Not everyone is interested in the latest museum exhibitions and sometimes we’d rather not spend our day off exploring yet another 400 year old building. If you are an avid reader of this blog no doubt you would occasionally prefer a weekend activity where you get your heart pumping, have some fun and keep fit at the same time. London is surprisingly well catered for active days out and there are a number of activities that could easily quality for a workout, but are so fun they really don’t feel like it (till the next day of course).
|Photo Credit: Corey|
Chelsea Clip’n Climb
You may have climbed before, but not like this. Chelsea Clip’n Climb is like a climbing wall on steroids. In fact the centre has over a dozen colourful, crazy climbing walls that are all over 30 feet high. Each wall provides a slightly different challenge and you must quickly learn how to climb each one. Should you get stuck you’ll be able to abseil down or let the safety harness glide you back to earth. There are also a range of added extras like a giant vertical slide and a ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Often filled with excitable children, there are adult only days if you would prefer to not be out-climbed by an 8 year old.
Oxygen Free Jumping Acton
Probably the most fun I’ve ever had in London, and also the biggest workout. Oxygen Free Jumping is a trampoline and free jumping park in a quiet corner of Acton, just a short walk from West Acton station. The two floors of giant trampolines and free jumping courses allow you to bounce and flip your way around the massive warehouse for an hour. After 10 minutes you’ll probably need a break, after an hour you will feel like you’re near death. Who knew trampolining was so exhausting, but also so utterly fun?! If you happen to live nearby they also do a weekly Oxygen Fitness session which would do absolute wonders for anyone’s fitness regime.
Not the most exhausting of activities, but entertaining and still technically a sport. 2020 archery offers ‘have a go’ sessions that allow you to try out your archery skills in a welcoming and helpful environment. Even if you’ve never fired an arrow in your life it doesn’t matter, the tutors teach everyone the basics before letting you have a few practise sessions. At the end there is a small friendly competition and by this point you should at least be able to hit the board, if not score a bullseye. Whilst archery isn’t exhausting it does require a fair bit of upper body strength to really master, not to mention laser accuracy. 2020 archery is located in the Downside Centre a short walk from Bermondsey Station.
This is another climbing centre, but this time of a more professional nature. The centre is usually packed full of professional climbers and enthusiasts who recognise that climbing is a brilliant way to build strength and burn fat. Even if you rarely or never climb, Vauxwall hosts regular sessions for beginners were they will teach you the basics and let you climb at your own pace. The centre is absolutely huge and feels like a maze of climbing walls; some going up, to the side, over your head. Located almost opposite Vauxhall station, the centre is central and easy to find.
If team GB’s performance at the Rio Olympics has shown us anything, it’s that us Brit’s love to cycle. Why not test your own abilities on the fastest cycling track in the world? The London Velopark, built for the 2012 Olympics, offers taster sessions to anyone who wants to try their hand at track cycling. Either bring your own bike or hire one, either way you’ll be zooming along the track that helped team GB achieve greatness. Anyone who cycles to work will tell you how cycling is great for fitness, well this is cycling on a whole other level. If after one session you find you love track cycling, the VeloPark offers a structured course that allows you to get accreditation to enter races; who knows, you could be booking a trip to Tokyo in under 4 years.