London isn’t all art galleries and museums, and city living doesn’t mean you have to miss out on high-energy, pulse-racing, breath-taking activity either. Here are five activities in London that’ll make it feel like you’re conquering the great outdoors.
Who needs a bank-breaking trip to the Alps when you can nip to Chel-Ski in Fulham, strap on a pair of skis and cruise around the ‘treadmill piste’? With dedicated instructors and equipment provided and included in the price, there is nothing to worry about for the uninitiated beginner, and a variety of difficulty levels for the more experienced. If snowboarding is more your thing, the staff say it’s 20 times more difficult and 200 times more fun.
Chel-Ski, 4 Sotheron Place, SW6 2EJ. A standard adult session costs £39.95 for one hour, juniors session costs £34.95. Open 10am-8pm, seven days a week.
2. Go Ape
You’ll certainly need a head for heights at Go Ape in Battersea. Located in leafy Battersea Park, the venue boasts sky-high crossings, many of which are double the height and length of other Go Ape courses. Leap from tree to tree and swing down the super zip wire. Egg on your friends and family, or maybe your colleagues in one of their team-building exercises.
Go Ape, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ. An adult session is priced from £33, 10-15 year olds from £25. Open 10am-7pm, seven days a week.
There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, and with 20 different wall challenges, even the most placid person will show their competitive side at the Clip’N’Climb arena. Will you beat your opponent at the Skyscraper? The Twister Jug? Or the classic Speed Climb? There are plenty of solo challenges as well. Test your grip hanging on to the Vertical Drop Slide, and your nerve jumping off the Leap Of Faith.
If you’d prefer to attack the walls without kids under your feet, the venue provides adult-only evening sessions as well.
Clip’N’Climb, 4 Sotheron Place, SW6 2EJ. A standard adult session costs £19.50 for 90 minutes, juniors session costs £17.50. Open Monday-Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-6pm.
4. Lee Valley white water rafting
Battle the elements and aim for gold at Lee Valley White Water Centre. You’ll be kitted out fully to ride the waves of London’s intense Olympic rapids course. If you want to make it top to bottom as fast as you possibly can, or tough it out in the stoppers and waves, your raft guide will tailor make the session to you.
If you love water sports but rafting isn’t your thing, you can try canoeing, kayaking, hydrospeeding, or tubing your way around the course instead. We had a go at white water rafting. See how we got on:
Lee Valley White Water Centre, Station Road, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, EN9 1AB. A standard adult rafting session costs £50 per person, £38pp on Fridays. Open 8am-6pm, 7 days a week. Evening sessions Friday and Saturday.
5. Open water swimming at Ham Lake
If the swimming pool is a little tame for you and you often feel like rebelling instead of keeping to your lane, then Open Water Swimming at Ham Lake could be the thing for you. Whether you’re into distance training or just enjoy the feel of a wetsuit, this is a great way to spend one of our few hot summer Tuesday mornings.
Thames Young Mariners, Ham Fields, Riverside Drive, Richmond, TW10 7RX. A standard session costs £5 for 90 minutes. £10 wetsuit rental. Open 6am-7.30am, Tuesdays.