Life starting to get boring? The front seat of the double-decker bus not giving you the rush it used to? Maybe it’s time to get away from the slow commute and dullness and try something more extreme and Britain offers some of the best places to peruse a thirst for adrenaline. Whether you prefer your extreme sports on the land, in the water, on the snow, in the town or in the country there’s plenty of places across the land to blow out your boredom and get your heart pounding. Here are 10 places to push up your pulse, some cater to all ages and some are more suited to younger thrill seekers, some will get you wet and some will get you muddy but all are more exciting than waiting for buses.
Adrenalin Alley, Northamptonshire
Ignoring the name, which sounds like a punk album made by a 15 year old me, the Northamptonshire-based Adrenalin Alley is one of the UK’s most advanced indoor skate parks and the range of equipment and facilities is huge. Welcoming BMX, inline skating and of course skateboards the venue consist of six differing areas including street and vert areas, as well as training areas for beginners, skate only areas and a new outdoor dirt jump section. There’s also a chill out area with sofas and video games in addition to a music practise room run by Adrenalin’s alleys volunteer staff.
The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead
Easily the closest place to the capital to ski and snowboard, Hemel Hempstead’s Snow Centre offers an indoor slope and freestyle area for beginners and experts alike. The Snow Centre has an onsite store where visitors can hire all the cloths and equipment they’ll need to get started and the centre can provide lessons for groups of adults and groups of children as well as private lessons. One of the centre’s most exciting features is its snow park facilities which changes its layout weekly and features some of the UK’s largest snow kickers. Friday nights sees the freestyle section take over the main slope while Thursday nights host easier snow park ramps for rookies.
Watergate Bay, Cornwall
Probably not named after the 20th century’s greatest political scandal, this Cornwall beach makes a great alternative to the often crowded Newquay while offering equally as great waves for surfing among other wave sports including kite surfing and kayak-surfing crossbreed; Waveskiing. The beach is suitable for both beginners and experts with the nearby Xtreme Academy providing wetsuits and boards of all kinds for hire as well as lessons for groups and individuals. The experienced instructors are also qualified lifeguards making the beach one a safe place for beginners and kids. Visitors can also enjoy a more upscale post-surf dinner at the beachside Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall.
Abersoch, North Wales
This village in Gwynedd is situated in along some of the UK’s most glorious and remote coastline where many of the locals speak traditional Welsh. Yet next to the beauty and charm of the area is a coastline perfect for those seeking extreme water sports. Abersoch bay offers expanses of flat water for wakeboarding, waterskiing, power boating and wind surfing with plenty of shops and centres nearby to hire instructors and equipment. Surfers and body boarders should head to Port Neigwl (which ominously enough translates as ‘Hell’s Mouth’) where Atlantic Swells make for great waves. The water is some of the cleanest in the UK and the annual Wakestock festival brings international wake boards to the area with sliders and ramps set up for the daring.
The Nevis Range
Crazy though it may seem you don’t have to go indoors to ski in the UK and if you cross your fingers hard enough this Scottish resort can offer great slopes and off-piste runs for experts and beginners alike. The resort has 12 lifts and 24 runs 7 of which are beginner green runs and 5 of which are expert only black runs, the mountain also boasts 20km of challenging off-piste skiing. The resort also provides equipment rental as well as restaurants and bars for that all-important après-ski dinner and beer. Although the Scottish conditions aren’t as reliable as European resorts artificial snow machines should provide some excitement.
The Scottish highlands, with craggy mountain tops and deep forests makes excellent terrain for exhilarating mountain biking. There’s a great verity of trail ranging from gentler ones for beginners to cut their teeth on to more technical, downhill rampages to challenge even the most experienced of riders. Most of the trails let visitors take in the stunning scenery of the lochs and the coast line that runs to mainland Britain’s most westerly point. The area plays host to the annual UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and is considered the UK’s capital of outdoor biking. The town of Fort William offers visitors restaurants, nightlife and shops as well as award winning bike shops where experts of the trade can advise would be riders.
Haredown Mountain Boarding Centre, West Sussex
Ever wanted to snowboard without the freezing conditions snow? Ever wished you could skateboard on grass? If the answer to either of these questions is yes then you’ll be delighted to know that someone invented the mountain board. Visitors to the Haredown Mountain Boarding Centre can strap themselves in on this beefed-up skateboard and charge down one of two 500 meter, off-road courses. The centre offers training for all ages and can host all kinds of parties, from kids’ birthdays to hen and stag parties and even team building days. The centre also features a freestyle section with kickers and grind rails as well as acres of woodland to explore at high speed.
Tollymore Mountain Centre
Located by the edge of the Mourne Mountains, Tollymore is home to Northern Ireland's National Centre for Mountaineering and Canoeing Activities. The centre offers courses on rock climbing and mountaineering and is one of the UK’s best places for sea and white water kayaking. Strangford and Carlingford lough make scenic spots for training and more relaxed sea kayaking and canoeing among the small islands. Those looking for a serious adrenaline kick should try their hand at white water kayaking and the centre’s instructors will ensure visitors lean the tricks of this fast flowing sport in safe hands.
Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
A beach for experienced surfers only, Freshwater West produces powerful waves with high peaks and one of the UK’s most intimidating reef breaks. Strong swimmers and surfers who know their way around adverse conditions are rewarded with strong waves running the entire length of the beach so surfers are sure to get a wave to themselves. The surrounding area is dramatic and beach makes an appearance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1. The area also serves as an army firing range so permission may be needed before hitting these incredible waves.
Central Skatepark, Manchester
Priding itself as Manchester’s only indoor skatepark, Central sits just 5 minutes from the city centre and sports 1,000sp ft skateable madness. The park makes good use of its space with a good mix of vert ramps of varying sizes to suit experience levels as well as plenty of banks and movable street objects and rails. The Black Sheep store inside the park is Manchester’s number one spot for all the equipment, parts and clothes needed before taking to the park.