On Sunday 23rd June my family and I went to try out the Clip n Climb at Weeksteed Park in Kettering, Northamptonshire.
As we drove through the entrance of Weeksteed Park, you first notice the huge children’s play area and the 15 meter high zip wire. We hadn’t been to this place since Emerson was a baby, they have defiantly been putting money into making this place bigger and better! You get your car park ticket and then drive around to the car park. The car park is charged at how long you stay in the park and you pay for it before you leave.
It is free to enter the park. As I had pre booked our tickets and time slot for Clip n Climb we headed straight there to make sure we arrived on time (they recommend arriving 15 minuets before your time begins). Word of advise, if you need to visit the bathroom, or you think you might need to, go before you enter. There is a bathroom located just outside the centre.
The Clip n Climb entrance is located in the same building as the Wicky’s Play Factory, in front of you as you enter the park, past the Meerkat Burrows.
When we entered and spoke to the gentleman I didn’t even need to show my confirmation email at the desk, I just had to give my name and they knew we were booked in, I have to say this is a novelty. The lovely man behind the desk gave us a blue wristband each and asked us to listen for when they called out our color, this will indicate for us that our safety brief was about to begin and we had to head into the talk area. He then told us were to go for the Clip n Climb building.
Inside you can’t help but smile. With music playing, everyone laughing and all the colorful climbing walls, it’s a mini climbers dream.
As we were early we sat at one of the benches in the seating/viewing area and waited for our wrist band color to be announced. We couldn’t help checking out all the different walls we could climb. Each one was completely different to the next (apart from the two timed challenge walls), Emerson was so excited he pointed out the walls he wanted to try first. There are 28 different walls you can climb. As we were chatting we noticed one standing on its own towards the left of the room. We couldn’t understand why this was so different to the others and then we released, this one was “the leap of faith”. This one is not included in your entry ticket, its £2 for two goes on this but we decided we wanted to try to master actually climbing before we did this, I am going to get it for Tom and Emerson on our next visit. Me on the other hand, I defiantly need to practice more before I try that one out!
Our wrist band was called and we headed to the shipping container that had been transformed in to a safety talk room (such a cool idea!). Inside safety harnesses had been laid out for us and we were asked to take a seat to listen to the safety briefing before stepping into our harnesses. The staff member who gives you the safety talk makes sure you are strapped tight enough into your harness before you head into the climbing zone.
Highly recommend doing as your instructor says, start small and build up. I went a little to high to fast and regretted it! Unless your fearless that is (I am not – I am scared of heights, I was well and truly out of my comfort zone).
Emerson and Tom could not wait to get going! Emerson headed straight for his first wall. During our talk we are instructed to stand next to a wall that has the mat standing up in front of it. This indicates that no one is using that wall. You just have to catch the attention of a member of staff who comes and hooks you onto that rope and then your off. Once your done, a member of staff will come and unhook you so you can move onto your next wall.
Tom and I took it in turns so one of us was with Emerson during each of his climbs, but to be honest with you, the children are so safe that most of them were on their own. Me and Tom were in the minority being in there with Emerson. In our group there where only 4 parents to how ever many children there were in there. This place has been made so well that children are safe to climb to their little hearts content while parents can either stand near them in the climbing area or sit in the viewing area and watch their little ones go from wall to wall. We are rendered pretty useless in there and Emerson loved how he could do it all on his own, and so did we. We kept our distance and watched our boy climb and climb.
During the talk they told us to start small if this is your first time and build up the hight you climb when you are ready. Emerson wanted to do it this way and he loved climbing a few steps and then jumping down, he got a little higher as his confidence grew and got about half way to the top by the time our session was over. Tom on the other hand decided he would go straight to the top (fair play, he works at heights and is used to being up higher then the walls), he did admit he was a little nervous letting go on the first wall, but after letting go the first time, he couldn’t wait to go again. He loved climbing to the top, pressing the button and then jumping back down to earth.
I started off the same way as Emerson, going to about head height and jumping off. This was ok to start with but I got a little carried away on one of my climbs. I loved climbing the walls, it was the letting go and coming down part I wasn’t great at. I went a little to high without realizing (almost to the top – yay) and then I did a silly thing. I stopped and looked down. Best bit of advise I will give to a newbie like me, don’t do this. Just let go and jump down before you realize how high you actually are!
I panicked, and froze. A member of staff must have noticed this straight away and came to talk to me, or shout nicely to me from the ground anyway. I was terrified!
After loads of encouragement from Tom, Emerson and the lovely man I climbed down (I just couldn’t let go) and decided to stick to the ground until I stopped shacking. I was so embarrassed but the staff said it happens a lot (mostly adults) and it really didn’t matter. They were so nice. After about 10 minuets or so the lovely man (I forgot to ask him his name) came over and gave me a pep talk and I was back on the walls and decided to stick closer to the ground this time. After about half way up I jumped and I was back into it.
Back into the swing of it, the three of us tried out different walls, finding our own favorites we enjoyed climbing the most and (in Emerson’s and my case) tried to climb a little higher each time.
I loved watching Emerson’s confidence grow each time he climbed a wall, and how Tom’s face lit up each time he reached the top of a wall and jumped down. My family was having a fantastic time and I was loving every second of it!
We had a truly amazing time at Clip n Climb at Wicksteed Park. If you want to have a adventure that is slightly different, I highly recommend this place. We will certainly be coming back soon!
I booked our tickets and time slots online trough the wicksteed Park website – https://wicksteedpark.org/clipnclimb and when I booked they had a family ticket offer on. This was an offer that was for families of 3, 4 and 5, if you pre booked a family ticket instead of paying for individual ones, you get money off. We saved £9 by doing this and I only booked a few days in advance. Definitely check out what deals they have on.