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Every Adventure Activity You Can Tick Off Your Bucket List in Yorkshire

· James Tweddle · Culture

Get the blood pumping with these white-knuckle days out.

Quad Biking

Got the taste for adventure? Then try out these amazing adrenaline-inducing activities…

Ever wanted to be more adventurous? To climb a mountain or jump out of a plane? Don’t live with regrets, live life to the full – throw off the shackles of the mundane and start ticking off your adventure activity bucket list right here, right now. Head into the great outdoors and make the most of the adventure playground we call home, because there’s nowhere better to get your adrenaline pumping than in Yorkshire.

Take the path less travelled and go off-roading


If you’re looking for an adrenaline thrill behind the wheel, off-roading on Yorkshire’s trails is the best way to get it. Jump in a rugged 4X4 and tackle the places where cars aren’t supposed to go, from hillsides to gulleys, rock beds to ditches. If you want to get the most excitement out of it, head to the North Yorkshire Off Road Centre in Whitby. They’ve been taking you on white-knuckle driving experiences since the 70s and you can leap in their Land Rover Defender 110 TDCi and carve a swathe through their specially-built course, all with stunning views over Robin Hood’s Bay. Prices start from £185 for a half-day session.

North Yorkshire Off Road Centre, Bay Ness Quarry, High Lane, Robin Hood’s Bay, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4PJ.

Flex your muscles with a spot of rock climbing

Whether you want to get fit or just want to pit yourself against gravity, rock climbing has something for every adventure lover. You can scale a cliff or climbing wall with tricky handholds and, occasionally, a touch of vertigo. There’s no better way to test your mettle in any weather than at the Harrogate Climbing Centre. They’ve got over 65 climbing lines across their array of courses, allowing you to test out everything from vertical scrambles to auto belays and even free-climbing routes before you head out into the wild. It’s £9 if you want to rock up and climb – you’ll get helmet hire for free. But if you need a harness, climbing shoes or general equipment, they’re rented out separately, starting from £2.

Harrogate Climbing Centre, The Zone, Hornbeam Park Avenue, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 8QT.

Paddle board your way along the water

Dexters Surf Shop Paddle Boarding

If surfing seems a touch too scary, why not give its gentler cousin paddle boarding a go? Also known as supping, you’ll stand or kneel on a surfboard and paddle along a flat body of water. It’s a doddle to learn and the North Yorkshire coast is one of the best places to do it. Head to Dexters Surf Shop in Scarborough, where their experts run beginner and advanced sessions from £38 per person. You’ll get a full safety briefing before you enjoy an hour of tuition and another hour solo on the water.

Dexters Surf Shop, Kepwick House, North Bay Promenade, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO12 7TN.

Journey under the Earth’s surface to the hidden caves beneath


Looking for things to do in Yorkshire that’ll get your pulse racing? Head underground for a spot of caving, or spelunking if you prefer. You can follow thousands of routes underground, climbing, crawling and sometimes even wading your way through narrow nooks and crannies. It’s not for the faint of heart, so make sure you go with an experienced guide, like the ones at How Stean Gorge. For £45 per person, you’ll get a 3-hour guided tour under the Yorkshire Dales, with a safety briefing, caving kit and knee pads – you’ll need them.

How Stean Gorge, Lofthouse, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 5SF.

Bound across the rocks on a bouldering kick

Rock Climbing

If rock climbing’s not quite scratching your adrenaline itch anymore, it’s time to try its spiritual successor, bouldering. This is rock climbing in its rawest form, no ropes or harnesses – just good shoes, a pinch of chalk and a strong grip. Yorkshire has plenty of craggy spots that’ll do the job, but the best is Almscliffe Crag. There are over 571 activity routes across this enormous rocky mound, so make sure you scope it out properly. It’s on private land, but the farmer that owns it doesn’t charge for access. All he asks is that you don’t try and climb at night.

Almscliffe Crag, Crag Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 0ER.

Take to the treetops on the high ropes

High Ropes

Have you got a head for heights? You’ll need one to tackle the high ropes. These narrow platforms are strung through the trees of wild forests to create an obstacle course high above the ground. It’s one of the most exhilarating days out you can have in Yorkshire, but fear not, there are harnesses to make sure you won’t get hurt. One of the best spots to try it is the sprawling Camp Hill Estate, where their tree-top trail starts at ground level and climbs to 14 metres high, ending with a nerve-shredding zipwire ride back to the floor. Adults are £25 each and children are £20.

