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Rock up and climb!

I tried out rock climbing at Rushden Lakes, perfect for any age (even mine) and I jumped off a 7m wall!

Mother’s Day is for rest, relaxation and being spoiled yeah? Well before I did any of that lovely stuff, I thought what about throwing in a bit adventure (of course I did *sigh). So what was it this time I hear you cry? Rock climbing my dear Mudsters; I thought I’d get active and try a bit of Sunday morning climbing before the chocolate pudding! The climbing wasn’t on an outdoor sheer cliff face mind you, it was at Rock Up, the new climbing centre at Rushden Lakes, opened just in time for Easter.

From 4-year olds to adults of any age, it’s touted as the ultimate fun climbing experience, and I really had no idea what to expect. The Rugrats were totally up for it, unfortunately the 18-year-old Mudlet had a work shift booked in – at House of Fraser just metres away funnily enough – so me and the youngest carried on regardless (supportive families and all that ; )

Rock Up is in the West Terrace down near Nandos and Heavenly Desserts (great for apres climb : ) Walking in, it’s like a huge adults soft play; 27 walls towering up to 8m high (there are multiple routes to their peaks, varying the challenge of climbs; but we didn’t find this out til after).

First up it was the briefing; and me and teen Mudlet had the briefing staff  to ourselves because all normal people were having a slap up lunch for Mother’s Day.

The briefing was simple and actually quite funny; a short video from the staff who work there (some who’ve been brought up from other centres, like our lovely guy below who runs a centre in Exeter).

All safety is explained clearly and there’s plenty of friendly staff to keep an eye on you. You can’t hook yourself in, so you’re always being monitored, but without it feeling overly restrictive. If you’ve never climbed, the weirdest thing about it all is jumping off from an 8 metre height (with harness attached, obvs). You try different heights and jumping to get yourself used to it, but there’s always that brief moment of ‘holy crap’ as you leave the walls.

Don’t look down!

There’s loads of different climbs to try, which really adds variety; there’s also a vertical drop slide too, which is really good fun (I clung on for dear life and made it all the way to the top, where you then let go and slide all of the way down)! For younger kids there’s a Rock Up & Play (lots of soft play fun) and for adults who just want to kick back, there’s a Rock Up & Eat (a café serving paninis to pizza and home-made cakes to speciality coffees and smoothies while you’re just metres from the kids).

With over 70 challenges to get stuck into you could be scaling the Skyscraper, trying out the Twister, walking the Stairway to Heaven or conquering the infamous Vertical Drop Slide (like moi). Our instructor says it’s a great pursuit for the whole family, and really bonds everyone  because it’s a good way to spend quality and fun time together (we both loved it and she didn’t look at her phone once). I reckon it’d also be great for groups out for a bit of a laugh, I can see the teen Mudlet going back with all of her friends and hanging out there all afternoon! If you book your Rock Up Rushden Lakes climb before 30th April you could Win a Party too, just drop them a line for details (prices listed below)!

After the climbs were done, and as it was Mother’s Day, the kids decided I could upgrade a cafe panini to a cocktail at Bill’s! Whether you’re in need of a mid-shop pick-me-up, or some serious refuelling, Bills is always good for restoration.

The sun was shining and we managed to get a table amidst the Mother’s Day chaos but it was super busy, so I had to wait a wee while for my second drinkie (which the kids didn’t mind, because by then they were on to puddings)!

If you haven’t been to Bill’s, it’s got a great vibe, food is tasty and it’s in fab surroundings (but on the pricier side, especially if you’ve got a fair few kidlets). I’d definitely book too, but if you go off the cuff, there are loads of other good eateries to choose from at Rushden Lakes!

All in all, Rushden Lakes knocking it out of the park once again; superb to have on our doorstep, especially with Easter coming up (and roll on Cineworld)!


Adults £15.50
Youth (up to 16 years old) £12.75
Students £12.75
Family of 4 £51.00
Family of 3 £38.25
Toddler Climbing £7.00
Vertical Drop Slide £3.00
Traverse Challenge (2 goes) £3.00
Drop Slide & Traverse Challenge £4.00


Adults £11.50
Youth (up to 16 years old) £8.50
Students £8.50
Family of 4 £34.00
Family of 3 £25.50
Toddler Climbing £6.00
Vertical Drop Slide £3.00
Traverse Challenge (2 goes) £3.00
Drop Slide & Traverse Challenge

Rushden Lakes

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