Rock Climbing, Abseiling & Canyoning

8 Unreal Climbing Walls You Have To Put On Your Bucket List Right Now

From abandoned nuclear plants to old cathedrals, these are the world's coolest climbing walls


Climbing walls don’t just have to be located inside dull concrete warehouses.

From nuclear power plants to cathedrals, climbing centres have been created in some weird and wacky places.

Love or hate artificial walls, we’ve hand-selected some of the coolest climbing walls in the world….

1) Excalibur, The Netherlands


This has got to be one of the coolest freestanding climbing towers in the world.

Introducing Excalibur in the Netherlands. It’s not quite the tallest climbing wall in the world – but at 121ft above the ground, it’s pretty close. That’s the same height as an 11 storey building.

The 500 tonne foundations make sure this amazing structure can stay standing even in hurricane force winds.

Experienced lead climbers can try and conquer Excalibur for a small fee of €11. Not bad, eh?

2) Basecamp Outdoor Wall, Nevada, USA

Photo: Entre-Prises US

Basecamp in Reno, Nevada is the world’s tallest artificial climbing wall.

This awesome structure is attached to the outside of the Whitney Peak Hotel with wall routes over 160ft long.

If you don’t fancy scaling the outer walls, you can head inside to their immense bouldering room. Every climber’s dream, right?

3) Diga Di Luzzone Dam, Switzerland


This damn in Switzerland might not look like a climbing wall, but it’s home to two of the largest man-made climbing routes in the world.

Bolted in the 1990s, it’s 540ft long climb that follows the curve of the dam’s walls. There are five pitches which start off slabby before becoming totally vertical.

It only costs 20CHF to climb – which includes access to a ladder to get up to the holds on the first pitch.

4) Manchester City Climbing Centre, UK


It might not be the tallest climbing wall on our list, but the Manchester Climbing Centre is definitely one of the most atmospheric.

Built inside a 19th century church, you’ll be climbing under the intricate domed ceiling and stained glass windows of this amazing structure.

The highest route stretches over 60ft and there are over 75 lines to choose from – so you won’t get bored very easily.

5) Cooling Tower at Wunderland Kalkar, Germany

It was just the site of a nuclear power plant, abandoned before it was completed.

That was until an imaginative entrepreneur bought the site and turned it into something a lot more fun….

It’s now an amusement park called the Wunderland Kalkar, complete with an awesome climbing wall on the outside of this cooling tower.

Inside there is a giant swing set, plus bars, restaurants and hotels scattered around the site, so you can enjoy a beer or two after your climb.

6) Edinburgh International Climbing Centre, Scotland

Photo: Wikipedia

Did you know that Edinburgh is home to the largest indoor climbing arena in Europe?

The Edinburgh International Climbing Centre is a giant quarry pit that’s been converted into a climbing centre.

It’s totally epic – with a huge variety of top lining routes and bouldering to choose from.

They have held the World Youth Championships and British Championship Finals here, so I reckon it’ll be challenging enough for us amateurs.

7) AquaClimb Walls

Photo: Aqua Climb

This isn’t a specific place you can visit as such, but AquaClimb are a company that build these awesome deep water solo practice walls over swimming pools.

There are hundreds installed over Australia. The beauty is anyone can give them a go – even if you’ve never climbed before.

No harnesses required, because when you fall off, you’ll just splash into the pool.

8) High Point Climbing, Tennessee, USA


Climbing Magazine recently called High Point Climbing in Tennessee “America’s Coolest Gym” – and we happen to agree.

This amazing modern glass-walled structure has walls to climb both in and outside the building, with a whopping 30,000ft climbing surface area.

Inside there is everything from finger boards and rock rings to yoga studios for a post-climb stretch. Day passes are only $15.

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