The UK’s Adrenaline Junkies

20 July, 2023

Some people choose to seek out every possible opportunity to experience the biggest thrills and excitement that life has to offer, while others are more likely to shy away from adrenaline-inducing activities. Whether it’s down to our human nature or based on past experiences, we all have a different threshold for how close to the edge we prefer to live.

Love it or hate it, there’s loads of extreme activities out there to try. Whether you prefer the dizzying heights of the world’s tallest rollercoasters or the unknowns of diving into the depths of our waters, it’s easier than ever for thrill-seekers to scratch that itch for excitement.

So how much does the UK crave these extremes? Oakwood Theme Park has carried out some research to find out which activities most people are likely to say yes to, alongside which parts of the UK are home to the most adrenaline junkies. Sound exciting? Jump straight into it below.

Our method

How else would we get our answers? Of course, we sent out surveys filled with our burning questions related to adrenaline-inducing activities like skydiving and bungee jumping to 836 UK residents.

From this, we could work out how much of an adrenaline junkie each person is based on their score out of the 14 questions. The lower their score, the less adventurous they’re likely to be, and the higher their score, the bigger of an adrenaline junkie they are. It’s that simple!

Overview of findings

With 42% of the UK scoring under 4 points overall (out of 14), the majority of the UK didn’t quite classify as extreme adrenaline junkies. These people seem to prefer the tamer side of life, although scoring up to 4 points would suggest that there’s still a few of these wilder activities they’d try if given the opportunity. Luckily for them, Oakwood Theme Park has rides to suite everyone, including family friendly rides everyone can enjoy.

The second highest outcome of the survey was those scoring between 4 and 7, with just under a third of the UK falling into this category. While those scoring in this category might not be seeking an adrenaline fix regularly, that doesn’t mean they’d shy away from fun thrill-seeking opportunities like riding a rollercoaster or rafting on fast water river rapids. Who doesn’t love to try something different every once in a while, anyways?

Finally, that leaves us with the two categories of people that absolutely love the thrill of extreme activities and will actively seek out these opportunities wherever they can. 8% of the UK would class as professional adrenaline junkies in our books, while 19% prefer life to be teetering on the edge of extremes.

The UK’s Top Adrenaline-Fuelled Activities

Of all the activities given, the activity that most of the UK is likely to partake in is riding a rollercoaster, with 57% of people saying they love the thrill from the drop! This is closely followed by 55% of the UK who agreed that they’d enjoy rafting on fast water rapids. 

On the other end of the scale, looking at the activities with the least amount of people who’d partake, 81% of people said they would not go slacklining between two mountains. Meanwhile, 79% wouldn’t go wing walking on an aeroplane and 78% wouldn’t be cliff diving any time soon!

Perhaps surprisingly, there’s a real mix of types of activities and their popularity. So, while some of the height-based activities like cliff diving and wingsuit flying take a bit of a backbench, others such as paragliding and rollercoaster riding seem much more enticing.

Water-based activities also seem to be quite popular since four of these made it into our top ten.

The UK’s Adrenaline Junkies: Mapped

When looking into regional data, the most dare-devil region with the highest average overall score is the North East of England, with an average score of 6.7/14!

Following closely behind is the North West of England with an average overall score of 6/14.

As for the regions that would much prefer to be tucked up watching TV at home, Northern Ireland had the lowest average overall score with 3.9/14, closely followed by Yorkshire and the Humber with 4.2/14.

UK Adrenaline Junkie Activities Ranked

The North East scores the highest for most activities, including riding a fast rollercoaster, wild camping on a peak, cliff diving, paragliding, rafting on fast water rapids, gig wave surfing, scuba diving with sharks, and canyoneering.

However, London scored highest for everyone’s least favourite activity, slacklining between two mountains, as well as jumping out of a plane and wing walking on an aeroplane. Londoners clearly aren’t afraid of flying!

The North West scored highest for taking a dip in ice water and bungee jumping.

Despite having the lowest overall score out of the regions, Northern Ireland was the top scorer for wingsuit flying!

Best & Worst Activities by Region

The majority of regions scored highest for riding a fast rollercoaster, however, London, South West, West Midlands and Wales took to the water and scored highest for rafting on fast water rapids. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland scored highest for paragliding.

Out of the lowest-scoring activities, slacklining between two mountains seemed to be the least favourite, with the lowest scores from two-thirds of the regions. Cliff diving also took a hit, scoring lowest in Northern Ireland, London and the South West. In the North East, however, wing walking on an aeroplane took a real nose dive in popularity coming last for the region.

Of all the lowest-scoring activities, it seems jumping from and balancing at extreme heights are where the UK draws the line.

Activity Scores by Age Group

So, which age range features the most adrenaline junkies? This may not come as a surprise, but it seems the youngest generation are the biggest adrenaline-seekers, with ages 18-24, having the highest average overall score of 5.9/14 – followed by ages 25-34 with 5.7/14.

As for the least daring age range, it probably won’t shock many that the over 65s scored the lowest (2.2/14), while those aged 55-64 scored 4.3/14. While the odd pensioner might still be a daredevil, the vast majority would rather stick to their home comforts than take on any extreme activities.

Curious to learn more about your own thrill-seeking threshold? Take our quiz to see which end of the scale you land on, from certified home bird to professional adrenaline junkie!