Opening hours

Mon-Fri 0930-2200, Sat, Sun 0930-1800

Prices

£8.00 Adult (after 4pm weekdays, and all times at weekends), Adult before 4pm weekdays £6.00, Children under 16 £4.00, 16/17 year olds £5.50 at all times, £3 one-off joining fee. £390 1yr unlimited

This wall is a dedicated climbing centre and ABC member

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Last updated on 17/Apr/2018

Overview

Undercover Rock was bought the The Climbing Academy in January 2016. We have a plan to invest in the centre over the coming years and we hope to bring UCR back up to a great standard.

UnderCover Rock is in a converted church. It's got them all - leading (overhanging, vertical and slab), traversing routes, bouldering, and a dedicated top rope area.

UCR has a cafe serving sandwiches, paninis, top quality coffee, flapjacks and other refreshments. For viewing and relaxing there is an interesting viewing gallery upstairs which looks over the entire main leading area.

The bouldering area has a full range of wall angles including a 45 degree wall and a slab. There is a dedicated circuit wall upstairs with a range of both easy, hard and children circuits. The route walls are 12m high in the lead area, 9m in the top-rope courtyard, but very good quality setting and design, and routes changed weekly if not daily.

UCR offers a full range of courses -
Taster Sessions
Beginner Lessons
Step-Up to Leading
Technique and Movement Lessons
Outdoor Groups
Birthday Parties
Private Tutoring and Groups
Climbers Club
Youth Clubs and Performance Squad

Lead walls up to 12m. Lead/toprope walls to 9m including a separate beginners' area, all own-built with Livingstone input initially - built 1992, further developed in 1993 and 1995 and 2013. 1200 sq metres of wall surface. Cafe, meeting room. Courses and equipment available.

User Photo Gallery

Bristol Climbing Center from my house © Oliver Buxton
Bristol Climbing Center from my house
© Oliver Buxton
Now just stand up! © Phil Ewels
Now just stand up!
© Phil Ewels
View from the rest area upstairs at Undercover Rock, Bristol © John Wellbelove
View from the rest area upstairs at Undercover Rock, Bristol
© John Wellbelove
Climbing Competition © Alaister Nurse
Climbing Competition
© Alaister Nurse
final boulder problem at comp © David Bradbrook
final boulder problem at comp
© David Bradbrook
Tension © Mckenzie
Tension
© Mckenzie

