Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is bouldering?

A: BOULDERING is the style of climbing found at Durham Climbing Centre.  Unhindered by the need for additional equipment (no ropes or harnesses), bouldering is very pure and creative, regardless of your level of experience or fitness it provides a fun and exciting way to exercise both body and mind. Individual short sequence of moves make up a boulder problem where problem solving skills can be put to use!

Q: What are the benefits of bouldering?

A: LOTS! Bouldering has many benefits including –

increases physical fitness

full body workout

a workout for the heart and lungs

improves flexibility

improves core stability

builds upper body strength

it is fun!


Q: I have never climber before, can I have a go?

A: YES. Our wall caters for all levels from complete beginners to highly skilled climbers, and we pride ourselves on offering a warm welcome to all newcomers. We have a whole beginner wall dedicated to new climbers as well as a wide range of easier problems in the advanced room to progress onto. Although you are welcome to simply turn up and have a look around, all novice climbers must first complete an induction session with one of our fantastic instructors to ensure a rewarding and safe experience. All the equipment you will need, shoes and chalk, can be hired or purchased at the centre. We recommend you wear loose, comfortable clothing and minimal jewellery. Lockers are available! Book an induction today!


Q: Is there a minimum age?

A: Our parent and toddler groups are open to children from 2 years old, and instruct-led children’s classes start from 3 years old. 16-18 year olds are able to climb unsupervised in both the advanced room and beginners area with a signed parental consent form. 12 – 15 year olds are able to climb unsupervised in both these areas only upon completion of the Advanced Competency Pass.


Q: Where is Durham Climbing Centre?

A: We are located on the Meadowfield Industrial Estate, just off the A690. We have ample, free, onsite parking and are well situated for bus links to and from Durham city centre. For a detailed map of our location click here.


Q: Do I need experience?

A: NO! Bouldering is suitable for adults and children with no previous experience. It’s easy to get started; just book an induction or beginner course.


Q: Do I need an induction or lessons?

A: YES & NO! An induction is compulsory for anyone who has never climbed before. If you are accompanied by a member of Durham Climbing Centre, an induction is not necessary. Find out about Induction & Beginner Courses.


Q: Do I need to Book?

A: YES & NO! If you are an experienced climber, member for Durham Climbing Centre or visiting with a person who is a member of Durham Climbing Centre then it is not necessary to book for a drop in session without an instructor. Just drop in anytime during our opening hours and pay the entry fee. For lessons, inductions, children’s classes or any other session where an instructor is required it is essential to book.


Q. How long does a session last?

A: There are no time restrictions on entry. Instructor led sessions are for a set period of time after which you are free to climb on for as long as you like. Pay once to climb all day. This includes when visiting for a lesson – children may climb on afterwards under parental supervision.


Q. Do I need any special equipment?

A: YES – Everything you will need can be bought or hired at the centre. You will need rock shoes and chalk (for grip!). Outdoor shoes are not permitted to use on the climbing walls.


Q: Is it Safe?

A: YES. At Durham Climbing Centre our climbing area is carpeted with crash pads that provide protection for our climbers when descend from the wall. The height of the bouldering wall conforms to the European safety Standard for bouldering walls: 4.5 metres. We provide all the basic safety information to new climbers and our induction course will provide you with additional safety information about to use our bouldering wall.


Q: Can I climb unsupervised if I am 16?

A: Under 12’s are not permitted to climb unsupervised. Children aged 12 – 15 may complete an Advanced Competency Pass to climb unsupervised. If they do not have this they must be supervised by a parent or Instructor.


Q: Are there any restrictions to use the Advanced Area?

A: YES. As a guide, Durham Climbing Centre recommends the minimum acceptable age to use the advanced climbing area is 12 years old. The advanced bouldering area is higher and the climbs are more difficult than in the Junior Area. More advanced climbers use this area for climbing and training. This area can be dangerous for inexperienced climbers, especially small children. Instructors may take groups under 12 years old into this area under their supervision. Parents may allow experienced children under 12 to climb in this area under their supervision. This area is not suitable for young / inexperienced children under 12 years old, especially at busy times.


Q: Do I have to join as a member?

A: NO! You do not need to become members to use the centre. However it is cheaper to join up as a member if you are likely to come more than once. Children must be a member to complete any instructor led sessions including all children’s lessons. See membership options for the price plan to suit you.