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The best places for action adventure sports in Britain

Tuesday 01 June 2021

From white-water rafting in Snowdonia to sea kayaking in the Highlands or gliding above a vast quarry on the world’s fastest zip line, Britain is home to an array of exhilarating action adventure sports. For those yearning for adventure, here are a few adrenaline-packed outdoor experiences to look forward to…


The Wave, Bristol

As the first destination in the northern hemisphere to use innovative Wavegarden Cove wave-making technology, the surf lake features up to 1,000 waves of different sizes and shapes every hour, making it suitable for all levels and abilities. That equates to a wave every 10 seconds, with heights varying from 50cm up to 1.8 metres! Specific parts of the 200-metre-long surfing lake, located in a rural area on the edge of Bristol and close to the M5 Motorway, will be dedicated to beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers.

The Wave is part of a wider project by founder Nick Hounsfield to bring surfing to more cities across the world, with the experience combining surfing with adventure and nature. High quality coaching can be provided to all guests, along with wetsuits and surfboards, enabling them to enjoy the benefits of surfing all year round. This should help to boost accessibility, as surfing at the site is not restricted by geographic location, the weather, swell conditions or tides. Adaptive surfing opportunities for those with a wide range of physical disabilities will also be available.

With a distinct focus on health and wellbeing, The Wave also houses a surf shop, an array of gardens and meadowlands, numerous peaceful hideaways and a family-friendly camping area. With 2021 heralding the first Olympic surfing competition, future fans of the sport can look forward to honing their skills at The Wave.

A 90-minute beginner surf session costs from £60 for adults and £50 for children, depending on the time and date, with all equipment included.


Lee Valley White Water Centre, Hertfordshire

Developed for the London 2012 Olympic Games to host canoe slalom events and set in the picturesque beauty of the River Lee Country Park in Hertfordshire, the Lee Valley White Water Centre offers an abundance of different water sports. Easily accessible from London, visitors to the site can try their hand at white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking, as well as a number of other activities including hydrospeeding, a Water Wipeout obstacle course, hot dogs (inflatable two-man kayaks) and paddleboarding.

Activities should be booked in advance and prices vary by activity, date and time. A Rafting Unleashed adventure costs from £50, with Family Rafting sessions from £200.


Zip World Velocity 2, North Wales

Visitors can take in breath-taking views of Snowdonia while soaring over the Penrhyn Quarry at speeds that could top 100mph on Velocity 2. The fastest zip line on the planet, and the longest in Europe at 1,555 metres, can be found at Zip World, near Bethesda in North Wales. The thrilling experience offers spectacular views of some of Wales’ most dramatic scenery.

Pre-booking is highly recommended. Velocity 2 is priced from £65 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; from £75 on Monday and Friday; and from £89 on weekends and Bank Holidays.


The Kitesurf Centre, East Sussex

Thrill seekers can learn the art of kitesurfing along the expanse of Camber Sands with expert help from The Kitesurf Centre. With its shallow shelving sands, small waves and consistent wind, the beach has ideal conditions and the school offers a range of courses for all abilities. Based at the eastern end of the beach, the centre offers one to five day courses, as well as coaching sessions and one-to-one private tuition with instructors that have a wealth of local knowledge. As one of three national training centres, the venue gives guests the chance to try their hand at the exhilarating extreme sport of Kite Buggying. Involving a kite and a three-wheeled cart, it’s possible to achieve speeds of more than 50mph while racing along the beach.

A one-day kite surfing course costs £99 on weekdays, rising to £119 at weekend. A three-day course costs £299 during the week and £349 at weekends. Kite Buggy sessions cost £69 for three-hours.


Sea Kayak Scotland, Scottish Highlands

What better way to explore the striking Scottish coast than by sea kayak? From its base in a European Special Area of Conservation, Sea Kayak Scotland offers tailored lessons throughout the year for those wanting to give sea kayaking a go. Based on the Isle of Seil, around 30 minutes from Oban, the centre provides all of the equipment needed to take in the scenic beauty of the region. Guided trips and instructional courses are available for beginners, while hire is available for those with more experience. For those wanting a challenge, the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail offers a 500km route around the most scenic parts of the Highlands and Isles.

Tailor-made courses are priced from £60 per person for groups of five or more people, rising to £125 for one person on their own. Kayak hire costs from £35 per day, with one-piece paddle suits available for a daily charge of £10.


