Whether it’s replenishing adventure in wide open spaces, out of the box activities or life-affirming days out. Ideal for making memories and forging new connections, these adventure-filled days out will keep your Instagram feed busy and your memory bank overflowing.
Be a shepherd: look after an alpaca
Alpacas may not be front of mind when it comes to planning your Welsh adventures. But with rolling green pastures and open spaces, Wales is an ideal place for animal sanctuaries to thrive. Visitors Amazing Alpacas near Earlswood, Monmouthshire can spend time meeting the herd, learning all about how to care for alpacas and of course, feeding the herd. Some of the more affectionate ones might even move in for a ‘cwtch’ (cuddle). Alternatively, Alpaca my Boots offer alpaca trekking in the stunning heart of the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons).
Have wheely good fun
Enjoy two or four wheels adventures. Tailor the level of adventure to your skills and choose a mountain biking centre, such as BikePark Wales in Merthyr Tydfil, Wye MTB in the Wye Valley or Black Mountains Cycle Centre, Abergavenny. Each offers routes suitable for children and beginners through to seasoned downhill bikers. Alternatively have a go at indoor race karting at Supakart Newport, the largest and fastest track in Wales and the West.
Go on an aerial adventure
Take to the air at Zip World Tower in Aberdare and enjoy a zip wire ride. There's Phoenix, the fastest seated zip line in the world and Tower Flyer zip line rides, suitable for children. There's also Tower Climber, an adventure activity course and the first two-seater roller coaster of its kind in Europe, Tower Coaster.
Ride a wave: morning surf
If you’re looking for some family fun or feeling delicate after sampling Cardiff nightlife, then shaking off the cobwebs with a dip in the sea could be just the ticket. Just a short distance away from the city buzz, there are ample opportunities to experience the invigorating Welsh sea. The nearby beachside town of Porthcawl is ideally situated for surf conditions, facing a westerly direction and right in the path of the Welsh coast’s Atlantic swells. The bays and coves of Coney Beach, Trecco Bay, Newton and Rest Bay are also perfectly situated for plenty of post-surf drinks and treats along the esplanade, seafront and harbourside.
Find your inner mermaid: open water swimming
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.
The Scandinavians aren’t the only ones with an affinity for invigorating dips outdoors. There are plenty of locations to go open water and wild swimming in Wales. Llandegfedd Lake, in Pontypool, and Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs, in Cardiff are owned by Dŵr Cymru and accredited as Swim Wales S.A.F.E Cymru sites.
If you are a confident swimmer you can try out the various courses which range from around 100m – 300m, all with lifeguard supervision. You’ll start with an induction session - these usually take place from May to October. Unauthorised swimming in reservoirs can pose a danger to life, so these supervised sessions are a perfect way to enjoy the water safely.
On the rocks: canyoning and gorge walking
A paradise for adrenaline junkies, the lush landscapes of Bannau Brycheiniog (the Brecon Beacons) are a veritable feast of adventure and absolutely teeming with rivers, gorges, ledges, waterfalls and pools. There are plenty of operators giving you the chance to gorge walk and go canyoning, so expect to hop boulders, scramble cascades, traverse and jump off hair-raising waterfalls to your heart’s content.
Get muddy: assault course
Just twenty minutes from Cardiff, this muddy assault course at Adventures Outdoor Activity Centre is the place for you and your friends to blow off steam. Ideal for team building and group adventures, this is an active adventure helping to bring your Ninja Warrior to the surface with Tyre Runs, Monkey Bars, Muddy Crawls and Vertical Walls to keep you busy. Even if you’re not in training for a super race, this muddy adventure will put your friendship to the test as you problem solve, scramble, slip and slide. After all that, there’s always Porthcawl nearby to rinse off and freshen up in the sea.
Drive a train: Gwili Steam Railway
Anyone who ever watched or read about the adventures of Thomas, The Railway Children or even Harry Potter will still have a soft spot for steam trains and railways. So these sentimental memories of picnic lunches, train conductors and coal-fired train engine horns whizzing in the distance will sing in your heart as you become a steam train driver for day with Gwili Steam Railway. Taster and day packages are available which will see you take the controls of a heritage locomotive railway and smell the burning coal as you trundle up the line (there’s always time for tea and sandwiches of course).
Be AdventureSmart: respect the water
Swimming in open water is very different to swimming in a pool, so it’s a good idea to swim at an organised venue where there will be a safety crew to provide guidance.
Our top tips for being safe when open water swimming are to:
- Wear a bright hat (bright green or bright orange are the best) and use a tow float so that you can be seen by other water users.
- Enter the water slowly and allow time for your body to get used to the cold.
- Check the tide times before swimming in the sea or in estuarine waters.
- If you are in difficulty in the water don’t panic, stay calm; attract attention by raising your hand and shouting for help.
Go to AdventureSmart.UK for all the information you need to help make your Welsh adventure both safe and fun!