The landscape of North Wales is one of the main attractions for people of all ages visiting the area – it offers spectacular views with limitless photo opportunities, but it doesn’t have to be just a backdrop to your holiday, it can be an active part of your trip too: read on to discover some of the great activities you can try near Celtic Royal Hotel this summer.
If you’ve been inspired by Visit Wales’s Year Of Adventure and fancy trying something new (or perhaps just hone existing skills), our region plays host to a wealth of exciting outdoor activities. From adrenaline-fueled extreme sports to more traditional mountain pursuits, the Snowdonia National Park is home to a huge choice of sporting activities – all of which take full advantage of our stunning terrain and beautiful scenery.
We’ve chosen three of our favourite outdoor Snowdonia activities – if you haven’t ‘found your epic’ yet we think these might inspire you!
Snowdonia activities: Canyoning
Think of canyoning like rock climbing but… in reverse! Instead of making your way up a cliff, you trek downwards into the deep rocky valleys of North Wales.
But that’s not the half of it! Once down there though, you can expect to get wet! Don’t worry though, with the protection of a wetsuit and buoyancy aids, even non-swimmers can take part in this thrilling sport.
Snowdonia Adventure Activities run canyoning sessions suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities – there’s no fixed lower age limit, but children younger than 10 years old may have difficulty traversing the terrain.
If you’re a fan of canyoning, you can choose from a selection of extreme canyoning excursions that allow you to ride ravines and plunge over waterfalls.
Younger children, however, aren’t completely excluded from trying their hand at canyoning. There’s an easier alternative in the form of gorge scrambling – this still includes all the fun of clambering over the rocks, but avoids some of the more demanding aspects.
Seren Ventures run a selection of gorge scrambling sessions and under-16s can take part if accompanied. Guided tours are available for small groups (minimum 3 people) making this a great choice for a family day out with a difference!
Snowdonia activities: Rock Climbing
If the valleys and ravines lend themselves to canyoning, then the peaks of Snowdonia are perfect for rock climbing. We have a remarkable range of terrain here and whether you prefer clambering over boulders or scaling sheer rock faces, we can oblige – all under expert supervision, of course.
If you’re looking to pick up a new skill or challenge your existing knowledge level, numerous mountain sports companies based within the confines of the national park offer courses for all levels of experience and expertise.
Plas y Brenin is Snowdonia’s premier mountain sports centre and offers two-day and five-day training courses to develop skills from beginner level right through to performance climbing and big walls, as well as ‘troubleshooting’ to recover from a – seemingly – impossible position.
Courses from Gaia Adventures range from a taster day to two, three and five-day programmes with a promise to “cover as much rock as possible” in the available time.
Snowdonia Adventure Activities offer a great introduction suitable for children as young as four – they start with bouldering – short climbs without safety ropes – before moving on to a fully-tethered 80-foot climb.
Finally, Snowdonia Walking and Climbing bring the variety, with sessions including rock climbing, mountain walking, scrambling, and snow and ice climbing.
Snowdonia activities: Horse Riding
Finally, if you think four legs are better than two, then give yourself a different point of view on the North Wales landscape as you trot, canter or gallop across the beaches and hillsides, through woodlands or even trek up mountain sides.
Snowdonia Riding Stables is a good place to start, located between Snowdon itself and the coast, and with access to many miles of bridleways free from any road traffic, it’s perfect for nervous riders and beginners.
Gwydyr Stables are located just four miles from Betws y Coed in landscape owned by the National Trust and protected by the Forestry Commission. For unspoilt scenery and peaceful trekking, this is a great choice.
Bwlchgwyn Farm offer a unique experience, giving youngsters the chance to ‘own’ a pony for a day, including feeding and grooming it. Horse-loving kids will go mad for ‘own-a-pony’ plus they learn some really valuable animal care skills too!
Finally, Anglesey Riding Centre has five miles of private bridleways for a true escape from any distractions. The route offers views of Caernarfon Castle and the Menai Straits with Snowdonia as its mountainous backdrop. Wow!
Image: courtesy of Christian Guthier, 2008.