Holy Island, Anglesey
Grant Mitchell discovered the otherwise inaccessible cliffs of Holyhead in an inner tube aged seven. Now he goes coasteering there with Anglesey Adventures. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, North Wales’ most spectacular coastline has deep clean water, hidden beaches, sea cliffs and the largest sea cave in Wales.
Llŷn Peninsula, North Wales
The details make each coasteering location unique. Details like bobbing out through a passageway from a bowl-like cave to play with seals – just another day when coasteering from Morfa Nefyn, says Chris Thorne, founder of Llŷn Adventures. With its low 10m cliffs, the north coastline of the Llŷn is accessible to all. For adventure there’s Aberdaron: the waves are larger, the coasteering wilder.
Abereiddy, North Pembrokeshire
Only one day spare? Go to Abereiddy. When sea conditions cancel trips in every other location in Wales, people still plummet into the Blue Lagoon. This former slate quarry hosted the Red Bull Diving Championship in 2012 and provides jumps up to 10m, guide Tom Luddington says. Not to mention Wales’ friendliest seals – they’re so used to guests and Britain’s most gorgeous coastline.
guide Tom Luddington
This former slate quarry hosted the Red Bull Diving Championship in 2012 and provides jumps up to 10m."
South St Davids Head, Pembrokeshire
The birthplace of commercial coasteering on a coast that is almost purpose-designed. Think 500 million-year-old red sandstone against turquoise water, cliff jumps up to 7m, a swim through vast Cathedral Cave and whitewater play spots such as The Toilet, a swell-surge in a natural bowl. Coasteering here is great fun, guide Tom Luddington says. Countryfile, presenter Julia Bradbury agrees.
Stackpole South, Pembrokeshire
National Trust protection and Barafundle Beach, a fixture in best British beach lists, guarantee the scenery. Geology ensures more wildlife here than anywhere else in Pembrokeshire, believes guide Tom Luddington. The limestone that forms caves to swim through and cliffs to jump off also creates rockpools that teem with life. Extreme rockpooling? You heard it here first.
South Gower, West Wales
It ticks all boxes geographically: an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, high cliffs, big sea arches and a massive tidal range that reveals wildlife. What makes the Gower unique for Tony Rees, coasteering guide, is it remains underused for coasteering despite being 30 minutes from Swansea. You rarely see other groups, so coasteering around Three Cliffs Bay feels like adventure not just excitement.
Glamorgan Heritage Coast
What the Glamorgan Heritage Coast lacks in fame it gains in accessibility. Though only 30 minutes from Cardiff, it offers a genuine raw coasteering experience. Never mind that the scenery is not as dramatic as Pembrokeshire, coasteering guide Gary Evans says. Once you jump in at Ogmore by Sea the adventure of coasteering is identical; you still jump and scramble, still swell-ride and bob.