“North Wales is Europe’s top destination for adrenalin junkies.”
— BBC Radio 4, April 7th, 2015
Up till now most so-called ‘adventure rides’ have been pretty vanilla-flavoured, to be honest.
All that has changed with the arrival of Zip World at Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bethesda. It’s pulled people in from all over the place. And now you can surf in Snowdonia too — see below.
If you have not heard of Zip World before, be afraid. Be very afraid. Basically you abseil down a cable. But the cable is 500 feet above the ground, a mile long and you travel at 100 mph. Welsh rugby legend Scott Quinnell managed 119 mph.
Eat your heart out, Disneyland.
Zip World Velocity at Bethesda
Zip World Velocity is the longest zipline in the Northern Hemisphere fastest zipline in the world
Zip World Titan at Blaenau Ffestiniog
Zip World Titan is a four-person zip the largest zip zone in the world
Everyone who gets on to the Zip seems to have a fantastic time, but there is a risk of cancellation because of the weather — wind, mainly. Some people get very upset by this, especially if they’ve driven a long distance. You are only 16 miles away. We went in March 2016, bitterly cold but a bright day and it is fantastic! Sheer terror in the moments before leaping into the void, instantly replaced by exhilaration and the thrill of rocketing over caverns and crags. Highly recommended.
If the weather isn’t great, there’s a fabulous alternative — Zip World Titan is also home to Bounce Below, a subterranean crusade using nets and trampolines to leap through old slate caverns.
And the latest arrival to the Snowdonia Thrills catalogue is Surf Snowdonia in Dolgarrog, 35 miles away. On the site of an old aluminium factory is a surfing pool the size of six football pitches, with a two-metre-high barrelling wave that starts at the centre of the lagoon, peels perfectly for more than 150 metres, and dissipates softly as it hits the shore. Well, that’s what they tell us, anyway. Our surfing days are past. Reports please!