As part of our September gift guide series, we’re rounding up our top ten gifts for thrill-seekers. Thrill-seekers, risk-takers, adrenaline junkies… These are the types of people who like to live life in the fast lane. While some of us find thrills in the everyday, such as cosying up with a book or baking a cake, there are others who live for an adrenaline rush and will find any excuse to run, jump or soar at the highest of heights! There’s plenty of psychology behind just why people can enjoy putting themselves in risky situations in the name of fun. It’s believed that thrill-seeking behaviour is based within the brain, so if the thought of jumping 10,000 ft out of an aeroplane excites you – you may have just been born with it! You can read all about why some of us are thrill seekers and others aren’t here.
Our desires (or lack thereof) to take part in thrills all comes back to a little something called norepinephrine. More commonly known as adrenaline, this hormone is a neurotransmitter that in times of stress begins to release in large quantities. When this happens, a ‘fight-or-flight’ response is triggered, causing us to feel it as either stress or adrenaline. But just how do some people find excitement and joy jumping out of a plane, whilst others can’t imagine anything worse? It’s due to how we all respond differently to these stressors – simply that some of us run from it, and others actively seek it! Thrill-seekers are the ultimate adrenaline junkies, and crave situations that could be perilous for fun. This article from The Health explores why some brains enjoy fear – and ultimately determines that to truly enjoy fear and feel that rush of adrenaline, we must know we are in a safe situation. Our roundup of the Top Ten Gifts for Thrill Seekers narrows down exactly that – the chance to experience thrilling activities that involve a physical risk, but all in a totally safe hands.
Those who do crave these thrills are certainly in luck, as in today’s day and age there is plenty out there to feed every thrill-seeker’s desires. Whether you have a need for speed, or a taste for danger, Experience Days is all about helping people find thrills. Extreme sports or thrill-seeking activities takes us back to our roots. We started as ‘Extreme Element’, and over the years we’ve taken part in our fair share of adrenaline pumping activities, from the world record of a highest biscuit dunk on a bungee jump, to a real-life Iron Man stunt!
We’ve stayed true to honouring our former extreme name, as we continue to deliver some of the UK’s most thrilling experience gifts. Read on for our top ten picks, and find a truly unforgettable gift for that norepinephrine-junky in your life!
The experience that immediately springs to mind when you think ‘thrill seeker’ has got to be skydiving. There’s quite literally nothing else that compares to the ultimate thrill of jumping out of something that is supposed to keep you contained. Our tandem skydives include an experienced skydiving instructor attached to your back, meaning they’ll be free to appreciate the world from a whole new perspective! With a range of locations and heights to choose from, our Tandem Skydive is the perfect experience gift for the thrill seeker in your life. Whether you’re celebrating your 20’s, 40’s or 50’s, this truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity that needs to be ticked off the bucket list!
An excellent choice for a smaller budget, indoor skydiving gathers all the adrenaline of a real life skydive into a high-speed wind tunnel, making it the perfect entry point for beginner level thrill-seekers. Once suited and booted, they will learn the basic communications and techniques of skydiving. They will then leap into two 1-minute flights as they get a taste for the real thing. Anyone from the age of 4 can indoor skydive in Manchester, Milton Keynes or Basingstoke – making the perfect day out for adults and kids alike!
Powerboats are a unique type of thrill and provide a supercharged boating experience ideal for adrenaline junkies! Our next thrill-seeker gift sees them take to the sunny Southampton waters aboard the Thunderbolt: an awesome catamaran initially built for surf rescue in South Africa. At one of the UK’s only powerboating experiences where YOU get to drive, this experience in Hampshire is the perfect gift for those thrill-seeking water babies. They can prepare to live out those James Bond fantasies as they propel through the waters at white knuckle speeds, all guided by an expert skipper. Being behind the wheel and experiencing speeds of over 40 knots is bound to make their heart race and blow them right out of the water! If one boat just isn’t enough, we have a whole range of package deals that can offer an entire day of powerboating thrills – view them here. Or, if you’d like to know more about the thrilling range of powerboats available, you can read our staff review.
