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The best outdoor pursuits near London

Get ready to go higher, faster and further with our pick of outdoor pursuits close to London

You might not think that outdoor activities and extreme-ish sports are high on people's lists of 'things to do in London'. For starters, there surely just isn't room in London for all that gnarly activity. Well, maybe not, but you don't have to travel at all far outside the capital to find plenty of room for all the exhilarating outdoor pursuits you'll need to quench your thirst for thrills.

Here's where Londoners can get their adrenaline kicks without shelling out for a trip to the alps and a ski pass. And get your little ones started early with ten ways for kids to fly in London.

RECOMMENDED: the full guide to outdoor London


Outdoor pursuits and sports close to London


Kent Kitesurfing School in Whitstable is the closest of its kind to London, and courses are run by BKSA qualified instructors. Even if you haven't tried the sport before, there is a beginner's session that can be tailored to your ability.

How do I get there?
Whitstable rail

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Motor racing

Goodwood has a thing about racing - horses, cars, if it goes fast, it's in. But all year round you can give one of their Ultimate Driving track experiences a spin - on the track or off-road, in a Mini or the latest luxury number. One option even includes a 'Butler's Picnic' lunch...

How do I get there?
Chichester rail then bus

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Hang gliding

The acres of rolling National Trust parkland at Devil’s Dyke in East Sussex are the perfect setting for taking to the skies and trying paragliding or hang gliding. Experienced pilots are on hand to show you the ropes before you take off into the sunset.

How do I get there?
Brighton rail then bus

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Box End Park near Bedford has a range of outdoor watersports for all ages and abilities. If the children's aqua park playground makes you long to get wet and wild, try the water ski and wakeboard sessions for adults and the open water swimming sessions.

How do I get there?
Bedford rail then taxi

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With a 180mph updraft, you can hover in the air as if you're really flying. Twinwoods Adventure Centre just north of Bedford offers this flying experience along with surfing, climbing, shooting, archery and simulated motor racing.

How do I get there?
Bedford rail then bus

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Take a trip to the beach this summer

Ten brilliant beaches near London

Thankfully, London is excellently connected to some of the best beaches in the country, where picturesque dunes, indulgent ice creams and the chilly, refreshing sea all await. Don’t believe us? Get a load of these salty stunners.

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By: Yolanda Zappaterra