london hampton


Top quirky activities in London

Published November 22nd, 2015

Are you a little bit odd? Don't worry, we've all got our stanger sides. So does London, the city that on the outside looks so straight-edge and by the book.

Actually, if you look a little closer you'll find more than a few quirky experiences to make your days far more interesting. Here are our faves around the city.

Putting Green, Hyde Park

Dispel any notions of AstroTurf or windmills on this course. As befitting a royal park, we're talking pukka grass, manicured greens with herbaceous borders rather than bunkers, and concrete pineapples that wouldn't look out of place in a stately home. Bring a blanket and a bottle of bubbly to celebrate your birdies. Summer months only.

Looking down isn't the best idea! Thanks to @thatlithuanianguy for #sharingadventure! #goape #goapetrentpark #dontlookdown

A photo posted by Go Ape! Trent Park (@goapetrentpark) on

Go Ape, Trent Park, Enfield

Trent Park in north London is fast becoming a vast outdoor adventure playground. The former hunting grounds of Henry IV feature an equestrian centre, an 18-hole golf course, driving range and hockey club, as well as the treetop adventure Go Ape.

The five-section aerial assault course connects trees in the Church Wood area of the park via ladders, bridges and zip wires, and promises to unleash your inner Tarzan – or Jane – but with the aid of harnesses and ropes, not loincloths and vines. It's a five-minute walk from Cockfosters Tube station.

Wet your whistle: London's top live-music pubs

Sneaky Brits: Top 10 items stolen from hotels

Hampton Court Kayak Tour

You can recreate the river scenes from the classic film A Man For All Seasons, when Paul Scofield, playing Thomas More, arrives at Hampton Court at the summons of Henry VIII. Except Thomas was arriving in a river ferry from his home in Chelsea, and you'll be arriving in a kayak after paddling yourself from Ye Olde Swan Pub in Thames Ditton.

But this is by far the best way to approach London's most magnificent palace, gliding close to the famous Golden Gates entrance. The tour lasts 90 minutes, including a health and safety briefing, but be sure to go back to Hampton Court another time, if only to take in their hilarious Horrible Histories-style re-enactments.

Ping Pong with giant lobsters!!

A photo posted by Ping! England (@pingengland) on

Table Tennis

When London won the Olympics bid in 2008, mayor Boris Johnson announced to the world that wiff waff – ping pong – was coming home. It landed – in the form of two tables just over the road from the Javelin train connection that ferried spectators from St Pancras to the Olympic Stadium.

Ping! returns to London in June 2016. There will be 100 or so tables with free bats and balls at 86 sites around the city, delivered by Ping! in association with the English Table Tennis Association. The tables have signs encouraging anyone on their own to challenge a passer-by to a match.

Want to discover England your way? Save up to 20 per cent on Britrail passes now. Offer ends December 31, 2015.

This article originally appeared on

This article was written by Andy Pietrasik from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

The Guardian

The Guardian offers the latest in travel, news, sport, opinions and analysis in the United Kingdom and around the world.