Posted on 14/02/2018 by David
North Wales is famous for its beautiful countryside, expansive beaches, quaint villages and nostalgic seaside resorts. But what if you crave something more... edgy?
The good news is, North Wales is a Mecca for adventurers young and old. The region is packed with exciting outdoor attractions and extreme activities guaranteed to make your Instagram the envy of all your friends.
When it comes to adrenalin-pumping activities, the only limit is your imagination - and we're pretty good at stretching that. Imagine soaring over Snowdonia on a zip-wire, trampolining in mysterious caverns or cruising the Menai Strait at high speed. If you're game, we are too!
There are loads of adventure activities to try in North Wales; these are just a few of our favourites to whet your appetite.
Where? Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda
How much? Prices start at £75 per person
You might have already seen celebs including Ant & Dec, Julie Walters and Alan Carr rocket across the Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda. If not, chances are it's been all over your social feeds recently.
The fame of the Zipworld franchise is unsurprising when you consider it's home the the longest zip line in Europe and the fastest zipline in the world. The experience has been described as the closest a human being can get to skydiving without actually leaping from a plane - so this isn’t one for the faint hearted.
You’ll be taken on the practise line first, the so-called ‘Little Zipper’, to build your confidence, before being taken up to the Big Zipper to make your leap of faith and, hopefully, enjoy the breathtaking views of Anglesey and Snowdonia.
Afterwards, celebrate your achievement with a slap-up meal or drinks at the recently opened Blondin Restaurant located onsite. It's celebrity chef Bryn Williams' newest Welsh eatery.
Where? Zip World Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog
How much? £20 for 7-17 year olds, £25 for 18+
This Victorian slate mine once rang with the sound of miners' chatter and the ring of hammer and chisel... but not anymore.
Now you're more likely to hear shrieks of laughter and the odd scream from the scores of adventurers who descend into the caverns to tackle a subterranean obstacle course of trampolines, slides, tunnels and technicolour lighting. Highlights include two enormous slides twice the height of a double decker bus and giant bouncing nets suspended 180ft above the cavern floor.
It might sound scary and it's natural for the adrenalin to kick in as you descend into the dark and mysterious caverns but it's a thrilling day out the whole family will enjoy.
Where? Conwy Falls Restaurant & Cafe, Betws-y-Coed
How much? From £49 per person
Deep in the heart of Snowdonia, explore an abandoned slate quarry preserved just as if the miners' had finished for the day, frozen in time. Go below ground for an epic, heart thumping journey with a difference.
There are three different adventures to choose from, all comprising a thrilling series of challenges such as climbing, boating, traversing, abseiling or zip-lining. You'll traverse waterfalls, pass through caverns and step into the abyss - you'll even descend to the deepest point in the UK.
If you’re feeling really brave, you can take the Leap of Faith, a dramatic 70ft freefall in the dark - gulp!
Afterwards, visit the nearby Conwy Falls Cafe to refuel and relive your amazing experience - the flatbreads are delicious and there's an excellent choice of vegan and veggie options.
Where? Dolgarrog, Conwy
How much? Beginners' lessons from £35 for children and £45 for adults
In recent years Surf Snowdonia has made some serious waves. As the world’s first commercial surfing lake and the UK’s only artificial surfing lake it's made the headlines near and far.
Quite often artificial versions don't really live up to the hype of the real thing (think dry ski slope versus snow) but the wave garden is so good it attracts world-class events, including the Red Bull Unleashed and the UK Pro Surf Tour.
Located in the Conwy Valley, this fresh-water lagoon with gargantuan wave machine creates two-metre barrelling waves that dissipate softly on the shore. It's a great place to learn or hone your skills.
Surf Snowdonia has a team of expert surf coaches led by multiple Welsh and British champion Jo Dennison. They’ll guide you through your first surfing experience, helping you brush up your new skill while having a great time.
There’s also the Crash & Splash (Total Wipeout Welsh-style) obstacle course, a waterside cafe and coffee shop with soft play for the groms (a small charge applies).
Where? Caernarfon, Gwynedd
How much? Prices vary depending on the activity
If you can't resist the call of the wild, head off on an adventure with a Gradient guide. With adrenalin fuelled activities covering Snowdonia and Anglesey, there’s no better way to get your fix.
Choose from a wide selection of of mountain and water sports, including coasteering, climbing and mountaineering. Gradient also run a range of courses designed to hone your skills and improve your outdoor proficiency so you can have fun while learning something really important.
Leader Glyn Calland knows the region like the back of his hand and is a qualified mountain instructor, kayaking coach and outdoor education specialist - with Glyn you're in safe hands!
Where? Menai Bridge, Anglesey
How much? Tickets start from £18 for children and £24 for adults
You may not have heard of a RIB before - it stands for Rigid Inflatable Boat and it resembles a blow-up speedboat. It's lightweight, sleek and - as you've probably guessed - fast!
Climb aboard and be prepared to hang on for the ride of your life on this sightseeing tour with a difference. You'll cruise the Menai Strait at speeds of around 50mph, twisting, turning and bouncing off the waves as you go.
There are five different tours to choose from, including puffin and seal spotting trips, enchanting castle and island tours, and a full Anglesey coastline adventure. It's a brilliant, fun-filled day out for all the family and is an amazing way of seeing the beautiful North Wales coastline in the Year of the Sea.
Once your legs are accustomed to being back on dry land, stop in at Dylan's Menai Bridge and watch the action on the Strait from the comfort of your seat while enjoying and some great Welsh food.
Images: Go Below courtesy of copyright Go Below Underground Adventures 2018