Hi. My name’s Chris and I’m the owner of Clip ‘n Climb Cambridge. I thought it might make an interesting read for a few of you about what made me so excited by the idea of bringing Clip ‘n Climb to Cambridge and what’s in store for the good folk of Cambridge and beyond.
First experience of Clip ‘n Climb
Kate on the Speed Climb
A couple of lines about me and then on with the story. I’m originally from Devon and now live just outside Cambridge with my lovely family – my wife Beth and two daughters, Kate and Alice, who at the time of writing this are 6 and almost 2 years old respectively. I’ve run a marketing company called Prospect Research for over 12 years with Beth and we employ a great bunch of 20 people. It’s a business I enjoy and I certainly wasn’t thinking about setting up something else until last August (2015), when I was on holiday in my home county of Devon with the family.
On the Friday we were in Exeter and woke up to find the rain pouring, so decided to check out things to do on Trip Advisor and saw at the top of the ratings this interesting looking climbing centre called Clip ‘n Climb. Kate loved climbing things like trees and we’d been keen to let her have a go on a climbing wall, so this looked a perfect wet weather activity to try out. We found out there was a space for her free so we booked on for later that day.
When we arrived at the centre we were ushered into a briefing room for the safety talk, still not really having seen much of the climbing arena and the Clip ‘n Climb walls. I was given the chance to act as a ‘clipper’ where I could clip Kate from her harness onto the climbing rope of each wall. Beth took little Alice upstairs to the viewing gallery to watch on.
When we were led out to the side of the climbing arena and got to see the walls, my jaw dropped – there was a mass of amazing looking climbing walls that were a sea of colour and light. Acting as a clipper meant I had a fantastic view of my little girl climbing up these really high walls and then abseiling back down. She started of quite tentatively, but had a huge grin on her face throughout and as the session her confidence grew and she climbed higher reaching about half way on her favourite one of the day, The Big Cheese. I also looked around the climbing arena which was packed with other climbers all having the same brilliant time with as Kate.
The next day we were near the Clip ‘n Climb centre for lunch with friends. It’s situated on the Quay by the River Exe, which is a nostalgic place for me from my youth as it’s in the area that was also the venue of my first business venture, which was hiring out a nightclub to put on a club night and then also another nightclub called Warehouse which we used to go to every Friday night. Both unlike Clip ‘n Climb, now sadly no more.
The Clip ‘n Climb experience had made a big impression on me and I’d thought to myself straight away ‘this would go down a storm in Cambridge’ so I nipped back into the centre when we were down again and picked up a leaflet so I could find out more about it.
Usually when you have ideas on holiday, they get forgotten as soon as you’re back to real life but within a couple days of being back to work I’d found out about Clip ‘n Climb as a company and got in touch with them, organising for their sales manager Danny to come down to Cambridge and have a chat with Beth and myself.
Clip ‘n Climb Cambridge is coming…
Fast forward 10 months and our centre is almost open! I’ve been incredibly grateful for all the advice I’ve received from other Clip ‘n Climb owners and their teams, the Clip ‘n Climb HQ team, friends, family and business contacts.
We have found a fab home on the Clifton Way Industrial Estate near the centre of Cambridge, next to Cambridge Leisure which has ten pin bowling, a multi-screen cinema and countless restaurants, plus the Cambridge Junction theatre and concert venue. So a perfect location in the heart of Cambridge’s entertainment district, where you can make a real day of it with your family and friends when you come to Clip ‘n Climb.
At the time of writing this, we’re 3 weeks into the fit out to turn an empty warehouse into an amazing Clip ‘n Climb centre. Everyone who has been helping me has really pulled out the stops to get everything ready in time and the climbing walls are due to be on site for assembly in just over a week.
What’s going to be inside Clip ‘n Climb Cambridge?
The property is just under 4,000 sq ft. Over half is going to be the climbing arena, where there will be 20 different climbing challenges, 4 of which have two climbing lines, giving us 24 lines in total. For a further blog, I’ll go through each of the climbing walls so you can see what’s in store.
The rest of the centre includes:
- The Climb ‘n Dine café and kitchen
- Mezzanine floor – This is the biggest part of the non-climbing wall fit out, meaning we can create a gallery giving fantastic views of the climbing and space for party/function rooms. The rooms will be partitioned after the summer, although we will have a rethink if the first floor space is so popular we need to open up the full space for everyone the whole time.
- Toilets including a disabled access one
- Briefing room
- Office and staff room
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the story of Clip ‘n Climb Cambridge so far. The launch date is shortly going to be confirmed so watch this space and look forward to welcoming you to the centre very soon!
Chris – Owner, Clip ‘n Climb Cambridge