Below you will find a locals review of Forest Climbing Limited, a family run indoor bouldering wall in Cinderford, Forest of Dean, UK.
In this review I will cover:
- Rating the boulder problems at Forest Climbing Limited
- Is it beginner friendly? and is it seasoned climber friendly?
- Friendliness of the bouldering wall (including staff)
- Cleanliness and facilities at the indoor wall
- Location and parking facilities
If I had to criticize something, there are a lot of climbing holds crammed into a small space, so you will often have to 'work around' another colour hold to reach the next hold you need. I actually like this however, because it feels a lot more 3D and gives it an 'outside' style. As often in outdoor bouldering/climbing you will need to move your body around a bulge or arete. So it makes the climbing a bit more 'thinky' and less 'Monkey see Monkey grab'.
The boulder grading at Forest Climbing is done in a simple style: beginner, intermediate, expert, extreme, and ungraded/new problem. This does away with any 'that is never a f6a, b, c, ++, -' stuff and simple gives you a rough circuit to try. You will have to see for yourself but the intermediate boulders for example, feel to me around f5+ to f6B ish.
Is it Beginner and Seasoned Climber Friendly?
Yes, to put it bluntly. I often take my 3 year old there and quite often there are other small children there too at opening hours on a weekday (16:30 & 17:00 depending on day). The kids love it, with a couple of 'ladder boulder problems' to try out and a soft matt to land on. Then after an hour or so, the kids go home for bed and the bouldering wads may then crush the overhanging wooden training board, along with the campus board, pull up bar and dozen or so extreme and expert boulder problems.
If you are a beginner, you will probably not be the only one at Forest Climbing Cinderford. On my few visits there have been people just starting out or just getting back into the sport. The staff appear very attentive and will explain everything to you. You can even rent the shoes and buy bouldering gear there (at fair prices I may add).
Forest Climbing Limited is a family run bouldering wall and I have found it a very friendly place to visit. Some walls I have found have a very clicky feel, this is one of the nice ones, family friendly, locals who have a passion (but not too overpowering/intimidating) for climbing/bouldering.
The usual introduction video on an ipad must be watched on first visit, along a form to fill out. A £5 fee for adults and a £1 fee for kids (with this you will get a membership card). If you need to, the staff will then take you through a few things, you can skip this if you have recently gone pro ;)
What are the Facilities like?
They have done a really good job with the space in there in my opinion! Very clean, not too chalky, with a couple of toilets with good facilities (all be it a very small sink), an upstairs seating/spectating area, also with a small shop area where you can buy climbing clothing, even bouldering matts (at a better price than Go Outdoors I was annoyed to see! Could have saved myself a few quid!), you can buy snacks and cold drinks there etc.
It is a small wall but I think it has a good amount of facilities and bouldering problems for it's size. A couple of hours training can be had easily without getting bored. Beginner friendly and family friendly along with a good amount of training equipment.
The holds are very clean from my experience and are not old and loosing grip, matts are always clear and the wall has lots of cubby holes to put your belongings.
Parking is enough for roughly 5 cars outside, with a few options of parking elsewhere on the industrial estate. The only gripe I have is the metal workshops either side that may or may not give the car park a sweep for nails, sharp bits.
How much Does it Cost?
Good value in my opinion but then you wouldn't expect a large bill for the size of the place. Prices can be found here and it's worth noting that they do a deal for an adult and a child for around £11.50.
Most climbing walls I visit will charge over £12 per visit, Cinderford bouldering wall only charge £7.50 (November 2022), which is great if you just want to try the sport, get in from the rain or do some finger board training for an hour midweek.