Clip ’n Climb Nottingham is where climbing meets theme park.

If you’ve never heard of Clip ’n Climb, imagine a trampoline park but for rock climbing. If you’ve never heard of a trampoline park, imagine a place that takes an extreme sport, such as rock climbing, and turns it into an easily accessible, fun activity for people of all ages and abilities. 

I’ve done rock climbing before but this was my first time in a place like this. The first thing that caught my eye as I walked into the building were the bright colours and strange shapes which make up the climbing arena. My spidey-senses were tingling but before I could start clambering up the walls, it was time for the staff to show us the ropes.

The staff fitted us up in our harnesses, went over the rules and gave us a quick tutorial on how to clip and unclip ourselves from the stations. In my opinion, this mechanism is one of the things that makes this experience; it gives you total freedom to speed walk around the arena (compliant with the no running rule), climbing as you please, rather than having to wait for a member of staff to set you up before you can start. 

Crash course in climbing over, we were released into the arena. I headed straight for the brightest lights I could find. Going up was the easy part, coming down was a whole different story…

Now, to tell you a secret, I’m actually quite scared of heights. The effects of this fear inconveniently took hold once I’d reached the top of the wall. To get back to the ground you have to push yourself from the wall and trust that the rope will glide you down gently. Of course the rope was safe, but you try telling that to someone overcome with fear. 

After some reassurance from the staff about just how safe the rope was, my feet were firmly back on the ground - but not for long. Initial reservations overcome, I decided to take on the hardest wall in the arena. 

Each wall is labelled in terms of difficulty, ranging from 1 to 3. Alongside this is also 2 to 3 challenges for each wall. The hardest wall of them all was the green vine. Going up was definitely not the easy part of this station. Out of breath, muscles aching, I made it to the top. Slamming defiantly on the finish button, I pushed myself from the wall and initiated my downward descent.

I did attempt to challenge myself by using only the centre core of the vine to get to the top but no sooner had I started the quest than I’d given up, barely even able to pick my foot up off the ground without falling. 

On the wall by the briefing room was a whiteboard with a table drawn up on it. The table was broken up into age categories and under each age was a time. These times were the speed climb records of the month. I couldn’t leave the arena without smashing the speed climb record for my age range.

The bar was set at about 10 seconds. In my first couple of goes I managed it in about 15. After a couple practice goes and some top tips from the staff (who were somehow managing to scale it in about 5 seconds; don't ask me how) I managed the wall in 9.62! I watched proudly as they rubbed off the old name and replaced it with mine.

This victory, however, was rather short lived. My friend, heart set on stealing my crown, made it to the top in a modest 5.96 seconds. My ego in tatters, I knew I had to regain myself somehow…but how? That's when I saw it: The Leap of Faith. 

For just £2.50 extra, I decided to face my fears in the ultimate test of courage. The Leap of Faith station was shaped like a crane. The challenge consisted of climbing up the crane, walking to the end of a plank, and jumping off. To give you some perspective, the plank was level with the café seating on second floor of the building. Luckily there was no one in the cafe (as it was 8pm) to see my face as I edged my way to the end of the plank. 

It took about 5 minutes of convincing, both from myself and from the ever-patient staff, before I actually made the jump but the rush of triumph at the end made it all worth it. 

I left the arena feeling accomplished. We all agreed that Clip ’n Climb Nottingham was a great experience. Fun mixed with competition mixed with exercise; perfect for any group of people, be that a family or a group of friends. 

If there’s one thing to take away from this blog post it’s that, as long as you can climb a ladder, you’ll be just fine at Clip ’n Climb. 

This blog was written by guest writer for Visit Nottinghamshire, Alice Calvert.

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Clip ‘n Climb is where climbing meets theme park! Clip ‘n Climb Nottingham offers 26 different climbing elements, which have been designed to provide everyone from 4yrs to 94yrs with healthy challenging fun, in a safe environment that is clean, well-managed and stimulating.

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