Indoor, outdoor, floodlit, multilevel – what set up makes for the best karting tracks in the UK? We’ve powered our way around the chicanes and hairpins to bring you our guide to what makes for the best go karting tracks in the country – and you can drive at all of them!
Are the best karting tracks indoor or outdoor?
Indoor go karting tracks are great because they are generally located on the edge of big towns and cities, making them easily accessible for karters. And of course, it means rain doesn’t stop play, so you can book an indoor karting sessions with confidence.
However, outdoor karting is considered the next step up technically and competitively from indoor, as the tracks generally cover a larger surface area and they’re tarmac, just like an F1 motor racing circuit. Many offer karting sessions all year round and lots are equipped with floodlights, so you can kart into the night.
Are the best karting tracks indoor or outdoor? Indoors you can kart whatever the weather!
Is it all about track length?
Indoor tracks are generally between 200 and 400m, whilst many outdoor tracks are at least 800m long. Longer tracks make for a bigger challenge for the driver, whilst shorter tracks are intense and fun.
Oulton Park in Cheshire, with tracks ranging from 2.6 to 4.3km and featuring blind crests and ever-changing gradients, offers the longest and one of the best karting tracks. It is more geared towards Superkarts though and indeed, it is one of the favourite dates on the Superkart race calendar. Superkarts are the next step up from your usual go kart, being larger, with more power and more aerodynamic body styling to reach speeds of over 110mph.
And does circuit layout make for the best karting track?
Despite being limited to space inside warehouse-style buildings, indoor go karting tracks can still pack in the corners and straights. The UKs longest indoor go karting track in Barking is 1050m-long and boasts 23 corners and an 80m straight. No wonder Capital Karts won best indoor karting track of the year in 2015 and 2016.
The other advantage of indoor karting is that you can create multilevel track layouts. One of the best multilevel karting tracks is at TeamSport Cardiff, where you can race 200cc karts over flyovers at speeds of up to 40mph.
Outdoor kart tracks have a more traditional motor racing feel and often incorporate seriously challenging circuit features. One of the best outdoor karting tracks for layout is Rye House at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. An intense track full of tight turns and hairpins, it’s where an eight year old Lewis Hamilton started karting.
Are the best karting tracks MSA approved or not?
The Motor Sports Association is the governing body of motor sport in the UK, including karting. The MSA works with ABkC, the Association of British Karting Clubs to put on race series and championships. If you want to kart competitively, you’ll need to get your MSA Karting Licence from an ARKS (Association of Racing Kart Schools) centre.
So, if you go to an MSA approved kart school or track, a certain standard is assured in terms of karts, training and the actual track. It’s a good thing to look out for when choosing where to go karting if you’re serious about the sport.
For example, Larkhall is home to the only ARKS/MSA-approved karting school in Scotland. This well-known 850m track not far from Glasgow is MSA Licensed and offers excellent tuition and great on-site facilities. It’s considered to be one of the best karting tracks in the country.
MSA approved go karting circuits like this one at Bickmore – are they the best?
Are they any other long-established ‘classic’ karting tracks to look out for?
Yes. Buckmore Park go karting track in Chatham, Kent is one of the most popular tracks – and it’s also been going the longest. The track, set into the woodland, was first created in 1963 and has been offering go-karting on a ever-evolving circuit ever since.
The Three Sisters Go Karting centre is a founder member of ARKS and boasts a highly-respected 1.5km outdoor circuit. This centre near Wigan strives to open karting up to all, with 120cc karts for 8-11 year olds, 160cc karts for 12-15 yrs and Honda Le Mans Twin 200GX karts for adults.
Wherever you go for your karting, be it indoor, outdoor, MSA approved or not, your sure to have the best time racing your mates, or trying to beat your personal best lap time!
The F1 champs of the future? Junior go karting is a great way to start
What is a Seabreacher?
If you go down to Victoria Docks in central London, you could well meet the Seabreacher. The Seabreacher is like no other watercraft you’ll ever have seen. It looks like some kind of submarine, it moves in the water like a dolphin, it’s piloted like a plane – and thanks to IntotheBlue, you can ride in one!
In essence, the Seabreacher is a semi-submersible vessel. But what makes it unlike any other boat, is the fact that it can power along he surface of the water and then dive below surface, plunging up to two metres into the water. It can then breach out of the water again, just like a whale, shark or a dolphin can, hence the name.
What is the Seabreacher doing? Breaching out of the water just like a whale – with you inside!
So, how does the Seabreacher work?
Seabreachers are jet-powered like a jetski and are piloted using using hand sticks and pedals. Just like a plane, the pilot controls the pitch, yaw and roll of the craft. The pedals orientate the jet nozzles and the hand sticks move the Seabreacher’s wings.
Moving the pedals (and therefore the water jet nozzles) left and right turns the Seabreacher left or right. Moving the pedals up or down moves those nozzles and the rear elevators up and down, so go nose down to dive, or go nose up when coming out of a dive.
Using the hand sticks controls the wings, holding them in as you dive under the water. Thanks to the Seabreacher’s snorkel, they can stay in the watery underworld for up to a minute at a time and travel at speeds of up to 40mph. On the surface you can skim along at around 60mph!
Can the Seabreacher do tricks?
