The North of England is home to the longest high wire bridge in Europe, over 1,000ft above the Honister Pass in Keswick, and one of the UK’s largest outdoor inflatable water assault courses near Sheffield. This part of the world, then, has no shortage of incredible adventure activities.
This guide highlights a selection of the very best, each one showcasing a spectacular aspect of the landscape of the North. From white-knuckle Krazy Karting through woodland in the Lake District to learning to surf the swell in Saltburn, our top picks are all about injecting some adrenaline-filled days into your routine; they say that new experiences mean we perceive time as passing more slowly, and there are few better ways to truly feel alive than to pit your body against a physical challenge in stunning surroundings.
Ascend up to 18 metres into the canopy of trees at Manchester’s Heaton Park for a network of aerial challenges and zip wires, try caving or gorge walking with Yorkshire Dales Guides, or experience the unique thrill of having a bird of prey land on your arm at the Turbay Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary. Abseil down to camp on a Portaledge 500ft up on the cliff face at the last working slate mine in Europe, or learn how to waterski at one of the North’s biggest cable water parks. Alternatively, gain an in-depth appreciation of the heritage, hidden features and challenges of the Yorkshire Dales on a walk with the Barefoot Shepherdess, or pass safely across the treacherous sands of Morecambe Bay with guides who’ve been required to lead travellers on the crossing from the coast of Lancashire to the hills of Cumbria since the time of Henry VIII.
There are adventures included for little people too: the imaginary world of BeWILDerwood in Cheshire is filled with giant swings, ‘sooopa’ slippery slides, a sky maze and more, while the £31m real snow centre Chill Factore offers an introductory snow school for children. There are orienteering courses to equip young people for their own expeditions, archery lessons for anyone over seven and a family-friendly Treetop Adventure in Delamere Forest. Whatever your age, these exhilarating activities promise an unforgettable experience – and a new appreciation of the great outdoors.