National White Water Rafting Centre, North-West Wales

Adrenaline junkies can imagine speeding down the frantic natural rapids on the River Tryweryn in the heart of Snowdonia National Park at Wales’ National White Water Rafting Centre. Since the river is controlled by a dam at the Llyn Celyn reservoir, high flows provide an abundance of conditions that are ideal for white water activities. Water releases on the River Tryweryn happen on around 200 days every year and the centre is open whenever this takes place. Alongside full rafting sessions, there are also Rafting Safari sessions on the calmer lower parts of the river specifically designed for families with 10 and 11-year-old children (minimum age of 10 to be on the water). Alternatively, visitors can embark on a canyoning experience to scramble, slide and swim down the cascading river while taking in the stunning surroundings of Wales’ largest national park.

A Rafting Full Session is priced from £90 per person, or from £340 per raft for private groups (minimum of two people). Canyoning costs £240 for groups of one to four people.


Hangloose Adventure, Cornwall

Next to the famous Eden Project site, just 10 minutes from St Austell in Cornwall, Hangloose Adventure offers an array of adrenaline-fuelled activities. The Skywire is one of England’s longest and fastest zip wire experiences, enabling guests to fly down a 660 metre course at speeds of around 60mph, while seeing the Eden Project’s massive biomes from a new perspective. Visitors can tower over the site while tackling Skytrek, an aerial trekking course featuring zip lines and a host of other elements, or get involved with Big Air, a test of nerves where individuals jump from towering platforms onto a giant bean bag below. Alternatively, guests can opt to be strapped in on Gravity, a 20-metre high giant cliff swing that overlooks the Eden Project site.

Skywire costs from £38 while Skytrek costs £30. Gravity is priced at £20 and Big Air at £15. All prices are per person.


Adventure Parc Snowdonia (Surf Snowdonia), North-West Wales

Presenting an opportunity to surf inland in the heart of Snowdonia, Adventure Parc Snowdonia puts adrenaline-fuelled adventure sports top of the agenda. At the world’s first surf lagoon, visitors can get to grips with a range of waves, from gentle undulations for beginners up to advanced waves for the pros. Surrounded by the stunning natural landscapes of Snowdonia, Adrenaline Indoors hosts an array of new adventure features too, including one of the longest artificial caving courses in the world, Britain’s only kicker flight slide, a ninja aerial assault course parkour floor trail and climbing and racer walls.

A range of surfing options are available, from beginner classes and specialist classes for children up to advanced waves, one-day beginner courses and development days. Prices start from £50 for children and £60 for adults. Equipment hire starts from £6. Indoor activities cost from £18. Stand up paddleboarding starts from £30.


The Canyoning Company, Scotland

Visitors can discover unforgettable canyoning experiences hidden within Scotland’s rugged landscape with the Canyoning Company. With several routes to choose from, the canyons include jumps ranging from two to 10 metres, numerous flumes, vertical rock slides and spectacular waterfall abseils. The Tummel Canyon route, found along the shores of Loch Tummel in Perthshire,  includes an incredible 14 abseils to get pulses racing, while Grey Mare's Canyon features an exhilarating 90-metre abseil as a grand finale!

Canyoning experiences cost from £65 per person, and vary depending on the canyon route used. All equipment is included.


Hunstanton Water Sports, Norfolk

Water babies can dive into the world of windsurfing with a half-day taster session near Hunstanton on the Norfolk Coast. With fantastic wind conditions and a suitable expanse of beach, it’s the ideal location to learn how to windsurf. Hunstanton Water Sports also runs progression sessions for those with more experience while kitesurfing and power kiting sessions are also available.

A three-hour windsurfing taster session costs £55. Kitesurfing is priced from £130 for a one-day course, rising to £330 for a three-day course. One-to-one tuition is available from £120 for two lessons.


Cardiff International White Water, South Wales

Nestled in Cardiff Bay, Cardiff International White Water offers an abundance of exciting water sports from white water rafting through to stand up paddleboarding. Thrill seekers may want to ditch the raft in favour of an inflatable tandem ‘hotdog’ kayak, giving another layer of fun to the white-water obstacle course!  There’s a number of exhilarating ways to complete the water course, while those wishing to stay dry can tackle the Air Trail, a set of high wire ropes that tower over the centre.

White water rafting and river boarding costs from £60. Visitors can ride the indoor wave from £30. The Air Trail costs £12. All prices are per person.


Restrictions on travel to and around Britain are in place due to Covid-19. Visitors are encouraged to always check individual attraction websites for the latest information, as events and details are subject to change.

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team


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Surfer riding a wave at the WaveGarden artificial wave lagoon, Conwy Valley in the lee of the Snowdonia, Wales.
Whitewater Kayaking in the heart of Scotland.
Cardiff International White Water, Cardiff, Wales
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Cardiff International White Water, Cardiff, Wales
Cardiff International White Water, Cardiff, Wales
Cardiff International White Water, Cardiff, Wales
The Wave Bristol
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The Wave Bristol
The Wave Bristol
Zip World, North Wales. Credit. Crown Copyright. Visit Wales