The 10 Best Adventurous Things To Do in London

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London is a city of many things. Great restaurants, great museums, and a never-ending list of top attractions and things to do. However, when it comes to adventure, especially outdoor adventure, there probably isn’t much that  comes to mind. But there are many adventurous things to do in London and they’re a great way to escape the crowds and see the city in a new light. You just need to know what to look for. 

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Take a kayak tour along the Thames

Kayak on the River Thames

The River Thames is London’s main waterway, and the city of London is one of the last places it flows through as it makes its journey toward the sea. Taking a kayaking tour along the Thames gives you a unique perspective of the city and a great opportunity to see things at a slower pace — or not, depending how quickly you paddle…

Kayak adventures in London usually only take place in the summer when the river is likely to be calmer and the weather’s warmer. Begin your kayak adventure in Battersea, where you can paddle out to picturesque Greenwich, or all the way along to the Thames Barrier, the city’s innovative flood defense.

Swim in the pools at Hampstead Heath

Take a dip in Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath is one of London’s largest and best kept parks. As well as a historic pergola and beautiful gardens, it’s home to several freshwater pools (ponds) that you can swim in. When the weather warms up in the city, taking a dip in the Hampstead Heath ponds is the perfect way to cool off.

There is a mixed pond for both women and men, as well as male-only and female-only ponds. An entrance ticket costs under £5, and you can enjoy swimming alongside ducks and other wildlife.

Take a bike tour in London

Explore the city by bike

Another adventurous thing to do in London is to explore the city on two wheels. There are lots of options for London bike tours. 

You can take a self-guided tour by hopping on one of the Santander Cycles that use a pay-as-you-go method. Or book on to a fun and unique cycling tour in London with a guide. 

The London landmarks and secret gems bike tour takes you from Kensington Garden where Queen Victoria grew up, through Hyde Park and on to Green Park and Buckingham Palace. You’ll also pass Trafalgar Square, the Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben along the River Thames. The knowledgeable guide is there to entertain you with anecdotes and stories as well as other useful information for your London adventure.

Alternatively, discover some of London’s original street art on a street art bike tour. You’ll explore East London neighborhoods including Shoreditch and Hackney, as well as other areas well-known for street art. Discover the works of world-famous artists like Banksy, Phlegm, and ROA, amongst others.

Get adventurous with food

Seek out new flavors at London’s markets

London is a world-class destination when it comes to food. Exploring the different cuisines and tastes of the city is one of the best adventurous things to do in London.

Book one of the best food tours in London and explore 10 of the top tastings from across the city with a mixture of savory and sweet. Some of the classic food and drink you’ll get to enjoy include a half-pint of George Ale and a classic meat pie, with a few tasty surprises that change with the season. 

Another great option is the London food secrets tour. You’ll start in the famous Borough Market where artisan food makers come from all over to showcase their products, ranging from cheese and meats to pies and sweets.

Join a Jack the Ripper walking tour

Discover London’s dark history

True crime lovers will be familiar with the gruesome tales of Jack the Ripper, who prowled the streets of London’s East End in 1888. 

On this adventurous Jack the Ripper walking tour, you’ll visit important sites in the unsolved case and learn more about the mysteries and rumors surrounding his crimes. 

You’ll have a chance to play detective as you hear about the suspects and put your own case forward as to “whodunnit”. 

Ride the ArcelorMittal Orbit

Go down the world’s longest slide

The ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture was built for the 2012 Olympics and is still the star of London’s Olympic Park. It stands at 114.5 meters tall, so from the top you’ll get an incredible view of London. See if you can spot the Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral, and even Wembley Stadium.

Once you get to the top there’s a thrilling way back down: the slide!

At 178 meters long, the slide of the ArcelorMittal Orbit twists and turns 12 times, ending with a speedy 50-meter  straight run to the ground. It’s a quick 40-second trip but your adrenaline will be pumping long after.

Take a speedboat ride

Speed along the river

Have a need for speed? See the city from the water on this fast-paced River Thames speedboat adventure.

As you travel down The Thames you’ll see Big Ben and the Shard, pass underneath the Millennium Bridge and  Tower Bridge — that’s when the speed picks up. You’ll be jumping, twisting, and turning all the way to Canary Wharf along to a heart-pumping soundtrack of James Bond theme tunes and other classics. 

Climb The O2

Climb The O2

The O2, or The Millennium Dome as it was formerly known, offers a real London adventure where you can feel as though you’re a mountaineer right in the middle of a big city.

Equipped with a climbing suit, boots and a harness, you’ll be guided up to the top of the O2 Arena via the suspended walkway 52 meters in the air. The views here are seriously impressive and you can even time your O2 climb for sunset to add a romantic touch to your experience.

Combine a silent disco with a guided tour

Go on a silent disco tour

This totally unique tour is one of the best adventurous things to do in London. It’s a flash mob, silent disco, and tour of London rolled into one. 

Armed with your headphones you’ll listen to songs and hits from across the decades such as the Spice Girls and Bon Jovi as you dance your way through the city. You’ll learn about the historic landmarks and streets you pass by them, and spread joy to the city as you go.

Explore the white water rapids at Lea Valley

Go white water rafting

To the north of London is the Lea Valley White Water Centre where you can experience white water rafting just a short ride from Central London. It’s the course that was used during London’s 2012 Olympics. The man made rapids provide a real adventurous experience for those who dare to brave it, either in a raft or a kayak. 

That Adventurer is an outdoor adventure travel blog. From vanlife to hiking, mountain biking, skiing and other outdoor adventures, That Adventurer shows you the best places to get off the beaten path and experience natural beauty wherever you’re traveling. 

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