8 Best Adventure Activities in London

You probably wouldn’t associate London with adventure. After all, it’s a majestic, historic city.

Obviously, you haven’t been watching the James Bond films, in which we saw the secret agent powerboating on the River Thames before fighting James on top of the O2 Arena.

If you look harder and deeper in London, you will see that the city holds a world of thrilling adventures ready to be taken advantage of. While I was living in London, I absolutely adored the eccentricity of the adventures that I undertook.

So what kinds of adventure activities in London are there for you to discover?

1. Climbing Over the O2 Arena

O2 Arena

Why not kick off with a 90 minute expedition across the roof of the world’s most popular entertainment centre experiencing 360 views of London smack bang in the centre? Battling with the elements and the joys of unpredictable British weather, it is best to do with during sunset in order to get the best experience and views possible. Don’t forget to hold tight on the steep descent down!

Get your O2 Arena Tickets: O2 Climb

2. London By Helicopter

London by Helicopter

For a true unique sightseeing experience, hop on a helicopter and see the landmarks of London from a bird’s eye view. Following the River Thames eastwards, the ride lasts 20 minutes from Battersea Heliport. What better way than to experience this gripping ride by sharing it with five of your friends and family?

See London by helicopter: London Helicopter

3. Kayaking the Thames

River Thames

The River Thames is truly a playground for everyone to delight in. One of the best recommendations from the locals is to go kayaking. Explore the liquid history of London’s waterfront and landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and The Tower of London. It’s a perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of London’s busy roads and pedestrian lanes whilst putting in some exercise as well. Just make sure you avoid the shipping lanes!

Go kayaking on the Thames: Kayaking London

4. Hot Air Ballooning Over the City

View from the basket

If you still want to see London’s skyline from above at a slower pace, then hot air ballooning across London is a sure way to sightsee. From your wicker basket, take off within a few miles of the River Thames and check out the iconic sights including Wembley Stadium where Cup Finals are played, Buckingham Palace where the British Queen lives and the sprawling expanses of major city parks where you can explore later.

Hot air ballooning in London: Adventure Balloons

5. Track Cycling Herne Hill

Herne Hill Velodrome

This has to be one of the best adrenaline activities in the UK! If you are in the mood for some pedal power, definitely check out the epic velodrome at Herne Hill in London. An outdoor 450 metre cycle track is all that remains from the 1948 Olympic Games yet it’s still very popular. Hosting the big names in cycling sport, Herne Hill Velodrome caters for all ages and abilities whether in competitive or non-competitive sport. With steep banks and a polished surface, anyone will feel a thrilling pleasure track cycling at the venue and perhaps you will start your cycling career here like Bradley Wiggins did!

Go cycling: Herne Hill Velodrome

6. Serpentine Lido Outdoor Swimming in Hyde Park

Serpentine Lido

You may have to read the title again. Yes, outdoor swimming in Britain, not exactly known for warm temperatures! However, the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park has been the Londoner’s escape for 100 years where they would swim to their heart’s delight or sunbathe right in the middle of London. Just make sure you have a jumper handy when you climb out of the water!

More information: Serpentine Lido

7. Parkour at the LEAP Park


If you want to try a unique adventure, how about the stunning movement discipline of parkour or freerunning across the city of London? Learn the skill at LEAP (London Experience of Art du Deplacement and Parkour) Park in the heart of London with Parkour Generations in a holistic and functional way. Before you know it, you’ll be free running across the city and seeing the city environment in a new way and imagining the movements of the London cityscape.

Parkour in London: Parkour Generations

8. Rollerblading at Battersea Park

Battersea Park

For the best views in London while you undertake the adrenaline activity of rollerblading, head to Battersea Park. Join the free group skate every Saturday at 10:30am at the Japanese Peace Pagoda that caters to all ages and abilities. It’s a great way to practice city skating that also takes place every Friday night aptly known as the Friday Night Skate, a weekly event through central London. While you are there, why not check out the views of the River Thames, the art galleries and the children’s zoo.

More information: Battersea Park

So there you have it, eight exciting adventure activities in London, perfect for thrill-seekers who want to see a side of London they’ve never seen before!

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About the Author

Jeremy Scott Foster

Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.
  1. Nice list! You usually don’t associate London with adventure sports, but this lists proves that there’s really not a shortage!

  2. I’m actually returning to London on the 9th of July after that I left my hometown for more than 12 years, whatever there is there, I really miss this place and I can’t wait to see it

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