The rush, the heightened senses, the feeling of being on top of the world, shouting “let’s go again!”, accomplishment, bravura. Or maybe staring up with fear, wondering how quickly you can leave, what a terrible mistake you’ve made, why am I here, somebody else can go first, agreeing to do it in the first place was really the hardest battle and I’ve already done that, right?
There are two main camps when it comes to adrenaline-fuelled activities. But whether you’re a commited thrill-seeker or enjoy having your feet firmly planted on the ground, London has its fair share of places to find the ultimate rush. It’s worth giving it a go.
There are growing number of ways to descend from some spectacular height in London, perhaps unsurprising given the rate at which tall buildings are being thrown up in the capital. While not the most appropriate for those with a fear of heights, they provide an opportunity for some spectacular views across the capital. At 262 feet above the ground, you can take in the Olympic Park and London skyline from the iconic ArcelorMittal Orbit in Stratford, Britain’s highest freefall, or be in the heart of the City amid some of London’s tallest buildings with a descent of Broadgate Tower, which holds regular abseils for a range of charities.
For those rising stars who prefer an ascent, there are also plenty of opportunities to climb upwards. Climbing walls can be found across London, with the Arch Climbing Wall at a former biscuit factory in Bermondsey a particularly scenic choice. The Westway Centre in Shepherd’s Bush has also long been a favourite of climbers, welcoming anyone from beginners to the complete adrenaline junkies looking to clamber up their more challenging courses.
Rather than scaling rocky cliff-faces, a more rounded experience can be found in Greenwich on the world-famous O2 Arena. At a height of 53m you can now scale the dome, with stunning 360-degree views across London and the South-East. Up at the O2 is ideal for a group or those not after something quite so intense.
If you’re in search of something high-octane, British roads – while they can be beautiful – don’t exactly allow for speed. The water, however, is a different matter. Powerboating on the Thames is the surest way of reaching some pretty high figures, all in site of some of London’s greatest landmarks in an hour and a quarter of water-time. And on a summer’s day, you might even welcome getting that splash in the face.