Routed in Climbing History

Home | About Us | History


We offer climbing for everyone, building a passionate community that inspires and grows the next generation of climbers. Formed from a love for climbing and leisure by a team that are professional, knowledgeable, and passionate, climber John Dunne and director Andrew Denton bring a wealth of experience to a growing team. 


Founder & CEO

Andrew Denton


Tom Vaessen-Walker

Operations Director

We are all climbers

Parthian Climbing is a family of passionate climbers and amazing people. See the whole family here.

Parthian Team


Where the passion began

Owner and founder John Dunne started climbing in 1978 at age 10 on the local outcrops in Yorkshire and progressed over the following years to be an Internationally renowned climber. John went on to establish many World class routes over the last 30 years. He was instrumental in bringing competition climbing to the UK in the late 1980’s. During his long career John worked with companies as diverse as Adidas, Benetton, Film Nova, Scarpa, Sport England and a host of key outdoor brands. In 2002 John spent considerable time negotiating the purchase of St Benedicts Church in Manchester from the Diocese and the building was secured to establish the Manchester Climbing Centre, now known as Parthian Climbing Manchester.


The birth of Parthian

John Dunne secures the purchase of the Grade 2 star church of St Benedicts in East Manchester. The acquisition gave the redundant building a new lease of life and removed it from English Heritages Buildings at Risk register. The development of the centre kick started the West Gorton regeneration program which has seen over 500 new homes created a doctor’s surgery and expansive new filming studios. We are proud to be a stakeholder in the areas transformation over the last 14 years.


MCR opens it's doors

Parthian Climbing Manchester opens to provide one of the country’s leading indoor climbing facilities. The centre has served the climbers of the northwest for over fourteen years and is an important hub for schools, youth and outreach projects as well as a vibrant social and fun place to meet, train and climb.

Sept 2010

First Southern site

Parthian Climbing Reading opens in Berkshire in the Robert Cort industrial valve factory. The prominent 30 tonne crane on sight bears witness to the scale of the operation that once took place here. The centre offers extensive roped, auto belay and bouldering and has the fantastic on site café Ground Up which is run by our in house team. There is an on-site shop and ample free parking around site.


The future of climbing and Parthian

The three centres continue to thrive and develop as climbing heads towards its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2021. We are committed to developing and improving our current sites to offer the highest possible standards. We are also actively working towards expanding our business in to new locations within the UK.


Three becomes four

April 2021, Parthian Climbing Southampton opens its doors


Expanding to London

Parthian Climbing Wandsworth opens in summer, 2023, offering a state-of-the-art climbing experience at Southside Shopping Centre in Wandsworth, South-West London.

Find out more about our locations

Select a location below to find out more about our industry leading facilities and to make a booking