Whitewater thrills in the city and country

We pioneered commercial whitewater rafting in the UK with the National White Water Centre. Our rapids rival any in the UK. Now we’ve brought whitewater adrenaline into the city. So, no more excuses – come out to play.

Rafting in South Wales: Cardiff

Cardiff International White Water Centre

Cardiff International White Water Centre, Cardiff Bay by CIWW
Under-tens and first-timers love it, so why is the Cardiff International White Water course also a hit with professional paddlers? The answer is a pump that alters waterflow to match ability. Regardless of level, the newest venue for Welsh rafting, opened in 2010 in Cardiff Bay, condenses the rough-and-tumble of river rafting into one intense 254m run. Expect plenty of adrenaline, guides say – it’s fast, fun and there are few flat bits. 

Bryony Rees, rafting guide and instructor:

Vicarious is a surf wave you dunk everyone in, so they get a good soaking. Everyone loves it. 

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Rafting in Mid Wales: Hay-on-Wye 

Rapids on the River Wye

River Wye, Wye Valley
Nowhere outside Scotland can match the upper River Wye for expedition rafting. Fifteen miles slip by on the full-day trips down this natural river with Black Mountain Rafting. Or the first few do. But after a calm start to learn paddle-technique sections build from gentle whitewater to Grade 3 rapids before, around two hours downriver, you race whooping through standing waves. And you’re still only half way. A real sense of journey, guides say.

Mike Smith, senior rafting guide:

Hell Hole is the rapid where everyone gets that big adrenaline hit, normally in 4-8ft standing waves but we’ve gone through in up to 16ft. 

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Rafting in North Wales: Bala 

White Water Rafting on Treyweryn River

White Water Rafting on Treyweryn River, Snowdonia
The National White Water Centre delivers its whitewater hits via an upstream dam release. So when other rivers in Wales trickle, the Tryweryn river delivers over half a mile of punchy grade 3-4 rapids. There’s no need to be nervous – you are in expert hands and anxious rafters always leave with the biggest grins, say guides. If you’re still not convinced the family-friendly Tryweryn Safari provides adventure-lite. 

Paul Bayliss, head guide:

The Graveyard’s fast rapids require hard paddling (though you can also sit on the bottom and hope for the best if you want) and the Ski Jump is a big jump with a two-tier drop.

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Rafting in North Wales: Llangollen 

Group white water rafting close to Llangollen

Llangollen by bristolsurfer
No pumps, no dams. The Dee river within easy reach of Liverpool, Manchester and the Midlands is all about natural rafting with the convenience of a pretty market town close by. Experience the adrenaline rush near Llangollen - including the wonderfully named Grade 2-4 rapids Serpents Tail, Tombstones and Town Falls. 

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