What better way to enjoy the summer rays and cool off from the heat than on the water? North Wales has an abundance of outdoor water sports including whitewater rafting, canoeing, sailing, surfing, wakeboarding and more! Set’s lets dive in to discover ten of the best water sports and centres in the region…
1) Adventure Parc Snowdonia: Surfing
The world’s first inland surf lagoon and only guaranteed surf break in the UK, Adventure Parc Snowdonia has been the leading water sports centre in North Wales since 2013. Whether you’re an expert surfer, beginner or simply enjoy sitting outdoors with an iced cold beverage, Adventure Parc Snowdonia should be on your list of things to do this summer! The parc’s world-first inland waves have been joined by a number of exhilarating new adventures this year. An adventure concierge service will help guests to explore exciting, instructor-led activities like gorge walking, abseiling, SUP safaris and coasteering. There will be mountain bike hire too – perfect for visitors who’d like to explore the beautiful Gwydir Mawr / Marin Trail which is close by. And the parc’s world-first inland waves will be rolling just as before, with expert tuition delivered by the APS surf academy. Consistent inland waves roll every 90 seconds in beginner, intermediate and advanced zones. Surfers can hit the waves with or without instruction. Stay overnight in one of their glamping pods and make sure to check their event calendar regularly for concerts, festivals and a drive-in movie theatre.
2) RibRide: VELOCITY
The team at RibRide have a new RIB designed specifically for speed at sea. The RIB is named VELOCITY and passengers have been enjoying the high-speed adrenaline-fuelled rush of reaching velocity. “Our new VELOCITY RIB is an amazing boat, she is outperforming all our expectations. From the beginning of June we have been running trips and our RibRiders are really enjoying the speed and adrenaline rush,” says skipper Phil Scott, owner of RibRide Adventure Tours. RibRide has a fleet of RIBs which operate from their base in Menai Bridge all year round and from Holyhead Marina during the summer season. “Our tours have always been about taking the time to explore the coast, discuss points of interest and appreciating the natural beauty of the marine environment. Our Adventure RIBs are fast and fun but we were always being asked ‘how fast are your boats?’. So we decided to design and build a new RIB that was fast, and I mean super-fast,” continues Phil. The VELOCITY RIB is 11.5m long and is powered by 900hp of Yamaha outboard engines. VELOCITY trips are 30 minutes on the water. Tickets are £40 per person or the whole boat (seats 12) can be booked for £395.
3) The National White Water Centre: White water Rafting
The National White Water Centre offers fantastic white water adventures on the natural rapids of the River Tryweryn, located in the Snowdonia National Park. Set in the stunning Welsh hills, the River Tryweryn is a steep and rocky mountain river with fast flowing rapids ideal for exhilarating white water activities throughout the year. The National White Water Centre offers a variety of sessions ranging from fun family trips along the lower river’s gentle surf waves and boulder gardens, to action packed group sessions on the raging rapids of upper river. For those wanting a different white water experience, test your bravery with a canyoning session where you will slide, swim and scramble through the spectacular Prysor Gorge. If you’re not ready to brave the white water the River Tryweryn has plenty to offer all visitors. Take a stroll along the riverside Tryweryn trail, grab a bite to eat at Manon’s Riverside Café or discover one of our woodland picnic spots ideal for soaking up the wild, white water atmosphere.
4) Glasfryn Parc: Cable Wakeboarding
Try something new this summer and sign up for a cable wakeboarding session! Year-round, Glasfryn invites beginners and advanced riders alike. Glasfryn Wakepark is home to two lakes with three System 2.0 cables. Inexperienced riders can take advantage of our specialised lake for beginners. While more advanced riders can challenge themselves on obstacles including Leviathan, Flat Bar, Mystig Big Air Kicker and more. Choose from a single session – or if you love it as we know you will – the park offers different Rider Pack’s, giving you great prices on session blocks. Glasfryn also offers stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and coarse fishing.
5) Ty Nant Outdoors: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Canoe Tours
Simply the best way to cross over Thomas Telford’s World Heritage marvel of engineering 126ft above the River Dee as part of a tranquil and picturesque Canoe journey down the Llangollen Canal. Paddle above the canopy, peer over the side and relax in the beautiful Vale of Llangollen. Choose from three options, a shorter trip with the penultimate excitement finishing the trip on the Pontcysyllte. Alternatively, opt for a Double Aqueduct Canoe Tour as a half day or a full day crossing both The Pontcysyllte and the Chirk aqueducts as well as travelling through two tunnels and across the Welsh border into England. A fully qualified coach will guide you on your trip, take photos and teach you how to canoe on your journey safely. Trips can be run for groups of two people or more and all safety equipment is provided. Make the most of your trip to Llangollen and try your hand at stand up paddleboarding, Whitewater kayaking, Whitewater Rafting and much more with the Ty Nant Outdoors team.
