The past four months have been very challenging for everyone and we are really pleased to be able to open Avid Climbing again. A huge thanks to everyone who supported us just prior to closing with additional purchases and to all our monthly members who did not freeze their memberships during closure. We also need to say thanks to our landlord Barnes who have been brilliant and to our funders Nat West and Finance East who have also been supportive of our situation.

We now have a tough and uncertain year ahead but with such great support and our wonderful staff we are determined to make it through and continue to give our climbers a fantastic and safe experience. We have had to make changes and we will need to now operate with flexibility as we don’t know what will happen from week to week. We will keep everyone updated regularly through our social media and on our website.

Our plans have been developed in line with the ABC (Association of British Climbing Walls) guidelines. Broadly these require us to share our plans, be clear on promoting adherence by customers to social distancing requirements, have extra hygiene and cleaning measures in place, allow 9sqm of space for each climber (including circulation space, toilets and gym), improve ventilation and protect staff. They are currently not requiring the use of face masks or gloves unless guidance changes.

Some of the key changes are listed below;

Opening hours

We will be opening;

Monday – Friday 12 – 9.30

Sat/Sun – 10 – 6

If we find we need to adjust opening hours to meet demand we will.

We will just operate one payment rate across all our opening hours.

We have the ability to safely accommodate over 65 climbers in Avid at any one time with the current social distancing guidelines. Initially we’ll have a limit of 50. We will have a capacity checker (see below) on our website so you can see how close we are at any time to this figure to help you to plan your visit. We will not be able to take phone calls to check our capacity so we strongly encourage you check on the website. We would encourage you to be as flexible as possible about your climbing time as it will help us to spread the numbers across the day. If we are approaching capacity we will be asking people to limit their climbing time to 2 hours to enable more people to climb.

We have significantly improved air flow and ventilation by removing the slab on the rear wall. It was designed to be removable. Access to Avid through the rear roller shutter door is not permitted.

To make sure Avid remains a safe place for everyone to climb we will need to remind people of their personal responsibility when climbing and if necessary take action if people are not observing the new requirements). We are sure our Avid Climbing community will be supportive of our plans and understand that if everyone helps and does their bit we will be able to stay open and continue to stay open well into the future.

Registered climbers and ‘members’

If you are already registered with Avid Climbing you will be able to turn up to climb as usual. We will issue you on your first visit with a new barcode to enable you to scan in more quickly on future visits.

If you are a pre-paid or monthly member or have a 10 punch card you will be able to use the express check in after your first visit. Please remember to check out at the end of your visit

New climbers, guests and 16-18 year olds’s not currently registered.

If you are not registered with Avid you will now need to complete a registration form. These are different for U18’s to over 18’s so please check on the website. Anyone who is not registered will be required to watch our new Induction video on the website before climbing. Please remember to check out at the end of your visit


We welcome children and young people U16 to climb at Avid. It is even more important that they are supervised closely and respect the new safety rules required by the Covid 19 guidelines. All adults bringing U16’s in must be confident they can safely supervise the child. There will be new online forms to complete to register U16’s to climb. Adults new to climbing who want to bring U16’s with them will need to watch our induction video to ensure they are clear about all the safety requirements. Please remember to check out at the end of your visit

Inductions and Courses

We will not be running our usual inductions for adults or families. We have created an online induction video that will be a requirement for all new climbers to Avid to watch. If anyone is still not confident about climbing or supervising after watching this video they need to contact the front desk via email – and request an induction slot. These will be limited and only accessed by booking when an instructor is available.

We will not be running courses until September when we hope to be able to restart within the ABC guidelines. We will share more information on this when we get closer to this date.

Capacity tracker

We have added a capacity checker to our website to allow you to see how many people are in Avid at any time. This will hopefully help you to plan your climbing sessions. The capacity checker can be accessed here… To help us run this we will need you to check in and check out on each visit.

We will also be updating our social media to give you information on quieter times to climb and any changes to opening hours should they be necessary and possible.


As we are sure you can appreciate our ability to stay open is partially reliant on our climbers not coming in if they feel they have any symptoms. We will also be asking all our climbers to wash and sanitise their hands on the premises prior to climbing.  We have ordered supplies of liquid chalk (alcohol based) to help keep the atmosphere cleaner and have removed the slab at the back of the climbing wall to enable us to increase ventilation to help improve your experience. We strongly recommend the use of chalk balls rather than loose chalk.

We have always prided ourselves on the cleanliness of our facilities and we will continue to maintain high standards and increase our regime on the surfaces that are used most by our climbers such as toilet doors and lockers.

Personal responsibility and safety

We will need to make sure people can observe social distancing on the climbing mat so we do need to ensure there is no sitting on the mat and that people follow any marked routes to walk around the wall. We are fortunate that Avid is a great open space but we will need your help with this to make sure as many people can climb safely as possible.


We will have our delicious coffee and cakes available but will only be operating a takeaway café service and will be placing tables and chairs outside for use if people want a break during their climbing session. Our indoor café space will not reopen immediately.

Lockers and water

Where possible please arrive at Avid ready to climb with minimal possessions. The lockers will be available for use and we require belongings to be stored away. Again we ask you to wipe down the locker after use and we will support this with regular staff cleans. Please bring your own £1 or tokens for the lockers. We will not have our water fountain in operation in line with guidance so please bring and take away your own water. We will still have bottled water for sale onsite but would ask you to carefully dispose of the container in the recycling bins.


The upstairs gym area will remain open to over 16’s. We just ask anyone using it to wipe down equipment after use – wipes/spray will be provided. We will also be carrying out more frequent cleaning to help this area stay safe. We also ask that only one person is on the staircase to the gym at a time.

Top out and bird boulder

The Topout boulder will remain in use but we will close access to the bridge and the bird boulder until further notice to reduce footfall in this area.

Rock Gym Pro – Occupancy Counter Widget