Last Updated on November 12, 2023
Ziplining is a fun way for all ages to get out and experience a thrill seeking activity in nature! In this post I share some of the best zip wires in the UK. Did you know that the fastest zip wire in the world is located in the UK!? Spoiler alert, it’s in Wales! Also discover England’s fastest and longer zip lines and the world’s first pier to shore zip line!
Zip Wires In The UK
Big Zipper (Velocity 2) at ZipWorld
⭐️Fastest & Longest Zip Line in the UK
🗺️Location: Zip World Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda, Bangor LL57 4YG 🏴
Length: 1555m long
Flight Duration: approx 60 seconds
The longest zipline in the UK is the Big Zipper (previously known as Velocity 2) at Zip World Penrhyn Quarry in Wales! Not only is it the fastest in the UK, at the time of writing, it’s also the fastest in the world!
It’s 1555m long, just under 1 MILE and reaches speeds up to 120mph.
The full zip line experience takes approximately 2 hours. First you ride the Little Zipper, this isn’t as long or fast as Velocity 2 (now called the Big Zipper). It gives you a feel for the line, the riding position and the set up etc.
Riding Big Zipper
After riding to the top of the quarry in the back of a truck for 20 minutes, you reach the tower for the Big Zipper. Once attached to the top of the zip and after the count of 3, all 4 riders are released at the same time, so you can race.
Unfortunately you can’t do any superman poses on the way down, they say that this could cause drag and you may not reach the end of the line. There are a couple of positions, the most common being reaching back and holding onto the sides of the harness, otherwise they have you cross your arms if you can’t quite reach.
The zip line is so fast that it does make the skin on your face flap around a bit! If you don’t like heights, the experience may not be for you, as you are up HIGH. It has a similar feel to sky diving, where even though you are travelling at such a high speed, it almost feels like you aren’t moving at all as you aren’t passing by objects!
It’s only when you reach the end and the ground starts coming at you really fast, that you get a sense of how fast you are going! It’s all over in about 60 seconds!
ZipWorld has a whole range of other activities across several different locations in Wales (including more zip lines). You can read my full guide here: Everything You Need To Know About Zip World North Wales | Longest Zip Wire In Wales
SkyWire at Hangloose Bluewater
⭐️Longest Zip Wire In England
🗺️Location: Hangloose, The Domes, Hangloose Adventure, Greenhithe DA9 9SW 🏴
Speed: up to 50mph
Flight Duration: approximately 45 seconds
Wales may hold the title for the longest zip wire in the UK, but the longest in England is SkyWire at Hangloose at Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent. The zipline is 724m and reaches speeds up to 50mph.
After watching a short safety video we were taken in a minibus to the launch tower. Access is via stairs, so be prepared to walk to the top of the tower wearing all the gear!
There are 4 zip wires in a line. If you are in a group, they do their best to send down people together so you can race! My group only had 3 people, so the 4th line was left empty.
Similar to Zip World in North Wales, the flying position is laying facedown and head first. They only have a wooden platform that you have to lay on, which is a little uncomfortable in comparison to the padded one at Zip World!
During this time, the instructor will tell you your flying position. Some may be allowed to superman pose, but depending on the weather and weight, riders may need to be more aerodynamic.
It’s also possible to book Skywire Inverse, where riders can choose to ride feet first rather than headfirst!
Hangloose also has a range of adventure activities, including the biggest giant swing in Europe and the UKs only outdoor skydiving machine!
Read more here: Hangloose Bluewater: Riding the Longest Zip Wire in England
SkyWire at Hangloose Adventure Eden Project
⭐️Fastest zip wire in England
🗺️Location: Hangloose, Eden Project, Bodelva, Par PL24 2SG 🏴
The Hangloose sister site at the Eden Project in Cornwall has the fastest zip wire in England. Even though Bluewater’s is longer by 64m, riders of SkyWire Eden can reach up to 10mph faster.
The set up is very similar to Hangloose Bluewater, with the same laying down, head first riding position.
They too have other activities on the same site, including a giant swing and aerial trekking. Of course the Eden Project is close by, which has the largest indoor rainforest in the world.
⭐️First pier to shore zip wire in the world
🗺️Location: PierZip at RockReef, Pier Approach, Bournemouth BH2 5AA 🏴
PierZip is a 250m dual zip line that starts on Bournemouth Pier and finishes up on Bournemouth Beach. It is the first pier to shore zip wire in the world! It may not be the longest or fastest, but it’s a unique experience flying over the sea.
While being fitted for a harness, you are given a code to remember for the gate at the bottom of the stair tower. It’s a short walk along the pier to get to the zip tower. Punch in the code for the gate and start heading up.
Word of warning, the stairs are made of vented metal so they are see-through, plus being a spiral, it does make you a little dizzy. If you are scared of heights, this may be an unnerving feeling! The tower is 25m above the sea.
You will need to physically step or jump off the edge of the platform yourself, while holding on to both of the static lines. Once you’re flying, you are then free to let go, spread your arms, superman pose, whatever you feel like doing!
They say on the website that you can pretend you are ‘zip surfing’ over the waves! You are still pretty high up above the water so you won’t touch the water, but it’s fun flying over the top of people’s heads while they swim!
🗺️Location: 37+ locations all across the UK 🏴🏴🏴
No matter where you are in the UK, you probably aren’t too far away from a Go Ape location! At the time of writing there are 37 locations with 1 in Wales, 3 in Scotland and the rest in England.
The most popular activity is the Treetop Challenge which involve high rope obstacle courses. The courses vary depending on the location but many finish with zip lines. For example, Go Ape Thetford Forest has 5 courses, each ending with a zip line, the longest being 140m. There’s also racing zips at the end of one section and a Tarzan swing.
Two of the Scotland locations offer ‘zip line experiences‘, where adventurers can skip the aerial obstacles and just complete the zip wires.
Grizedale Forest in the Lake District has a specialist Zip Trekking Adventure. It has 7 zip lines totalling 3km in length. The longest is 500m and the fastest has a top speed of up to 45mph.
Zip Trek at Nuclear High Ropes
🗺️Location: Nuclear High Ropes, Kelvedon Hatch, Brentwood CM15 0LA 🏴
Zip lines: 13
Length: longest zip wire is 70m
Along with the high ropes course, Nuclear High Ropes has a Zip Trek adventure with 13 zip wires through the trees and over water. The zip lines have a combined total length of 500m, with two being 70m each.
They also have a ‘50m Big Drop‘, which is like a free fall vertical zip line. This is available as an upgrade in additional to the main courses.
Zip Trek at Gripped London
🗺️Location: Gripped London, Staines Rd, Hounslow TW14 0HH 🏴
Gripped London has a variety of activities from high ropes courses, to a 24m power fan descender, speed slides, a dual zip line course and more.
The Dual Zip Line Trekking course is made up of 1km long zip wires, connected by aerial bridges. Being dual zip wires people can race side by side. Each of the zips have slight different angles, which make some of the lines faster than others! The course take around 1 hour to complete.
About the Author – Kylie
My travels have taken me to over 40 countries worldwide (& I lived in USA for 4yrs). I hold a BTEC National Diploma in Travel & Tourism (triple distinction) and have been writing on Between England & Everywhere since 2015.
Expert in: Adventure travel🎢, beach destinations🏖️, and packing light (mid-budget backpacker)🎒