Secret Adventures: A New Way to See London
Good luck finding Madoc Threipland at home. His mobile might ring while he’s, let’s say, high up in a lighthouse, or kayaking the Thames at 10pm, or it might vibrate as he’s enjoying a movie in a venue more suited to storing wine or housing Victorian orphans. The man knows the London that you and I don’t, but the good thing is, he’s willing to share that knowledge.
Threipland is the founder of Secret Adventures, which is like MeetUp.com if Meet Up was full of imagination, pushed the boundaries and attracted people cooler than you are. The man behind the idea does it because, well, he enjoys it, too.
“This is for anyone with an open mind who likes to explore,” Threipland told PCB. “Our adventures are designed to make life more exciting and to allow people to explore London (and beyond) in new, exciting ways.”
My first try at a Secret Adventure was going to see a movie. Doesn’t sound too crazy, I know, except, instead of just a typical release, it was three docs: a short, a “medium”, you might call it, and a feature length film, all about water. From a pair of insane Norwegian surfers going wild north of the Arctic circle to a pair of Brit-wits who thought extreme ocean sailing was something you can just pick up as you go, the films were very enjoyable and well curated, considering the location. Myself and 70 or so other people were seated in the Brunel Tunnel, in East London, fifty feet down, chilly and just creeping under the mighty Thames. Yes, under the river. Fleeces were provided, thank goodness, and prior to the movie there was a chilled out campout with marshmallows and sticks, and some damn good beer.
Other adventures include climbs, hikes, dinners in odd places, live music in even odder ones, and lots of kayaking. Madoc loves him a kayak.
“I think my favourite adventure personally is the night kayak under Tower Bridge – if you’re lucky you might be kayaking under the Bridge at sunset – with a stop off along the way at The Mayflower pub for dinner and a drink, ” he says. “It is a special way to see London and have an adventure bang in the middle of the city.”
Started four years ago, Secret Adventures is branching out – for UK Beasts there are canoeing trips in Scotland, and more international activities are coming. Maybe you too can join adventure-minded people of all ages and have fun bang in the middle of – or under – your city.
Secret Adventures is free to join, with events individually priced. www.secretadventures.org
A former ABC National, Dallas and Atlanta radio personality, Martina O'Boyle is now making movies and covering culture in London, Dublin, and as far in Europe as the cheapie flights will take her, for Pop Culture Beast.