Planning your visit
If you've never been to us before, there are a few things we need you to know about before you come and visit.
It's important to consider the following BMC Participation Statement if you want to climb:
"The BMC recognises that climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement."
Can we just turn up and climb?
If you are an experienced climber, then yes! Just turn up and tell reception you want to register. For more information, please check the 'Experienced Climbers' pages.
If you are new to climbing or are interested in getting your kids into it, then you will need to book a session in advance. You will not be allowed to climb without appropriate supervision from an experienced climber or instructor.
To work out which category you fall into, we've put together a quick guide:
1. Can you tie in?
2. Are you able belay?
3. Do you know how to fit your own harness?
4. Do you understand how to manage the risks involved in climbing?
If you've answered 'No' to any of the above questions, then we'd need you or your kids to be supervised either by an instructor or a friend who is signed off with us. We'd advise you look at the 'New to Climbing' and 'Youth' pages for more information.
If you've answered 'Yes' to all the above, we'd probably class you as an 'Experienced Climber' (subject to completion of our registration process).
Want to check out the centre before booking a session?
Please come down and have a look, one of our friendly staff members will show you around. Additionally we have 2 auto-belays here at the centre, they're a system that work without the use of a belayer or instructor. We'll simply show you how to use them safely and you're free to give them a go on our climbing wall.
– Priced at £5 for every 15 minutes for both adults and children.
Once you've given the auto belays a go book a session with one of our skilled instructors to develop your overall climbing skills.
How do I book?
Pre-booking is essential for all coached climbing. The best way to check availability or make a booking is by email firstname.lastname@example.org, alternatively please call us on 0208 397 0390 or check with our staff at reception. Please also note we are not able to take provisional bookings – so payment in full is required to secure any sessions or places.
However don't forget we have 4 Autobelays and the kids' Castle:
– our Autobelays are on a first come first served basis, they can only be booked in person at reception in 15 min slots in the first half of the hour (the rest of the time they are available to other climbers at White Spider)
– the Castle is open at all times and does not require pre-booking.
Check out our prices for all sessions.
What sort of session is suitable for me?
Everyone is different, and we have sessions to suit all abilities and requirements.
More information on this is availbable on the New to Climbing tab above.
A brief guide however:
I've never climbed before and I just want to give it a go!
Our Private Lessons or Taster sessions would be best for you. For more specific information, check out ‘New to climbing’ if you are an adult and ‘Youth’ if you are interested in sessions for under 18s.
I used to climb a while ago and want to get back into it.
We'd advise booking a private lesson with one of our instructors to refresh your memory! They will be able to run through all the relevant rope techniques you need, and hopefully it will all come flooding back. If you have had a really long break, the instructor may advise you complete our Beginners Course, or additional lessons to make sure you are fully up to speed.
I just want to learn to boulder.
That's not a problem! Just sign up to our Boulder Beginners classes.
I want to learn how to climb independently, so I can come to White Spider without supervision.
Our Beginners or Boulder Beginners courses are for you! This can also be done in a series of Private Lessons.
I work unusual hours and your scheduled sessions don't work for me.
Private Lessons are flexible, and can be arranged at any time subject to instructor availability. This is your session, so you can ask them to teach you what you want to know. Simple!
What should we expect from the session?
This depends on the type of session you have booked! Our friendly, experienced instructors will help ease you into the vertical world at your own pace.
For the majority of our sessions, instructors will initially assist you with all equipment and talk you through the key information you need to know.
Then you'll have the opportunity to scale the walls – going as high as you feel comfortable going. No one will force you to get to the top if you don't want to!
What should we wear?
Loose fitting sports clothes are best – pretty much anything but skirts, dresses, open toe footwear and cropped shorts. We rent out climbing shoes too, in case you don't have any appropriate footwear.
I’m afraid of heights, can I climb?
Yes! Fear of heights and falling is totally natural and very few people come to climbing completely fearless.
Having said this, if the session is for kids and they are really phobic they may not get much out of the session. Let the instructor know of any vertical jitters at the beginning of the session and they will do their best to put your minds at rest!
If you are unsure, feel free to give us a call on 0208 397 0390 and we can talk you through it.
Can anyone climb?
Yes! Any age, shape, size or ability can climb here at White Spider. We have customers ranging up to 80 years old – so age is no excuse!
Tall, short, built or petite – there will certainly be routes you can do. If you are unsure, just give us a ring on 0208 397 0390 and we will persuade you.
Is there a minimum age?
Yes, the minimum age for all our instructed sessions is 5 years old.
Having said this, if the lesson is for 5 – 6 year olds then it's worth remembering the quality of the session will not be the same as for older children. This is due to differences in physical and mental development.
We'd also suggest that a suitable number of parents remain on hand during the session to help look after younger children, in case they get distressed/upset/etc to enable the instructor to remain focused on climbing.
What are White Spider's opening hours?
Mondays – 2pm – 10pm
Tuesday – Friday – 10am – 10pm
Weekends – 10am – 7.30pm
Please note: the cafe closes 45 minutes before closing time at the end of the day.
Is there parking at White Spider?
Yes! Please refer to the parking plan when you arrive to make sure you park within the permitted areas.
Can we hire equipment?
Yes! We hire everything you'll need – shoes, harnesses and belay devices. We don't rent chalk bags however, so remember to bring one with you or buy one from us when you arrive!
Climbing shoes – £3
Harness – £3
Chalk bag – £2
Karabiner & belay device – £1
Full kit (all of the above) – £6
Helmet – FREE
Ground anchor attachments – £1
Do you have any lockers?
Yes! Loads. We have lockers in the changing rooms, to which you can attach your own padlocks if you want to.
We also have a key exchange system for a locker block under the stairs by the bouldering area. Just give us a set of your keys, and we'll give you a key to a locker. They come in small, medium and large sizes, so if you have a lot of stuff let us know! This facility is FREE!