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Bucket List Adventures in North Wales

Published on 23 Dec 2021 by Amy Bowers

Fancy a bucket list adventure in 2022? No more procrastinating! Get inspired, get booked, and start the year with something amazing to look forward to. Here are our top recommendations to get the blood pumping North Wales. 

Go surfing in the mountains near Conwy

There are few places on the planet where you can surf inland, but as good fortune would have it one of them is in North Wales. 

Adventure Parc Snowdonia is home to a world-first surf lagoon – a game-changing engineering marvel which has cultivated a legion of fans since it launched in 2015. You’ll find it in the village of Dolgarrog, on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, a few miles upriver from the medieval town of Conwy. Rolling waves power across a huge inland lagoon, just a few metres from the village post office. 

Adventure Parc Snowdonia’s technology delivers a variety of wave profiles in different zones, so absolute beginners can surf alongside experienced surfers. This is great family fun: you can surf with or without instruction, slots are bookable by 60 or 90 minutes. 

The parc is also home to trailblazing indoor and outdoor adventures at Adrenaline Indoors, a new pump track, and mountain bike hire – handy for exploring the nearby Gwydir Mawr a Bach / Marin Trail. If you prefer your adventures to be a little more sedate, Adventure Parc Snowdonia is also home to a fabulous indoor / outdoor spa. Find out more.

Stargazing from the middle of a Snowdonia lake

The Snowdonia National Park was awarded International Dark Sky Reserve status in 2015, which means visitors to the region can gaze at the night sky in all its stellar glory. Switch off from the eternal glow of city life – it really is quite amazing what you can see in the dark.

This rather special SUP adventure from Psyched Paddleboarding begins as darkness falls. Experienced and knowledgeable instructors will guide you by the light of the moon and the stars to the middle of a Snowdonia lake. From there you can recline on your board to contemplate the vast magnificence of the night sky. Expect to feel a little bit small. And thoroughly, wonderfully uplifted. 

All equipment is supplied, including changing robes, tea and cake. This adventure is suitable for groups, families or individuals. Find out more.

Book a bespoke bucket list adventure package

If the idea of a bucket list appeals in principle but fails to gather momentum past the talking-about-it stage, this next adventure is for you. A bespoke two-day adventure package inspired by your wish list but organised by somebody else.  

‘My Wild Adventure’ is a two-day experience offered by North Wales adventure experts at Gaia Adventures. They will work with you to plan an itinerary split over 48 hours, along the coast or in the mountains or a little bit of both. Includes a night of wild camping under the stars. Activities include climbing, scrambling, wild swimming and sea zawn abseiling. Find out more.

Take a spin on a high-speed RIB from Menai Bridge

It’s a beautiful and often welcome truth that some of life’s most thrilling adventures are to be had sitting down. This is one of them. A high-speed RIB ride down one of the world’s most challenging stretches of water, infamous for its fast tides, rocks and whirlpools. This has got to be on your bucket list. 

Anglesey-based RibRide has been operating high-speed adventure boat tours along the Menai Strait for more than a decade. It’s high octane fun. And none more so than Rib Ride Velocity – the world’s fastest RIB ride.

Velocity is no ordinary boat. The hull is an advanced composite construction, laminated in a vacuum to an accuracy set by lasers. Velocity will take straight runs to chase the fastest time of the day, taking you from zero to the speed of scream in less than 30 seconds.  Boat trips leave from Menai Bridge, all year round. Find out more.

Underground adrenaline hunters in Betws y Coed

Could this be the scariest assault course in the world? It surely has to be a contender: a dark, lit-by-headtorch-only adventure which takes place in a long-abandoned Victorian slate mine.

Go Below’s epic subterranean trip includes a sequence of zip wires, sweat-inducing bridges and traverses, and an abseil to the deepest accessible point in the UK.  Boating across an atmospheric underground lake feels like a welcome reprieve. 

The course culminates in a 70ft jump into the abyss on the world’s only underground free fall. It’s adrenaline pumping, heart thumping, pulse jumping ‘fun’, if you like that kind of thing. Head for heights advised. You’ll emerge feeling like a hero. Find out more.

Get on your bike to explore forest trails in Denbighshire

The Llandegla Forest in Denbighshire is a brilliant place to go for a mountain bike fix, with over 50km of graded waymarked trails to explore. Trails range from nice & easy family days out to more challenging downhill tracks. 

The Green Route will take you on a leisurely jaunt around the pretty Pendinas reservoir with views across the heather-clad Clwydian hills. The challenging Black Route is at the other end of the scale, with steep descents, large steps, gaps and drop-offs. 

Access to the forest trails is free of charge, and you can hire bikes from One Planet Adventure from £28. Find out more.

Take a SUP safari off the Anglesey coast

If you love the idea of a nature / adventure combo this could be the one for you – a guided SUP (that’s short for stand-up paddleboard) safari around Anglesey’s spectacular coastline. 

It’s an exhilarating and adventurous way to get closer to some of Anglesey’s plentiful wildlife – including grey seals, porpoises, puffins, choughs – as well as an opportunity to explore a whole new side to the island. Oh, and it’s ruddy good fun too.

Appropriately named Funsport – a friendly beachfront watersports hub in Rhosneigr – offers a two-hour coastal ‘Surfari’ for adults and children age 8+. You don’t need any special skills to get going on a SUP – though it’s probably not one for the non-swimmers. 

Funsport supplies all equipment including your wetsuit, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Find out more

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