Fforest Coaster is a great new addition to the Betws-y-Coed Zip World attractions. Sledges run on a track surrounded by trees in a truly beautiful setting for an adrenaline ride suitable for children and adults.
There are a lot of things to do at the Zip Fforest centre from zip wires through the trees, tree top nets (an aerial version of bounce below), obstacle courses and our favourite: Fforest Coaster.
After parking, head to the reception and check in, it is possible to just turn up and buy tickets but we would recommend booking in advance. Fforest Coaster is a short walk up the hill from the reception and several signs instructing you not to carry loose articles puts you in the frame of mind for what's to come. We visited the day after it opened and several people had lost their hats on the ride the previous day!
Riders strap into a sledge which sits on rails and are pulled up the side of hill. Usually it's 1 person per sledge but anyone under 9 years old or a height of 1.35m will have to travel with someone that does reach the requirements of a single rider (it's worth noting there's a maximum combined weight limit of 150kg). Unlike a roller coaster there's no large drop either side of you as the sledge travels to the top, you are close to the ground and surrounded by tall trees. It's a very peaceful experience as you progress smoothly and slowly upwards for well over a minute along 365m of track.
At the top the track turns back on itself and you start the journey down. To control your speed there are 2 handles either side of you, push forwards to go and release pressure to slow down. You can go as fast or slow as you like. The website says you'll reach speeds of 25mph and if speed is what you want then you'll be able to feel the g-forces round the bends and drops. If it's busy you may encounter traffic ahead of you and you'll need to slow down but the staff are pretty good at spacing the sledges out to make sure you get a good run. Signs ask you to maintain at least 25m distance from the rider in front though automatic braking systems will take over if you get too close.
The track is around a kilometre long in total which gives you a good run before you're back at the start to disembark and join the queue for your next ride. A ticket gives you 3 rides and lets you build confidence each time round! We've found it takes about an hour if you go as a group but it does depend on how busy it is. The queue moves quickly and the staff are really friendly.
Afterwards, there are a couple of cafes on site as well as the other activities or why not visit the town of Betws-y-Coed which has plenty of shops and restaurants surrounded by the same forested hills as Zip Fforest.
Just north of the town of Betws-y-Coed, Fforest Coaster is easily found at the side of the A470 25 minutes from junction 19 of the A55 coast road (the Landudno and Conwy turn off).
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