Having a Ball - Let's Go Zorbing

March 17, 2015

A ball that isn't about gowns, social standing, and champagne...now that's something you don't see on this blog everyday.

In fact, anything vaguely outdoorsy doesn't tend to get much air time on Posh, Broke, & Bored, unless of course if by 'outdoorsy' you mean 'drinking by the pool at Shoreditch House'. Ever since I've met Henry we've both introduced more variety into each others' usual recreational activities - I drag him to society balls and partying with royals, he takes me husky dog sledding and firing Kalashnikovs in former Soviet countries. Oh, relationships! To show Henry how much I've embraced diversity I got us both an afternoon of Zorbing - because, you know, Tatler's annual high-society shindig isn't the only ball around. 

In 1994, Rotorua, a bunch of mad New Zealanders decided that climbing into a plastic ball like a hamster, then pushed down a hill to roll up to 52 km/h like a wheel of giant Gloucestershire cheese in pursuit of hungry Englishmen was Middle Earth's new heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping, pant-bricking gift to the world because Russell Crowe's breakthrough debut wasn't enough. Fast forward a little over a decade later and I found myself at Go Zorbing - 'UK's largest and most exciting zorbing park' based within London's M25.  

I consider anything outside Zone 2 to be 'the countryside' - as mollycoddled city folk do - so Barbours and Hunters (limited edition, naturally) it was. An unexpectedly appropriate sartorial choice, as  the rain had turned the dirt path to the Zorbing site into a muddy trail. 

Toto, we're not in Shoreditch anymore...

Russell Crowe, the Lord Of The Rings film trilogy, and Zorbing - New Zealand's awe-inspiring and terrifying gifts to the world.

The Go Zorbing site is adjacent to Go Paintball London, should you wish to add more thrills to your itinerary. 

Henry and I watched with curious fascination as the Zorbs were trucked up the hill to the point where we would depart from, encased in its bouncy, plastic glory.

Guests dived headfirst into the Zorbs - a hollowed out, padded centre within an outer layer, in which they would be harnessed into a squatting position with arms above their head holding on to straps. Before anyone had time to express their trepidations, the safety checks were over, the barrier was lifted, and they were on a roll.

"What what what what whaaaaat...?!"

"Oh dear God what did I sign up for..."

I counted a good 15 rolls down the hill and too many screams to register. Although the trail itself was only about 150 metres - which I initially scoffed to be too short - I was reassured that that was the perfect distance to properly experience Zorbing - any longer and one might get too used to the adrenaline and hence, bored - or in my case reduced to tears. Don't let my wobbly-kneed cowardice put you off though - if you're a thrill-seeker who loves a good adrenaline rush and isn't opposed to being upside-down you'll certainly enjoy Zorbing. It's perfectly safe and good fun - as Henry's delighted 'whoa! (roll) whooooa! (boing) wooohoooo! (bounce)' would attest to.

Henry and I travelled from Shoreditch, East London to Whyteleafe, Croydon in an Uber (£68 one way during a 1.7x surge, in case you were wondering). But you can just as easily get there via Southern from Victoria, London from £13 for a return ticket, and then it's a 15 minute walk from  Whyteleafe station to the Go Zorbing site. I booked our Zorbing experience via Red Letter Days and you can also do it directly through Go Zorbing. If you have to travel to get there, like we did, I'd suggest throwing in a few more activities to make a day of it - Go Paintball, or even Hydro Zorbing in which the Zorb is filled with 40 litres of water - talk about making a splash!

One more thing - prepare the puns. To get you started: Having a ball, on a roll, ex-hill-larating; I'm spinning around, move out of my way; Ball So Hard...there, you're all set. x

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  1. How fun! I am going to New Zealand in June and zorbing is on the top of my list

    1. Ahhh I'm so jealous - I love New Zealand and haven't been in YEARS! x

  2. Zorbing is fun! I tried the wetter version in Boracay where you get inside in your swimsuit/bikini, they pour some water in, and you roll downhill into a pool where you land with a splash and float peacefully across the water. Quite a different experience from the dry version!


    1. Oohhhh I wanted to try the Hydro version (chickened out because it was a cold day) but the Boracay version sounds better - it's BORA-CRAY!!!!!! I'm heading to South East Asia tomorrow, I wonder if I could pop over to Philippines to give it a try...Thank you for the recommendation! x

  3. WOW! This looks great fun! I'm not usually an adrenaline seeker but this might just be able to change my mind!

    Lauren xx

    1. Lauren, try both! Do the hydro one and also the 'standard' zorbing! x

  4. Lol!! I could not do this!! I bet you did it with style and good on you for sharing some of the boy's hobbies...I think I'd prefer the society balls though!
    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

    1. Hahaha I don't know about style but I was wearing RHS limited edition Hunters, does that count? ;) x

  5. Good for you for giving this a go! I have friends who tried the Hydro Zorbing, they loved it. Did you get any bruises or are you quite well protected inside?

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  6. Literally my idea of hell. I'm SUCH a wimp!!

    Rosie xx

  7. Suze! We were extremely well protected, no bruises whatsoever - you're harnessed inside the 'inner layer' which is surrounded by about two-three feet of plastic, kind of like a yolk inside an egg! x

  8. Try Hydro Zorbing, it's much more serene - you just slide down on your bum inside a ball full of water! x

  9. Puns GaloreMarch 18, 2015

    Don't forget 'you spin me right round, baby right round...'