Whether it’s an increasingly fast-paced world, a thrill-seeking DNA, or an endless choice of imaginative (some might say “crazy”) ideas to get the adrenaline pumping, there’s no shortage of extreme sports and activities tempting us at home and around the world.
Down to earth
If throwing yourself out of a plane and hurtling towards land is on that bucket list then head to the Army Parachute Association in Wiltshire for a tandem skydive. At Skydive Netheravon (www.netheravon.com) – home of the Red Devils – you’ll be trained by some of the best military instructors in the country who, between them, have prepared 16 to 95-year-olds for tandem fun (?) jumps, accelerated freefalls and the static line in which your parachute opens automatically but is attached to the aircraft so there’s no freefall involved. A tandem jump costs £225 per person.
Zip it up
Penrhyn Slate Quarry is home to the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe. The Zip World (www.zipworld.co.uk) Velocity experience sees the adrenaline junkie propelled at 100mph along the lengthy route, “flying” above slate-laden scenery, water and alongside a dramatic North Wales landscape. A two-hour experience costs £70 per person. Oh, and seeing as how you ask, the world’s longest zipline will open in the United Arab Emirates this December.
Dirty weekend? No, not that kind!
Tough Mudder is now a tried and tested concept for the fitness fanatic who wants to spend a day hurling themselves around a series of obstacles – but what if you’ve been there, done that and are onto the next challenge? How about The Rat Race Dirty Weekend (www.ratrace.com) at Burghley next May? It describes itself as “the biggest and best obstacle racing weekend in the world” and features the Dirty Double of 400 obstacles over 40 miles to the standard Full Mucker (half that) and 3km or 6km options for youngsters. Entry fees are from around £130 per person based on a team of six and includes a donation to Children with Cancer UK.
On the high seas… in a mango tree
The Ngalawa Cup is not your average sailing adventure. For a start you can put aside any thoughts of modern yachts, autopilot and comfy cabins. For this you need to go back a few centuries, take a canoe fashioned out of a mango tree, add a bamboo mast and a couple of outriggers and then just line-up against a fleet of like-minded souls and point it towards an Indian Ocean racecourse of spice islands and deserted beaches. The distance is 450km ending in Zanzibar and the cost is from £1,300 per person (excluding flights) based on a team of three and includes pre-race training and satellite tracking. Applications for January 2018 are open. For more information, visit The Adventurists at www.theadventurists.com
Here’s another one vertigo sufferers may want to avoid but, if you’ve a head for heights, you could scale Portsmouth’s Emirates Spinnaker Tower (www.spinnakertower.co.uk). Abseiling the 100-metre descent you’ll get wonderful views of the Solent and across to the Isle of Wight few get the chance to experience. Tickets cost £90 (£130 with photo, t-shirt and a GoPro video). Dates in 2017 are sold out but you can now register for 2018.
It may not seem the obvious way to spend two weeks in India but a 3,000km adventure in a seven horsepower glorified lawnmower is certainly different. There’s no set route, no backup and no way of knowing if you’re going to make it. The only certainty is you will get lost, you will get stuck and you’ll probably break down. It’s just you and friends in a wholly unsuitable vehicle, traversing the subcontinent enduring whatever the road throws at you! The Adventurists (www.theadventurists.com) has a departure in August 2018 and the entry fee is £1,745 for a team of three (excluding flights and accommodation).
Climb, scramble, swim and jump along the coastline of the Isles of Scilly using a concept known as coasteering. Not only will you get to see dramatic scenery – typified by other-worldly granite rock formations – from a whole different perspective, you’ll explore sheer cliffs, rocky coves and experience stupendous jumps in beautiful locations inaccessible by any other means. Kernow Coasteering (www.kernow-coasteering.co.uk) offers sessions for £50 per person.