If you follow our blog or social media channels you will know that instead of children I have two monkeys that look like children. They are forever climbing, hanging upside down and chasing each other around, so we often spend lots of time outside or at places where they can burn of all their excess energy. The problem we have is that most places that are suitable are quite far from where we live and usually require a drive to Manchester or Liverpool, we once discovered a climbing center closer to home which was great fun but unfortunately that closed down so when I heard about a new place opening 5 minutes away from our little village I couldn’t wait to check it out and so we headed down on opening day and here is everything you need to know about the Boulder Hut, Ellesmereport.
What is Boulder Hut?
Boulder Hut is an indoor climbing, or bouldering, center. It offers more than 1,000 sq m of climbing walls suitable for a range of abilities including beginners. There are no harnesses or ropes required, you simply use your own strength and agility to tackle the walls but don’t worry there are instructors dotted about if you need help and all the walls are surrounded by soft pads should you fall.
The walls are divided into sections with each one tackling different routes and focusing on different skills so are perfect for those just starting out as well as for elite trainers that require specific elements.
Having visited another similar place I can easily see how this one has gone one step further. For me the best bits include the designated toddler area that is cornered off with a stair gate to keep the little ones safe. It has a climbing wall that they can use as well as a tunnel that runs behind the wall and a separate toy area with plenty of seating for parents to sit and watch.
Secondly, I love the fact there is a section for the under 14’s and where children can practice without worrying about getting in the way of the professionals or older teenagers or adults. This section comes complete with a a tap out section and a slide from the top of the wall to the bottom which just adds a bit more fun to the climbing. These walls and the slide are strong enough for adults too so, if like me, you love to get involved you can climb along side your child, – just be careful that slide is faster than it looks!
Thirdly, we found out that if your child is under 14 but a confident climber they can have an assessment by a trained member of staff (for no additional cost) and if deemed competent they can then use the other climbing walls, opening up so much more climbing fun for them, even one of the bigger walls has a slide too.
Fourthly, and quite possibly the best bet of all, is that you pay for the day, or at least as long as you want to stay. This is so refreshing as usually you pay for an hour and then you need to leave and still have the rest of the day to fill but Boulder Hut have answered the prayers of so many parents, especially as summer approaches, with this one price rule. There are plenty of seats and a cafe so you can easily stay a few hours with climbing jaunts and breaks to refuel.
1.) You need to wear special climbing shoes, like bowling shoes but way nicer! Order a size or two bigger as they are small. I would also suggest wearing plasters or thick socks on your ankles the first time you climb as they can rub, but don’t let this put you off.
2.) Everyone needs to sign a waiver before they can climb so if you are taking other peoples children with you make sure you (or they) know their personal details and emergency contact info.
3.) To save time fill in the waiver online before you go.
4.) As there is no time limit give yourself plenty of time to climb.
On opening day there was a BBQ, which was lovely. Vegetarian sausages and salads were enjoyed by adults and kids a like. There will be an onsite cafe that serves vegan and vegetarian food and although we haven’t had the chance to sample the menu yet, if it is anything like the BBQ food it will be lovely. There are plenty of chilled drinks to cool you down too and we tried the slush puppies, except these are healthy smoothie versions, one was pineapple and the other watermelon, so you can indulge in guilt free treats between climbs.
Boulder Hut is situated at unit 1 Olympic Park, Pool Hall Road just off the M53 at junction 7 and has a large car park onsite which is free to use with 57 spaces, I even noticed a couple of electric car plug stations too.
Monday – Friday 10am-10pm
Saturday – Sunday 10am-8pm
We had a fantastic time discovering Boulder Hut and we will definitely be returning over the summer holidays.