Mile End Climbing Gym is my local gym, so I have spent a lot of time there and I guess I am a little biased about it, but if I’m honest it took me a while to fall in love with this place. When I first started climbing this gym seemed altogether more scary to me than the Arch, perhaps because the routes on some of the walls are taller, but now I love the climbing and the atmosphere in this place.
This gym is primarily focused on bouldering, but it does have an area for climbing ropes with an auto-belay. It is quite small though, so I consider it to be a supplement to the gym as a whole and prefer to go elsewhere for roped climbing.
There is a also a separate ‘monkey’ room for roof climbing, a beginners route without grades (just different coloured holds), and a training room for the more hardcore climbers. I have found the route-setting here harder than in the Arch, and I usually find myself spending a lot of time thinking about the bouldering problems, but that makes it very satisfying to send a route.
However, there separated beginners areas make it easy for those just starting out to try bouldering in peace and not get intimitated by the more experienced climbers. Mile End also does not tend to get quite as busy as the Arch in the evenings, and there always seems to be an area to escape to if the crowds do arrive – like the semi-outdoor ‘garden’ area, which has a lot of space and gets a lot less stuffy than the indoor area in the summer.
The staff here are probably the friendliest in London, and the tea and coffee is very nice, and pretty cheap(though the prices have recently gone up…) There are also new locker systems which take a £1 coin (which you get back) or a special token you can buy at the counter.
Training for climbing at Mile End
There is a separate training room which has a 45 degree wall with some amazing holds on it, but it does make you feel a little like you should be climbing V9 before you even approach it. If you are up for failing quite a bit during your training session, though, it’s quality stuff!
Mile End Address/ Location info
Mile End Address:
Haverfield Road, Mile End, London E3 5BE
Closest stations: Mile End
Opening hours: weekdays 10.00-21.00; weekend 10.00-18.00
Single entry: one-off registration fee £5; adult climb £9.50; 10-entry, 1 month and 12 month passes available
Pubs/food near to Mile End Climbing Wall:
The Victoria – really nice pub, 5 mins walk from the gym, does food, drinks, and even tea and cake
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