North Wales has well and truly been put on the map in recent years, and is now widely considered the adventure capital of the UK, if not Europe. This is a top choice for a weekend getaway for those keen to get their adrenaline pumping and try something new. In the heart of Llanberis, the Royal Victoria Hotel is ideally located to serve as a base for your weekend adventures. We’ve picked out just two of the many adventure activities in the local area you could base your weekend around…
Saturday – Adventure Parc Snowdonia
Adventure Parc Snowdonia (was Surf Snowdonia) has set all kinds of records since it was launched. It is the world’s first inland surf lagoon, and offers the only surf break guarantee in the UK. The facility, set amongst the breathtakingly beautiful surrounds of Dolgarrog, uses pioneering WaveGarden technology, which artificially creates incredible waves perfect for all surfing levels. Consistent and surfable waves are generated at a rate of around 18 per hour – such a rate would be incredibly rare to find in the ocean, so this really is the ultimate place for surfers to come to “hang ten”.
Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a total beginner, this is the ideal place to test your mettle. It’s also the best possible place for parents to bring budding surfers – no wide open ocean, no surprise currents, clean and managed water that comes directly from pure mountain reservoirs.
Even if you’re travelling with someone who has no desire to surf, this is a fantastic day out. The glass-fronted centre offers a phenomenal view of the lagoon, and you’re surrounded by beautiful countryside and fantastically crisp air.
For beginners, the Surf Academy offers 90-minute lessons led by expert coaches – former British and Welsh champion Jo Dennison leads the team. There are a range of lesson options available, from beginner lessons through intermediate stages and right up to the Advanced Rent an Instructor stage.
For those who’ve completed lessons or who are confident and proficient already, Wave Sessions last just shy of an hour and range in levels. Beginner waves are perfect for finding your sea-legs, and there will be a maximum of six surfers in each bay so you’ve got plenty of room to practice your stance. Intermediate 1 and 2 levels are great for brushing up your dormant board skills or simply gearing up to tackle the Advanced level. For confident and experienced surfers, advanced waves roll at the incredible rate of 6-7m/second, and even offers an ‘air section’ for practicing those audacious stunts!
After you’ve finished surfing for the day you can refuel and grab a variety of snacks and refreshments at Surf Side Cafe, or sit down for a home-cooked meal and a well-earned drink at the glass-fronted bar.
All this, and less than an hour’s drive back to the hotel!
Sunday – Zip World Caverns
Zip World Slate Caverns is undoubtedly one of the most unique attractions in the UK, offering a trio of amazing adventures, each offering a different perspective on the landscape and a different thrill.
Caverns is an extensive subterranean adventure course beneath the surface and through the caves of the 200-year-old slate mine. Tackling this course takes around three hours, and comprises rope bridges, monkey bars,a via ferrata climbing route and an impressive eleven zip lines! Needless to say this probably isn’t one for claustrophobic adventurers, and you do need to have a bit of a head for heights, even though it’s underground! The minimum age for Caverns is ten.
For something out in the fresh air, Titan is Europe’s largest dedicated zip lining zone. The quarry setting really sets this apart from other zip lines, offering truly jaw-dropping scenery – if you dare to keep your eyes open, that is. Three separate zip lines stretch an incredible 1,890m during the summer (1,000m in winter), starting at an eye-watering 482m above sea level (385m above sea level in winter).
The third adventure on offer at Zip World Slate Caverns is Bounce Below, undoubtedly one of the truly distinct and unique activities that has put North Wales on the world map. Gigantic underground caves, the disused Llechwedd Slate Mines are filled with six levels of trampolines, slides and nets. You’ll head deeper and deeper underground for a truly mind-blowing experience – something that’s possible because of North Wales’s phenomenally diverse and wild landscape.
There is an on-site cafe and some quiet picnic benches at Zip World Slate Caverns should you require some post-adventure pick-me-ups, though your route back to the hotel will likely take you through nearby Betws-y-Coed, which offers charming scenery, a picturesque landscape and plenty of lovely eateries with a great amount of choice – try plates of perfect tapas at Olif, or treat yourself to one of North Wales’s best slices at Hangin’ Pizzeria.
The Royal Victoria Hotel enjoys the perfect setting for embarking on North Wales’s best adventures. Book now and start planning your unforgettable weekend adventure.
Images courtesy: © Crown copyright (2019) Visit Wales, all rights reserved