people allowed inside the climbing arena at any one time, meaning there’s more space between climbers.
Anyone using the equipment must wash their hands before and after being inside the climbing arena. Chairs in the waiting area and are appropriately spaced out for families to remain in bubbles.
Paddy & Scott’s Cafe also has appropriate measures in place. You’re taken to seats and get table service to avoid crowds gathering near the food area. The tables have been spaced out to ensure you can keep your distance whilst seated too.
Paddy & Scott’s Cafe
There’s a good selection of food and drinks, and the cafe was part of the Eat Out Help Out discounted scheme throughout August.
The cafe overlooks the climbing arena so you can watch the kids having fun while you have a cuppa. There’s a designated viewing area which has plug points if you want to work during the kids’ session. The cafe also has a soft play area for little ones too small to use the climbing walls.
I didn’t get the chance to sample the food, but next time I intend to as the menu looked great and the coffee smelt gorgeous!
Clip ‘n Climb offer climbs for anybody above the age of 4, and can cater for birthday parties, school groups, team building days and corporate climbing events.
Now we are in September they’ve brought back Toddler climbing Tues- Fri at 11am during term time. It includes free soft play and coffees for the parents which is always a bonus!
For adults they even offer fitness classes, called Clip n Fit which runs Monday and Wednesday evenings. They also regularly post new offers on their Facebook page so it’s always worth looking at before visiting.
What We Thought of Clip ‘n Climb
Overall the boys loved it and want to do it again. The large variety of wall designs is great for the whole family;- Novice and experienced climbers have plenty to do.
I liked that some walls enabled you to interact with your family by racing or being on the same wall. The green poles could be climbed onto and jumped off which was a challenge for kids and adults.
The walls are easy to clip onto with your safety equipment, and the range of activities keeps kids of all ages entertained for the entire session.
I’m satisfied with the Covid-19 measures they have taken, and there was no point where I felt unsafe or concerned. The children maintained their distance within the arena and there were staff in masks to remind people if needed.
I recommend it to families who want to do something fun, active and different! I made a video of our time there on Instagram so check it out to get more of an idea of the experience.
We were gifted tickets to test the climbing arena for the purpose of this review. No payment was received and all opinions are honest and my own.