Last night we were invited to The Climbing Hangar at Matchworks in Liverpool. The boys have loved indoor climbing ever since our first experience a few years ago at Be Boulder and then again last year at our local centre Boulder Hut and were really looking forward to getting stuck in, especially as it feels like such a long time since we have ventured anywhere exciting due to lockdown.
The Climbing Hangar is in Speke which is you know Liverpool you will know is not part of the main city centre but instead is on the outskirts, making it easier to get to by car and as it’s on the Matchworks industrial estate there is plenty of free parking too. We booked in for a 4.30pm session and were greeted by the staff and asked to fill in the waivers for safety reasons. These can actually be done online in advance to speed up the process which we didn’t realise but would recommend that you do if you can. The staff were really helpful and spoke to the kids not just us adults which I always think is a big deal and helps to ensure they have listened and understand all the safety advice. We were then given climbing shoes and taken on a tour of the climbing area with the boys having to demonstrate they could climb safely before being left to our own devises.
The climbing Hanger is a bouldering experience which means you climb the walls with no harnesses or safety equipment. However the walls are not that high and the floor is padded so if you do get stuck and need to jump down or were to accidently fall you would be unlikely to injure yourself. There are lots of different coloured pegs on the walls and each colour indicates a difficulty level starting with grey and going up to pink for the world cup circuit! The idea is that you choose one colour and make it to the top of the wall using only that colour but, if like me, you get a little stuck no one will tell you off if you grab another colour to hep you out, it’s all just part of the fun.
The boys started on grey but were soon challenging themselves with the greens and Reece even managed a few of the orange ones as well. It was brilliant to watch them not only getting more confident with the climbing but also thinking through the problems and planning their climbs in advance and making changes when they needed to.
And in case you are wondering the Climbing Hangar is definitely not jut for children. In fact our boys were the only ones there at the time, so I felt okay joining in too. Climbing isn’t really my thing as I have no upper body strength at all, yet I really enjoyed having a go and did manage to complete a few of the greys and greens and this morning I can really feel the muscles in my upper back that clearly haven’t been used for some time!
There is also a parkour style section which looks really impressive. This is where there are bigger pegs further away and in order to complete these sections you need to be able to run and jump across the wall, imagine Spiderman and you’ve pretty much got it. The boys had a go but it was more hilarity than achievement on this section but if free running or parkour is your thing you will love this area.
Over all The Climbing Hangar is great fun and a great work out. I think it is a brilliant activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family (only over 7’s can climb) it’s a great way to work out and laugh together.
The climbing hangar also has a café which after an hour and a half of climbing was much needed. The food is really nice with a good range of sandwiches, cakes, and drinks including some vegan options.
The boys opted for an Oreo brownie and a jammy dodger blondie where as my husband and I had a vegetarian coronation chicken baguette and a falafel pitta with some quinoa salad, absolutely delicious.
The Climbing Hangar and Covid 19
We hadn’t been before Covid so I can’t say what changes have been put in place but there is a clear one way system through the climbing areas leading back to either the reception or the café depending which side of the climbing area you are on which is great for reducing the flow of traffic. There are also hand sanitizers available to use at the door and all the staff were wearing masks. You can also check how many people are in the climbing centre at any one time by going on their website which might be useful if you wanted to book a last minute climb at a quieter time.
If you are looking for an activity to try out that is both fun and challenging then I can highly recommend bouldering and if you live near Liverpool then The Climbing Hangar at Matchworks Liverpool is definitely worth a visit.
(We were gifted our tickets and food in exchange for a review. All opinions are our own).