Once the preserve of young French daredevils, Parkour (also known as free running) now has its own world championships, staged for the first time in London last month, and has featured in countless films and TV ads. Gymnastic practitioners cross urban landscapes by vaulting, leaping and climbing with a grace and fluidity of movement more akin to dance than sport.
A younger breed of swinger has exchanged lush fairways for paving stones in a new take on the gentleman's game that involves no green fees, dress codes or snooty committees. The growing yet still certainly "cult" sport's followers can now buy urban golf gear at an online store, before meeting up on Sunday mornings to hit leather balls stuffed with feathers (less likely to wound than regular golf balls). Bins are substitutes for holes.
"Drunk daredevil in death dive" has become a perennial summer headline – but jumping off cliffs is a tradition passed down through generations in places next to lakes, rivers and seas. In Newquay in Cornwall, cliffs have their own codenames and taking the plunge from the highest drops is a rite of passage for local teens.
For a select group of "human moles", inspiration lies beneath the bricks and Tarmac of the nation's cities. Under the cover of darkness they burrow into the culverts, storm drains and sewers that serve the metropolises above, finding forgotten underground rivers and, presumably, rather a lot of rats.