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When you live in London it can feel like such an effort to get out and away from the busy roads and the high-rise buildings and find some peace and quiet. Some open tracks, some mud and forests or a great big hill to climb. An adventure.
But guess what, it really isn’t as difficult as I thought to find adventure in the city. Sure you may not be able to escape to the hills and find somewhere empty of people when you live in London, but you can most definitely still do adventurous things.
In fact, I’d even go as far as saying adventures in London are everywhere. You just have to know where to find them.
Here are some of my favourite places to look and go to when I’m in need of an adventure in London.
Rock climbing and bouldering
There are so many rock climbing and bouldering centres in London. I’d bet there’s one less than 20 minutes from your house!
Bouldering is something I’ve recently started doing in London. I’d once tried rock climbing and enjoyed it but for one reason or another never ended up trying it again. When it came to bouldering I just didn’t think I had the strength to haul my body around and up a wall.
Turns out I was wrong. Sure I can’t do every route and trying to boulder up and over some overhangs leave me dropping to the floor, but I can get to the top on some routes and the challenge of getting up there is great fun.
I climb at Vauxwall which has three different rooms for bouldering and the staff there are all lovely! A taster session with shoe hire costs £20. Go check them out!
An adventure with Secret Adventures
My first Secret Adventure was for my birthday where we had a lido swim and campfire. There’s so many great adventures curated by Madoc on the Secret Adventures website, from kayaking down the Thames to a wilderness weekend away and, of course, the lido swims each month under the full moon.
Take a look at the upcoming Secret Adventures.
Go on a bike ride around London
If you’re got your own bike but find yourself not riding it much then make time for it at the weekend! Sunday’s are good as the roads in London are that little bit quieter.
If you don’t have a bike then rent a Boris bike (just remember to dock it every half hour if you don’t want to pay lots!) or check out On Your Bike in Borough market. I rented a bike for the weekend from them when I did my triathlon last September and thought it was great. They give you a helmet and make sure the bike is all set up for you correctly which is perfect if you’re going on a slightly longer ride.
My favourite bike rides are from Brixton up towards Tottenham via the Olympic Park and along the river, or over to Richmond park for a few laps.
Just keep your wits about you when you’re on the road and make sure you can be seen!
Lido swimming in London
Whenever I go swimming after not having been for a while, I forget how much I love it. There was something even cooler about swimming in London Fields lido on my Secret Adventures experience and it felt like a real London adventure.
Leisure centres get all hot and stuffy whereas swimming in the outdoors doesn’t.
Oh, and London Fields has a heated lido if you’re not up for braving the cold!
Wakeboarding by the docks
If you’ve ever taken the Emirates cable car from Greenwich over the river you may have spotted some wakeboarding going on in London.
Never did I think people would be able to wakeboard in the London but it happens!
I’ve yet to give this London adventure a try myself but it does look like great fun! Check out Wake Up London for more details!
Skiplex in Chiswick
Sure, London doesn’t have mountains big enough to ski down (or any snow!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep ski fit!
Skiplex in Chiswick is perfect for those looking to get started on skis or a snowboard or improve their technique and fitness ready for the slopes.
Skiplex is a little like a treadmill, but for skiing or snowboarding. The treadmill can be angles to make it steeper and sped up – see just like one you’d find down the gym!
Climbing over the O2
If you’re scared of heights this London adventure may not be for you, but then again why not challenge yourself and see if you can conquer that fear?
The O2, or the Millennium Dome as I still like to think of it, has been offering people the chance to climb up and over it for a few years now.
You put on a blue suit, some funky shoes and you’re off!
Tickets and more information can be found here
Go in search of stars on a night time walk in one of London’s parks
Would you believe me if I told you that even with all the light pollution in London it’s actually possible to see constellations and stars in the sky over the city?
Take a nighttime walk in a local park and get away from the traffic, the houses and the offices with all their lights still on.
Our local park, Brockwell, is big enough that you can escape from a lot of the light pollution and spot various constellations.
Whilst most parks claim to close their gates at dusk, walk around the perimeter of the park and you’ll probably find a gate that’s always left open. Just be prepared to climb over the fence if you do end up getting stuck!