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Outdoor Activities In London - 2 experiences

Read our guide for Outdoor Activities In London and Find and Book experiences, courses, activities and tours! Browse through the list of experiences, either instantly book onto your dates or enquire to book. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy! If you’ve got any questions about any specific experience, send a message and the providers will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. Have a specific experience in mind that we don’t have listed? No problem, drop us a message and we’ll send your quote around to hundreds of the best experience providers nationwide and come back with you the best quote, making it easy for you to make the most of your spare time!

London

Being one of the most vibrant cities in the world, London has no shortage of things to do. In fact your biggest problem is probably going to be what not to do! From historical palaces and famous landmarks to musicals and nightlife London has it all. Take an iconic open-topped bus tour, delve into the details on a walking tour, explore the stunning Royal Parks, or get active with a paddle down the Thames. Whatever floats your boat, London has the answer! Practise your climbing skills in one of the many indoor climbing walls, or jump on a train and with just a short journey be climbing in beautiful woodlands at Harrison’s Rocks. Explore one of the many rivers, like canoeing or kayaking the Thames or the River Medway for a peaceful escape. There’s also a wealth of rolling hills in Surrey, perfect for the weekend hike, bike or camp!
london scenes outdoor activities

Outdoor Activities in London

Nothing makes you want to get outdoors more than a glorious British summer. As temperatures rise, the City has a lot more to offer by way of outdoor activities than just roof gardens and riverside refreshments. When you think about London, I’ll bet the first thing that springs to mind isn’t ‘what a great place to go adventuring’. But here at Beyonk, that’s exactly what we’re aiming to change! The UK is abundant with opportunities for adventure and our goal is to make those opportunities accessible for all. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely Sunday activity to reconnect with nature, a heart rate raising off-road biking experience or a weekend of survival skills, we’ve got something for everyone – and where better to start showcasing those adventures than here in the capital. To help get you started, we’ve compiled a selection of our favourite activities in and around London – time to get adventuring!

Hiking in London

For those looking to escape the concrete jungle…get hiking! One of the most accessible Outdoor Activities in London is simply leaving the house and going to one of the big parks. There are some stunning parks to go walking or running through - obviously Hyde Park is the most popular, but the other key parks are Richmond Park and it’s resident herds of deer, and Hampstead Heath Park with its stunning views over the city. Although central London’s ‘hills’ (here’s looking at you Primrose) may offer some decent views over the city’s skyline, if you’re looking for something that will get you feeling closer to nature or get the heart rate up, you may have to go further afield. If you’re willing to break free of the city walls, there are plenty of scenic treks and more arduous hikes in the very accessible Surrey Hills, Chiltern Hills, and North and South Downs – all around an hour or under from central London. Ranging from gentle strolls to all day outings, there really is something for everyone. Check out our guide to Walking in London.
Walking in london

Climbing in London

For those with a head for heights…get climbing! There’s a wealth of rock based outdoor activities in London, from trying to climb the Shoreditch Boulder to taking a short trip out to one of the rocky outcrops near London such as Harrison's Rocks.
Harrison’s Rocks are some of the most accessible outdoor climbing routes near to London. There’s over 200 climbing routes to choose from, with the highest reaching 30ft (9 meters). Given this is sandstone rock, there’s no trad climbing allowed as this would damage the face. Instead it’s all top rope climbing and bouldering. If you’re new to climbing, it’s possible (and probably recommended!) to get a climbing instructor who can set up the equipment for you and teach you how to safely climb, rope and belay. You can get a train almost all the way, getting off at Tunbridge Wells, after which it’s just a short bus ride to the rocks.
If you’re a bit more on the novice end of the spectrum or are looking to get the family interested in climbing, another great option is the Bowles Outdoor Centre. Located just by Tunbridge wells, it’s easily accessible from London – trains run direct from London Bridge to Eridge and it’s a short walk from there. There are over 200 climbs across the soft sandstone up to heights of 10m and there are lessons available for beginners if you’d like some instruction.
You can see a more detailed look at climbing in London - including a look at all the indoor walls not mentioned here - on our Guide to Climbing in London
Bouldering in London

Watersports in London

For those embracing their inner water babies, London has plenty of options to get out on the water, from swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding or sailing, to white-water rafting, wakeboarding and windsurfing!
  • Swimming - starting with the outdoor swimming options, let’s talk Lidos. Although the British weather may not always inspire diving headfirst into an outdoor pool, there is something exhilarating about getting those laps in directly under the sky. The biggest lidos can be found in Tooting Bec (at 91m, the UK’s largest outdoor pool), Parliament Hill (60m), London Fields, Brockwell, Hillingdon and Charlton (all 50m), with plenty of others scattered about the city. Most offer low cost swimming options for ad hoc usage or memberships if you’re more committed. If you want something more open and spacious, there’s the fresh waters of the Serpentine lake, Hampstead Heath’s swimming ponds or the Royal Docks. There is also a large lake at Shepperton open water centre, which can be reached via a direct train from Waterloo to Shepperton or by car in just over an hour and has a free car park.

