Try mountain biking at Coed y Brenin
Elite bikers need no introduction to Coed y Brenin. For the rest of us, Britain’s best mountain bike centre provides beginner rides as well as Black Trail roller coasters. You’ll see mountains on the child-friendly Yr Afon loop and the brutal Tarw trail. You can also spot deserted gold mines and lakes on some of the routes.
Soar through the air
Head to Zip World Penrhyn Quarry and take a ride on Velocity 2, the longest zip line in Europe and the fastest in the world. Four parallel lines soar for a mile over Penrhyn Quarry, which was once the biggest quarry in the world. Lying flat in a special harness, riders fly solo through the skies at over 100mph, 500ft above a lake, experiencing the nearest thrill to flying.
Alternatively head to Adventure Parc Snowdonia and have a go at drop jumps and zip, with 9 and 12 metre drop jumps, or the Pump Track & Mini Wheels. Take a beautiful zip ride over the waves or enjoy the Wave Garden Spa with indoor and outdoor thermal journey. There are daily open water swimming sessions on the surf lagoon, e-bike and mountain bike hire plus guides for walks and trail running. Stay in the Hilton Garden Inn with Zephry’s Bar and Grill and a guest-exclusive fitness studio.
Catch some waves in the countryside
It's not very often that you get the chance to to go surfing in the heart of the country. For something truly unique, Adventure Parc Snowdonia has created a dream wave on a man-made lagoon in the middle of the countryside. The powerful two-metre wave peels perfectly for 492 ft (150m) along the Conwy Valley. You can book lessons, or just go surfing.
Walking up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)
This is the most famous walk in Wales – and it's not just because of the high tea in the summit cafe. Attempt Yr Wyddfa, the highest mountain in Wales and England, for epic views. Choose your challenge from six routes to the top of Snowdon, including the Llanberis Path that runs alongside the Snowdon Mountain Railway or follow the PYG track up and the Miner's Path down. Make sure you take heed of the Eryri National Park safety advice before heading out.
Hang out at Zip World Titan 2
Have fun at Zip World Llechwedd on Zip World Titan 2, Europe's largest zipping zone, with more than 8km of zip lines. There are two runs, each getting progressively faster, and because there are four wires running parallel on each run, you can share the experience (and screams) with friends and family. Fly together above the amazing landscape of moor, mountain and mine, reaching faster than 60mph.
Catch air at Bounce Below
Nearby, deep inside the Zip World Llechwedd complex, in a massive underground chamber, there’s the world’s most extraordinary bouncing experience - Bounce Below. Three huge trampolines have been set up, one above the other, in a space that’s like an alien cathedral, all connected with slides and ladders, and lit by psychedelic multi-coloured lights.
Try white water rafting in Bala
The Tryweryn isn’t just a pretty river in the National Park. A dam release transforms its upper reaches into Olympic-grade rollercoaster rapids managed by the National Whitewater Centre. It’s fast and exhilarating, but not for younger children. Fortunately for them, a gentle paddle descends through oak woods to Bala.
Take in the walks by Llyn Idwal
Park by Llyn Ogwen and walk up for about a mile to plunge into this popular cobalt-blue glacial lake. It’s not just the water that’s breathtaking; you’re dwarfed on three sides by high crags and slabs while the lake is open to sunshine.
Swimming in open water is very different to swimming in a pool. Unseen currents, cold water and waves make wild swimming much more challenging. Join a local club or learn from experts before taking the plunge - we always recommend using a guide or swimming with a club in open water. Read more top tips on how to swim safely.
Golf at Royal St David's
Royal St David’s provides an alternative challenge over a par 69, 6,300-yard championship course. It’s one of Britain’s finest links courses but great rounds are rare: with the sound of the sea after the 13th and a backdrop of Harlech Castle and the mountains, distraction is everywhere.
Find out more about playing golf at Royal St David’s Golf Club.
Test your bravery at Go Below Xtreme
If you’re a fan of zip lines and underground attractions, then you will love the Go Below Xtreme experience at Go Below Underground Adventures. Located in an old Victorian slate mine near Blaenau Ffestiniog, 1,300ft down in the ground, it's the longest and deepest underground zip ride in the world! Featuring nine zip lines and 14 traverses, it’s a personally guided extreme underground challenge, finished with a 70ft free fall jump. Scary stuff!
Riding in Eryri (Snowdonia)
Saddle up, easy riders. Because we don’t gallop on the rough terrain, the freedom and horizon-busting mountain panoramas of the national park are enjoyed slowly on horseback.
Canyoning in Snowdonia
Not long ago, walkers in Eryri (Snowdonia) were happy to admire the gorges deep in the mountains. Now, they want to wear wetsuits, life jackets and helmets, pull on old trainers and scramble through canyons, slip down weedy water chutes and abseil into plunge pools. Walking has never been so much fun.
Climbing in Eryri (Snowdonia)
An introduction to climbing shouldn’t be a gym wall. So, begin in the mountains where the sport was born and where Edmund Hillary trained for his 1953 Everest ascent. Accredited activity providers show beginners the ropes on tasters or short courses.
Cycling the Mawddach Estuary
The Mawddach Trail is the most magical family bike ride in Wales – if not Britain, though we’re biased. On this cycle ride, go from Dolgellau to the beach at Barmouth, with Cader Idris and the Rhinogs rise on either side. The estuary spreads and winks in the sun, while bird life twitters at wildlife in the reserves – all as the miles slip by on smooth tarmac.
Exploring the outdoors is fantastic fun, but please read up on the risks and make sure you are prepared.
- Follow the safety advice for exploring Wales' National Parks and these tips for staying safe on the Welsh coast.
- Visit AdventureSmart.uk for information on how to stay safe whilst exploring Wales.