The Reading Climbing Centre surprised me with its variety of routes and the difficulty of the problems – I will definitely have to come back to this one! I just wish it wasn’t quite as far away from where I live in London…
On a sunny Sunday afternoon I found myself in the Wye Valley, getting ready for a day of outdoor climbing, only to realise I had somehow misplaced my harness. Yes, that actually happened, and it felt like a bit of a disaster at the time. The only option seemed to be to go back to London and climb indoors, but then we thought – Why not check out a different climbing gym? So we went to the Reading Climbing Centre, and it well and truly saved the day!
WomenClimb’s Grading of Reading Climbing Centre
|Value for Money||3/5|
Grading and routes
The grading seemed to be to be a little sporadic. For example, there was one 6b+ that I flashed with not much difficulty, and another that I couldn’t even get to the top of! There were some hard technical routes on one of the vertical walls, but the grading on the roof climbs seemed a lot easier.
There is, however, a really good range of routes, walls and climbing angles, and the overhang and roof is very cool (although the grading on this wall is quite confusing!). Route lengths vary from 12 metres to the 20 metre competition wall, and there are also a couple of auto-belays. I’d definitely recommend giving a range of walls a try, because they are all very, very different.
Bouldering at Reading
I didn’t try any of the bouldering as I was only there for a few hours, but my climbing partner used to go there regularly and tells me it’s also really good quality.
Shop & Cafe
There is a relatively substantial climbing shop which sells a range of equipment and climbing guidebooks, open 12pm-9pm on week days and 10am-5.30pm on weekends.
There is also a cafe which serves snacks, coffee, breakfast food, sandwiches and toasties, and also does a buffet for kids. I found it pretty expensive compared to London’s gyms though, with coffee prices comparable to those in retail coffee shops instead of the usual subsidised prices I’m used to. They don’t seem to have a problem with people bringing their own food to eat at the tables though, and to be fair some of the food on the menu looked really nice though, and the toasties looked like they all come with a bit of salad on the side.
Training for climbing at Reading
The bouldering area has a campus board and a training board, neither of which I tried during my visit.
Reading Climbing Centre Address/ Location info
Reading Climbing Centre Address:
Unit 33 Robert Cort Industrial Estate, Britten Road,
Reading, Berkshire, RG2 0AU
Public transport access:
From Reading city centre take the 6 or 6a bus from Reading Station getting off at Basingstoke road
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.30-22.00
Single entry: adult member £9.85; non-member £12; members lunchtime special £5
Multiple entry passes available, which can be used at other affiliated gyms