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26 ways London can unleash your inner #YOLO

Posted at 12:30 pm, March 15, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Fun London, Music & Nightlife

1. Do yoga in the buff
Nothing says Yolo like whipping off all your clothes and doing a downward dog with strangers. Yoga clothing can be so constrictive– all that fabric just gets in the way of you communing with the earth and the moon, so sign up for a four-week course at Naked Yoga London.

skydiving

2.Leap out of a plane
Having a liberal disdain for the fragility of life is an intrinsic part of leading a Yolo lifestyle. And what better way to flick the Vs at fate than by throwing yourself out of an aeroplane with just a huge sheet tied to your waist for safety. The London Parachute School offers you the chance to do just that, but safely. If you’re after a different kind of aeronautical thrill, you can also strap yourself onto a plane’s wing for a bit of casual wingwalking at the London Airsports Centre in Upminster.

3.Dominate Speaker’s Corner
For hundreds of years, Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park has given political agitators, religious fanatics and total wackos a place to declaim in public. So get on your soapbox and tell the world about how you believe aliens control Hollywood or the Queen is actually a lizard. You only live once, so you might as well persuade as many people as possible that you are totally right about everything.

Cage Fighting #yoLondon

4.Get bloody in a cage
If you want a real fight, you’ve got to get in a cage and pit your strength against someone who could be an expert in anything (or everything) from karate to kung fu. MMA (mixed martial arts) cage fighting is basically a cross between bareknuckle boxing and wrestling, with loads of kicking. In a cage. Have a go at London Shootfighters in Acton. If you want, you could just bust out your childhood wrestling moves. You’d probably get badly hurt, but it would be very Yolo.

World Pillow Fight Day 2013: Trafalgar Square, London. (Photo: Tony Lasagne)

5.Send feathers flying

There are millions of world records you could break, but few are as frivolous or easy to take part in as the annual Pillow Fight Day. You just show up at Trafalgar Square at 3pm on April 5 with a pillow and smack the bejesus out of everyone around you, then saunter off home knowing you’ve made the world a slightly better place.

Hampstead Mixed Pond

6.Take a refreshing plunge
There’s nothing Yolo about swimming, unless it involves sharks or extreme cold. We haven’t got a lot of sharks in London (except those ones in the City! Right on, man!), but there are plenty of chances to shrink your bits. You can join the Serpentine Swimming Club, plunge into any of the Hampstead Ponds or register your support for the Swim the Thames campaign – one day you might be able to backstroke under Tower Bridge.

7 .Get naked in the name of art
Inhibitions are the enemy of Yolo. Quash them by getting paid to pose naked for groups of strangers with easels. Not only will you be making money, but you’ll also be helping the cultural growth of our society. Contact any local community education centre and volunteer, or sign up with the Register of Art Models.

8.Make an arse out of yourself
You could spend months and months working on the perfect stand-up routine before going on stage, but that wouldn’t be very Yolo, would it? So just totally wing it and see if you’re as funny as you really think you are at one of London’s open mic nights, like the Saturday slot at the Camden Head or the Wednesday weekly at the Comedy Café Theatre.

Alexi and Tim at Big Smoke Chillis © Rob Greig

9.Eat fiery chicken wings
Food challenges are all about eating 20 steaks in seven minutes, or 100 oysters in 30 seconds, so wolfing down a measly six chicken wings in ten minutes should be pretty easy, shouldn’t it? Well hold your horses, tough guy, because the chillies used in Red Dog Saloon’s Hot Wings Challenge are naga vipers, the second hottest on earth, and they’re so powerful that you have to use rubber gloves to eat ’em.

10.Do a daredevil dump
‘Everyone Poops’, said the famous children’s book, but that doesn’t mean you have to poop like everyone. You can do it in style at The Shard with a beautiful view of London, or go do a number two in the incredible, space-age poo pods at Mayfair restaurant Sketch.

11.Drink in a circle. Alone
The Circle Line pub crawl – 27 stations, 27 pubs and 27 drinks – is an alcoholic endurance test of idiotic proportions. Many have attempted it, many have failed. But how many have tried it alone?

12.Ink yourself
The spirit of Yolo urges you to throw caution to the wind and damn the consequences. So you should totally ignore how a tattoo is going to look when you’re in your seventies and just live in the now. It doesn’t really matter what it is, just go for it. London has hundreds of tattoo parlours – here are some of our favourites – so you’re spoilt for choice, really. May we suggest getting ‘YOLO’ on your knuckles? You can even get the hashtag on your thumb. Perfect.

