Adrenaline Alley

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Adrenaline Alley - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Adrenaline Alley

adrenaline alley tour

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

adrenaline alley tour

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Adrenaline Alley - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

Adrenaline Alley

adrenaline alley tour

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

adrenaline alley tour

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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adrenaline alley tour

ADRENALINE ALLEY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Four One Four Skateparks

Adrenaline Alley

Home to Four One Four Skateparks Head quarters. Adrenaline Alley is set out over 120,000 SQ FT of wood, concrete and tarmac. This massive park is the largest in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe. The ever expanding park allows us to execute unique and innovative designs. Adrenaline Alley is truly a testiment to Four One Four’s craftmanship.

adrenaline alley tour

Pat Timmons has seen hail the size of baseballs and lighting storms that filled the sky. She faced wind so strong she could barely stand – and multiple tornadoes, too.

“My friends and family think I’m crazy but I’m having the time of my life,” the 76-year-old from West Des Moines, Iowa, said from a roadside stop in Texas where she was on her second storm-chasing trip of the year with Tempest Tours.

Timmons is one of thousands of people from around the world who flock to Tornado Alley to get as close as safety allows to the massive storms that wash across the American countryside from March through June. As climate change warms the atmosphere, the number of storms increases and the crowds are only growing.  

There are over a dozen companies that run storm-chasing tours in the United States, a number that’s increased slowly but steadily over the past few years said Christoffer Björkwall, a Swede who caught the storm chasing bug in 2009 and now runs StormChasingUSA , a website that tracks tour companies.

That doesn't surprise Alan Fyall, Visit Orlando professor of Tourism Marketing at the University of Central Florida. Adventure tourism has been becoming more popular in the past few decades, and especially in the last ten or 15 years with the rise of social media, he said.

“It’s a bigger market than people appreciate,” Fyall said. “People want the thrill and the adrenaline rush.”

Storm-chasing tours are part of that market. They're not your typical bus tour – no visiting tourist traps for quick photos.

Most tour companies run between one to three small vans with perhaps six people in a van. They seldom have more than 20 guests per trip. The groups drive as far south as Texas and as far north as the Canadian border, chasing images on a radar screen and then patiently waiting for a storm to form.

"The guys will find us a high place where we can sit for half an hour and we just keep watching and photographing it," said Timmons.

Costs vary between $2,000 and $4,500 depending on how long, how luxurious and how many people are on the trip. The season typically lasts from April through August, though May is generally the busiest month.

Björkwall estimates between a quarter and a third of people who go on these kinds of tours are from outside the U.S.

“This kind of weather only exists in the United States,” he said. Add to that an excellent system of freeways and rural roads, accessible weather data and the endless vistas of the plains – it makes for a perfect recipe.

It's "something no other place has."

How safe are storm-chasing tours?

The National Weather Service is very much not in favor of the public going out in severe weather and would much rather have people stay safely at home.

“The NWS does not encourage anyone to pursue dangerous storms for any reason other than promoting public safety (spotting) and official research,” the agency says in a FAQ about severe weather.

But the agency acknowledges that despite the dangers, people do. So it cautiously suggests that tours are a better way of doing it. “Joining one of the professional tour groups is probably safer than going out yourself without appropriate training.”

Fyall says that's the trick of this kind of extreme travel. “The key with adventure tourism is to make it look as dangerous as possible but at the same time make it as risk-free as possible."

Tour operators are very clear that while there’s never a guarantee of safety, they do everything they can to keep their clients satisfied but safe, said Roger Hill of Silver Lining Tours based in Denver.

“Any time you’re around a severe thunderstorm, especially a supercell thunderstorm, there’s an inherent risk. You can’t keep anything 100% safe, it’s not possible. That’s why every tour operator has guests sign a waiver saying these are the potential dangers,” he said.

Tours offer long and detailed safety information before anyone even sets foot in a van.

“The first night they went over safety and how everything works, down to how to get in and out of the van and who has responsibility for moving the back seat so the last person could get out quickly,” said Samantha Ashby, 33, who took her first storm-chasing tour earlier this month.

And unlike in the movies, tours stay well away from the heart of the action. They want a vantage point with a vista, not a target.

“We try to position ourselves a few miles from the storm so we’re out of the way of large hail or lightning. And if a tornado forms, you always have an escape route planned,” Hill said.

If a storm starts getting too close, they move further away.

The thrill is not seeing things get destroyed, like in the movies, but to see something so powerful and beyond any human control, said Burns.

"The best storms for us are out in the middle of nowhere. They’re not going to hurt anything, maybe some fence posts some hay bales. But when it’s right in front of you it makes you feel really insubstantial,” he said.

But there are dangers. Quite a few years ago, a lightning bolt hit one of his vans, destroying it. But none of the guests were injured because the electricity went through the van and into the ground.

