Merlin Entertainment (the guys behind Alton Towers, Legoland etc.) have partnered with the adventure expert himself, Bear Grylls to create, The Bear Grylls Adventure NEC, Birmingham. We were invited along to experience the newly launched 20 million pound park first hand and what an experience it was!
Situated between the NEC and Resort World in Birmingham, the Bear Grylls Adventure Park is designed to test your limits beyond your imagination. Unfortunately, we were unable to film inside the location (as badly as we wanted!) so instead, here’s Bear Grylls himself explaining more about the park.
Inside you can climb the tallest high ropes course in Europe. Go diving alongside sharks and stingrays. Zip wire from a Chinook helicopter. Break out of a survival maze. Outwit an escape room and even learn archery, all in the space of just one day!
The Bear Grylls Adventure can be booked online at the Bear Grylls Adventure website.
The Bear Grylls Adventure website is also the best place to book if you’re a Merlin Annual Passholder or booking as part of a group. Here you’ll be able to guarantee you get the allocated discount for yourself or the rest of your party.
If you’re visiting the Bear Grylls as an individual(s) then consider booking via a third party website and saving some money. For example, the Bear Grylls Adventure is available on the Buy A Gift website, and I found a discount code through Google which managed to save me £13.50 on the experience.
Students with an NUS discount code also get 15% off when booking through the NUS website. If you’re not currently a student check out this article on how to get a student discount card without being a student.
The Bear Grylls Adventure is located in Birmingham between the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) and the popular Resort World and directly next to the Genting Arena. Parking is just 1 mile from junction 6 of the M42.
Sat Nav Postcode: B40 1NT
The parking is located in carpark East 5. Although it’s separate from the resort of the Resort World / NEC parking (something we only realised afterwards) so be sure to take a right prior to the barriers.
If the car park is full, or you miss the parking spot as we did then you’ll end up parking in East 5. Here the parking is £15 for 2 to 12 hours, this is reduced to £2 if you spend £20 in Resort World. You’ll need to get your ticket validated at the point of purchase, we did this by spending £20 in Las Iguanas on dinner after our experience.
If you park in the Bear Grylls carpark then you’ll need to get your chip coin validated at the Bear Grylls Adventure reception to get the reduce parking costs, otherwise you’ll be charged the flat rate of £20.
What To Wear / Bring To The Bear Grylls Adventure
It’s recommended that you come in trainers and active wear. Helen chose to wear sports leggings and a breathable gym top I went for joggers and a loose t-shirt. You can leave coats, jackets, bags etc. in the free lockers within the experience area. The staff ask you to remove any jewellery that can be removed and placed in the lockers.
Any specialist equipment will be provided by the event staff on the day.
Alongside the items above you’ll also want to bring a swimming costume and a towel to dry off post dive.
Am I Fit Enough For The Bear Grylls Adventure?
I’m not in the best shape of my life right now, so given Bears background, I worried that I might not be able to take on the Bear Grylls Adventure and instead end up leaving pretty embarrassed – that wasn’t the case. The video below highlights the basic skills and fitness level you’re going to need to take on any of the Bear Grylls challenges at the Bear Grylls Adventure park.
The Bear Grylls Adventure Experience
First up we had the base camp. These four activities are designed to provide you with the core skills to equip you for your adventures in 90 minutes.
You’re taken around each area with a guide. In our group, there were six different people (including us two). Six was a great number as we didn’t have to spend too long waiting for others in our group to complete things.
As a group, we really struggled with the Escape Room and failed both of them – although the slide between the two was fantastic. The archery and assault course were both fantastic, despite no prior experience.
After base camp, we had a 20-minute break before the dive. We used this time to visit the canteen and grab a drink before heading up the stairs. Prior to the dive, we had to do some theory to understand all the skills and requirements of taking on the dive.
Unfortunately, the camera inside the dive tank wasn’t working during our visit so sadly we have no photos from inside the tank. We spent around 30 minutes practising with our equipment in the smaller tank with none of the animals before moving into the deeper tank.
We then spent around 20 minutes walking through the tank with the sharks swimming overhead and the stingrays floating across our bodys. It was an amazing, incredible experience and we both finished feeling absolutely fantastic about the whole thing.
Unfortunately, the camera in the diving area was broken so we missed out on some fantastic quality photos there. Luckily, we managed to experience many fantastic photo opportunities during the base camp experience. The digital copy of these photos are free which is fantastic!
You can get three of these photos printed inside a dedicated Bear Grylls Adventure souvenir book for £12 to commemorate your adventurous day out!
Bear Grylls Canteen
If you fancy a bite to eat before or after your Bear Grylls Adventure Experience or have friends/family waiting for you while you complete the challenge then consider visiting the Bear Grylls Canteen. The canteen is located centrally to all the activities making it a fantastic meeting point.
The whole area is completely in keeping with the rest of the area with trucks, benches etc. The food is a Bear Grylls twist on some classic modern favourites which we loved!
Bear Grylls Shop
In the Bear Grylls shop, you’ll find a whole range of Bear Grylls merchandise that you can use to commemorate your day.
The car wasn’t for sale… we just once again loved the attention to detail within the adventure park.
Hotels, Shops & Food Nearby
Being in the heart of the entertainment district here in Birmingham there’s a whole host of different hotels nearby. Unfortunately, you might find prices are higher than expected.
This can sometimes be due to a popular act performing at the Genting Arena, an event on at the NEC or even due to it’s close proximity to Birmingham International Airport. We, therefore, recommend you check the costs prior to booking the Bear Grylls Adventure experience if you’re going to need to spend the night in a hotel so you can adjust your dates if required.
If you’re looking to do some shopping or eating before or after the activities then we recommend Resort World. Here there’s a number of outlet shops, bars, restaurants, a cinema and a casino.
After our experience, we went here to indulge in a fantastic meal at Las Iguanas. We also used our bill to discount our parking costs to £2 (due to parking in the ‘wrong’ carpark – see parking)
We absolutely loved our experience at the Bear Grylls Adventure park and would recommend it to anyone who is considering visiting. The dive was without a doubt our highlight of the entire day and has really made us consider taking on a PADI diving course in the future. Although we’d love to go back soon and experience some of the other activities such as the iFly and the zip-line… oh and the high ropes… okay, yes we just want to do it all!
Have you been to the Bear Grylls Adventure park? Let us know in the comments below what you thought.