Author: Craig Neil
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Last updated on May 13th, 2023.8 minutes to read.
Are you an adrenaline junkie looking for your next thrill in Edinburgh? Then look no further than Edinburgh Leisure’s Clip ‘n Climb.
This exciting indoor climbing centre offers a unique experience for both adults and children. With a variety of challenging climbing walls and obstacles that come in a range of different shapes and sizes, you’re sure to have a memorable time at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what Clip ‘n Climb has to offer and show you exactly what it’s like to visit. Get ready to climb to new heights in Edinburgh with this fun-filled attraction.
Isle of Tiree,
|Opening Hours:||Scarinish is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year.|
|Parking:||Car parking spaces behind the Co-op. Parking is possible on roadside verges as long as the road is not obstructed.|
|Facilities:||Covenience store, bank, pub/restaurant, cafe, public toilets.|
1: The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena is a must-visit for anyone interested in climbing, from beginners hoping to make their first climb to advanced climbers wanting to hone their skills.
In addition to having one of the world’s largest climbing walls, the EICA has a number of low walls starting at 6 metres (20 feet) which are ideal for first-timers.
2: Younger children wanting to climb will have a blast on the Clip ‘n Climb walls. Auto-belays ensure they can climb safely and the different walls are great fun with various levels of hand holds that range from easy to challenging, even for adults.
3: As well as the kid-friendly Clip ‘n Climb, the EICA runs coaching courses for older children and adults, features a soft play area for toddlers and juniors, and has a cafe to fill hungry bellies after burning off bucket-loads of energy.
1: If you’re looking for something to do for a children’s birthday party I highly recommend a day at the EICA. Climb ‘n Climb parties include climbing wall sessions followed by pizza and juice for a maximum of 15 children at around £100 all-inclusive.
Considering it’s normally around £15 per child for a single climbing session, the parties are great value.
2: Note that an adult must be present when you take your kids to Clip ‘n Climb in order to sign a disclaimer. Adults can either join in or wait while the session is underway, but they cannot leave their children unattended.
3: When I visited I didn’t stretch properly, thinking if it’s easy enough for kids to do, adults will have no problems.
Wrong! It’s an absolute killer on arm and shoulder muscles so if you’re not a big climber I highly recommend taking the time to warm up and down before and after your Clip ‘n Climb session.
The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena is Scotland’s foremost climbing centre and Europe’s largest indoor climbing arena, featuring one of the world’s tallest indoor climbing walls and excellent visitor facilities that include a gym, cafe, and a soft play area.
Anyone who loves climbing will have an absolute blast at the EICA as it offers courses that are suitable for all skill levels, from beginners on the lowest 6-metre walls to experienced climbers on the enormous 30-metre main wall.
As enjoyable as the climbing walls are, they’re geared towards serious climbers and are therefore somewhat unsuitable for children.
So what to do if you visit with kids in tow?
The answer to that question is to take them to the Clip ‘n Climb area where children (and adults) can zoom up a variety of climbing walls without having to don a ton of safety gear or listen to a load of boring health and safety lessons.
Clip ‘n Climb is exactly as it sounds – you wear a harness, clip it to a safety tether, and climb away to your heart’s content.
Instructors are on hand to assist with putting the harness on but to be honest it’s so simple you should be able to work it out yourself without a problem.
The harnesses are made of flat fibre belts that wrap around your upper legs, bum and body, and once fitted securely they’re surprisingly comfy and never feel like they’re going to come loose during a climb.
The front of the harness has a tether clipped into an automatic belay which then feeds a safety rope, which in turn means you don’t need a climbing partner on hand and you don’t have to worry about excess ropes getting wrapped around your feet.
Once you start climbing the belay slowly winds itself in, and once at the top you push back and the belay slower lowers you down to the ground. Simple!
There are a variety of courses to choose from in the Clip ‘n Climb area, each with their own style and set of handholds at various angles.
As an example, there’s a blue wall that has handholds that look like electrical components, while other walls have themes of ice or random Tetris-like blocks, as well as a couple of very challenging free-standing obstacles in the form of twisting lego blocks and big plastic balls.
Take a look at the photos on this page to get a better idea of what I’m talking about.
Up to 20 people are allowed in each session so you won’t feel too cramped, but be aware that only one person is allowed on a wall at any one time, so if you find yourself itching for another go on a particular wall you’ll have to wait in line till the climber in front has completed their go.
There isn’t too much else to say about Clip ‘n Climb at the Ratho climbing centre except to mention the vertical drop slide which is included in the price and seems to be just as popular as the climbing walls.
The slide is 9 metres (30 feet) high and is almost, but not quite, completely vertical, so when you drop over the side you hurtle down like a rocket. Great fun!
After all that climbing, the family will no doubt be gasping for a drink and a bite to eat which is where the on-site Cafe Refresh comes into its own.