Surprisingly, the guests loved it. “About every one of those guests came back, they said it was so much fun,” he said.

A typical day on a storm-chasing tour

A typical day on one of the tours means driving hundreds of miles. They usually begin around 9 or 10 in the morning, after the tour guides have decided on a likely area for storms.

“The day before our chase we look at the data and make our forecast and then plan our logistics,” said Erik Burns, the owner of Tornadic Expeditions in Whitesboro, Texas.

Getting to the next spot might mean traveling halfway across a state and then setting up to wait for what might come.

Twisters get the press, but many tourgoers say that's not what ends up being the most awe-inspiring.

“We all come to see the tornadoes, but we go home in love with supercells,” said Timmons. These are enormous storms that can reach up to 10 miles in diameter and be 50,000 feet tall , according to the National Severe Storm Laboratory.

“When you get them in late afternoon when the sun lights them up they’re just incredible, they just blossom and grow. Sometimes they’ll be lightning and they get lit up from inside, they cover the sky,” she said.

Something else she fell in love with was seeing a part of the country most people never see. Despite living in Iowa, the tours have given her a new appreciation for the country.

“It’s just getting to roll down the road and just watch American small towns,” she said. “America is beautiful. We’ve met the kindest people.”

The danger of traffic

While being flattened by a tornado might seem the biggest danger, traffic is more of a threat, say tour leaders.

“The traffic issue has gotten horrible, there’s no question about it,” said Hill. May, which is prime tornado month, is especially bad.

“When we first started running tours in the late ’90s a lot of times there was no one else around. But now if you have a very significant threat area in Oklahoma or Kansas, every storm chaser or storm spotter or local resident is out there chasing. You can get a line of traffic that’s a mile or more long,” he said.

“It can be a little chaotic,” said Björkwall, who’s now been on 11 tours. “I have a friend who was in El Reno , the biggest tornado in the world, and he was stuck and couldn’t get out because there were too many cars on the road.”

Between social media, radar, weather forecasting and weather-sharing apps, hundreds of people can converge on an area where large storms or tornadoes are anticipated. Tour companies and news crews make up the smallest percentage of the cars on the road at that point, said Björkwall.

“There are thousands and thousands of storm chasers, that number keeps growing every year, everybody comes out on the Plains in May,” said Hill.

That’s likely to increase this summer with the arrival of a new movie about storm chasing.

New movie could increase interest

Hollywood plays a surprising role in the business of storm chasing.

Silver Lining Tours launched a year after the release of the 1996 movie “Twister,” about a group of storm chasers in Oklahoma.

“We really feel that movie started the storm-chasing industry,” said Hill, who’s been with the company since 2000.

In July, a new stand-alone sequel, “ Twisters ” will be hitting theaters and he expects an even greater surge of interest.

“People underestimate the power that the movies have in swaying people’s behavior. It’s a huge driver of tourism,” said Fyall.

If 1996's "Twister" was any indication, tour groups might see a flood of new customers come summer. But it's not clear there will be space for them. There are not that many tour companies and most of them sell out a full year in advance.

"We’re already 70% filled for next year," said Burns of Tornadic Expeditions.

Tourists can form bonds while storm-chasing

The experience was so profound that Ashby just finished a tour the first week in May and has already booked another.

Her group saw eight tornadoes in seven days, which was “incredible and powerful,” said the 911 dispatcher from northern Virginia.

“There were four guests in our van all told and we decided it was so amazing that we all wanted to do it again,” she said.

The tours for 2025 were already full so they had to schedule for 2026. “I’ve never planned a vacation that for out before,” she said.

“This was four people I’d never met before and now we’re going to spend 10 days together and do it all over again,” she said.

Adrenaline Alley

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Adrenaline Alley - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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HRH The Duke of Gloucester visits Adrenaline Alley to open new health and wellbeing centre

On Tuesday (7.11.23), HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO paid a special visit to Adrenaline Alley in Corby for a tour of the world-class action sports venue and to officially open the facility’s new health and wellbeing centre, Active in Motion.

Accompanied by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson, The Duke was guided around the venue by Adrenaline Alley CEO/Founder, Mrs Mandy Young MBE DL, before unveiling the official opening plaque for Active in Motion.

Throughout his tour, which extended for more than an hour, His Royal Highness enjoyed a captivating BMX freestyle display by Team GB and was introduced to Olympic Gold Medallist, Miss Charlotte Worthington MBE.

Charlotte Worthington said “It was an honour to perform a couple of tricks alongside my teammates in front of His Royal Highness. We had a great chat and I’m so happy that he really picked up on the community that Adrenaline Alley hosts, for that to be recognised by His Royal Highness meant something special”.

Additionally, Corby resident and European Scooter Champion, Jayden Sharman, exhibited the remarkable skills he has cultivated through years of training at Adrenaline Alley.

