Most travelers who head to London will seek adventure in the novelty of famous structures and a world-class nightlife and will not think twice about the fact that there are a multitude of opportunities to experience a more pure sense of adventure within a day trip's time. If you're the type that yearns for open spaces in the restricting confines of the city, the type to leap from the heavens, or even the type to trawl the cliffs overlooking the ocean, then maybe London is just what you're looking for.
London is home to an incredible amount of park and recreation areas, the most attractive of which are the eight Royal Parks. Fountains, statues, gardens, and leisure space are customary, making each worth seeking out on its own merit. The most central are Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park, and St. James' Park, all of which contribute to an inviting mass of green space in the districts of Kensington and Westminster. These parks, particularly Kensington and Hyde, have long been integral parts of British history and a center for social gathering and protest. Richmond Park is a massive 2,500 acres outside of the city, providing wild space for deer to roam. Hampstead Heath is another option just north of London and is home to swimming area, ponds, meadows, and a general sense of being away from it all. No matter where you are in London, you will not be far from a park.
For our users that thrive on the expenditure of adrenaline, there is plenty for you. You can bungee jump in the parking lot of the O2 Arena, skydive in more than ten locations within a couple of hours drive (Ipsden and Headcorn are closest), and even tumble inside a sphere down a hill if that whets your whistle. The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead is the largest indoor ski area in the UK (just over half an hour from London), while whitewater enthusiasts will have to trek a bit further for natural rapids, although Hurley weir on the Thames River is an exciting prospect for wave kayaking.
The majority of adventure that lies within reach of London is on the more leisurely end of the spectrum, brought to you by vast stretches of coast that accommodate spectacles of both sand and rock. To the south, both Brighton and Hove and Bournemouth are very popular sea-side communities. The Brighton Pier and accompanying Brighton Beach are great for swimmers and surfers, depending on which stretch you find yourself; the same goes for Bournemouth, where the Bournemouth Pier and Boscomb Beach are stellar attractions for a day away from the city. Heading east up the coast, you'll run across the South Downs Way, a gorgeous extension of chalk cliffs and crashing surf that are the top attractions in the area around the port of Dover. Then again, directly east of London and under an hour's travel is the world's longest pier, based at the seaside resort of Southend-on-Sea. Known for their tacky arcades, Ramsgate and Margate are also famous areas to find beach, while towns like Hastings in East Sussex are beautiful for the imposing cliffs that rise above them.
For further information on what could make your London itinerary, consult our dedicated pages or explore our related travel media.