Yes! Controlling the Seabreacher on three axes means you can indeed do tricks! What moves might you be busting in a Seabreacher? You could be barrel rolling, flipping and doing doughnuts too. The clever cylindrical shape of the Seabreacher (which does have more than a passing resemblance to sharks, whales and dolphins) means the boat is self-righting too, which is convenient!
What’s a passenger ride in a Seabreacher like? Pretty gnarly actually!
What is it like for a passenger inside a Seabreacher?
The Seabreachers have fully enclosed cockpits, with a glass cover made out of F16 jet fighter-grade glass. They are two-seaters tandems, so you sit behind the pilot. It’s pretty snug in there, so you’ll need to be less than 110kg and under 198cm to be able to ride in one. It can get quite warm in there too, so loose comfortable clothing and layering is recommended.
So no wet suit then?
No! The Seabreacher is a full water tight vessel, even when you’re diving in and out of the water like a dolphin, which is what makes it so amazing and unique.
Spot the whale-like Seabreacher in the London waters!
Will I get sea-sick riding in a Seabreacher?
On a full-on extreme acrobatic Seabreacher experience you’ll be experiencing g-forces in a similar way to a stunt plane. Pilots will gear rides to each passenger and the level of manoeuvres will be adjusted accordingly. But it’s worth noting, it’s best not to eat a large meal within two hours of your experience!
What does a Seabreacher ride feel like?
It’s tricky to explain just how it feels as a passenger inside the cockpit of a Seabreacher as you skim along the surface as speed, to then dive in and under, creating a wake as you go, to then breach out of the water, roll in the air and splash back down.
So, have a watch of this video to give you an idea of what a Seabreacher is like.
Pretty awesome eh?
OK, you’ve got me. Where can I do this in the UK?
There’s only one place in the whole of the country that offers Seabreacher rides and it’s a Victoria Docks in London. The company that operates the rides is also the UK distributor for these crazy Seabreachers. A 20-minute weekday Seabreacher blast costs just £99, with longer ride options available on weekdays and weekends too.
Pics courtesy of Predator Adventures
If you want to raise money for a good cause what sponsored activities make the best fundraisers? Many of our customers buy vouchers for activities they’re going to do for charity. The ones that work best are the activities that are a real daredevil challenge, or something a bit out of the ordinary.
Here’s our lowdown on the most popular sponsored activities that you can buy as a voucher from IntotheBlue, to then get people to sponsor you to raise money for that charity that’s close to your heart.
Our flyaway favourite sponsored activity is Wing Walking! Fly high on the wing for charity if you dare
Our six of the best sponsored activities
A flyaway success, this is by far the most popular experience bought as a sponsored activity on our website. You certainly have to be brave, daring and adventurous to put yourself up for this aerial challenge. You will literally be clambering up and getting strapped into a harness on the top wing of a vintage plane, before taking off and flying high on the wing. What’s more, you can invite the people who have donated money to watch the spectacle from the flight line.
2. Parachute Jump
Taking that leap of faith for charity is a close second when it comes to favourite sponsored activities. You have a choice when it comes to the type of jump you’d like to do to raise funds for that worthy cause. The most popular is the tandem parachute jump that gives you maximum freefall, with minimum training needed. The other options are Accelerated Freefall (a two day course leading to an assisted jump) or static line (you jump solo, with a line attached).
3. Bungee Jumping
We think you’d be mad to do it, but it’s certainly a great way to raise money. You might want to think about upping the stakes for your fundraiser, by taking on the biggest and scariest bungee challenges we have. The best has got to be the iconic Transporter Bridge that spans the River Tees in Middlesborough. Just climbing the 210 steps to the platform on top of the bridge takes courage – and that’s before you’ve jumped!
4. Zip Line the Eden Project
Zip along for 660m at speeds of up to 60mph above the famous domes of the Eden Project in Cornwall and you’re sure to raise lots of money for charity! This is the sort of sponsored activity that gets everyone pledging lots of money. It’s pretty hair raising stuff as you whizz along 90m above the ground. And to round it off, there’s a 10m air bag jump and giant swing to try too.
5. Gladiator Challenge
If you’re looking for a sponsored activity to do as a group, the Gladiator Assault Course down in Dawlish is a brilliant thing to do together. Egg each other on as you go under, over, up and along a myriad of obstacles and physical challenges, all whilst being inspired and motivated by the thought of all that lovely dosh you’ll raising.
6. Climb the O2
Your money-raising efforts will be well-rewarded with superb skyline views of the capital on this unusual activity that’s ideal for a sponsored event. You’ll get kitted up and hooked up, to then climb literally up and over that huge white dome that is London’s O2 Arena. It’s almost certainly going to be a bit breezy up there, but it’s a brilliant challenge.
Be sponsored to climb up and over the O2 Arena in London – you’ll certainly earn your money for a good cause!
Raising money for a charity close to your heart often involves doing a challenge or an activity that you then get sponsorship for, with generous friends, family and colleagues then donating lots of money. We think the six of the best we’ve picked for you make for great fundraising experiences.
If you need any more help or advice, you can use the online chat (the window opens up automatically in the bottom right-hand corner of any intotheblue.co.uk webpage, or call us during normal office hours on 01959 578100.
For information on setting a fundraising website for your sponsored activity, take a look at the JustGiving website – just one of several well-known fundraising websites.