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White Angles

arrowWhat age can you start climbing? / Access restrictions (under 8s)

You can start bouldering and roped climbing at any age. Under 16s must be supervised when bouldering and under 18s must be supervised when roped climbing.

The Mothership – Bristol

We have two floors of bouldering at The Mothership. Bouldering access for under 8’s is restricted only in the upstairs bouldering area. Outside of kids’ classes – for reasons of safety – under 8’s are not permitted to climb in the upstairs area from 4pm on weekdays and anytime at the weekend. If the Duty Manager believes it is unsafe for children or any of our customers they can deny access to the upstairs wall at any time. 

The Church – Bristol

Roped climbing and bouldering: Children of any age are permitted anytime as long as they are being closely supervised by a registered adult.

The Newsroom – Glasgow

We have a kids specific climbing wall at The Newsroom available 7 days a week. Bouldering access for under 8s is restricted only in the main adult bouldering area. Outside of kids’ classes – for reasons of safety – access there is for over 8s only. Peak hours indicate our busiest times. 

The Prop Store – Glasgow

Roped climbing: Children of any age are allowed in the roped area anytime as long as they are being closely supervised by a registered adult.

Bouldering: Access for under 8s is restricted at The Prop Store. Outside of kids’ classes – for reasons of safety – access to bouldering is at the discretion of the Duty Manager. If the centre is quiet enough, experienced families may be granted access. Peak hours indicate our busiest times. We have a kids specific climbing wall available 7 days a week at The Newsroom in Kinning Park. Please phone ahead to check before arriving. 

The Arc – Chippenham

Roped climbing: Children of any age are allowed in the roped area anytime as long as they are being closely supervised by a registered adult. 

Bouldering: We have two bouldering rooms at The Arc. Upstairs is set specifically for under 8s whereas the downstairs wall is typically set for adults. Access to the downstairs adult bouldering area is at the discretion of the Duty Manager, we recommend that under 8s avoid climbing at peak times or busy periods.


There is no upper limit – Over 70s climb free of charge at any TCA centre.


arrowDo I need my own equipment?

You can hire everything you need from centres. We also have a shop if you would like to buy your own gear.

If we don’t have hire shoes to fit your child or if they don’t want to wear hire shoes, they may climb in a clean pair of indoor trainers.

arrowHow much does it cost to climb?

See complete breakdown of prices and passes for cheaper entry.

If you plan to come regularly, for most people the cheapest option will be regular monthly (EFT) billing. TCA has one of the least expensive climbing wall pass prices in the UK. Your first month is discounted with a New Members’ Pass. TCA passes give unlimited entry at all centres and access to gyms in The Mothership (Bristol) and The Prop Store (Glasgow).

It’s also cheaper to climb off-peak. See footer for peak/off-peak times.

arrowDo I have to book?


You don’t have to book to go bouldering, just turn up. You can save time by completing forms (which include a safety video) online in advance.

Roped climbing
If you are an experienced rope climber who has completed forms, you do not need to book. For everyone else you must complete a beginners’ course or auto belay induction before you can climb independently. There are auto belays in The Prop Store and The Arc. 

arrowHow do I join?

You don’t need to pay a membership or joining fee to climb at TCA. Just the entry price.

arrowCan you teach me to climb?

Yes, although you don’t need to complete a course to go bouldering. It’s easy to learn on your own or with friends. After you have tried it a few times, we offer Movement and Technique courses and personal coaching.

We offer a variety of roped climbing courses including taster sessions.

See courses for more info.

arrowHow accessible are your centres?

See Access page

arrowHow long is a climbing session?

Drop-in climbing sessions are unlimited, so unless you are doing a course, there is no time limit. The earlier you arrive, the longer you can climb.

arrowWhat are your opening times?

Scroll to the bottom of this web-page to see opening times for all centres.

arrowWhat is bouldering?

arrowWhat is roped climbing?

arrowWhat is an auto belay?

Auto belays allow you to rope climb alone without the need for a belayer. You do not need to learn knots. Climbers simply attach the auto belay tape to their harness. It retracts as they climb higher and safely lowers them to the ground if they let go or fall. You can get inductions at The Prop Store (Glasgow) and The Arc (Chippenham).

arrowCan I visit the cafe if I am not climbing?

Yes. All TCA cafes are open to the public during opening times.

arrowCan I bring my dog?

At all TCA centres, only assistance dogs such as guide dogs and registered emotional support animals are able to enter. They must be kept under control and will not be allowed onto the mats.

At The Arc all dogs are welcome on the cafe decking.

arrowIs there a car park?

The Mothership – Free parking in a car park and on-street
The Church – Free on-street parking
The Newsroom – Free on-street parking
The Prop Store – Free parking outside
The Arc – Paid parking outside (payment via RingGo. Download before you visit)

arrowIs there bike parking?

All centres have bike parking. We are also close to public transport routes.

arrowIs there a shower?

All TCA centres, apart from The Church, have showers.

arrowWhen roped climbing, can I use any belay device?

You can, although TCA recommends an assisted braking device such as a Petzl Grigri or Black Diamond ATC Pilot. TCA believes that when used correctly, assisted braking devices provide an additional layer of security over traditional friction only devices.

arrowCan I change my details online?

Yes. Visit My TCA to change your details, ask questions about your account or to freeze and unfreeze passes.

arrowI’d like to try climbing outside. Can TCA help?

We currently only run outdoor courses in the Southwest of England. Find out more.

arrowDo you offer birthday parties?

Yes. Find out more about birthdays.

arrowWhat length of rope do I require?

We recommend a 30m rope for all of our centres. Please check your rope length before climbing. Always tie a knot at the dead end of your rope if you are unsure.

arrowDo I need a climbing partner?

You can auto belay and boulder on your own.

arrowIs there a gym?

We have gyms in The Mothership (Bristol) and The Prop Store (Glasgow), with some gym equipment in The Church (Bristol) and The Newsroom (Glasgow).

arrowCan I drop my kids off to climb on their own?

Only if they are booked into our youth classes for supervised sessions with climbing instructors. Ask when booking if you are unsure.

Over 16s may boulder unaccompanied, but under 16s must be supervised by a registered adult (over 18). Under 18s who wish to rope climb must be supervised by a registered rope climber (over 18). Supervising adults, can supervise up to 2 climbers per visit.

arrowDo you have classes for kids with special educational needs and disabilities?

Not specifically. At TCA we try first to include SEND children in our regular classes. Inclusion and not separation is our preference where possible. This involves a conversation with coaches. When this is not suitable we can discuss the needs of individuals and schedule a bespoke class or one-to-one session(s). If you are interested in attending a scheduled class or if you would like a bespoke lesson, please contact your local centre (see footer). Our instructors have experience working with many disabilities, but may still need to complete some training in order to deliver sessions for the widest possible disabilities. This is something we are committed to improving. So please come and chat.