Perched on top of East & West Sussex and underneath Berkshire lies the country’s most woodland filled county; Surrey. Home to the Devil’s Punchbowl and England’s largest vineyard, the most densely populated ‘Shire’ in the UK makes for a very interesting getaway.
Whether you take the chance to appreciate the countryside from above with one of the county’s Hang Gliding or Aerobatic Flying tours, or if you decide to indulge in a high speed driving experience through a woodland-orientated track; Surrey has a fair bit to offer to thrill seekers – and combines it with all of the picturesque countryside that being one of the Home Counties entails.
The Thames bordering county is roughly an hour from central London and is easily accessible from the M23. We recommend trying:
Wakeboarding & Waterskiing
Bordering Kent and both East & West Sussex; Surrey’s water sports take place away from the coast. One Wakeboard & Waterskiing centre operating from Manor Lake provides a great range of activities to make a day of. Using the cable tow, boarders can turn up without a membership and practice all day on the lake that recently held the Wakeboarding World & European Championships. For the more involving experiences, full coaching programmes for levels from beginner to advanced are also easily accessible, either on the cable tow or using a boat.
One sport that does utilise the wooded playground of the ‘Home County’ is one that can’t help but grow in popularity each year. Set inside the grounds of the prestigious Nutfield Priory Hotel, the centre is one of the UK’s leading venues and has recently launched a giant foam pit, which is ideal for the more advanced riders aiming to achieve the most daring stunts. All equipment and tuition is available for the beginners, whilst the more experienced boarders can buy a pass and use the grounds unsupervised. The sloped centre is packed full of ramps, rails and routes that ensure plenty of activity on the day, and the cable lift that stretches from top to bottom certainly helps the trip back to the top of the hill!
At the opposite end of Surrey’s green garden is a renowned racing circuit that offers a mixed array of driving and supercar experiences. Specialising in variety, the track has a wide range of vehicles that span from the Ariel Atom to an Articulated Lorry, and much more in between – including; Ferraris, Aston Martins & Lamborghinis. The two mile ‘test track’ circuit opened in 2009 and mixes some of Surrey’s famed woodland into the lengthy straights and many turns, ensuring a decent driving experience in a large choice of vehicles.
Mercedes Benz World
If brawn and all out bravado isn’t quite your motor vehicle cup of tea; perhaps an historical tour in motor sport may be a little more suited. Mercedes Benz World is a museum of the German manufacturer’s history and offers ‘hands on’ experiences for you to drive the modern day motor cars. Sharing the grounds with Mercedes Benz World is another insight to the engines of the past – Brooklands Museum, where one of BA’s discontinued Concorde planes now resides. Experiences include simulating the record breaking journeys inside the incredible plane, as well as the celebration of many other motoring achievements originating from Surrey.
Making the best use of Surrey’s wooded area may not exactly be right up the street of Parkour; but the all natural approach is unquestionably similar. The French originating sport uses nothing except the human body and its surroundings, making the gymnastic discipline as enthralling as it is impressive. Rarely can a Youtube video inspire you to get up and try something as much as this; but, as ever it’s best to do it with the professionals! Surrey has an authentic Parkour & Freerunning organisation that specialises in introducing the basics to absolute beginners in a safe and padded environment, before practicing for real out on the streets!
If Parkour is a slight more serious than you were hoping for, perhaps the more sensible version; Rock Climbing would be a better fit. Surrey’s main indoor climbing centre offers courses and experiences for ages 8-80 to suit all levels, as well as providing other facilities including shops & food from one giant building. The centre has a number of walls and climbing routes that range in height and difficulty, including: a challenging arch that provides routes up to 12 metres long, a competition tower with 5 metre overhangs and bouldering walls ranging from 5 to 20 metres in height. Climbing tuition with a professional is available for private or group sessions, including all of the equipment and necessary theory. So, whether you are looking to learn the ropes or release the shackles; a day at Surrey’s indoor rock climbing centre could be a great place to start!
Aerobatics & Gliding
Moving on up from what’s available at ground level; the Home County offers stunning views of the countryside from above – including a decent range of gliding excursions. One local club offers experiences in five different gliders, each with around 17 metre wingspans and reaching up to 70mph. As ever with aviation activities; the view of below is all important to the experience quality, and Surrey is similar to Kent and Sussex in its picturesque perspectives. If Gliding isn’t quite heart racing enough, another operator also flying out of Redhill Aerodrome provides aerobatic experiences and training for gaining the Private Pilot Licence.
Hang Gliding & Paragliding
Continuing to soak up the views and scenery is made easy with other flying activities. Surrey is home to a renowned Hang Gliding and Paragliding centre that offers a range of experiences to cater for those with a light interest, or those in search of more serious hobbies. ‘Fun Day’ experiences act as tasters to Hang Gliding & Paragliding, providing expert tuition and a safe environment to realistically gain a decent understanding of the sports in one day. The club also offers the more in-depth courses for gaining the Elementary and Club Pilot licenses, allowing you to fly unsupervised upon completion. Tandem Paragliding is a particularly popular choice at the club, using modern equipment, expert tuition and the spectacular views of the county from 500ft and higher.
Surrey is a county packed full of experiences to make a weekend out of. Having landed the Martians in H.G. Wells Novel The War of the Worlds; the many flying experiences available in Surrey seem an obvious choice. However, the Home County is one of the most naturally hospitable in the UK and has a great deal else to offer upon its picturesque adventure playground.
Check out our other great experiences available in Surrey Including:
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