Playing outside is fun for so many reasons but it's not always easy to find somewhere in a city. Fortunately for Londoners and visitors, Outdoors in the City is a fantastic adventure activities center in east London with a really welcoming attitude. I don't often think of London as an Adventure Travel location but this place surprised me.
Activities on Offer
- Climbing and High Ropes include:
- Climbing and abseiling on the side of the 11m tower which has views of the Olympic Stadium (as well as the A13).
- Leap of Faith – this is like flying. With a safety wire attached, you climb a tall telegraph pole and then step away and fly gently to the ground.
- 90m zip wire from the climbing tower, and more.
- Land-based activities include:
- Obstacle Course
- Bushcraft skills, and more.
Not Just for Boys
I took my six year old daughter to try a climbing session and surprisingly it turned out to be an all girls group. I was told sometimes parents bring their sons and reckon their daughters won't want to do it but the smiles on the girl's faces assured me they were having fun. The taster sessions are often for all ages so parents can join in too (I wasn't brave enough but I loved watching.)
Build Your Confidence
During a 90 minute session you can see the confidence growing in the group. The participant who said they were afraid of heights was the one who jumped from a platform higher than the tower she'd just climbed. Staff encourage but never force a child to do anything they are not ready for.
The center has qualified staff who run the activities and a team of volunteers help out as they simply love being there. Everyone I met was friendly, enthusiastic and professional.
Not Open Every Day
The center is not open every day or weekend but they try to have an Open Day at least once a month and are open during school holidays too. During the week they have many education and community groups in, as well as team building and professional development sessions so the center is well used. The best way to know the latest dates is to sign up for their newsletter.
Sessions happen during all weather, unless unsafe, and climbers have been out in the snow and loved it.
What to Wear
Where jeans or tracksuit bottoms and rubber-soled shoes/sneakers/trainers and you'll be fine. All safety equipment, including helmets, is provided. Tie long hair back so it doesn't get in your way and bring nothing else except your sense of adventure.
- It's best to book in advance but you can call on the day to check availability.
- Everyone needs to fill in a standard consent form.
- You can come on your own or bring friends but either way you'll need to work as a team so will soon get to know each other.
- All fantastic for building confidence and developing trust.
- Really well-priced.
Easy to Find
I took the DLR to Custom House and walked to Outdoors in the City in under ten minutes. Custom House is the stop for ExCel London so has a frequent service.
Outdoors in the City
Canning Town Recreation Ground
London E16 3PY
Tel: 07818 590976