With a yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum, welcome aboard the Good Ship Snowdonia! Leave the landlubbers at home and explore Snowdonia’s aquatic attractions: from surfing to angling, wakeboarding to white water rafting, you might be surprised at how much watery fun you can have in Snowdonia!
The All Wales Boat Show (8-10 May, Pwllheli) is a great way to immerse yourself in all things aquatic, if you happen to be in Snowdonia when the event takes place. With dozens of exhibitors from the world of water sports and a packed timetable of exciting activities that visitors can take part in, the show is one of the biggest, most exciting features of the Snowdonia events calendar.
If visiting the show puts you in the mood for more aquatic activities, here are a few you might like to try.
1. The National White Water Centre
If you like your water sports rough and wild, one of the best water-based activities you can take part in when you visit Snowdonia is white water rafting at the National White Water Centre on the River Tryweryn. The Centre also offers kayaking and a range of activity breaks and adventure days.
2. Plas Menai
Plas Menai – or the National Outdoor Centre for Wales, to use its full name – is a fun place for all the family to learn a huge variety of water sports, including sea kayaking, powerboating, windsurfing and dinghy sailing. The Centre is situated on the banks of the Menai Strait between Caernarfon and Bangor.
3. Glasfryn Parc
You’ve probably heard that Glasfryn Parc is a great place for go-karting, archery, ten pin bowling and browsing a pretty wonderful farm shop. What you may not know however is that the Parc is also a great place to try your hand at wakeboarding, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding (SUP). There are enough activities at Glasfryn to fill a whole day, so get there early!
4. RibRide Adventure Boat Trips
Based in Menai Bridge but with a handy pick-up point at Caernarfon, RibRide Adventure provide state-of-the-art RIB (rigid inflatable boat) trips on the Menai Strait over to Anglesey. These quiet but powerful boats hit speeds of 50mph, so if you’re a bit of a thrill seeker your search ends here!
5. Porth y Swnt
A far gentler way to get involved in watery activities in Snowdonia is to do it by learning. And learning about the Llyn Peninsula‘s maritime past will be a significant part of your visit to Porth Y Swnt at Aberdaron. Of course, there’s a lot more to this groundbreaking interpretation centre than that, so pop along and learn more about the Llyn Peninsula’s unique features and cultural heritage.
6. Porthmadog Maritime Museum
Still on the theme of learning and discovery, Porthmadog Maritime Museum is a must if you’re obsessed with the sea. It’s a great family attraction, very educational but with plenty of fun too. While you’re in Porthmadog you could also hop on a steam train to Blaenau Ffestiniog and see for yourself the industrial heritage for which the area is so well known.
7. Llyn Tegid
Over to Bala next, for plenty of splashing about on the water at Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), which has so many different water sports to choose from you may find yourself having to stay a few days to try them all out! Bala Water Sports offers a range of activities – both on and off the water – that are lots of fun, including raft building, sailing and gorge walking.
8. Llyn Trawsfynydd
A different type of aquatic activity now: fishing! At Llyn Trawsfynydd the Prysor Angling Association manages the site and the keen anglers among our readers will be happy to know that the lake is very well stocked with brown trout, rainbow trout, perch, rudd and pike. If you want to use a boat for fly fishing on the lake, forty are available for visitors to hire.
9. Surf Snowdonia
Surf Snowdonia is the hotly-anticipated brand new attraction that’s due to open in the Conwy Valley in summer 2015. Could this be the most exciting Snowdonia attraction ever? We’ll let you decide for yourself as there are plenty of contenders for this particular crown and we’d hate to take sides! But if the thought of a purpose-built lagoon for surfing, splashing, crashing and a watery assault course sounds like your idea of heaven, we can guess where your vote will go!
10. Llyn Land and Sea Food Festival
It’s impossible to talk about the water without talking about the food it provides, so a fitting end to our list is the Llyn Land and Sea Food Festival, which is held at Plas Heli at the end of May. This is a great opportunity to sample some of the region’s fantastic produce (not just fish!) and enjoy cookery demonstrations by TV chefs, and is another great day out for all the family.