As part of the showcase, Mandy Young MBE DL led The Duke to skateboard and scooter coaching sessions, highlighting the charity's dedicated efforts in supporting and nurturing the talents of young individuals.

During his visit, The Duke of Gloucester was acquainted with Mrs. Vicky Frayard, the Programme Co-Director of 'Made With Many,' a community-led arts initiative renowned for crafting events and activities to captivate, enchant, and ignite inspiration within the boroughs of Corby and Wellingborough. A display of 'Made With Many' community projects was presented exclusively for The Duke's tour, showcasing the breadth and creativity of their community work.

The visit culminated in the opening ceremony for Active In Motion. Just before His Royal Highness addressed the crowd and unveiled the official opening plaque, Cllr André Gonzalez De Savage, Chairman of Adrenaline Alley, delivered a brief but impactful speech. He expressed heartfelt appreciation for the visit and underscored the substantial benefits of the new health and wellbeing centre for the Corby community and beyond.

Prior to departure, His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester was presented with a specially engraved Adrenaline Alley crystal paper weight as a memento of his visit.

Mandy Young MBE DL said “We’ve had an amazing visit from His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester. He was really down to earth and incredibly excited by what we do here. I think his tour of Adrenaline Alley brought a deeper understanding of the extensive benefits that come with action sports and how they bring together such a wide and diverse community from all ages and backgrounds.

“The Duke was also really interested in Active in Motion. For him to see the centre in action and officially open it was definitely one of my highlights of the day”.

Active in Motion Manger, Mr Gary McQuade, added “It was such an honour for His Royal Highness to officially open our new health and wellbeing centre. It’s such a special facility, we’re here to support everyone in the community and help you no matter what your ability is.”

HRH The Duke of Gloucester visits Adrenaline Alley to open new health and wellbeing centre

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The cost of the training club is up to £42 for a 7 week course payable on the first week, the course charges will reflect the number of weeks in the school term. Click here to find out more.

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  6. A Tour Around Adrenaline Alley

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    68 reviews. #4 of 11 Fun & Games in Corby. Sports ComplexesGame & Entertainment Centres. Open now. 12:00 PM - 9:00 PM. Write a review. About. Set out over a 6-acre site, Adrenaline Alley is the largest action sports venue in Europe with over 120,000 sq. ft. of skatepark areas. The size has allowed us to create numerous different zones to play ...

  12. Dates Session

    Before you can be registered with us, you will need to read our Safety Brief & Terms & Conditions.You are also required to watch our Safety Video if you plan to participate/spectate in skatepark areas.

  13. ADRENALINE ALLEY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go ...

    About. Set out over a 6-acre site, Adrenaline Alley is the largest action sports venue in Europe with over 120,000 sq. ft. of skatepark areas. The size has allowed us to create numerous different zones to play to all styles and abilities of each sport. We also host a large fully kitted photography studio and an authentic 2-floor American-style ...

  14. Adrenaline Alley

    Adrenaline Alley is set out over 120,000 SQ FT of wood, concrete and tarmac. This massive park is the largest in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe. The ever expanding park allows us to execute unique and innovative designs. Adrenaline Alley is truly a testiment to Four One Four's craftmanship.

  15. Drop In Challenge In Europe's BIGGEST Indoor Skatepark

    Today we take a tour of adrenaline alley, the biggest indoor skatepark in the whole of the EuropeSupport My content - https://www.patreon.com/Webzskateboards...

  16. Tornado tourism? Storm chasing tours are popular and can be expensive

    Adventure tourism has been becoming more popular in the past few decades, and especially in the last ten or 15 years with the rise of social media, he said. "It's a bigger market than people ...

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    On Tuesday (7.11.23), HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO paid a special visit to Adrenaline Alley in Corby for a tour of the world-class action sports venue and to officially open the facility's ...

  19. ROYAL VISIT

    On Tuesday (7.11.23), We were honoured for HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO to pay us a special visit to take a tour of our world-class action sports venue and to officially open our new health and wellbeing centre, Active in Motion.Accompanied by His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson, The Duke was guided around the venue by our CEO/Founder, Mrs. Mandy ...

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  22. Alex Mada Tour Guide

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  23. About us

    Charity Information. Registered Charity Address: Adrenaline Alley 6 Priors Haw Road, Corby, Northants, NN17 5JG. Registered Charity Number: 1115146 Company Number: 05819804 T: 01536 202049 E: [email protected]

  24. Adrenaline Alley Tour

    Join us on a tour of Adrenaline Alley in Corby.

  25. Times & Prices

    Call us on: 01536 202049 or emailat [email protected]. We operate around Northamptonshire School Holidays. Please click on the calendar date you require below to see our opening times & prices for school term time and during school holidays.