May 2011

From the Soldier’s Leap to a leap of faith

Now a specially constructed bungee platform, the first of its kind in Britain, has been installed below the Garry Bridge over the river near Pitlochry in Highland Perthshire.

It is perched above a dramatic gorge surrounded by ancient trees and close to National Trust for Scotland visitor centre which commemorates the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689.

The ‘tear-drop’ shaped creation operated by company called Highland Fling is attracting bookings from Australia and New Zealand. It is expected to accommodate up to 4,000 jumpers every year.

The platform stands 40 metres above the River Garry. Adrenaline seekers will plunge towards the water in an airborne flight of a few seconds at over 50 mph before the special Bungee cord springs them back to normal, upright, life.

Independent analysis has predicted a £7.5 million economic boost over two years.

“What makes this project so unique is that it is in such an iconic setting. There are no jumps like this anywhere else, with ancient forests, mountains and rivers,” said John Mason-Strang, Director of Highland Fling Bungee.

VisitScotland officials believe the bungee jump development will enhance Scotland’s growing international reputation in adventure tourism. Perthshire is renowned as one of Europe’s finest adventure playgrounds with 36 outdoor activities available throughout the region.

“Exciting projects such as this bungee jump will help to further cement Scotland’s growing reputation as the Adventure Capital of Europe,” said Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland Chairman.

Bungee jumping is one of the most popular adventure sports in the world. Today, you can bungee almost anywhere, from Kathmandu to Costa Rica, Chile to Colorado. You can jump into the mouth of a volcano or into a foaming sea. It has been described as the closest thing you will get to human flight. Since 1980, over a million jumps have been recorded.

If adrenaline seeking isn’t your forte, then do not fear there is more sedate excitement to be found. The Pass of Killiecrankie, which has been gouged into the landscape over thousands of years by the melt-waters of successive Ice Ages, and has developed into a spectacular wooded gorge. Both the woodland covered slopes and the river flowing along the bottom of the Pass support an incredibly rich diversity of wildlife.

Watch the Highland Fling Bungee in action

Bungee Facts

  • Killiecrankie, Scotland, is home to Britain’s first permanent bungee jumping platform.
  • In the opening scene of the 1995 James Bond film, GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan bungee jumps 220 metres over a Russian dam. The dam was actually in Switzerland. It is Verzesca Dam, the second highest commercial bungee jump in the world.
  • Jennifer Lopez performs a bungee jump in her role as Mexican-American singer Selena in the 1997 film, Selena.
  • The earliest recorded version of bungee jumping was in Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. Here village males jumped from wooden platforms with vines tied to their ankles. It was seen as a rite of passage to manhood and a test of courage.
  • The highest commercial bungee jump in the world is the Macau Tower in China at 233 metres.
  • The pioneer of modern commercial bungee jumping is New Zealander, A J Hackett. Hackett performed the first commercial jump in 1986 in Auckland and opened the first permanent bungee site in the world at Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown.

Scotland is a dream destination for adrenalin junkies

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