An adrenaline rush, a simultaneous spike in fear and thrill, and gravity working overtime. Add to that the drumming of your heart while everything else goes silent. Skydiving is one of the most exhilarating sports on Earth. It forces you to overcome all mental blocks and take the plunge. If you’re scared, that just adds spice to the experience. If you’re searching for places to go outdoor or indoor skydiving in London, we can help. While skydiving is prohibited within the city due to air-traffic restrictions, here are seven of the best places to go skydiving in London within reasonable travelling distance.
1. North London Skydiving
Clear blue sky all around you, air resistance dragging your cheeks to the back of your head, and below sprawling fields – towards which you’re hurtling at 120mph. Sound exciting? If you’re looking for unforgettable place to go outdoor skydiving in London, check out North London Skydiving. These award-winners host tandem skydiving, where you and the instructor jump out of the plane strapped together.
The company have been conducting skydiving for over two decades and their trainers complete around 800 jumps each year, so you can be sure you’re in safe hands. You fly up in the de Havilland Twin Otter for 15 minutes before reaching the height from where you begin the descent back to Earth. You have two height options for the dive: 10,000 ft and 15,000 ft, which is the highest altitude you can jump from in the UK.
You’ll freefall for almost 30 seconds in the shorter dive and for around a minute in the higher one. The parachute opens around a mile before you land and takes five minutes to slowly take you back to the ground. Sounds pretty thrilling to us!
You’ll find North London Skydiving at Chatteris Airfield, Block Fen Drove, Wimblington, Chatteris, March, Cambridgeshire, PE15 0FB. You’re better off driving here as there are no stations nearby.
GoSkydive are in central southern England, around 95 minutes from London. They’re specialists for people who have never taken the plunge before. But if you’re a pro wondering where to skydive in London, you too will love them. Their highly supportive staff offer an incredible overall experience, and jumpers will witness amazing views across the prehistoric landscape associated with Stonehenge.
As well as jumps from 15,000 ft and 10,000 ft, GoSkydive offer a shorter jump from 7,000 ft. This ‘Taster’ dive lets you briefly experience a ten-second freefall before you enjoy a five-minute canopy sky ride.
For the jump, you can hire a ‘Freefall Photographer’ who will capture all your movements during the dive, including your interaction with other divers. With the ‘Instructor Handcam’ package, you’ll get close-ups, ride footage and the selfie of a lifetime. If that doesn’t satisfy your photogenic self, the ‘Totally Epic’ option will give photos capturing every moment of your fall – it combines pictures, videos and unbelievable interaction with your photographer mid-air.
You’ll find GoSkydive at Old Sarum Park, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 6EB. You’re better off driving here as there are no stations nearby.
Looking for the thrill of the drop but without the fear of the height? At iFLY, you don’t need to part from Mother Earth to experience the dive. They introduced indoor skydiving near London a few years back. They operate in multiple locations, including Basingstoke (30 minutes southwest of the M25 motorway) and Milton Keynes (around 50 minutes northwest). They’ve also recently added a brand-new site at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, which is absolutely fantastic it has to be said (we’ve tried it ourselves).
First-time divers get two instructors, one who helps you with the dive and the other managing the airspeed. They teach you the necessary hand gestures for communication before you step into the tunnel – a 12-foot-wide circle with winds speeding at 165 mph. And then the magic begins. Their VR experience lets you see what it would be like to skydive over a city. While you immerse yourself in the moment, their HD cameras do a great job of capturing your expressions.
Divers of all abilities are welcome to enjoy an uplifting experience at iFLY’s facilities – including kids – and they have wheelchair access too.
You’ll find iFLY at 602 Marlborough Gate, Central Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9 3XS and Basingstoke Leisure Park, Euskirchen Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 6PG. You’re better off driving here as there are no stations nearby.
4. Skydiving London
Skydiving London is true to its name – it offers the sport at the closest location to London that you can get, just 50 minutes from the M25. Need proper training to get a licence? Their trainers, with over three decades of experience, can help. And that’s not all. They can also assist with excellent 4K tech for shoots if you plan to skydive for TV or a film.
Their sessions are open for groups, Accelerated Freefall and static line diving, which is a fantastic experience for first-time divers who want to progress to jumping solo. You begin the drop at 3500 ft and slowly move closer to the ground. After this, you can start to prepare for a solo jump and move on to get qualification training under the BPA Ram Air Progression System (RAPS).
Skydiving London is a British Parachute Association (BPA) affiliated centre offering outstanding jump experiences, whether that’s a one-time dive just for the thrill, or to train professionally. So if you’re wondering where to skydive in London, this just could be your go-to place.
You’ll find Skydiving London at 2 Milbanke Court, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1RP. Their drop zone is at Chiltern Park Aerodrome, Icknield Road, Ipsden, Oxfordshire, OX10 6AS. You’re better off driving here as there are no stations nearby.
5. Skydive Headcorn
A 45-minute drive from the M25 motorway, Skydive Headcorn in Kent offers tandem jumps and a host of training options. Licensed divers can simply drop in with their British Skydiving membership, hire a kit and prepare to give in to gravity.
In the Accelerated Freefall (AFF) training programme, you are accompanied by two instructors holding you during the decline that lasts for 30 to 40 seconds. If you continue the training, the number of trainers is reduced to one until you are ready to go solo. This usually takes at least eight jumps, and it’s 18 to receive your ‘A’ licence.
Anyone can dive with Skydive Headcorn without prior experience. You can trust their staff to ease your nerves with their contagious humour and to capture your fall with incredible pictures and top-quality videos – the shots are totally worth paying for trust us! When the chute opens, you sway safely down to Earth while the instructors point out the coastline and some great places.
You’ll find Skydive Headcorn at Shenley Road, Ashford, Kent, TN27 9HX. Nearest station is Headcorn.
6. UK Skydiving Adventures
The British Skydiving-affiliated UK Skydiving Adventures provide ultimate flying experiences in 19 centres across the country. In Brackley, Northamptonshire – around 75 minutes northwest of the M25 – they offer tandem dives and AFF courses to divers of all levels. There are on-site refreshments for you and any spectators, and you can even take your dog along (but not for the flight).
Closest to east London is the centre in Maidstone, Kent, a 45-minute drive from the M25. Here you can perform tandem dives, and facilities include a canteen, bar, restaurant, shop, and bunking and camping facilities. In the other direction is the Reading centre, 40 minutes west of the M25. Again tandem dives are available, as is AFF Level 1 training.
You’ll find UK Skydiving Adventures at PO Box, Bicester, OX26 9FN. They organise jumps at various drop zones around the UK. You can find out more here.
7. UK Parachuting
With hoards of admirers across the country, UK Parachuting impress everyone who lands at their door. Convenient for those based in northeast London, they have two centres at Peterborough and Beccles, which are around a 90-minute and two-hour drive from the M25 respectively. A dive at the former means you can relish a breathtaking view of four counties on your way back down to terra firma.
Go for a tandem dive with one of their instructors backing you as you freefall for 50 seconds before landing safely, or choose the AFF (Accelerated Freefall) from 13,000 ft; both are exhilarating. In the latter, you steer your fall for the five-minute descent to safely land in the drop zone.
You’ll find UK Parachuting drop zones at Sibson Airfield, Wansford Rd, Wansford, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE8 6NE and Beccles Airfield, Brock Road, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 7XD. You’re better off driving here as there are no stations nearby.
A sport unlike any other, skydiving demands mental strength and physical stamina. It draws adventurers from every corner of the world. Therefore, these best spots for skydiving in London are a must-visit for any thrill-seekers!