Reviews

Report
21 Aug, 2015
Climbed there today as weather looked shite for Brean. Very surprised at quality of routes due to loads of angle changes and volumes. Routes wandered and kept you interested. If you want steep/roof climbing then try it out. It's in an interesting part of Bristol aswell, reminds me of Amsterdam.
Arturo
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11 Mar, 2014
I'm just looking for fellow climbers who want to make lanes in St. Wesburgh's, give me a shout or whatsup! my level is up to 6 c, but I have fun and just doing routes of any grade! 0776331196
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19 Jun, 2013
Having recently attended a CWA Assessment at the centre, and being a regular user of the wall I am a huge fan. With regards to the assessment the day was run by Guy Jarvis and Ali Taylor, both of whom are highly respected within the region. The course was pretty intense, and you certainly got your moneys worth! Unlike some courses you are actually given a live group for a full session; most centres either don't give you a group at all, or give you one for part of the session. This makes the assessment more stressful than others, which in my opinion increases the difficulty of the assessment. The assessment not only covered elements mentioned in the syllabus but also ensures that you have a full range of knowledge of the sport, again making the assessment more difficult. I am very happy with the way that the assessment was run. With regards to the centre, Ben West (Centre Manager) is part of the UK Bouldering Squad, a highly accomplished climber and an all round good bloke. He, and his team set interesting and varied problems both in the bouldering wall and the roped climbing. Including some types of boulder problems that are, as far as I can work out, completely unique in principle. Having spoken to Guy on my assessment it is clear that the centre is starting a pretty major refurbishment at the minute. Rubber matting across the whole centre is one of the interesting additions that will be made. Some people have complained about the dirt around the centre, and I would say that this is pretty standard for any climbing centre of that size that is used as intensively as UCR is. Look at The Climbing Academy for example, on busy days you can barely see for all the loose chalk. Again, the centre is having a refurb, therefore it is reasonable to expect new panels to but put up. Finally, with regards to the holds being too grimy. That is one of the joys of using the space as intensively as it is used, and apart from changing routes even more regularly than they already do there isn't much you can do about it. Maybe free courses on how to place your feet without shedding an inch of rubber might help?!
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13 Apr, 2013
Ten years ago (maybe more) this place rocked. Now it has been left behind by nearly every other indoor wall I have been too. It seems strange to say this about a wall that has been around for so long, but the potential is huge and it seems that a few small changes could make it great again. For starters, it is far too noisy, irritatingly so. Put some rubber flooring in for carpet some of it for god's sake! Secondly, i know it is a business, but there must be a limit for how many people can be there at any one time. It is stupidly busy a lot of the time, to the point that you can't move without bumping into someone. Thirdly, clean the place! It is disgusting! How can a wall with such a wide spread reputation be so dirty? I won't walk in the place these days.
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11 Feb, 2012
nope I still disagree, I went back their last night. the reason the routes are so weird is that there are too many crammed in to too little space so the holds have to go where they can rather than where they really should be. And as for Jak! I'm sure he is an excellent climber and I don't want to pick on any individual but we leave his routes in particular well alone as the grades are so random. 6b+ easy ! oops just fell off a 5A!, all I'm learning is not to go back I'm afraid.
MartynDBull
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10 Oct, 2011
I was down there tonight. Love the place. I have to say I don't agree with ColinKeb's comments about the route setting in the top roping section. I've just started using it again, when the lead room gets too busy. Some of the climbs are challenging, yes, and they mostly climb harder for their grade than the leads - but I think they're set that way to compensate for the fact that you don't need to clip in. But the route setting is mostly very very good and quite fascinating. Some of the best routes are set by Jak, who is an awesome climber (coaches my kids on Saturdays), and they are all a bit special and (in my experience anyway) graded pretty consistently ONCE YOU WORK THEM OUT - but quite often they need several tries to get what the route is asking of you - with Jak routes there's usually a movement he's trying to teach you, and they will feel reachy and off balance until you work out what it is - then, bingo! you learned something new. Agreed, the holds are dirty - wish they'd clean them. Also just found a 6a+ I can't climb without falling off (a Jak) but will hopefully suss it out next time.
Report
8 Oct, 2011
i can see what people mean about the dirt but it didnt bother me, the lead area is cool but the top rope area is terrible! really greasy holds, no carpet or anything to deaden the sound of screaming kids and the routes! jesus! we climbed 6a's that were easier than the 5b's! really awful moves on some of them, just not natural, awkward lunges and off balance contortions that were set by someone who really cant grade at all. possibly someone too good who cant set easier routes or a complete prat. either way its pretty discouraging when you are trying to warm up and cant understand the grades. we ended up grading them by sight and found a 6B+ that was easier than a 5B! if the grades were sorted out and some decent easy routes this would be my place of choice, till then its the warehouse.
Report
22 May, 2010
It's good
JamieK
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18 Aug, 2009
Lots of top ropes available from 3 up to 6a. Plenty of lead climbing in a seperate open area. Very smelly and dirty place though, especailly the toilets!
Edric Hobbs
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10 Feb, 2008
Have just returned after a layoff of years and find the staff helpful food is basic but good and the climbing varied enough for everyone gets a bit to busy with children at weekends and you can feel as if the group instructors would rather you were not in the top rope area at times
Adam
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8 Feb, 2008
Could be a great wall (no where near as good as the wall in Manchester) but as many have said it’s filthy and I have never been to a wall with such rude and miserable staff before. Let down by easily avoidable things but the management don't seem capable of sorting it.
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28 Dec, 2007
Dont get me started about the shit music they blast out every time i go.
rw
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22 Dec, 2007
Yes -agree about the cleaning/aging comments. Have been going off and on for years and it is a good centre. However, the more recently opened wall near South Molton, while it does not have the range of routes makes up for it in cleanliness and friendliness.
SA
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5 Dec, 2007
A nice wall but needs a good clean, in fact any sort of clean.
RT..........
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7 Oct, 2007
This place is the mecca that all other wall aspire to be like ..........
Dan Smith
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26 Jun, 2007
Really nice venue with some interesting routes in the main hall and a decent amount of bouldering. Gets a little busy at times and can be chaotic in the main hall (especially Thursday nights). However.. its starting to get a bit dilapidated and the atomosphere has become incredibly clique with staff that all seem to have been on a training course to be miserable to you if you're not a "regular" i.e one of their mates. I've been going every week for 2 years now and am constantly amazed that the management don't see this as a problem for their business, I suppose until another centre comes along and adds a bit of competition they won't. With a bit of money spent and some staff training it could be (and apparently has been) an excellent focal point for South West climbing, shame that these problems are holding it back.
Aled
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16 Nov, 2006
Good routes and good bouldering. But there are often far too many people and routes for the size of the building, routes overlap and climbers fall behind belayers and onto where other people walk. In desprite need of a refurbishment.
JillD
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26 Aug, 2005
I love this place. Only complaint is its so far from Reading. Being in a converted church it has a really cool atmosphere. I'm a reasonable beginner and there are plenty of routes easy enough for me. There is a small bouldering area good for warming up, and then separate areas for beginners and for more experienced climbers. As a begiiner-ish they only asked me to confirmI could pu on a harness, tie on correctly, and belay. Membership for life is £1. £6.50 to climb. Lots of top-roped routes. They used to have an overhang that I mastered half off, always wanted to complete it but they have changed the layout a bit so that route is gone so I never got to master it. They rent gear, and the cafe coffee and cakes are yum. Love it.
Jon Wyatt
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28 Sep, 2004
I may be biased but this place rocks (sorry!). It has a huge choice of routes with difficulties ranging from 4 to 8, leading and top-roping. The bouldering area is big and varied. The staff and other climbers are all safe as f***. New routes are being added all the time so there is always a new challenge. By the way, the pub to visit is 'the Duke of York'. Go straight across the roundabout from the centre and take the first right (past the park), follow it to the end, the pub is there. Beer garden, skittles, table football, Becks. Just remember to lock your car!!!
Mark Walters
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5 Sep, 2004
The centre has a changing area and lockers. There are climbing magazines so you can just go there, pay the money and then read the magazines and eat food in the cafe and chat up any female climbers and not actually climb. btw the seats are comfortable. The bouldering room climbs change very regularly and there are some great climbs across the roof... lots of challenges. PS Robin for president
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