Camp Hill Estate, Kirklington, Bedale, North Yorkshire, DL8 2LS.

Strap up your feet and tackle a mountain of mud

Mountain boarding

Snowboarding without snow. It sounds like madness, right? But mountain boarding is one of the fastest-growing adventure activities in Yorkshire and it’s used by Olympic snowboard teams for training. All you need is 4 wheels, a board and a hill, and you’re away. Want to try it out? Another World Adventure Centre has the UK’s first purpose-built mountain board course, with sky-high slopes and all the safety equipment you’ll need. For adults, it’s £20 for an hour, or £25 for two, so buckle up and get boarding.

Another World Adventure Centre, Moss Farm, Ogden, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX2 8YB.

Try to keep your balance on the water


If you’re looking for fun things to do outdoors in Yorkshire, water skiing & waterboarding are both enormously fun choices. Whether you’re on skis or a board, you’ll need decent balance and no fear of getting wet. To cut your teeth, head over to Welton Wake & Ski Club. They’re the longest established wakeboarding and waterskiing club in the UK, so they know their stuff. They’ll give you a wetsuit, take you out behind the boat and even provide a hot shower afterwards. Introductory lessons are £25 or it’s £12 for a 15 minutes adult ski and £8 for kids.

Welton Wake & Ski Club, Common Lane, Welton, East Riding, HU15 1PT.

Pit man vs nature as you go white water rafting


When it comes to adrenaline-inducing activities in Yorkshire, few come close to battling the elements like white water rafting and canoeing. You’ll be placed in a plastic boat and paddle down the river, bobbing and weaving, while the current batters you from all sides. Want to give it a go? For most of the year, the River Washburn is little more than a dry ditch, but in winter it comes alive with a dam release pouring a 1.5-mile torrent of raging water down the river. You’ll need third party insurance with British Canoeing to give it a go, otherwise it’s £10 for the day.

River Washburn Canoeing, Thruscross, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4BB.

See the world from above with a parachute jump


Known as the world’s biggest adrenaline rush, parachuting involves leaping out of a plane hundreds of miles in the air with nothing but a scrap of cloth on your back. And there’s only one place in Yorkshire you can do it. Skydive GB is just north of Bridlington, and can take you on a tandem thrill-ride. It’s perfectly placed so you can see clearly over most of North Yorkshire and beyond on the way down, but be warned, risking life and limb doesn’t come cheap. Prices start from £249 per person for a tandem jump.

Skydive GB, East Leys Farm, Grindale, Bridlington, East Yorkshire, YO16 4YB.

Scramble along the shore on a coasteering day out

Coasteering is an action-packed day out that will see you jumping off rocky ledges, swimming through gorges and scrambling over rocks along the North Yorkshire coastline. Head to Thornwick Bay where Scarborough Surf School will show you the ropes. They’ll kit you out in wetsuits, helmets and buoyancy aids before your instructor takes you into the water. You’ll swim up to the cliff face, make your way under the cliff and climb up onto ledges in Yorkshire’s largest sea caves. The adventure will last for two hours and costs £40 per person.

Scarborough Surf School, Killerby Cliff, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 3NR.

Enjoy the thrill of the slopes on an indoor skiing trip

Skiing at Snozone, Xscape

Ever wanted to try a day out on the slopes? There’s nothing better than carving a path through fresh snow down the mountain on a pair of skis or a snowboard. And if you want to give it a go, Snozone is the only place in Yorkshire that creates real snow for you to practice on. You can find perfect snow conditions all year round under a roof. It’s your one stop skiing and snowboarding shop, with an adult one-hour session on the slopes costing £26.99 Monday to Friday and £36.99 at weekends.

Snozone Xscape Castleford, Colorado Way, Glasshoughton, Castleford, West Yorkshire, WF10 4TA.

Put your back to the drop and abseil into the unknown

When it comes to abseiling, getting to the top of the crag is only half the adventure. From the North York Moors to Nidderdale’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Yorkshire is full of rocky clifftops perfect for abseiling down, with views either side to die for. You can take your pick of places to abseil with companies like Alfresco Adventures, who offer this action-packed activity in Downholme Quarry near Reeth and Brimham Rocks near Ripon. For a three-hour session, prices start from £45 per person and equipment is included.

Alfresco Adventures, Hudson House, Reeth, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL11 6TB.

