Cheltenham’s biggest inflatable shrivels to make way for £7m climbing park

Bentham Climbing Centre new

The other-worldly white domes of Bentham, visible from miles around, have finally been let down to make way for the development of the UK’s first climbing park.

Several months after purchasing the land, the Directors of 270 Climbing have announced that the two “unsightly” domes have been deflated. The removal of the domes is the first phase in the creation of a new £7 million climbing centre and sports activity park.

Watch the big deflate here: Domes Video

Whilst a new dome will be installed as part of the development it will be more sympathetic to the local surroundings than its predecessor, promises the company. It will house multi-activity courts for a variety of sports and will also include an international-standard bouldering competition wall.

Bentham domes upDirector, David Stevens, said: “It’s safe to say the Bentham skyline looks a little different now that’s for sure, but we’re so pleased to be properly starting the development onsite after almost three years in planning!”

The project will see the redevelopment of the former Bentham Country Club, situated between Cheltenham and Gloucester on the edge of the Cotswolds, into one of the best climbing facilities in the country. Once complete, the Climbing Park will offer a range of exciting outdoor activities, plus a dynamic indoor facility for elite climbers as well as providing a great attraction for novices, families, clubs and educational establishments. Major construction work is due to begin in March 2022 with the site with a phased opening later in the year.

The company appointed to build the new centre is Banbury-based The Hawkins Group.

£7 million new Gloucestershire climbing and activity centre finally gets go ahead

It will become a new attraction for the region and offer a facility for elite climbers as well as families, groups, clubs and educational establishments. The Directors of 270 Climbing Park say the climbing centre will include the most extensive range of indoor climbing walls in the country along with two large, dedicated bouldering areas (low-level climbing without ropes). It will also have Olympic-standard speed climbing and competition lead walls both inside and outside. The centre will cater for all ages and abilities from novice climbers to professional athletes, it will feature fun climbing walls and soft-play areas for children, an artificial caving system, plus also provide a gym for yoga and fitness classes, as well as therapy rooms and two separate café areas.

Bentham DomesThere will also be a number of outdoor activities, including an additional climbing wall, a bouldering area, a via ferrata (a vertical series of ropes, ladders and obstacles to climb), plus zip wires, a three-tier high ropes course and activity tower with free fall jumps and leaps-of-faith elements. The Park will see the site’s existing domes replaced with a brand-new sports dome which is more sympathetic to the local surroundings and will house multi-activity courts for a variety of sports and will also include an international-standard bouldering competition wall.  The park will also incorporate glamping facilities with accommodation pods for visiting climbers, families and youth and schools’ groups offering the opportunity for short-term stays to make the most of the amenities.