My youngest loves to be active, especially over the holidays when all her normal clubs aren’t on. A couple of times she asked to go to the climbing walls at Rock Up Watford in Hertfordshire. It’s a great location because you can book a session and combine it with a shopping trip and getting something to eat.
We went last week and it was our third visit. Rock Up is a chain with currently 5 locations – Watford, Hull, Whiteley, Birmingham and Rushden Lakes. We have only been to Rock Up Watford and it has 27 climbing walls, a soft play area for younger kids (you have to be 4 and older to climb) and a cafe.
Climbing walls at Rock Up Watford
I booked online to make sure there was space available and we arrived 30 minutes before our session for the safety briefing. A member of staff made sure all the kids had a harness fitted and they watched a safety briefing. I opted to stay with the kids and help them clip on and off each wall so watched a safety briefing too.
When it was time for our session the children climbed down a special caged staircase whilst I opted for the stairs. Both the children had been before so chose a climbing wall, waited to be clipped on, and started to climb. They had great fun and I enjoyed seeing them challenge themselves on each wall. Each climbing wall is different, with multiple routes to challenge all levels of climbers.
I found it bizarre to see shoppers walking past but I really love the location. It’s a great way to compromise with your kids if they hate shopping! Our session went really quickly but it was pretty quiet mid-week so the kids were able to try each wall a couple of times if they wanted.
I would have liked the staff to be more encouraging. On previous visits there have been some really helpful staff who have given advice on how to climb certain walls, especially the Stairway to Heaven. This time we felt the staff were lacking any enthusiasm which was a real shame.
Soon our 55 minutes were up and we took off our safety equipment and headed to the cafe for a cool drink. We can’t wait to go back again soon.
Our top tips for Rock Up Watford would be:
book online to avoid disappointment
arrive 30 minutes before your session starts for your briefing
wear socks and trainers
pay extra for the Leap of Faith
Park at Kings Car Park in intu Watford as it stays open later
Pay £5 so younger kids can enjoy the soft play whilst older kids climb