The Arch climbing wall has grown to become something of an institution in London, drawing in hordes of boulderers all over the capital to its centres. So when I heard that the Arch had recently opened a new centre in in Burnt Oak in September, my friends and I eagerly hopped on the Northern Line to test its routes.
The first thing that comes to mind when you see the centre is hip. Featuring a modern, futuristic design in the form of glowing stair lights, industrial lighting that resembles climbing ropes, and eco-friendly showers, it’s easy to see a lot of thought has been put into the centre. Not to mention, they also have a café there that serves amazing (and cheap!) coffee, as well as a handy mini store.
But of course, you want to hear about the bouldering. The 11,000 square-foot complex is covered with largely overhang routes, but also 2 large standalone bouldering islands.
There’s also a super-fun horizontal roof and barrel wall feature that offer routes for beginners and experts alike, as well as a nifty glass light pyramid.
In addition to the bouldering routes, the centre also has a contemporary-style strength training facilities, complete with 45-degree training boards, gym rings, finger boards, gym apparatus and a training bouldering wall with routes ranging from easy to difficult. The facilities inject some fun into strength training, which can sometimes be a little on the dull side with the traditional formats.
The centre is divided into 10 different areas, offering enough space for everyone to comfortably boulder. If you want a quiet session you better head here soon, as the centre is filling up fast as word gets out!