  • Canoeing and Kayaking In London - we can’t promise you won’t still get wet, but if you’d rather be on the water than in it then we also have you covered. London is rife with canoeing and kayaking centres, both on the main river and sprawling waterways. Whether on the Grand Union canal, the River Lea, out on the Thames, Limehouse, Hackney or the Docklands, there are loads of companies all over London offering equipment hire, lessons and guided excursions that can have you out on the water for hours. For something a touch more adrenaline inducing, you can also thank the 2012 Olympics for the Lee Valley white water centre where they offer a wide range of kayaking courses and sessions. See our detailed guide to Kayaking and Canoeing in London for further information.

  • Paddleboarding - one of the most peaceful ways to explore an area, paddleboarding is possible on the more gentle sections of the Thames towards Twickenham and Richmond-upon-Thames, whilst the Regents Canal and Docklands offer some good central locations for those unable to travel far. Further afield there are more great opportunities for paddleboarding on the Thames out towards Henley-on-Thames and Windsor, as well as on the River Wey near Guildford in Surrey and north of the Capital in the magnificent Norfolk Broads. See our separate section on Paddleboarding in London for more information.

Outdoor activities Paddleboarding in London
  • Wakeboarding - with the advent of cable-tows for wakeboarding centres, this has meant that Londoners craving a bit of wakeboarding now have it on their doorstep at Royal Victoria Dock in the London Docklands. The centre here has two different cables catering for different levels, with a series of jumps and rails for more experienced riders. There’s also a bar and chillout area for those wanting to make a day of it.

  • White Water Rafting - less than an hour from central London (there’s a train from Liverpool Street to Waltham Cross) you can get your adrenaline fix with some white water rafting at the Lea Valley White Water centre. It’s best to book in advance, and you can pay per person and join a raft of others, or if you’ve got a group you can hire your very own raft for the session. If that’s not enough you can also try out tubing, hotdogs, or the somewhat terrifying but incredibly fun hydro speeding (taking on the rapids on a glorified body board)!

  • Sailing and Windsurfing - If you’d like to sail or windsurf in the capital the docklands have got you covered there too, courtesy of the Outer Millwall Dock. The centre here has various craft to hire, alongside a range of courses. Of particular note are their popular ‘Twilight Sailing’ sessions in the summer, featuring some evening races and a BBQ afterwards.

outdoor activities in london cycling

Cycling in London

Cycling is a fantastic way to explore a city, and London has a well-established network of cycle paths now, alongside a really easy bike hire system, with cycles available to pick up and drop off at a huge number of stations and landmarks all over the city. By cycling you’ll not only get a bit of exercise but see areas of the city you may otherwise have missed, and you’ll very likely get around quicker than you would be public transport too! With its rich history, varied and impressive architecture, iconic landmarks, green spaces and of course the River Thames, London has no shortage of fascinating and memorable cycles. Explore the stunning Royal Parks, discover Victorian London, venture out of the city along the canal paths, do a foodie tour visiting the fabulous markets or simply take in the most iconic landmarks. Whatever your preference, choose a great guide to help you maximise your experience and bring the city to life. For keen road cyclists there Surrey Hills are a short distance away, home to the iconic Box Hill as featured in the 2012 Olympics road race. Mountain bikers are also well served close to the Capital with Epping Forest, the Surrey Hills and the South Downs all within an hour or so. For more information on cycling visit our Guide to Cycling in London

Other Outdoor Activities in London

As you’d expect in a city as vibrant as London there’s also a massive range of other activities you can get up to, with tennis courts scattered throughout the city, as well as numerous pitches for team sports like football, cricket, netball, basketball and softball. If you’re after a more sedentary activity to enjoy for an afternoon then check out one of the lawn bowls lanes at various parks. For those with a penchant for the extreme and the unusual, then try a flying trapeze lesson in Hyde Park in the summer months, or some broomball (ice hockey but with a ball and your trainers still on) during the coldest months!

Outdoor Activities for Kids and Toddlers in London

Getting kids outdoors is vital to mental and physical health and facilities have improved vastly in recent years, with many of the parks in London having great play areas for younger children to help entice them out into the greener spaces! What’s important is to stay stocked up with all necessary supplies and never be too far away from facilities. Search for Suitable for families in our listing page and you’ll find all activities that providers have suggested are suitable for kids. If we’ve inspired you to find out more about what London and the rest of the UK has to offer, head on over to www.beyonk.com to find your next adventure.

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