6) Get Wet Adventure Company: White Water Rafting
Get Wet The Adventure Company is based in Bala, and it is currently the only company running white water rafting sessions on the two best rafting rivers in North Wales. Get Wet has a home base on the banks of the river Tryweryn, a dam release river which flows when other rivers have no water in them making it the perfect spot for summer rafting adventures. If the dam isn’t releasing Get Wet takes clients to the River Dee in Llangollen, another prime location and hot spot for white water rafting. Both white water experiences run over approximately four miles of pristine white water river and grades range from class two to four – making both experiences ones to remember. Get Wet has recently moved into a new home in Bala and shares facilities with Yr Hwb, a new café serving excellent food and drink throughout the day with an exciting and eclectic street food menu. The new base gives a riverside location with a private take off from the river directly into the car park and changing facilities. Get Wet rafting is suitable for all types of groups from 10 years old upwards and its raft guides with international experience and qualifications will guarantee you leave with a smile on your face and a memory to last a lifetime!
7) Llyn Brenig: Sailing
Enjoy the thrill of the open water at the Llyn Brenig in a variety of ways. Perfect for sailing, the site is at altitude and experiences frequent windy conditions for the budding and adventurous sailor. You can learn to sail on the UK’s highest freshwater sailing venue. The on-site sailing club is always happy to accept new members and has a wide range of boats and training possibilities. The visitor centre also hires out fishing boats and boats to enjoy as a family. Visiting makes for a full, enjoyable and fun packed day out. The visitor centre is open all year round with extended opening during the fishing season. The restaurant and shop offer panoramic views of the reservoir – one of the largest areas of inland water in Wales. Offering fun for families, there is an adventure playground and picnic area, a hire room for parties, zorbs rental, boat hire, and an Osprey photography hide on site. Llyn Brenig also gives out free days out for schools to learn about water.
8) Colwyn Bay Watersports: Windsurfing
Ever tried windsurfing? Tried it years ago but want to see what you can remember? Want to give it a try before committing to a course? Colwyn Bay Watersports offers taster sessions for £25. The session lasts for 2.5 hours and is open to adults and children aged 8+. The taster session includes wetsuit, buoyancy aid and all the equipment and professional instruction. Operating out of Porth Eirias, the centre also offers sailing taster sessions. The company has hosted some of the country’s most prestigious windsurfing events such as the Student National Awards and has worked closely with the charity group, All Afloat, to get hundreds of local primary school children sailing for the very first time. The Beach Club, aimed at 8-14 year-olds is the perfect alternative to a summer camp in North Wales. Children will try out a whole range of water sports and beach activities while having fun and learning new skills.
9) Plas Menai: Family Adventure Weekend Packages
Whether you’re looking for adventurous activities for yourself, your children or whole family, Plas Menai has something for everyone. The ‘Family Adventure Weekends’ that allow even the busiest of families to an enjoy an epic break. The adventure weekend is a great way to boost fitness, and create incredible memories. The weekend itinerary provides the perfect opportunity to try a huge array of adventurous activities and learn new skills whilst strengthening family relationships and bonds. The dedicated and friendly instructors will guide you and your family all the way as you tackle activities such as sailing, windsurfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking and much more. Add the residential package and take the worry of finding accommodation and organising meals away. The package includes en-suite accommodation, a hearty breakfast to fuel you for the day, a packed lunch to keep you going and a delicious evening meal. And there is no need to bring any specialist kit and equipment as Plas Menai provides you with buoyancy aids, wetsuits, helmets and waterproofs. All you need is; swimming togs, a towel, shoes for on the water and some warm clothing.
10) SC2: Family waterpark
Even with temperatures rising, North Wales is bound to get a few rainy days this summer, so why not head to the newly opened SC2 water park in Rhyl? Located on the promenade, this £15 million waterpark, which includes Wales’ first TAGactive play arena, is Denbighshire Leisure’s flagship facility. The main waterpark area is suitable for all ages and abilities and children will be able to explore and enjoy water at their own pace with a maximum depth of 900m. The younger visitors will love the Water Wheel. Little hands will quickly work out how turning the wheels makes the spokes spin and fills up the water buckets. Two toddler slides lead off into the water confidence area, which with its beach entry, allows non-swimmers to enjoy themselves without fear of getting out of their depth. For older, more adventurous visitors, higher levels of Piranha Play provide all the fun you need. Children can explore the structure and have endless fun soaking themselves and their friends with water cannons, tipping troughs and jets. At the same time, from above, shark showers, waterwheels and tipping buckets will be spraying and splashing them as they make their way towards to the slides. If the weather permits, SC2’s Outdoor Splash Pad is designed to let visitors make the most of the sunshine. Centred around a paddling pool, the water is 300mm at its deepest and ideal for younger children, toddlers and infants.