Richard Branson’s Spare Time

If there is one thing his long and varied career can tell us, it’s that Richard Branson cannot seem to keep still.

Despite being an entrepreneur and business leader, he nonetheless takes it upon himself to undertake world record attempts and feats of great physical and mental endurance, usually involving travel.

How he finds time to do this at the same time as being a global business leader, we can only speculate. But in light of his most recent announcement about going to space, here are some highlights from his high flying hobbies.

Flying to space with Virgin Galactic

First, the big one. Scheduled to begin in 2022, Virgin Galactic flights will take paying passengers into space where they can gaze at the earth and experience weightlessness before heading back down again. In July this year, Richard Branson himself took a test flight to the edge of space as a passenger in his own craft – the first time a spaceflight company founder has travelled on his own ship into outer space. Find out more at

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a speedboat

In 1986, Richard Branson smashed the world record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. He achieved this in just three days by travelling in a 72ft powerboat, defeating the previously held record from 1952.

Kitesurfing the English Channel

It took him two attempts within 24 hours, but Richard Branson eventually became the oldest person to kitesurf the English Channel in 2012 at the age of 61. He landed in Northern France, where he was promptly told off by the French police for the stunt.

Ballooning across the Pacific Ocean

Back in January 1991, Richard Branson broke another world record by flying a hot air balloon from Japan to Arctic Canada. The 6,700 mile journey saw him flying at a speed of 245 miles per hour.