Activity holidays for families with teenagers

What makes Wales one of the best places for family multi activity holidays in the UK? 

Well, our great outdoors gives us a big head start. Mighty peaks, sparkling seas and rushing rivers are just waiting to be explored. And we pack lots into a small space. Spend a week in Wales and you could fit in mountain biking, hiking, paddling and even ziplining and caving!

Of course, the cost of activity holidays for families with teens can add up - it's not like you can pop them on a campbed in your room anymore. With excellent campsites, cottages and B&Bs at reasonable prices and great value eateries and pubs, you get lots more for your money on a family adventure holiday in Wales.

Family watersports holidays

Adventure holidays with teenagers in Wales often involve getting wet! You'll find all sorts of great options here for family watersports adventures.

Canoeing and kayaking

Sea, rivers, lakes - kayaking and canoeing breaks in Wales come in all varieties. Experienced paddlers can opt for multi-day adventures, camping overnight under the stars, or taking to the waves in canoes around the coastline.

If you want to just take it easy on the water and you time your start right, you can drift with the current on rivers like the Wye and the Teifi and you'll hardly need to paddle!

Read more: Kayaking trips in Wales.

Teenage girl in wetsuit and helmet on a sit on top kayak holding her paddle
Teenage girl wearing life jacket and sunglasses in a kayak on a lake on a sunny day

Kayaking in Pembrokeshire and Eryri (Snowdonia).

Surfing

Hardened surf nuts love it here, but Wales is also an ideal place to learn to surf. With our gently shelving beaches, your teens will have heaps of time to catch their first wave. Once they gain confidence there are plenty of intermediate and more challenging breaks to master too.

Many of our best surf beaches have surf schools with expert tuition and all the gear provided. Pembrokeshire, the Gower Peninsula and the Llŷn Peninsula are particularly good. 

Surfability UK surf school run fully accessible surfing lessons and experiences on Gower all year round for people with additional needs due to disability, illness, injury or learning difficulties.

Read more: Top surfing spots for beginners.

Two children carry a surf board on the beach.
A man on a surfboard with a group of people helping.

Learning to surf on the Gower Peninsula, West Wales.

Rafting and RIB riding

For something faster paced, try whitewater rafting. There's a range of levels here too - including the purpose-built decents at Cardiff International Whitewater Centre where they can vary the water flow from fast to utterly furious and the natural rapids of the River Tryweryn at the National Whitewater Centre in North Wales.

If paddling feels like too much hard work, opt for the high speed thrills of a RIB ride on the Menai Strait in North Wales. As well as powering along with the wind screaming through your hair, you'll take in the famous rapids known as the Swellies.

Read more: Trips on water to float your boat.

Coasteering

Coasteering is perfect for teenage family adventure holidays. You explore the coastline by scrambling, swimming and jumping in. You're kitted out with wetsuit, gloves, boots, helmet and buoyancy aid. It's essential to go with a qualified guide to keep you safe and to make sure you don't damage the shoreline or disturb wildlife.

Whilst you don't need to be a strong swimmer, you do need to be confident in the water. And because you're so bouyant, there are few limits to who can have a go. Operators like Celtic Quest Coasteering offer accessible coasteering trips catering for a wide range of people, from deaf, blind, hearing and visually impaired teens and adults, to those with additional learning needs.

Read more: Thrilling coasteering adventures.

Coasteering in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

Adrenaline activities for families with teens

Wales is a hotspot for adrenaline junkies! On activity holidays for teenagers in Wales, you can zoom through the air at 100 miles per hour, explore underground on huge trampolines, or abseil down a waterfall.

Gorge walking in Wales

Gorge walking - also known as canyoning or scrambling - involves exploring rocky mountain streams by swimming and climbing along them and abseiling down them. It's exhilerating stuff and can involve jumping from heights and getting extremely wet!

It's essential to go with an accredited guide to make sure you stay safe. You'll be kitted out with wetsuit, bouyancy jacket, helmet and often boots and gloves too.

There are lots of places to try it, including the Brecon Beacons in Mid Wales, Cardigan Bay in West Wales and Eryri (Snowdonia) in North Wales.

Read more: Gorge walking in Wales.

A group of people under a waterfall wearing safety gear.
Close up of teens in helmets and wetsuits in a river having fun

Gorge walking in Eryri (Snowdonia) and the Brecon Beacons.

Ziplining

Wales is one of the world's best ziplining destinations. For these kinds of activity holidays, North Wales used to be the hotspot, but new a location in South Wales means you're never far from your next high speed thrill.

In North Wales, Zip World Llechwedd and Penrhyn Quarry offer high speed thrills soaring above old slate quarries on some of the world's fastest, longest zips. Seated four abreast or flying like Superman at 100mph - the choice is yours. At Zip World Tower in South Wales you can ride the world's fastest seated zip across a sparkling reservoir.

All of these heart-pumping experiences are very popular so it's essential to book in advance. 

Read more: Zip-boing: brilliant activities for a holiday you'll never forget.

a man strapped into a zipwire overlooking a large quarry

Zip World Velocity 2 at Penrhyn Quarry, (Eryri) Snowdonia, North Wales.

High ropes adventures

Fancy hanging out in the forest, surrounded by the wonders of the natural world?

There are lots of high ropes activity centres in Wales. At places like Zip World Fforest near Betws Y Coed and Ropeworks near Llanberis you can swing and zoom between the trees on all sorts of nets and zips and plunge earthwards on huge Tarzan swings.

This is another one to book in advance.

Read more: Learn the ropes with the family.

 

Going underground

Wales has a long history of mining and you can explore deep underground in some of the disused slate mines.

There's Bounce Below and Caverns on the same site as Zip World Llechwedd where you bounce on vast trampolines and traverse huge caverns on zipwires, rope bridges and on a via ferrata. There are even plans to open the world's first underground golf course here!

Go Below offers climbing, abseiling and ziplining adventures underground in Snowdonia. And you'll also learn about the rich history of mining in Wales with guided expeditions through ancient tunnels at places like Corris Mine Explorers.

Read more: Exploring the underground secrets of Wales.

Group of people on the nets of the underground trampoline park Bounce Below.
Group of people bouncing in a net

Exciting adventures below ground at Bounce Below, Zip World Llechwedd.

Family cycling holidays with teens in Wales

We have some of the world's best terrain for serious riders, but there are also lots of easier pedals around lakes and through forests. Basically, if your teens are happy in the saddle, there will be something just for them.

For a real challenge, try the gnarly descents at the old slate mine at Antur Stiniog - they're sure to get your pulse racing.

Places like Coed Y Brenin, Afan Forest Park and Coed Llandegla offer miles of trails from greens for beginners to blacks for serious bike-addicts. They're ideal if you have kids with different levels of ability. All have cafés and bike and gear hire too.

Read more: Real mountain biking for families and beginners

Two mountain bikers watching a sunset over the Mawddach eastuary.

Mountain biking overlooking the Mawddach Estuary, Mid Wales.

Stay safe on active holidays in Wales

Exploring the outdoors on a family multi-activity holiday is fantastic fun and provides great opportunities for adventure activities, but do read up on the risks and make sure you are prepared.

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