Arguably the most popular thrill-seeking activity, next up is a bungee jump. After travelling 160ft up in a crane, your thrill-seeking giftee will experience the unbeatable thrill of freefall. They’ll start by being attached at the ankles to their bungee. As they reach the top, they can quiet their racing thoughts by looking out at the view around them. Their only option from here is to jump – what goes up must come down, right? They can experience the adrenaline of free fall at a huge range of locations all over the UK, including bungees in Birmingham, Brighton, Scotland and more. Fancy joining your thrill seeker for the ultimate experience day? You can find our tandem bungees here, to take the leap with the one you love!
A somewhat peaceful thrill, paragliding provides the marvel of unpowered flight. From a choice of unbelievably scenic locations in East Sussex, they’ll soar through the sky with their instructor as a guide. They will have around 15 minutes’ flight time to enjoy either a relaxing glide or something more exciting as they get to witness some breath-taking bird’s eye views. If they enjoy heights and the feeling of weightlessness, paragliding is the one! To explore our full range of paragliding experiences, see here.
If they like to live fast and furious and are an utter car fanatic, then our supercar experiences are the perfect experience gift. For only £49, they can sample what it is like to drive some of the worlds fastest cars and put the pedal to the metal! With the options of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Audi, Porsche and Ariel Atom, they’ll be spoilt for choice. They’ll drive for three thrilling miles around a track of their choice, and even get to jump in the passenger seat to experience a hot lap driven by a professional. If one's just not enough, we have packages for 2, 3 and even 4 supercars available to try. For multi-car experiences, see here. Do you have to be 17 to drive a supercar? Supercar experiences aren’t only for those who hold licenses, an entire range of junior driving experiences can be found here.
What is a thrill-seeker's ultimate paradise? A theme park of course! There’s something for everyone at Drayton Manor in Tamworth, making the perfect family day out. It’s roller coaster galore, with attractions suitable for all ages and abilities. Take the little ones to Thomas Land, or crank it up a notch with some white-knuckle thrill rides such as G-Force or the Apocalypse roller coaster with its 54m drop! With the choice to explore hair-raising roller coasters, a 4D cinema and an entire zoo, the thrills are nonstop!
For the adventurer in your life, why not give them the gift of a triple threat? The triple whammy experience incorporates three thrilling adventures into a day jam packed with adrenaline. This voucher will see them tackle a 250ft zip wire, abseil a 150ft tower and delve into an amazing powerfan descender. Originally designed to simulate parachute landings for the military, the powerfan descender simulates the feeling of free fall in an entirely safe environment. Leaping off a 150ft platform (that’s around the height of 10 double decker buses!) you’ll plummet downwards towards the powerful fan for a gentle landing. If jumping, ziplining and heights are their thing, the Triple Whammy is a sure knockout of a gift!
They can forget what they learnt in driving lessons, as in this Drifting Taster experience the rules don’t apply! A great gift for those who love to be in the hot seat, this drifting session sees them get behind the wheel of a drift-prepared Nissan 350Z, all guided by an expert instructor. After being fully briefed on the fundamentals of drifting, they will be directed onto a specially designed low grip area to master the art of moving sideways! As a truly adrenaline pumping experience, drifting isn’t for the faint hearted.
Saving the best for last… If you’d like to go all-out for the thrill seeker in your life, why not treat them to an unforgettable aerobatic flying experience? These once in a lifetime experiences offer you the chance to perform mind boggling mid-air stunts in ex-military training planes. Receiving expert tuition from highly trained professionals, the incredible scenic views are bound to blow them away just as much as the G-force! They’ll be decked out in flight suits and helmets before embarking on the flight of their life. Don’t want to miss out on all the fun of Top Gun? If you’d like to join your thrill seeker on this unforgettable flight, then you can explore our packages for two here.
That concludes our roundup of the Top Ten Experience Gifts for Thrill Seekers. Whether you’re searching for something for yourself or someone special, there’s no better gift than a thrilling day out that they will never forget. For a wider range of experience gifts to choose from, you can take always take a look at our Adventure category for plenty of invigorating thrills, from canyoning to quad biking!