A New Arch


It’s been a while since we’ve had a new Climbing Wall in London to review and so when we realised that The Arch, Biscuit Factory and Building One have merged and re-opened as one new, shiny and bigger centre. Now known as Building One + we had to check it out.

We have been waiting for Yonder to open in Walthamstow but seeing the prices of £75 for a minimum membership, so we have given up on the idea of ever climbing there.


Instead we have instead returned to Bermondsey and the new Building One +. 

Well firstly the entrance is more than a little confusing, we headed for the Biscuit Factory (We have always got mixed up between the two sites) and found a map directing us instead through the maze of the old Peak Freans Biscuit Factory, past the Bourbon Building, the Chocolate and Cream. To the big car park and the new and shiny, rich wood and glass fronted Building One+

Reception is a little small and impractical, a desk right in front of the door, so a queue formed out the door, in this week’s weather that wasn’t a problem, but come the winter it’ll be unpleasant. 

The new section starts with a bigger clothing and shoe shop and a coffee shop, with seating of grand Chesterfield armchairs with the new changing area and lockers above. 

A new Ice Cube and the campus boards, Peg wall and 45 degree board are opposite the coffee area.

Through a tunnel you arrive in the back of the old Building One, the area that remains the warm-up area, with pull up bars, Rings and the like, a new long, slab has replaced the peg wall. The ramp has gone, but the traverse wall remains, much unchanged.

The rest of the centre is mostly unchanged, the area where the lockers used to be is now a long curved overhang wall. The area where the curved wall used to be in it’s small form is now a steep slab and behind this, the long corridor of two walls remains with a additional wall across the end where the old reception was. In its place is now a drinks tap and some plants, looking out to the car park at the end of the site.

The main slab and vertical wall is unchanged as is the big overhang area. The far war is more overhanging instead of the previous, odd shaped area.

In all it’s not much changed and the new area, though nicely detailed is well made isn’t so different, we were hoping for a complete change, not just a few new sections, it seemed a waste to close and not completely re-work the space, maybe to include some Auto-Belay walls to match the Harrow Wall.

It seemed more decorative than actually necessary, I always preferred the Biscuit Factory and its funky little ice cubes and found building one too overhanging so it’s not really a good change in my opinion. 

Well it’s still a good enough place to climb and at least people talk to each other there, unlike a number of the bigger and more expensive walls of London! (No names).

Have you seen the changes to Building one? Do you like the Plus? Let us know in the comments below and like always leave us some recommendations. Remember to check out our climbing pin board and our other social media.

One thought on “A New Arch

  1. hello Bob + Ash, thanks for the review. Really appreciated your thoughts & glad you mostly liked it!

    Not sure where we could have put auto belay walls (but we’ve always been a bouldering centre), and the climbing surfaces have increased by around 35%, so quite a big change to the centre – more than a decorative makeover anyway! The small new reception is because we’re bringing in a quicker check-in system soon, and we didn’t change many of the existing climbing surfaces because we totally re-did a big chunk of them only last december & we’re still pretty happy with it mostly!

    Happy climbing 🙂


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