Climbing The Walls In Acton

Arch bouldering centre has opened in historic former cinema building

(photos: Claudiu Voicu)


If you want to give it a try there is currently a special introductory offer of a bouldering session and a day pass for just £10 (normally £33).

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Acton's former Art Deco cinema is being brought back to life as a new Bouldering Wall activity centre.

arch climbing

The building, formerly the Dominion was opened by Gracie Fields in 1938 but subsequently became a bingo hall and then more recently home to a Christian group.

It reopened in its new guise as part of the Arch group on 2 January and is the fourth such wall currently operating in London.

The brand has been running under the private ownership of Fred Stone for the last 10 years and has contributed heavily to the explosion of bouldering as a sport in its own right.

Bouldering was once viewed as the warm-up for rope climbing but now there are dozens of walls across London, the UK & the World and it will be making its debut in Tokyo as one of the new sports for the 2020 Olympics.

arch climb

An Arch spokesperson said, ''For us, we value being able to offer a fun, sociable environment where people can keep fit and meet friends. The only equipment you require are climbing shoes which we rent if required. Apart from that, it's just a matter of jumping on the walls and having fun. We also offer Improver lessons for those who are new to the sport but not total beginners. these lessons help with further technique, safety and personal progression in the sport. 

''It's an easily accessible sport which does not require a base level of fitness. We ask that anyone trying out the sport for the first time take an Introduction lesson with us first or are accompanied by an experienced climber. This is so that the fundamentals of safety and technique can be covered before navigating the centre solo. You're then free to roam the centres!''

Every month they will host The Arch Monthly Round-Up (TAMRU) a fun community-based competition where for each problem (a series of coloured holds which interconnect to form a short sequence of moves called a route or problem) climbed we give 50p to a pre-chosen charity. Last month money was donated to Acton Homeless Concern.

Find out more about Arch here.


March 4, 2019


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