/ Anyone in Oxford?
I've just moved down to Oxfordshire from Edinburgh and am still trying to wrap my head around how much of a climbing black hole it is here! Would love to meet up with any climbers or hillwalkers in the area in need of an extra belayer or someone to split petrol with.
Come join the OUMC. We're an extremely active club - there are meets almost every weekend in term time - and though it's a student club there are plenty of non-students (like me) as well. We're at the Gardener's Arms (Plantation Road) every Wednesday.
I'm in a similar situation and will be moving to Oxford at the beginning of March.
Whats the indoor scene like? Am I right in thinking the Brookes wall is only one in Oxford? Looking at their website it looks small and quite basic
There's also Iffley - one of the remaining original DR walls (as discussed here): https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/ukc/how_the_leeds_wall_changed_climbing_history-678460
You need to be a member of OUMC to get access, but then it's free.
Brookes is a better wall than its photos might suggest!
Welcome to the proverbal "Pancake-land". Every climber who ends up in Oxon/Bucks area just wants to get straight back out to the hills/crags. Good clubs in the area include:
Aylesbury Climbing Club: http://www.acc.org.uk/. Very friendly, climbers of all grades, monthly meets and daytips. I'm biased having been a member for over 20 years but you're welcome to look us up.
Oxford Mountaineering Club: http://www.oxfordmc.org.uk/index.php. The non-student one.
Oxfod Uni MC: http://users.ox.ac.uk/~climbing/. Student-led, a/a.
You find climbers from all 3 clubs at the Rock Solid Wall: https://www.brookes.ac.uk/brookes-sport/facilities/climbing/. Yes it's not as big as the Reading or Milton Keynes wall, but it's local and has got lead, top-rope and bouldering areas, and importantly a cheap student union bar to rehydrate afterwards - something the other walls don't have!
Whilst Oxfordshire is indeed a climbing black hole, it isn't the end of the world for walking (which you do mention in your OP). Granted, there aren't any 'real' hills but it's easy to escape onto the Wiltshire/Oxfordshire/Berkshire downs if you aren't heading away for the weekend. Most people stick to the obvious locations (e.g. the Ridgeway) so it's quite easy to get off the beaten track into some really quiet and wild places. And you can escape to Abergavenny and into the Black Mountains relatively speedily if the M4 is forgiving.
I left last year, after living in Didcot for 4 years. I can't say I've any great desire to return, but I do miss the country pubs.
Once I've found my feet then I'll come say hello!
It's definitely a daunting prospect when you're used to a little more geography but where there's a will and all. Best of luck with your move.
Thanks! Will definitely go have a look!
All good ideas! Thanks!
The brookes wall is small but pretty good, they make the most of the space they’ve got.
Setting is usually interesting too.
As others have said, absolutely no shortage of climbers around Oxford.
Day trips are hard work, but it's actually fairly well positioned for weekends to The Peak, Dorset and the Wye Valley. In addition, being fairly far South makes Cornwall and Pembroke relatively accessible.
The local wall is busy and friendly. It's great up to around V6 and f7a+, although if you're climbing much harder than that, I'm afraid you probably have moved to the wrong place.
That said, the massive Oakwood bouldering wall is only an hour away as is the Reading wall if you want harder routes.
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