Food is the usual kid-friendly sandwiches, juice, pizzas etc, but they also serve coffee and cakes, and if you visit at lunchtime you can order from a deal menu for around a fiver per person.
As a top tip, you might find it cheaper to fill up at the Mcdonald’s in Newbridge Industrial Estate (postcode EH28 8LQ) which is only 2 miles to the north, or alternatively, for a restaurant-style meal I recommend The Bridge Inn on Baird Road in Ratho (postcode EH28 8RA).
As the Clip ‘n Climb has a policy of only accepting children aged 4 and above you might find yourself with toddlers feeling a little left out. Thankfully there’s a big soft play area at the EICA which has lots of tunnels and climbing frames where they can burn off energy to save your sanity on the drive back home.
Sessions at Scrambles Soft Play last between 60 to 90 minutes and cost from as little as a pound for babies to around a tenner for 3 to 10-year-olds depending on whether you visit midweek or at the weekend.
For an update on the latest prices at the EICA Ratho take a look at their website Edinburgh International Climbing Arena prices, or call the EICA Ratho phone number: 0131 458 2100.
Children can be left alone at the soft play area which has windows where parents can watch from the cafe, but if you’d rather chill out somewhere quieter you’ll find big comfy seats near the reception desk along with a couple of vending machines.
Finally, regarding parking, the on-site car park is a good size and has space for 150+ cars and there’s currently no charge. Access from the car park to the reception is either via steps or a ramp, and all paths are wide and level so they’re suitable for wheelchairs.
Explore this area with a detailed paper map from Ordnance Survey:
Edinburgh – 350 Explorer.
Falkirk & Linlithgow – 65 Landranger.
OS Explorer Maps: Best for walking, mountain biking, and finding footpaths. 1:25,000 scale (4 cm = 1 km in real world). Buy OS Explorer maps direct from Ordnance Survey.
OS Landranger Maps: Best for road cycling, touring by car, and finding attractions. 1:50 000 scale (2 cm = 1 km in real world). Buy OS Landranger maps direct from Ordnance Survey.
Things to do nearby
Union Canal. Address: NA. Distance: 0 miles.
The Union Canal is a beautiful waterway that stretches over 31 miles from Edinburgh to Falkirk. The canal was built in the early 1800s to transport goods, but today it is a popular spot for walking, cycling, and boating.
If you’re looking for similar places to visit near the Union Canal you might want to check out the Water of Leith Walkway and the Falkirk Wheel.
Royal Highland Show. Address: Ingliston, Newbridge, EH28 8NB. Distance: 4.2 miles.
Every year in June, Scotland hosts its biggest agricultural fair at the Royal Highland Show. Animal contests, equestrian events, and displays of traditional Scottish crafts are just some of the attractions at this celebration of Scottish agriculture, cuisine, and rural life.
In addition to the events, there are a variety of food and drink stalls as well as live music and entertainment. If you’re in any way interested in Scottish culture and agriculture, the Royal Highland Show is definitely worth a visit.
Almondell Country Park. Address: Almond Lodge, Broxburn, EH52 5PE. Distance: 6.5 miles.
Almodell and Calderwood Country Park is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Situated between Broxburn and East Calder, the park covers 227 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and wildlife habitats and features numerous walking trails, a children’s play area, a picnic area, and a visitor centre.
Military Museum Scotland. Address: Legion Hall, Wilkieston, Kirknewton, EH27 8DU. Distance: 2.1 miles.
The Military Museum Scotland is a small, privately run museum dedicated to Scottish soldiers from WWI to the present day. The museum features a range of original military equipment and information displays as well as a cafe.
Jupiter Artland. Address: Wilkieston, Kirknewton, EH27 8BB. Distance: 2 miles.
Jupiter Artland is a contemporary sculpture park located just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland. It features a variety of permanent and temporary modern art installations by both established and emerging artists, set among the park’s lush woodland and meadows.
The park is open to the public from April to October, as after seeing the artworks visitors can enjoy a meal at the cafe and browse a gift shop for unique souvenirs.
Frequently asked questions
What is the biggest climbing gym in Edinburgh?
The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena is the largest indoor climbing centre in Europe. Its climbing wall has 15,000 bolt-on holds and 300 routes, making it by far the biggest climbing gym in Edinburgh.
How high is Edinburgh climbing centre?
The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (formerly the Ratho Adventure Centre) was built inside a disused stone quarry. It offers a range of walls with heights ranging from 6 metres to 28 metres (19 feet to 92 feet).
Do I need to book to climb at Ratho?
If you want to pay as you go, you must register and pay at the front desk before your visit. If you are a climbing member at the EICA you can stop by whenever you want to climb without having to make an appointment beforehand.
Is there an age limit for climbing at the EICA?
There is a minimum age of 4 years for climbing at the EICA.