Rock and Roll Kareoke #yoLondon

13.Rock ’n’ roll all night long
Becoming a musician is a long process, involving countless hours of practice and oodles of talent. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Just jump on stage with the dudes from Rockaroke at one of their London nights and belt out some tunes with a full live band. Rock god rewards, zero effort.

14.Become a movie star
Just sign up with an London Extra or Ray Knight and instantly become an extra movie star.

15.Elasticate your death wish
Next time you jump off a bridge, save yourself from certain death by having a stretchy rope attached to your feet. That way, instead of dying, you just sort of bounce about. Sports company Extreme Element does a 160-foot bungee jump at the O2 which is ideal for all your feeling-alive needs.

16.Drink blood
You’ve got to Yolo your drinking habits. No, we’re not talking about having a bitter instead of a lager. Try the Bloody Mary at Soho cocktail bar Talented Mr Fox, made with real pig’s blood, or if you’re looking for an extravagant Yolo, do a £760 whisky shot at Trafalgar Square bar Albannach.

Night Cycle #YoLondon

17.Ride at night

The Dunwich Dynamo is an annual event involving cycling 120 miles through the night from London to the Suffolk coast. If cycling all night for a dawn dip in the sea isn’t Yolo enough for you, know that some people do it on penny farthings. You could be that guy.

Wimbledon Dog Race

18.Go to the dogs
Ah, the thrill of frivolously throwing away your hard-earned cash in the vain hope of a big return: there’s nothing more Yolo than gambling. But horse racing and casinos are too mainstream –what you want is dog racing. London once had 25 dog tracks, now there’s just one, the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium so head southwest to try your luck.

19.Get kinky
If you’re bored of the standard clubbing experience, there’s nothing like leather, whips and chains to perk up an evening. Masked strangers slapping your behind with riding crops, stuffing ball-gags in your mouth and treating you like the naughty little so-and-so you really are – that’s a saucy Yolo. Try out the legendary club Torture Garden at various  venues across the city.

20.Get the opposite of cold feet
Tarmac, soil, concrete, wood – we’ve all walked on them a million times. If you want to Yolo your moseying, you’ve got to go big, and you’ve got to go hot. London Zoo organises regular firewalks for those who think walking barefoot over 650C coals is a good idea. It’s not. But Yolo!

Delorean #YoLondon

21.Go back to the future
Unless you’ve spent a good wedge of your cash on something utterly pointless,you just haven’t lived. And few things are as hiring A DeLorean? Or maybe something classier, like Del Boy’s Robin Reliant? Head to Star Car Hire to make all those dreams come true.

22.Put some balls in your mouth
You could go the rest of your life without ever having tasted sheep’s testicles, or garlic locusts, but that wouldn’t be very Yolo, would it? Spice up your palate with chillied sheep bollocks at Turkish Stoke Newington restaurant Testi, leathery starfish-like sea cucumbers in Soho’s Hakkasan or a plateful of duck tongues at Szechuan hotspot Bar Shu.

23.Date a Middleton
Tired of your boy or girlfriend? Hire a celebrity lookalike from Susan Scott Lookalikes to pose as your partner for a day. All of your friends will be totes impressed that you’re going out with Kenny Rogers or Kate Middleton.

Roller Derby

24.Get your skates on
Wouldn’t roller discos be a million times better if you were allowed to trip people up? Or ram them out of the way? Well it’s a good thing that roller derby exists: it’s a vicious mixture of racing and rugby, on rollerskates. Check out London Roller Girls or the London Rockin’ Rollers, but remember, most roller derbiers are women. Men are allowed, but they will get the crap beaten out of them.

Crabbing #YoLondon

25.Catch crabs
Yoloing doesn’t have to be all about crazy latenight parties: it can also be about blisteringly early mornings. So drag yourself out of bed early (or stay up all night) to see the incredible sight of Covent Garden Flower Market at 3am, or breathe in the whiff of fish at Billingsgate Market at 4am. Then go back to bed.

Morning Glory Village Underground. Photo: DAVID TETT26.Rave for breakfast
Every day, you wake up, brush your teeth and commute to work like all the other zombies. So sack off all that boring crap and shake what yo mama gave ya at an early morning rave instead. Morning Glory in Shoreditch’s Village Underground proves unequivocally that 6am is the new 2am. Being high on life is the essence of Yolo.

What’s the most #YOLOndon thing you’ve done? Share it to win prizes!  

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