When overseas tourists think of London, they often think of sightseeing, royal palaces, interesting monuments and cultural attractions, all of which make for a great day out, but may not satisfy the thrill-seeker in a party.
But the UK capital can also take things at a faster pace, with plenty of exciting opportunities for those who are adventurers at heart. From kayaking down River Thames to white-water rafting the course used during the 2012 London Summer Olympics and trying out parkour, London has myriad adventures to offer.
If you like the sound of several of these, why not book a stay at one of the hotels situated near the great central outdoor space of Hyde Park? The Grand Royale London hotel provides beautiful five-star luxury for you to relax in after a busy day of thrill-seeking.
1. Climb across the roof of the O2
The distinctive shape of the O2, formerly the Millennium Dome, has become one of the most iconic images of the London skyline, but did you know you can actually walk across it?
Up at the O2 provides a thrilling experience for those with a head for heights. You’ll be strapped into a harness and given safety gear to wear before being taken on a 90-minute guided walk across the roof of the entertainment venue.
A fabric walkway is suspended two metres above the building’s roof, which is 52 metres above ground level. The views across the UK capital from the observatory platform are simply breathtaking – just don’t be too scared if you feel the walkway bouncing underneath you, it’s meant to!
2. Go on a secret adventure
Secret Adventures are exactly as they sound – exclusive, mysterious activities that you can sign up to take part in via a dedicated website. They take place all around the world, but it’s worth checking if there’s one planned during your time in London if you want to do something a little bit different.
Previous secret London adventures have included paddle boarding along the Thames and kayaking around Little Venice.
3. Abseil down the UK’s tallest structure
Another activity for those who don’t mind heights, abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit – the UK’s tallest structure at 114.5 metres high – is not for the faint-hearted. Situated in London’s Olympic Park, many think the unusual structure looks like a twisted red helter-skelter, but its quirky construction means it has many natural stopping points for adventurers who want to try their hand at abseiling down it.
4. Climb a wall of ice
Located in Covent Garden, Vertical Chill London is essentially a giant fridge, which features a wall of solid ice that you can climb. If you’ve tried rock-climbing before but want a go at something different, this is a great experience, providing you with the feeling that you’re scaling an Arctic glacier.
The ice wall is eight metres tall and is kept at a temperature of between -5 and -12 degrees Celsius, so you’ll need to make sure you’re fully kitted out in protective thermal clothing before having a go.
5. Tumble down the rabbit hole
Everyone’s favourite adventure from their childhood – the one Alice takes down the rabbit hole to Wonderland – comes to life in the vaults beneath Waterloo station at Alice’s Adventures Underground.
This innovative immersive theatre experience takes audiences on an adventure through the land created by Lewis Carroll, echoing the ‘choose your own adventure’ stories of our childhoods. Tea at the Mad Hatter’s un-birthday party is included.