Step foot inside your own action movie and become the action hero you were born to be at Bear Grylls Birmingham.
Ever wanted to swim with sharks? Zipline out of a helicopter? Shoot guns, throw axes and even shoot targets with a bow and arrow? Well, you can do all this and more at Bear Grylls Birmingham all under one roof!
Located next to Resort World and the Birmingham NEC lies The Bear Grylls Adventure. Numerous activities all under one roof with the addition of a high ropes course outside (the highest in Europe) where you scale numerous objects 65 feet in the air!
You can also step into a flight suit and go indoor skydiving or get your scuba gear on and dive to the bottom of a shark tank and walk along the seabed surrounded by fish and sharks!
Jumping straight in with the adventure is an assault course to get the blood pumping and the day has only just begun. The main hub of Bear Grylls Birmingham is a chill space, a place to sit, eat, drink and even store your items in free-to-use lockers. It’s a great central point to regroup yourself before your next activity and there’s plenty to see.
There are tarantulas and giant cockroaches on display, a wax figure of Bear Grylls himself straight from Madame Tussauds London and there’s even equipment Bear has used on his travels/shows on display in cabinets.
With so much to do it’s hard to cover them all so let me dive into just three of my own personal favourites from this indoor adventure experience!
iFly Indoor Skydiving
Indoor skydiving is as fun as it sounds and with my fear of heights, there was no need to jump out of any planes!
The iFly tube looks quite innocent until the fans are turned on and then you’re a little apprehensive about stepping into what sounds like the Rolls Royce jet engine of a commercial aeroplane!
We got our flight suits on along with goggles, ear plugs and helmets and after a briefing, we were up.
I must say that the briefing contains a LOT of information to take in. There are hand signals for the flight instructor to give you during your flight should you need to relax, move your legs or keep your chin up but there was so much more. Please pay attention as best you can to enjoy the flight experience to the fullest.
For an additional cost on your second flight (you get two flights) you can do the high fly which takes you to the top of the tunnel and is quite an exhilarating experience. If you’re going to do indoor skydiving once and once alone, I’d highly recommend this upgrade to get the most out of your experience although I did think it was cheeky charging that much just to go up a little higher and spin around a bit!
Our instructor Ross was as cool as they come. Long hair, slim, a confident attitude who tried to rally our nervously unenthusiastic group into getting excited for what they were about to embark on. Ross looked after us from start to finish and ended the experience with a one-man show which was mindblowing.
If I was doing that all day looking as cool as Ross did I’d also inherit the same swagger and confidence that oozed out of Ross during the briefing. The delivery of the brief was serious with tongue-in-cheek moments and I instantly felt at ease putting my fate into the hands of a complete stranger.
A big shout out to Ross for being awesome, it can’t be easy doing the same thing over and over and over again on repeat all day and still be enthusiastic about it but he made us all feel at ease and ready to fly.
Hips forward are key as you enter the tunnel yet the wind never took my breath away (despite reaching speeds of over 180mph), I was relaxed and at ease, Ross had full control and even left me to my own devices at stages as my posture must have been good.
I noticed that with different people he would hold onto some from start to finish, he would let go at brief intervals for others and then a select few on their first go would be grabbed and sent for a few flying rotations. I imagine the latter is when your posture is spot on and I was glad when I got my own little flying rotation.
It wasn’t disorientating, and it didn’t make my 24-hour dizziness any worse but my tip is, you have to relax. If you start tensing or getting nervous and tensing up it’ll ruin your entire experience. You have to breathe, relax and let the wind (and the instructor) guide you.
You get one minute inside the tunnel (not enough in my eyes) but then you’re out and ready for round 2.
The iFly High Fly Upcharge Experience
Round 2 consists of a carbon copy of the first or you can choose the high-fly experience which takes you to the top. Naturally, we did the high fly and shot to the highest point of the tube.
Now I’m scared of heights but everything was just one big windy blur that I didn’t care how high up we were at any stage, it wasn’t even a thought in my mind. It was just me relaxing in a giant wind tunnel. I didn’t even realise how high up we were going and the thought didn’t even cross my mind as we span round and around.
It’s a very strange floaty feeling and certainly doesn’t make you feel awkward or sick or anything of the sort. It was just a nice easy breezy (pun intended) experience.
Stick around for the iFly instructor show at the end as it’s the closest to a real-life superhero movie you can think of. Ross was doing Matrix moves, Superman moves and more and I was praying that the fans didn’t stall and he plummeted from the top of the tube!
An absolutely insane experience and one that I can’t recommend enough!
Grab a bow and arrow and get shooting as archery was my favourite activity with my feet on the ground!
Given an arm guard and a bucket with 5 arrows in each bucket, we were taught how to hold our bow, how to load and clip on our arrow and then away you go firing at an archery target.
The bows in question were long wooden bows but some of them had awful little rubber grips on the side that had worn away meaning the arrow was much harder to balance on there. Make sure you grab an arrow with a long grip on the side or you’re going to struggle. My friend jim had one with a short holder and fired the arrow directly into the floor in front of him!
All safety and archery etiquette was well explained and the ranges were tidy and themed nicely. You pick up the bow when you’re told, you fire your arrow when you’re told and it’s all very regimented and safe.
The time absolutely flew by doing the archery and I felt ever so at ease with only one arrow out of over 20 missing the target. I felt my stance was good, my aim was average but as long as I was hitting the target I didn’t care!
We had a brief competition at the end, 5 arrows, the highest score wins. Somehow (I’m still not sure how) I won so if Middle Earth is ever in trouble, I’m your guy!
Whilst you can scuba dive (certified too!) at Bear Grylls Adventure we were given the chance to do the snorkelling option in their saltwater tank.
A 2M deep glass cage equipped with a snorkel has you looking around and spotting all the little sharks and fish on your experience. Bars help to guide you down and you’ll absolutely need them as the water is so buoyant you need to almost push yourself down.
I’m not a strong swimmer, in fact, I can’t even tread water correctly (I can just never seem to do it) but in this experience, it didn’t matter, the water keeps you afloat because of how much salt is in it and it feels every so strange!
I enjoyed the experience but during the snorkel, a GoPro is put underwater to capture your experience and it’s an old GoPro. Charging for photos and videos from an antique GoPro I thought was cheeky. They really should be included in the cost as the quality was horrendous (see below).
What I did enjoy about the experience was the changing rooms. Each person gets their own changing room complete with a hot shower so you can have that before and after your snorkelling experience.
We spent quite some time in the tank but my goggles kept fogging up so I had to keep resurfacing to clean them which was annoying. It’s a unique experience but after doing the Aquatrek in Dubai I don’t think any diving experience will be the same ever again.
Visit https://www.beargryllsadventure.com/ for more information!
Check out our VLOG from our experience at Bear Grylls Adventure including other activities we participated in below: