5 extreme coastal activities in Wales that’ll get your adrenaline pumping
Swap that bucket and spade for a scuba tank, your parasol for a parachute and that lilo for a life jacket. It’s time for some adrenaline fuelled adventures on the Welsh coast. Both on-land and off-shore, they’re not for the faint of heart, but you’re sure to have an amazing experience. Here are five of the best to get you started.
SS Missouri, Anglesey by Tony GilbertWales has some excellent diving spots with the undersea action particularly special in Pembrokeshire and Anglesey. The Skomer Marine Reserve is bountiful. Dive with seals and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, explore wall drops which descend to over 50m and visit the wreck of the Lucy, which is a popular dive for advanced divers, and one of over 500 wrecks in the reserve. St Brides Haven Beach is a good option for newer divers, who can witness lobsters, crabs, wrasse, pollack and dogfish in their natural habitat, in depths of no more than 12m. Further north, Rhoscolyn Beacon on Anglesey is considered one of the best drift diving spots in the UK, with the reef dropping away to around 18m. There are plenty of rocky gullies to explore, where you’ll find prawns, lobsters and crabs, not to mention some beautiful anemones.
The Blue Lagoon early morning from Abereiddy on the path to Porthgain, Pembrokeshire by ALAMO2008For thrill seekers, cliff diving is considered a rite of passage. And in Wales the centre of the cliff diving world is the Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire, one of the stops on the epic Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. A former slate quarry which was abandoned and flooded in 1910, the Abereiddy site serves as a natural amphitheatre and offers divers tiered platforms which have been carved out of the rock thanks to the site’s industrial past. Just pick a height that you’re comfortable with and launch yourself into the deep, greenish, mineral-rich water below.
Coasteering at Holyhead, Anglesey by drgillybeanIf epic drops are a little too white knuckle for your tastes, slightly smaller leaps of faith can be taken on coasteering expeditions all around the Welsh coastline. Here jumps, both big and small, are interspersed with swell-riding, rock hopping and shore scrambling for an incredible day of coastal adventure. But if regular coasteering is a little too middle of the road for your tastes, there are definitely some options available for those who like to live on the edge (literally). Anglesey Adventures offers an Adventure Coasteering day package that they bill as the ‘ultimate coasteering experience’. The day starts with a free hanging abseil over the biggest sea cave in Wales. Depending on the time of the day, you’ll either land on the beach below, or be plunged into the surf, where you’ll have to swim your way to the shore.
Worms Head, Gower PeninsularDoes it get any more hardcore than throwing yourself out of an airplane? The answer to that question is probably no! So how about jumping out of a plane several thousand feet above the UK’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and enjoying panoramic coastal views as you initially plummet, and then gently float to earth? Skydive Swansea offers adrenaline junkies the chance to do just that over the stunning Gower Peninsula. Definitely one for the bucket list.
There are speed boats and then there are Zap Cats. Think about the difference between a family car and a sports car, and you’re there. Zap Cats are fast, very fast, and it’s a sport that’s growing in popularity around the UK, with competitions popping up everywhere for enthusiasts. Zap Cats are designed to cope with a huge variety of sea conditions from serene waters to large breaking surf. They also boast a power to weight ratio of 340bhp per tonne, so basically they’re a supercar on water. Experience a blast on a Zap Cat for yourself at The Big Blue Experience in Newgale, Pembrokeshire, where you can enjoy an hour long taster session in the sheltered Daugleddau Estuary.
All of the activities outlined in this article are best undertaken with a trained professional from an accredited company that can supply all the right equipment and be well experienced in terms of the local coastline, the weather and tide times. Be AdventureSmart and make your good day better!