Whether you’re a confirmed adrenalin junkie or simply enjoy keeping reasonably active, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor activities in Snowdonia. From gentle walks to hair-raising activities like canyoning and white water rafting, boredom is never an option in Snowdonia.
With all that ‘great outdoors’ on the doorstep, outdoor enthusiasts never have to look far for their next adventure in Snowdonia. After all, Snowdonia is widely regarded as the UK’s number one activity centre – a title we think is richly deserved.
Whatever your favourite outdoor activity is, you’re bound to find a way to do it in Snowdonia. From watery pursuits like kayaking and rafting to treetop hi-jinks for little monkeys of all ages, you’ll find them all in Snowdonia.
All over Snowdonia there are scores of activities to suit all tastes. It wasn’t an easy choice, but here are ten of our favourite Snowdonia activities.
1. Mountain biking at Coed y Brenin
The activity-packed forest at Coed y Brenin has won numerous awards, and world-class racers regularly train here. You can bring your own bike or hire one on-site; once you’re on your bike follow the colour coded trails through the forest until you’re ready to return to the lodge for refreshment surrounded by absolutely stunning views.
2. White water rafting
The National White Water Centre, Canolfan Tryweryn, offers white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking courses for groups and individuals. You can also combine your rafting with other activities including pony trekking, quad biking, clay pigeon shooting or bushcraft, on one of Canolfan Tryweryn’s adventure activity breaks.
3. Plas y Brenin – the National Mountain Centre
Plas y Brenin offers so many outdoor activities, you could easily spend weeks here trying your hand at a new activity every day. Rock climbing, hillwalking, navigation, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, mountaineering and even skiing can be enjoyed at Plas y Brenin… which activity will you choose?
4. Bala Adventure and Watersports
At Bala Adventure and Watersports, on the shore of Llyn Tegid, Bala, you can try your hand at all sorts of activities, both wet and dry. As you’d expect, there are plenty of watersports on offer, including windsurfing, sailing, powerboating, canoeing and kayaking; but there are also plenty of other activities to try out, including archery, abseiling, canyoning and hillwalking.
5. Glasfryn Parc
More wet and dry activities await you at Glasfryn Parc, on the A499 just outside Pwllheli. Their wakeparc has two lakes, two system 2.0 cables, two wall rides and a new flat bar, and plays host to the Spring Wakeboard Open on 2 April 2011. But that’s not all that’s on offer at Glasfryn. You can also enjoy go-karting, archery, ten pin bowling, fishing and quad biking at the park, which also has indoor play areas suitable for small children.
6. Dragon Raiders Paintballing
Within the vast woodland at Dragon Raiders Paintballing, just outside Pwllheli, are four game areas, each of which has its own individual objectives. There’s also a shooting gallery, so you can get a bit of practice in before you start annihilating your enemies. And whether you win the battle or lose the war, you can wind down after your session with a snack and a drink at the on-site canteen.
7. Pick a leisure centre… any leisure centre…
There are a dozen leisure centres in the Snowdonia region, so take your pick and get stuck in. Many have swimming pools, some have climbing walls; there are badminton and squash courts, football pitches, fitness rooms and saunas. Facilities and opening hours vary from one leisure centre to the next, so do check before you visit.
8. King (or queen) of the swingers
If you’ve a head for heights and fancy seeing the world from a different angle, it’s worth giving one of Snowdonia’s treetop adventure centres a go. There’s a few to choose from: Go Ape at Coed y Brenin, Treetop Adventures at Betws y Coed, and Ropes and Ladders at Padarn Country Park, Llanberis. Once you’ve seen the world whizzing by while you dangle from a zip wire up in the forest canopy, you’ll never look at trees the same way again.
9. Padarn Country Park
There’s a lot more to Padarn than zipping from one tree to another. Here you can also enjoy orienteering, rock climbing, scuba diving, rowing, canoeing, sailing and good old-fashioned walking. And once you’re all tuckered out and ready to take things a bit easier, there are several museums, craft shops and other Snowdonia attractions close by.
10. Take a hike
Just walk. Who knows where your feet will take you? Up a gentle hill or along a zigzagging mountain path? Along soft, sandy shores where you can refresh your aching toes with a dip in the sea – or scrambling over rocks and investigating wildlife-rich rock pools? Though quaint medieval villages or to Neolithic burial chambers and hill forts? That’s the beauty of Snowdonia. Wherever you walk, you’ll always see something different. If variety really is the spice of life, life doesn’t get much spicier than Snowdonia.
About this post
This post was inspired by an article in the 2011 Snowdonia Mountains and Coast brochure, written by BBC TV sports presenter Hazel Irvine. In the article, Hazel writes about her experiences during a stay in Bala, where she enjoyed such energetic activities as gorge walking (canyoning), mountain biking and sailing.