Extreme sports rose to popularity in the late 1990s and have established a strong following ever since. The abundance of “extreme” activities, from paintballing to bungee jumping, are the perfect addition to the tourism industry — and London has it all.
A visit to the UK’s capital will provide world-famous sights, unique attractions and enough sporting activities to keep you occupied. Even if extreme sports happen to be your cup of tea, London is the go-to tourist location. Whether you’re a well-practiced adrenaline junkie or just looking to add some oomph to an upcoming trip, extreme sports are the ideal leisure activity.
So, planning a trip to London? Here are five extreme sports experiences you should try.
- Bungee Jumping
In the world of extreme sports, it doesn’t get much more exciting than bungee jumping. The adrenaline rush of jumping from a high structure is something that’s nearly impossible to rival. This not only makes it an extremely popular activity all round, but also a way in which people make holidays and special occasions all the more memorable.
London probably isn’t somewhere one would think much bungee jumping goes on. But in fact, London and a few other cities across the UK have embraced the exciting nature of bungee jumping. As extreme sports experiences go, bungee jumping right next to London’s O2 Arena surely ranks pretty high.
Although London may not be as idyllic as other places in the UK for watersports, there’s no shortage of locations in and around the city for water-based fun. If you’re happy to travel a little while outside of the city walls, the amount of choice you have increases as your surroundings become more rural. White-water rafting, water skiing and hydrospeeding are all a short car journey away.
If you are staying in London for the entirety of your trip, then heading down to the Thames will be your best bet. TripAdvisor will be of assistance to find an activity to suit your needs. Although there is plenty of slow, steady sightseeing boat tours, there are other opportunities to really get your blood flowing, like rapid speed boat rides along the Thames.
The world of extreme sports is very diverse, but many of the activities tend to fall into subcategories, such as skateboarding and BMXing. One sport that stands alone, however, is paintball. Paintballing provides high-intensity, highly authentic combat scenarios, creating the ultimate platform for group vs. group fun. Paintball offers a unique experience for every player and a sure-fire way to make a trip more memorable.
Paintballing in London is a fantastic alternative to everyday activities you would usually experience during a trip to the big city. For a whole day, you can swap the hustle and bustle of London’s streets for expertly designed paintball battlefields. Paintballing for kids, adults and special occasions, such as paintballing birthday parties, all come to life amidst fully-immersive battlefields.
Zorbing is an activity that not only sounds like something from a sci-fi movie; it also looks like one! Taking part involves being safely harnessed inside a giant inflatable orb — or “Zorb” — and rolling down a hill or course. The premise is simple, but the outcome is an exhilarating experience that’s difficult to compare to any other activity.
Zorbing not only brings something new to the extreme sports table, but also to tourism activities. Obviously, Zorbing through the streets of London wouldn’t be the safest pastime, so you will have to head outside of the immediate city centre. Fortunately, there’s a Zorbing facility half an hour from London Bridge.
- Mountain Biking
London and cycling go hand in hand — or rather hand on handlebar… or bottom to saddle. Like many other major European cities, the UK’s capital and its residences are very fond of the use of bicycles. Many of those on two wheels are commuters, sightseers and locals whose main form of transport is a bike. Others, however, prefer their cycling to be downhill at great speed — and London’s surrounding areas offer the perfect domain to do so.
Mountain biking (MTB) is in no way a new sport, especially when compared to others on this list, but it’s an activity that’s diverse and engaging enough to maintain interest. Although MTB has been a widely popular sport for a long time (and an Olympic sport since 1996), many people may not have had the opportunity to experience it for themselves. If you’re in London and want to find out what all the fuss is about, surrounding areas such as Epping Forest and the Olympic facility at Hadleigh Country Park are ideal locations.
London is iconic for many reasons: its history, modern architecture, fashion, music and an overwhelming popularity as a tourist location. While many visitors may be content to roam the city and take in the sights, others prefer to pursue active and exciting opportunities. Not many activities fit the bill more than these five extreme sports.