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alien rock & bloc: Indoor Rock-Climbing Fun in Edinburgh

Now that the New Year and decade have begun, we thought it would be fun to look at ways to get exercise in Edinburgh. Of course, our top recommendation is to go on one of our Wee Golden Walks. However, we thought we would share two of our favourite places to visit on our days off- alien rock and alien bloc (the lowercase spelling is on purpose as it is how the business is branded). Sawyer is pictured here during one of his recent adventures when we stopped by to say hello to the staff.

We’ve previously written an article on the other climbing facility in Edinburgh- the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA). The EICA is located just on the outskirts of the city. However, if you are looking for a climbing gym that is a little bit closer, we recommend alien rock- located in picturesque Newhaven.

According to their website, alien rock “was Scotlands first dedicated indoor climbing centre and has been providing a fun, exciting and friendly venue for indoor climbers since 1994”. It is quite an interesting place as it has been converted from an old church (it was originally the Newhaven Free Church). The high ceilings of the former church create the perfect environment for an indoor rock-climbing centre.

What is particularly nice about alien rock is that they have something for all age groups and abilities. They have a Kids Club for children over 8 years to help them learn how to climb. For adults, there's a 3-hour beginners’ course that covers the basics of indoor climbing. Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities for more experienced climbers. You can choose from a variety of either top-rope routes or lead climbing. There is even an upstairs space where you can enjoy a coffee (they make it fresh and the cappuccino is always great) and watch others scale the walls while you take a wee break.

If indoor bouldering is more of interest to you, then alien bloc is the place to be. This sister indoor climbing facility in Edinburgh opened in 2017 and is located on 23 Dunedin Street. No previous climbing experience is required at alien bloc- just a chalk bag and climbing shoes. With over 500 sqm of bouldering surface, there are plenty of opportunities for those looking to solve the various climbing “problems” (routes). alien bloc states that, “the handholds are a mix of permanent hand moulded features and colour-coded bolted-on holds. The 'bolt-on' routes are removed, cleaned and changed on a frequent basis to maintain continual interest and endless challenges”. You can check out more about them here. Below are some photos to give you an idea of what the alien bloc looks like:

So, if you are a local or even just visiting Edinburgh, be sure to check out alien rock and bloc for exciting climbing opportunities. I close with some inspiring words from alien rock’s ‘Alien Aspirations (posted on the wall at their facility):

“We are part of the alien community. Our customers are the reason we are here and regardless of their climbing abilities and experiences, all are due our best service”. I don’t know about you, but that is the kind of mindset we appreciate both during our workdays and our days off.

Until next time- Explore & Discover!


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