The UK’s new 270 Climbing Park has opened the first phase of what will be “one of the most comprehensive climbing gyms in the UK,” it claims, but that hasn’t been easy. The project now situated in Gloucestershire has been in development for several years, and it has survived a change in location, drainage issues, newts (this is the land of Monty Python, remember), plus Covid-related delays, cost hikes, and financing hurdles. In spite of all that, the park began admitting guests April 8.
The first phase includes adventures centered on the high ropes course and Activity Tower. The ropes course has 60 elements on six tiers, ranging from easy to nearly impossible. Some of the tiers offers several options, so that climbers can choose their challenge. That includes a 46-foot (14 m) high course where guests can race against the clock, and the 59-foot (18 m) high “Mission Impossible” route. The Activity Tower serves as a hub for the ropes courses and also provides a 72-foot (22 m) free fall; 270 will add zip lines and a Leap of Faith element to the tower within a few weeks, if all goes according to plan.
In phase two, 270 will introduce a dedicated bouldering gym and fun climbing facilities, which could be completed as early as September 2023.The bouldering center will feature more than 10,750 square feet (1,000 sq m.) of indoor and outdoor climbing surfaces, including free-standing boulders, plus dedicated training and warm-up areas. A separate bouldering area designed especially for children, the Fun Climbing zone, will provide 30 vertical challenges sized and shaped for children and ‘non-climbers.’
Phase three will see ongoing development of the main climbing arena as well as other facilities during 2024, including a bag jump and via ferrata. These additions will boost the climbing area to more than 27,000 square feet (2,500 sq m), with top rope, lead, speed, and auto-belay climbing up to 53 feet (16 m) on more than 500 routes.
That would comprise the most extensive range of indoor and outdoor climbing walls in the country, according to 270. The range of challenges will offer a dynamic facility for elite climbers as well as provide less daunting options for novices, families, clubs, and educational establishments.
There are also plans for the development of a 200+ seat café with inside and outdoor seating, party rooms, retail spaces, and offices.