A White Knuckle Guide To High Adrenaline Activities In London

A woman dangling by a rope from the Orbit, photographed through glass.

Simply a mean day at work for Group Londonist.

Feeling daring? Need to check your boundaries? On the lookout for one thing just a little completely different to do in London? Learn on for our decide of high-adrenaline experiences and daredevil actions accessible within the capital.

Skydiving in London

A woman lying horizontal in the air in a vertical wind tunnel, with an instructor holding her in position

Picture: iFly London

iFly Indoor Skydiving opened at The O2 in 2023, providing you an opportunity to expertise the adrenaline of skydiving, with out the necessity for a aircraft. It takes the type of a vertical wind tunnel, which lifts you clear off the bottom.

After a number of seconds of acclimatising, it isn’t all that scary — an teacher lets you assume the right place in your first go, and also you’re solely about 5ft off the bottom, so if the worst had been to occur, you’d fall and land on some netting. We discovered ourselves extra involved with attempting to not dribble as the extreme wind pummelled our lips out of practice.

Varied packages can be found with flights of various lengths. As soon as you’ve got mastered the fundamentals, your teacher presents you the chance to fly as much as the highest of the wind tunnel, which is the place issues get just a little extra thrilling, although for us, it was extra a feat of endurance to keep up the right flying posture, relatively than something too scary.

Better of all, indoor skydiving is usually accessible to folks with bodily disabilities, for whom common skydiving would not be potential. If that is you, get in contact with iFly to debate your wants.

So far as we all know, there aren’t any ‘actual’ skydiving venues in London. Do not be fooled by ‘North London Skydiving’, which is positioned north of Cambridge, or ‘Skydiving London’, which is definitely close to Swindon.

The Dare Skywalk, Tottenham

Four people standing on a ledge, looking out at the view

Don’t be concerned, they’re clipped on! Picture: The Dare Skywalk

Spurs actually upped the ante once they opened their new stadium in 2019. Apart from the same old behind the scenes excursions, it additionally presents an opportunity to view the pitch from a glass walkway 46.8m up within the air.

The Dare Skywalk takes you up onto the roof of the most important membership stadium in London, then out onto the glass walkway in entrance of the well-known golden cockerel statue. The experiences final 90 minutes, from briefing at basecamp, to climbing 100 steps and ascending the open-sided walkway alongside the aspect of the stadium (you are clipped on, do not fret!). Wheelchair accessible variations of the expertise can be found too, and the platform presents 360° views over London and past, with landmarks together with The Shard simple to pick.

As for returning again right down to the bottom — you possibly can take the route you got here. Or…

Abseiling in London

A woman dangling by a rope in mid air

Abseiling on the Orbit: Do not. Look. Down. Picture: Londonist

For a metropolis with so many excessive buildings, London is surprisingly restricted in the case of common abseiling choices, aside from climbing partitions and centres.

What you are able to do, is join a ‘managed descent’ again right down to the bottom after you end The Dare Skywalk (above). The Edge, because the expertise is thought, has you clipped onto information ropes to descend the 42 metres again down — and you’ll select whether or not you go forwards or backwards.

Alternatively, the ArcelorMittal Orbit within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park presents an abseiling expertise (which we tried earlier than it launched, all the way in which again in 2014), although at time of writing, that is on pause for a number of months — verify again later in 2024 for those who’re eager for that one.

In any other case, look out for one-off charity abseils in London. London’s Air Ambulance Charity tends to host at the very least one abseil every year, normally round September, when gutsy fundraisers abseil 17 flooring from the helipad on high of the Royal London Hospital, all the way in which again right down to the bottom. Equally the Man’s & St Thomas’ Charity presents occasional 160ft abseils down the St Thomas’ constructing by Westminster Bridge. It is a case of checking on the person web sites to see when the subsequent occasion is.

Thames Rockets speedboats

People sitting in a moving Thames Rockets red speedboat, holding their hands in the air while spray splashes them

In all probability one to avoid wasting for the summer time. Picture: Thames Rockets

Thames Rockets offers you the prospect to whizz up and down the Thames on a speedboat at speeds of as much as 30 knots (35mph) — which does not sound too nippy, however with the wind in your hair, spray coming at you from the aspect of the boat, and guides throwing commentary at you left, proper and centre, it is a pretty fast-paced solution to see the capital.

Everybody’s supplied with a life jacket, and also you should not get too moist, although if the wind’s blowing the mistaken method, you may get lined in spray. Completely different experiences can be found, together with the 50-minute Final London Journey, which takes you from the London Eye to Canary Wharf and again, or the 80-minute Thames Barrier Voyage which takes you all the way in which out to… yep, the Thames Barrier, then again to central London.

Stroll on the glass flooring of Tower Bridge

A pair of feet in black trainers standing on a glass floor, with the Tower Bridge road, and a  boat on the river visible below

Picture: Matt Brown/Londonist

For anybody who’s petrified of heights, few issues are more likely to get your pulse racing and your palms sweating fairly like strolling over the glass flooring within the high-level walkways of Tower Bridge. They’re proper within the centre of the bridge, placing you over each the street (33.5 metres down) and the river (42 metres down), and supplying you with a transparent view straight right down to each… for those who dare open your eyes. Perhaps do not put on a skirt that day.

