Whether you want a once in a lifetime experience, excitement for a stag weekend, or fancy trying something adventurous, the UK has some great locations for extreme sports with excellent guiding and instruction. But what are the best extreme activities in the UK?
TOAD (The Online Activity Directory) is a new way of finding the activities in the UK. It provides inspiration for extreme experiences, team building events, family days out, stag parties, hen dos and exciting new activities.
As the experts in British activities we’ve asked the TOAD team to suggest 10 of the best extreme activities in the UK. Their list of activities will get your heart pumping, blood racing, and adrenaline coursing through your veins. In short activities to give you an extreme experience you’ll never forget.
In the UK, the historic Tatton Park country estate in Knutsford, not too far from Manchester, boasts one of Britain’s highest bungee jumping platforms. The 91m (300 foot) bungee jump takes place from a crane, in the estate’s 1,000 acre deer-park besides a beautiful lake.
Bungee jumping originated on the Pacific Island of Pentecost. As a test of manhood young men would jump from 28m towers with lianas roots tied around their ankles. The modern version uses an elasticated cord to provide a more gentle ‘catch’ but an equally exhilarating experience.
The activity has grown in popularity around the world, since New Zealand adventurer AJ Hackett started the World’s first commercial bungy jump site in Queenstown. It’s one of the most exhilarating activities, offering a personal challenge of exploring your limits and overcoming fear.
A list of the best extreme activities in the UK would not be complete without skydiving. Jumping out of a plane from two miles up, and experiencing 60 seconds of exhilarating freefall, is for many people the ultimate bucket list item.
Conquering the ingrained human fear of heights makes skydiving an unforgettable experience. With modern equipment, strong safety measures and first class instructors the UK is one of the best places to try this activity that is attracting ever-growing numbers.
The UK is blessed with fantastic skydiving locations including; St Andrews in Scotland, Perranporth in Cornwall, Morecambe Bay in Lancashire, the Norfolk Broads, Headcorn in Kent, Hibaldstow in Lincolnshire and many more. TOAD has the full list of UK skydive destinations.
England’s longest aerial zipline can be found at the Eden Project in Cornwall. It is a botanical garden complex located on an old quarry, famous for its large bio-domes and impressive collection of plants from around the World.
The SkyWire is over 660 m (2165 ft) long, and in our mind reason enough to visit the Eden Project regardless of the other attractions. It gives the sensation of flying as you slide down the wire reaching speeds of up to 60 mph. Enjoy the views of the botanical gardens as they speed by below.
The UK is blessed with some beautiful locations for canyoning, none more so than the Lake District in Cumbria – one of the best wet and wild locations in the world.
Canyoning is a great team or group activity for those looking for something a bit different, offering a mix of fun, adventure and teamwork. It involves a mix of walking, running, scrambling, climbing and abseiling to navigate through canyons, as well as jumping from rock-walls and swimming through some of nature’s best obstacles.
The Lake District is mountainous region of North-West England. The landscape has been carved out by glaciers leaving behind lakes and steep sided valleys, the volcanic rock does not allow for rain to be absorbed so rampaging waters have created spectacular gorges that are perfect for canyoning.
Zorbing is the ‘art’ of rolling down a hill, in a giant inflatable ball. The speed you reach depends on the steepness of the hill you’re rolling down. The zorb, inspired by the hamster ball, is constructed from two layers of durable, flexible plastic and filled with air, a hole acts as the ball’s entrance and exit.
There are two options. Harness zorbing involves being strapped inside the ball and rolling end over end. Aqua zorbing is like being trapped in a washing machine, with 1-3 riders sloshing around in water within the zorb.
Zorbing can also be done on level ground believe and on water, which adds a whole new dimension to the experience – you can even put your upper body inside one and have a game of football. Check out Go Zorbing in London: www.zorbing.co.uk or for your nearest zorbing spot visit TOAD.
Experience a unique view of Ben Nevis while paragliding in the Grampian Mountain range, in the Highlands of Scotland.
One of the most popular launching points in the Grampians is from the slopes of Aonach Mòr which is accessible by gondola, The launch is at around 650 m (2,100 ft ) so about halfway up the mountain. The slopes of nearby Aonach Beag have also been used as a launching point but are accessed on foot.
Unfortunately no one offers tandem paragliding experiences in the Grampian Mountains, so you will need to be a competent paraglider and have your own gear to fly here. To find out where you can tandem paraglide in the UK check out TOAD.
Traverse the rocky coastline of Pembrokeshire both in and out of the water. You’ll experience the beautiful seashore at close-quarters, as you climb, scramble, crawl, jump and swim your way along rocks and cliffs. You might even meet the local seals and other wildlife.
Coasteering is an action-packed adventure which is great fun for active groups of all ages and abilities. A defining factor of coasteering is the ‘impact zone’ where water, waves, rocks and gullies come together, offering a lot of wet and wild fun making it one of the best extreme activities in the UK.
Motocross bikes are much lighter than normal motorcycles, offering a fast-pace ride around an off-road course.
Motocross is a very demanding activity, requiring both physical and mental strength plus some serious bravery if you are going big.
The sand course at Wildtracks in Suffolk is well suited to novice and intermediate riders so the perfect place to try motocross and to learn the basics. There are junior tracks for younger riders to get to grips with the bikes. Find out more at www.wildtracksltd.co.uk or visit TOAD for other motocross experiences in the UK.
Kitesurfing has been the fastest growing adventure sports of the last decade, and our windy isle has some top spots making kitesurfing one of the best extreme activities in the UK. Is short kitesurfing uses a kite to harness the power of the wind that lets you speed across the water on a surf or wake style board.
Combining kite flying with board riding in water means it’s not an easy sport to learn, however if you can already surf, snowboard or wakeboard you’ll have a head start. It is physically demanding, although contrary to what a lot of people think you don’t need huge upper body strength to enjoy it.
Camber Sands in East Sussex is one of the best places in the country to learn, with shallow water, favourable wind directions and lots of sand. It is just over an hour from London or Brighton with great transport links. You can also try landboarding or kite buggying during low tide.
The wake park at Hove Lagoon means you can try one of the best extreme activities in the UK, in one of Britain’s most vibrant cities. Known for its partying, piers and pebbly beach Brighton also has a range of extreme activities within the city and very close by.
Wakeboarding is similar to water skiing, but you travel sideways a bit MMlike kitesurfing or snowboarding. In fact if you have done either of those sports you’ll probably pick up wakeboarding very quickly. You are either towed behind a boat, where you can do tricks on boats wake, or by cable around a set course.
Lagoon Watersports is the only wake park in England with three System 2.0 cable runs. They offer beginner lessons, improver sessions and a range of jumps, rails and features for experienced wakeboarders. Find out more at: www.lagoon.co.uk. Alternatively check TOAD for other wakeboarding destinations in the UK.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to 10 of the best extreme activities in the UK. Our thanks to TOAD for providing the list, you can check out their incredibly useful site at: www.toad.uk.com