8 Ways City Adventurers Can Claim Back Their Freedom
Sponsored by Adidas
city adventurers - a guide to freedom
Calling all city adventurers! You would know, anybody that lives in the big city will tell you all about the many positives of living there. The fast pace, the excitement, the opportunity, the culture… the list goes on.
However, rarely do city folk mention freedom. Yes, they can go to a Hip-Hop Crochet night in a fashionable neighbourhood, and they can have haggis toasties served on a bed of Alaskan kale for lunch, but the constraints of the city don’t really offer freedom.
But fear not, city dwellers. Being in the city doesn’t mean you can’t spread you wings. No, you just have to claim your freedom. Heres our guide for the aspiring city adventurers and eight ways you can break off the figurative shackles, along with the literal shirt and tie, and embrace the great outdoors.
The major cities in the UK with a good surf break can be counted on zero hands. As such, if you live in the city, you may think that the freedom of the waves is out of reach. However, escaping the city and finding waves is easier than you think.
Newquay is the home of UK surfing, and is just five hours from London or Birmingham by train.
In fact, it’s more than possible, thanks to programs like collaboration between Ticket to Ride surf school and the Lamiroy Academy, both based in Newquay, to leave the office on a Friday, get a sleeper train overnight, and arrive refreshed, and ready to surf, knowing you’ll have all the gear you need provided by the experts. Great for city adventurers.
Hit The Road
Maybe it’s a hangover from watching Easy Rider, and Thelma And Louise too many times, but little spells freedom like a good road trip. Hitting the road with a carful of close friends, a couple of tents, and some shoe liners that eradicate foot stink means you can escape the city both mentally, but also in a very real way.
There’s nothing quite like seeing those grey tower blocks and neon fried chicken signs disappearing in the rear view mirror as you escape and intentionally get lost. And best of all, you are in complete control of your destiny.
Find A Hidden Adventure
If you’re stuck in the city, adventure may be closer than you think. They're out there, hidden in plane sight. After all, the city isn’t all half-built tower blocks, and people shouting “I’m on the train!" down their mobile phone.
A lot of cities hold their own adventures, they just need a little searching for. Or not, if you go via an organisation like Secret Adventures. They can help you seek out the tiny, hidden pockets of adventure that every city holds.
From kayaking up the Thames, to full moon swims, and canoeing on rivers, you can embrace the great outdoors without having to leave the city limits.
Hit the hills
If you spend your week in the city, why not use pedal power to find your inner adventurer, and go mountain biking. Of course, you can head off on your own bike and hoon down the hills if you’re an experienced inner city trail rider.
But being a less experienced rider, or even complete novice doesn’t mean you have to stay trapped in within the limits of the city walls. Far from it. Blasting along the trails on a mountain bike is much easier than you’d think.
Take Muddy Cwtch, for example. It’s a company set up by a London based couple, and they specialise in taking city dweller out it the vast Shropshire countryside for weekends mountainbiking in one of the most beautiful places in the land.
They even take the faff out of the experience for you, by organising absolutely everything, from organising then bikes right down to preparing your food. They’ll even tell you what trains to get!
Embrace The Unusual
Of course, your liberation from the city doesn’t always mean having to ascend Kilimanjaro. Sometimes escape and adventure come wrapped in the most unusual packages. And packaged don't come much more unusual than Penny Farthing Polo.
The mash-up of posh sport and ultimate hipster cycling offers an escape from the rigours of city life for a growing number of people who, once a month, head to the grounds of Hurstpierpoint College to meet up with the Penny Farthing Club.
If it doesn’t quite sound adventurous enough for you, it’s worth noting that the club was founded by one Neil Laughton, a man that’s peaked Mt Everest with a young Bear Grylls – and that’s just one of the summits that Laughton can claim. The man lives and breathes adventure.
Deep Water Soloing
Imaging climbing across a cliff face, without the luxury of safety ropes, with nothing but a long drop into the cold sea that surrounds Britain beneath you. This is Deep Water Soloing, and nothing will fill your spirit of adventure quite like it.
The coast of the UK is a veritable labyrinth of options for Deep Water Soloists, looking to spend their time away from the day job embracing genuine ventures of discovery every time they grip the rock.
Deep Water Soling may be a step too far for many, certainly for people that aren’t experienced climbers. But that’s doesn’t mean you have to keep your feet on the ground.
The UK is rich with climbing walls, and many can be found within the heart of the city, and the equipment you need is nothing that you can’t throw into the bag you take to work.
A quick search online will furnish you with stacks of local climbing walls, and bouldering clubs to join – which is an excellent way to learn the ropes from experienced climbers. Some of the UK’s stand-out walls can be found in Manchester, London, and Edinburgh.
Build Your Own Park
It’s no secret that the UK has a handful of mountains where you can fill all of your snowboarding needs, but you’d be forgiven for not thinking of Blighty as the kind of place where a bunch of mates can get together and build a perfectly good snowpark in their own back yard. But, you’d be wrong.
Take The WBB crew from Scotland, headed up by Angus Leith. They wanted to hit some jumps and rails, but weren’t prepared to let the fact they were in Scotland in May stop them.
With a bit of hard work, imagination, and skill, they built their very own snowboard park in their back garden. Hours of driving around to collect just enough snow to make the park rideable were essential, but by the looks of it, it was worth ever back-breaking second.
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