Abseiling is a technique used by mountain climbers, cave explorers, soldiers and even window cleaners to descend safely down a vertical drop using a rope. But you can do it just for fun!
Also known as rapelling (taken from the French word rappeler meaning ‘to pull though’ or ‘to recall’), the technique was first used in the 19th Century by a French ski guide and mountaineer while trying to climb a mountain in the Alps on his own!
Now we’re not suggesting you pack a few ropes and attempt a solo climb of Mount Blanc, but you should definitely give abseiling a try! It’s great fun and whether you have a head for heights or not, it will push you out of your comfort zone, in a good way. Luckily for us there’s some great locations in the UK for both indoor and outdoor abseiling adventures.
River Deep Mountain High, The Lake District
River Deep Mountain High offers half-day abseiling adventures in the lush green landscapes of the Lake District, suitable for anyone over the age of 10. The sessions start at Hodge Close with a 20-minute walk to the impressive Cathedral Quarry, where there’s a choice of different heights of abseil.
Simply decide how brave you’re feeling and go for it!
Edinburgh Indoor Climbing Arena, Edinburgh
As the name would suggest, this is the place to go for abseiling fun whatever the weather! The Edinburgh Indoor Climbing Aren has a huge 25m (82ft) atrium from which you can abseil – that’s equivalent to a 5-story building! When you’ve had enough of abseiling you can also try bouldering, climbing or check out the state-of-the-art gym
National Abseil Centre, Northampton
Last but not least, the National Abseil Centre is home to highest permanent abseiling tower not just in the UK, but in the world! Standing at a vertigo-inducing 418ft (127m), it’s a big step for beginners but great if you’ve already done a few smaller abseils and want to really push yourself. As the website says, this is an extreme challenge and you do need to be fit, but they welcome first-timers and children over the age of 12 too.
Sounds fun right? Get some friends and family together and give abseiling in the UK a try!
The Let's Go Out Team
Mountain Monkeys, various locations in the North West
Depending on your experience level and whether you want to go for an urban or rural abseil, Mountain Monkeys can run abseil sessions at small rock faces, huge cliffs, buildings or bridges. For those who’ve done abseiling before they can take you to the next level – dare you abseil while blindfolded or even front facing?!
Wire and Sky, London
Now here’s an experience you won’t forget in a hurry – abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit (the squiggly red tower in the Olympic Park to you and me!) It takes just 32 second for the lift to take you up to the top of the 80m high sculpture, which is the tallest in the UK. From the platform you can take in the stunning views over the Olympic Park which was built for the 2012 games before you abseil safely to the ground.
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