Summer is drawing to a close, so make sure you get out there and take advantage of it while you still can.
Rollerblading in London’s parks is all the rage these days; it’s a fun way to keep fit in the sunshine and it’s also hugely sociable. If you’re worried you might not have the stability to avoid small children/dogs/Sunday strollers then there are loads of courses to improve your confidence.
One-to-one lessons with Citiskate (citiskate.co.uk) will help you nail the basics quickly, or there are four-week courses run throughout the year for all levels, which allow you to progress at your own pace and meet like-minded skaters.
Already pretty good on four wheels? Then check out the Friday Night Skate for a challenging route across London.
Hire ’blades for the duration of the course when you sign up if you don’t want to commit to buying. If you are thinking of investing, check out K2 Skates (k2skates.com/eco) – make models from sustainable materials so they’re great for the environment, and they look pretty cool too.
Leisurely activities are all well and good, but if you’ve got a need for speed then go karting is the perfect way to fulfil it.
Streatham Go Karting (gokarting.co.uk) offers a variety of packages for small and large groups. The grand prix isn’t cheap at about £40 per person, but it is value for money as you get a warm up round, five heats followed by a semi-final and a final – more than enough time on the track.
Take time on the warm up laps to figure out your tactics through the bends – girls, you’re lighter so take the corners tightly and then accelerate off before the boys can pass you.
On the sideline, all the stats are shown on screen including overall positions and fastest laps.
You’ll be surprised by how quickly you pick it up and that suppressed competitive streak will soon have you shamelessly fighting for a place on the podium. Lewis Hamilton, eat your heart out.
If your bike is rusting away in the back garden, now is the time to dust it off, give it some oil and hit the road. London is a great place to explore by bike and if you don’t fancy tangling with white vans or black cabs, there are plenty of off-road routes. The Thames path from Richmond to Hampton Court Palace via Kingston makes for a lovely riverside journey as does the Limehouse to Little Venice route along Regents Canal.
For a spot of sociable cycling, the London Cycling Campaign (lcc.org.uk) runs organised rides all over London all year round for free. With an organised ride you have the advantage of safety in numbers and experienced marshalls to guide you on a pre-arranged route. Oh, and it’s a great way to meet fellow cycling freaks too.
If you don’t own your own bike you can hire them in Richmond Park (at the Roehampton gate), or take advantage of the new Barclays Cycle Hire scheme which allows you to hire a bike from one of 400 docking stations all over London. Once you’ve used the bike you simply drop it off at another docking station. Cycling in London just got a whole lot easier.
Ride the Pedibus
What could be better than sightseeing, drinking with your mates and never leaving your seat? Pedibus (pubcrawler.uk.com) is basically a bar attached to wheels that requires a minimum of seven people to pedal it.
Cruise around London with your very own bartender as you take in the sights. If you’re more about the drinking than the cycling and there’s a large group of you (25+), the wine tasting tour is ideal, and it’s a great story to tell your mates back home.
» Pedibus, various start points, (020 0011 3590; pubcrawler.uk.com). From £26
Words: Laura Adcock