Daredevils and adrenalin junkies take note: if you love eye-watering speed, great views and feeling the wind in your face, a bungee jump is for you. Reach towering heights before taking a leap of faith and launching yourself into the abyss. Let gravity do its thing as you freefall for a few terrifying seconds before the reassuring recoil of your cord pulls you back to safety. Why, you might ask? Because it’s quite simply one of the most exhilarating and elating experiences you will ever do. You’ll feel like you have cheated death and what’s more, you’ll have the photos to prove it. One thing’s for sure, a bungee jump will certainly put a ‘spring’ in your step…
There are several different ways to ‘enjoy’ this daredevil experience. The most common type of bungee jump usually involves jumping from a crane of approximately 160 feet up in the air, while bridge bungee jumping – as the name suggests – takes place from a large bridge, commonly over water. If you don’t fancy going it alone you can also take part in a tandem bungee jump, where you’ll be harnessed together with a friend, family member or a loved one.
After a safety briefing, you'll will be weighed so the instructor can make sure the correct bungee cord is used. Then it’s into the harness where you’ll be rigged to the rope and whisked up to your platform. When it’s your turn to take the plunge it will be up to you to jump off, so be prepared!
Catapult is a funny word, isn’t it? Invented by the ancient Greeks, ‘catapult’ literally means to throw or toss downwards. Whether the word conjures up images of tow headed little boys rushing about firing pebbles at unsuspecting relatives’ knees, or a massive contraption that towers over city walls and fires bales of flaming hay and tar across the medieval defences, the principle is the same – somehow, something is rocketed into the air to land with rather a bump on the other side of wherever it’s aimed.
So that sounds exactly like something you would want to put your own body through, doesn’t it? It does? Well, you’ve come to the right gift experience then!
The catapult experience is a chance to try something really new. Bungee jumping is so last year, but the equipment is still perfectly good, so clever people have made it do something slightly difference. And extremely exhilarating! If this wasn’t on your bucket list, it will be now!
Imagine bungee jumping in reverse. There’s no need to steel yourself to step off of a suspended platform or tower or bridge. Or waterfall. Or plane. Not any more. Now all you need to do is stand in one place and allow the bungee catapult to have its wicked way with you. And it will. Oh, it will!
The tension will start first. The apprehension. The not knowing exactly when you’ll be wrenched from the ground. Terrifying and adrenalin inducing. What more could you want in an experience day that will get pulses racing and hearts pounding?
The crane will start to take the slack, and, from a standing start on the launch pad, when the bungee cord is as tight as can be, wham! You’re off! You’re flying You’re up and down and up again and down again… You’ll be up and down a number of times, in fact, before the momentum finally slows and you are lowered back down to earth. You can kiss the ground now, if you like.
The Leap Of Faith - What You Need To Know
- WHEN: TEXT
- WHERE: Cranes are mobile so bungee jumping and catapulting events can take place at locations right across the country. If you have an urge to try bridge bungee jumping, these normally take place on Middlesborough Transporter Bridge or on Killiecrankie Bridge in Perthshire, Scotland.
- WHO: Bungee jumping or catapulting doesn’t strike a cord with everyone. So if you prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground, why not stitch up a friend, the stag or perhaps your mother-in-law? Watch your nearest and dearest shriek in terror as they take the plunge. Both options are ridiculously fun but strictly reserved for adrenalin junkies, those with a have-a-go attitude and of course, unfortunate individuals with sadistic friends.
- OCCASIONS: What better way to say ‘I love you’ than with the bungee or catapult experience day? Bungee jumping or catapulting also says ‘happy birthday’ and ‘happy anniversary’. It can even say ‘merry Christmas’ or ‘congratulations’. The catapult experience day talks a lot, as you can see!
- PRICES: Bungee jumping and catapulting taster experiences usually start from around £50 per person. Tandem experiences usually start from around £120 for two. (correct at the time of writing)
- QUESTIONS: Need help? Ask questions here and I'll try to help as best I can
- TRIED THIS?: Would you recommend it? Share your thoughts here
Top bungee experiences
It takes a certain type of person to leap off a platform in the air, putting complete faith in the bungee cord working. That person isn't me. But if you're an adrenaline junkie or you know one, these experiences will tickle their fancy.
Night-time Bungee Jump in Scotland
For a scary twist on bungee jumping (is that even possible?), try jumping in the dark. Head to Killiecrankie Bridge in Perthshire for a 132 foot bungee jump - in the dark. This experience takes place a night so what you lack in scenic views you make up for in extra thrills.
Lovers Leap Tandem Bungee Jump
Fancy a go at bungee jumping but too chicken to go it alone? Rope a friend or partner in and take the leap together in a 160-foot tandem jump. You'll even get half a bottle of bubbly to share after the jump. This takes place at Bristol, Windsor, Brighton, Grafham, Salford, Glasgow, Birmingham, and Belfast.
Chepstow 400ft Bungee Jump
Think 160-feet is child's play? How about 400 feet? This is the highest bungee jump in the UK and takes advantage of the massive cliffs at the National Diving & Activity Centre in Chepstow. The event only takes place on a couple of dates each year but is a must for adrenaline junkies.
Here's an idea of just how scary this one is:
(Photo credit to Simon)