There are two lifts as much as the walkways, one in every tower of the bridge, providing step-free entry to the glass flooring.

Go snorkelling with sharks at Sealife London Aquarium

An underwater photo of a shark swimming past a cage containing three people

Discover out what occurred after we went snorkelling with sharks.

For a complete era raised on Jaws, sharks are the last word in supplying you with the heebie-jeebies, and the Sealife London Aquarium allows you to stand up near them, with a snorkelling cage in its shark tank.

For quarter-hour, don a snorkelling masks and bob about in a clear — however very strong — cage, in a tank which is house to 5 species of shark together with sand tiger sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and bowmouth guitarfish. There aren’t any nice whites… we triple-checked earlier than we acquired in.

We dived in when the expertise relaunched in 2019, having beforehand dipped guests into the tank in a net-like vessel. Nowadays it is a strong cage, which removes a sure frisson of hazard from the expertise. The cage is saved on the high of the water too, so that you’re by no means fully submerged. It is an enchanting and really particular encounter to get an in depth take a look at these creatures whereas they’re swimming — and ever so cool to have the ability to drop “that point I swam with sharks” into on a regular basis conversations — however not the heart-stoppingly scary, adrenaline-pumping expertise you may anticipate.

Up at The O2

A group of people in a row holding onto a railing and walking on a blue path over the O2

Picture: Up at The O2

Should you’ve ever been in North Greenwich and seemed as much as see ant-like folks trekking throughout the dome, they had been (hopefully) participating at Up at The O2. It is a stroll throughout a path over the well-known white dome of the O2, led by a information. It begins pretty steep, however quickly flattens out, and also you’re clipped onto a central railing for the ascent and descent. Within the centre is a viewing platform, the place you possibly can pause to soak up the 360 diploma views.

Though it is excessive, it isn’t London’s scariest expertise for anybody petrified of heights. The strong nature of the walkway means you possibly can’t see immediately under you — and even for those who might, there’s solely the roof of the O2 to see down there. As an alternative, focus your eyes in your environment, such because the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf throughout the river. If something, the descent is scarier than the ascent, as the bottom is in entrance of you — for those who’re not eager on heights, attempt to ensure you’re not on the entrance of your group for this bit. For us, the springy nature of the stretched canvas walkway was probably the most unnerving half.

Wheelchair climbs can be found on chosen days, for wheelchair customers and their household/associates. They contain transferring right into a specifically designed wheelchair, operated on a pulley system by a group of guides.

White Water Rafting at Lee Valley

Of all of the experiences we have tried in London, the one which acquired our coronary heart pumping the quickest was white water rafting on the Lee Valley White Water Centre. Admittedly, it is a tiny bit past the London border, but it surely was a London 2012 Olympics venue, so we’re claiming it.

Board a raft with as much as eight different folks and deal with the world-class rapids course. You are given a spot of coaching into how you can paddle and steer, after which made to take a operating leap into the (chilly!) water, to mean you can acclimatise to the temperatures earlier than you go overboard later. Then it is out onto the course, and being thrown up, down, left, proper, do not drop your paddle, lean left, NOW NOW NOW. Or one thing like that. Exhilarating, thrilling, terrifying — every thing a daredevil expertise must be.

Strive the flying trapeze

A silhouetted photo of someone mid-air swinging on a trapeze bar, with trees in the background

Woohoo! Gorilla Circus in Regent’s Park. Picture: Laura Reynolds/Londonist

Fancy hurling your self off of one thing relatively excessive and seeing what occurs? Maybe the trapeze is for you.

Gorilla Circus is a flying trapeze college which pops up in a few London areas in the summertime — it has been swinging by Regent’s Park for years, and just lately added Kensington Gardens to its repertoire, although regulate the web site for this summer time’s plans. Programs and courses vary from one-off periods for learners to common programs for extra skilled trapezists. Throughout our two-hour introductory lesson, we began on a decrease bar to get the texture of issues, however did progress to having a go on the highest bar, which concerned throwing ourselves off a platform a number of metres off the bottom, and hoping to really feel our fingers clasping across the bar as we fell. Sure, we had security ropes and all that gubbins, however your mind does not are likely to cling to logic like that whenever you’re attempting to work up the braveness to leap.

Alternatively, the Nationwide Centre for Circus Arts in Hoxton presents common Circus Expertise Days all year long, the place adults can have a go at abilities together with the static trapeze, aerial hoops, tightwire, and acrobatics. Because the title suggests, the static trapeze does not transfer, whereas the flying trapeze swings backwards and forwards together with your physique weight. Should you just like the sound of the latter, the Nationwide Centre for Circus Arts additionally presents an introductory Flying Trapeze course throughout a number of weeks.

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