2016 is Wales’ ‘Year of Adventure’ and with its beautiful mountains, stunning coastline and amazing scenery, it has plenty to offer those looking for their adrenaline fix
Here’s five exciting adventures to have in Wales this summer, all guaranteed to get your pulse racing.
1. Coasteering in St David’s
Clamber, wade, splash and jump your way around the Welsh Coastline |Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales
If you like canyoning, you’ll love this coastal version, which involves plenty of clambering over cliffs and wading through large rock pools. Depending on the route, some climbing and abseiling over various natural obstacles may also be required, as well as a few death-defying jumps into the waves below (these can usually be avoided on beginner routes).
The dramatic Pembrokeshire coast is the perfect place to give this up-and-coming sport a go, with several activity companies in the area are offering fully guided tours for groups, individuals and families. Be warned though – you may find the kids are much less scared about the five metre drops than you are!
2. White Water Tubing in Llangollen
White Water Tubing Outdoor Adventure Activity in Llangollen, north wales
Meet white water rafting’s little brother. Using heavy duty rubber rings and webbed gloves for accurate steering, white water tubing is the ultimate river experience and offers big thrills as your small tube is thrown around the swells of the River Dee.
After a short safety briefing from your guide, you will be let loose down the river to ride 3km of rapids, rocks and white water, whilst trying your hardest not to capsize. Should the worst happen though, the river’s safety boat will be there to put you back on course.
Llangollen itself is beautiful Welsh village, with plenty of hiking and biking on its doorstep, and the famous staircase canal locks are definitely worth a visit.
3. Exploring Disused Mines near Betws-y-Coed
Caving is a fantastic way to enjoy the mountains from a whole new perspective, and now you can get all the thrills of this amazing underground environment without the need to squeeze through small gaps!
Based in disused slate mines in North Wales, Go Below will take you on an adrenaline filled adventure using boats, via ferrata, zip lines and abseiling to explore this subterranean world and follow in the footsteps of generations of Welsh miners. Unlike naturally formed caves, the mines were designed with humans in mind, meaning there are no potholes or tight squeezes, just the odd bit of stooping in the deep, dark tunnels.
Those really wanting to test their limits can try the ‘Xtreme’ course, which includes the world’s longest underground zipwire and an assisted free fall jump of over 20m – not for the faint hearted!
4. Surf Kayaking on the Gower Peninsula
Kayak surfing combines two of our favourite watersports for high adrenaline action | Fotolia
The Gower peninsula, near Swansea, has long been known as a surfing hotspot but buck the surfboard trend and bring along your kayak to explore this beautiful stretch of coastline.
Surf kayaking, as the name suggests, has features of both sports: you skim the breaking waves a là surfing but use your paddle to steer in the same way as kayaking. The big attraction? Being in a kayak makes swimming out to the waves a lot easier, so you can save your energy to really let rip once the surf breaks.
Caswell Bay, on the Gower, has the ideal beginner friendly waves to introduce you to the sport, and there are numerous surf schools in the area to get you started. The fact this is one of the most picturesque areas of the UK is just an added bonus.
5. Zip lining in Bethesda
Zip World Velocity – not for the fainthearted!
It’s the longest zip line in Europe, the fastest in the world, and it’s guaranteed to put your courage to the test! Strung up high over a disused quarry in North Wales, Zip World Velocity offers magnificent views over Snowdonia and towards the coast whilst you fly down to the cable at speeds of up to 100mph.
In nearby Bleanau Ffestiniog, you can continue to the zip line fun with Europe’s first four man zip line, Zip World Titan, a great team activity and adventurous children are allowed to participate under the supervision of their parents.
This is probably the closest feeling to flying you will ever get and where better to have an airborne experience than over the rolling hills and magnificent peaks of the North Welsh countryside?