Let the wind surf you through the water in style


You can spend a day out on the lake in Yorkshire with the wind blowing through your hair. That’s the joy of wind surfing and you can take to the water with your board and sail for most of the year, weather permitting. One of the best spots to try it out is Yeadon Tarn, home to Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre. They’re accredited as a Royal Yachting Association Training Centre, so they can teach complete novices and guide old hands alike. Just book onto one of their courses, and you’ll get your full kit for the day and an instructor from £66.

Leeds Sailing & Activity Centre, Yeadon Tarn, Yeadon, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS19 7UR.

Take your kayak to tackle the high seas


Yorkshire isn’t just countryside you know, we have our own coastline, so why not take your watersports to the next level with sea kayaking? That’s right, your one-man boat can tackle the deep blue too, with shore trips and paddles round the coast. The best spot to try it is near Scarborough, where Bay Watersports will lend you a sit-on kayak from £15 with wetsuits, buoyancy aids and helmets included. Alternatively, get a beginner’s lesson for £20 or take a tour around the caves and coves further afield from £40.

Bay Watersports, Hawthorn House, Primrose Valley Road, Filey, North Yorkshire, YO14 9QR.

Use metal rails to cross deep gorges

Via Ferrata

Via Ferrata is an adventure activity that uses a series of metal wires to allow you to cross gaps at incredible speeds. Scrambling over the rungs, clipping your harness to the different cables, you’ll feel like Spider-Man. It’s best known in the Alps, but How Stean Gorge has also created its own version high up in the Dales, and it’s the only place in Yorkshire where you can to do it. From £49, you can give it a go with a three hour session, including ropes, equipment and a guide.

How Stean Gorge, Lofthouse, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 5SF.

Float through the air like a feather

Hang Gliding

Gliding through the sky, with the wind in your hair and unbeatable panoramic scenery below you. This is the life – until you remember you’re soaring high above the ground in a lightweight glider with no engine. Hang gliding is one of the best adrenaline-charged activities to do in Yorkshire. The Dales Hang Gliding & Paragliding Club has been welcoming newcomers to this adventurous sport since 1974, so if you want to try it out, you’re in good hands – and you can do it anywhere from Ilkley Moor to Tailbridge.

Dales Hang Gliding & Paragliding Club, The Granary, Ellingstring, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 4PW.

Climb, swim and crawl your way across a gorge

Ready to face off against an entire canyon? Your mission is to get from one side of a gorge to the other, any way you can. You’ll be scrambling over rocks, abseiling down cliffs and leaping into ice-cold pools, all in the name of adventure. Up for the challenge? With Lost Earth Adventures, you’ll get a choice between Pateley Bridge and Ingleton, with prices starting from £49 for travel, equipment and a 3-hour stint taking on nature.

Lost Earth Adventures, Studfold Activity Centre, Lofthouse, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 5SG.

Swim as far as the eye can see

Open Water Swimming

Open water swimming is one of the most exhilarating things you can do in Yorkshire, and we don’t just mean the ice-cold water. With a good wetsuit, the lake is your oyster. No more chugging up and down the lanes, just blue water as far as you can see. Ready to take the leap? Head to the Blue Lagoon, an enormous lake full of clear water, filtered by the surrounding limestone rocks. A dip for non-members is £10, or you can get a year’s membership for £35.

The Blue Lagoon, Northfield Lane, Womersley, North Yorkshire, DN6 9BB.

Fly about on four wheels with quad biking

Quad biking hen party Leeds

If you’re a fan of all-terrain adventure activities, you need to try quad biking. You can clear all types of ground in a power-packed four-wheeler, cornering like the devil. For the full experience, Thornton Hall Country Park has Quadtrex, an enormous 160-acre wonderland where you can get to grips with biking. It’s made up of woodland, grass, dirt tracks and quarry land. Fancy it? It’s £49.95 for 60 minutes.

Thornton Hall Country Park, Thornton-in-Craven, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 3TS.

Descend into the depths on a potholing trip


Think caving, but dialled up to 11. Potholing sees you tackle the deepest, darkest and wettest caves Yorkshire has to offer, roping your way to the base and back again. There are hundreds of challenging descents on offer, but make sure you go with someone who knows the area, like Yorkshire Dales Guides. They can cater for everyone from beginners to seasoned pros, just pick a location and they’ll give you a price.

Yorkshire Dales Guides, Hornby Laithe, Stainforth, Settle, North Yorks, BD24 9PB.