As the country that turned sitting down with a warm drink into a national pastime, it may seem surprising that a lot of us like a bit of adventure. We took to social media to find out the country’s top five adventures of 2016.
Not many people know this, but skydiving was invented in 1797 when French aviation pioneer Andre-Jacques Garnerin leaped from a hot air balloon to the applause of a Parisian crowd. Despite being easily the oldest extreme sport on our list, skydiving somehow remains relatively popular.
2% of Brits chose to throw themselves out of planes in 2016, travelling as far afield as New Zealand and South Africa to do it. Why this number is so low is a bit of a puzzle, as the rest of this list clearly shows that Britain loves jumping off stuff.
We can’t really see any good reason for jumping from a perfectly good rock into the sea, yet this is what 3% of Britons did on their holidays last year.
People seem willing to travel significant distances just to jump off cliff faces. Brits spent 2016 jumping off coastlines in Greece, Puerto Rico and Spain, as well as Pembrokeshire. We even found one person who went Frisbee Cliff Jumping, which combines jumping from a massive height while attempting to grab a piece of spinning plastic.
Britain’s adrenalin seekers are a water-loving lot. Kiteboarding turned out to be one of the most popular activities of 2016, beating surfing and water skiing on our list.
A hybrid of wind-surfing and snowboarding, this relatively new sport appears to have a large following in the South East. Over 70% of the kiteboarding aficionados we found hail from London or its surrounding areas. Clearly, it’s not something you can do on the Thames…
Honed by over 450 million years of evolution, even the smallest shark is a highly effective predator. Some species can detect prey from over 40 miles away and have jaws that can slice through a turtle shell with ease. So why anyone would want to voluntarily get into the water with them is beyond us.
Yet, we found that 10% of adventure-seeking Brits did just that; travelling as far as South Africa and the Bahamas to literally swim with the fishes.
When it comes to scaring yourself senseless, it seems the oldies are still the best. Since a New Zealander first threw himself off a bridge in 1985, bungee jumping has been one of the most popular adventure sports. Last year saw 20% of adrenalin junkies throwing themselves off various objects, so clearly, it’s a craze that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
Britons jumped off various buildings and features all over the world, including a museum in Germany and a waterfall in South Africa. Special mention goes to Simon Berry, who broke the world dunking record by bungee jumping with a Hobnob into a cup of tea. Talk about taking the biscuit…