/ Indoor climbing in East Anglia
Stowmarket is a good one because of the bouldering room. They regularly put new routes in and there are plenty of staff and friendly climbers.
The only other one I know is in Ipswich ipswich-m-c.co.uk but its pretty poor. No top ropes as far as I can recall and its in the corner of a big hall where rowdy basketball is usually going on in the same space.
We turned up a few times when it was meant to be open and it was closed so don't rely on their website. Its worth calling them before you go.
We also turned up one Sunday at 1pm having read that it was open until 3pm. The receptionist told us that it would be closing at 2pm and the place only remained open if enough people were using it.
Harlow, Cambridge and Bury are pretty much equal distance. Cambridge is bouldering only (and often crowded), Harlow is predominantly Toprope/lead (with a small bouldering area) and Stowmarket is a bit between - nowhere near as good for leading as Harlow or bouldering as Cambridge.
To be honest, your quickest and best option is probably Mile End.
Thanks again for all your replies :)
I second Mile End. They are putting up more walls in September.
Having been stranded in east anglia for a few months lat year, def go with Mile End! Stowmarket was a godsend (i was in lowestoft) but mile end is worth the travel from you!
definitely mile end..
Mile End is not really such a journey from Colchester
Colchester has a wall at the uni. Not sure about what state it is now or whether it is still open to casual climbing since havent lived there for some years.
Don't bother. The bouldering room has no mats and is tiny.
The walls are mouse-roped and you have to top rope them as there were no wall bolts. After top roping two, I discovered that neither of the anchors were locked off. I reported this and the guy just shrugged his shoulders and said, 'it really isn't that important!' (funnily enough he was running a climbing first aid course in the other room)
The place is filthy and needs a bucket of hot soapy water. I tried brushing some of the crap off but it was thick grease which made everything very slippy.
A guy was telling us that the routes never get re-set and yet they are charging top money to get in this place and they charge on an hourly rate.
I'm currently Living in Witham in the same area, and to be honest, you're best just accepting that there's nothing around there and making the trip into London.
I drive to the Castle quite often, only takes 50mins and I find this time a nice way of chilling out, listening to music and getting ready to climb. It's also a nice way to relax after your session!
Mile End is also a good option though from experience the journey by road actually takes longer than the castle due to the route and traffic...
Then there is Ipswich climbing club who use a wall in a school gym every Wednesday evening. I'm not sure what that's like but it may be worth a try.
Actually I may go and try that one out and report back.
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