Where can you find magnificent mountain ranges, proudly challenging the horizon; deep, clear mountain lakes and tumbling waterfalls; ancient woodlands teeming with wildlife and a country filled with rich and mythical history? Why, Wales, of course!
If the stunning scenery isn’t enough reason to holiday in Wales, there’s something else on offer from all this landscape – a fantastic range of activities and adventure sports to get everyone up and out, from beginner to true adrenaline junkies. If you are new to adventure sports, then read on to discover which one sounds right for you. Book your cabin at our newest location, Beddgelert in beautiful Snowdonia, to try out your new favourite sport!
Are you picturing a gentle hike along a well-worn path, past moss-covered boulders? With frequent stops to admire incredible landscapes and spot peregrine falcons swooping down on their unsuspecting prey? It’s a good start - for hill walking!
Mountain walking takes that up a notch as the terrain becomes steeper and the ground rockier. However, there are some established routes to the top of the highest mountains in Wales, and it’s challenging but achievable for even a novice walker.
Start from the beautiful valley of Nant Gwynant and follow the Watkin Path up Mount Snowdon. Imagine your sense of achievement as you reach the summit – with incredible views across the Irish Sea to the Mountains of Mourne. Or follow the pathway to Moel Hebog (783m high), an impressive range that dominates the view around the village of Beddgelert. Walk the skyline over Moel yr Ogof, where Owain Glyndwr, hero of the Welsh, is said to have hidden from the English during his revolts.
You’ll need some equipment including proper walking boots, drinking water and warm, waterproof clothing. Even the hottest day will feel chilly from the top of a mountain, with brisk winds. Unless you know the area or are experienced, it’s best to book in with a qualified guide to stay safe.
A step up from mountain walking, scrambling is the stage before rock climbing. The aim is to traverse paths that include areas where you need to use your hands to get up the rock. However, you do need to be aware of your own ability – scrambling is more physical than walking and does require some agility.
Scrambling can be fun as well as challenging – pathways are graded from 1 – a straightforward clamber, combining some walking with scrambling, to 3 – a need for technical knowledge and a rope to traverse difficult, exposed sections.
There are plenty of wonderful Grade 1 scrambles around Beddgelert, exploring the ranges and running alongside the mountain lakes. Join our scheduled guided scrambles to try out this exciting sport and discover how hands on you can be.
Of course, while scrambling is not as difficult as climbing, you do still need to take caution. While you navigate your path across rocky gullies and up steep outcroppings, you won’t have the safety ropes and helmets of rock climbers, and knowing the region, understanding the weather changes and experience of the routes is vital.
Here, in the centre of Snowdonia, rock climbers are truly spoilt for choice. The whole area is a beautiful display of vertical cliffs, overhanging crags and giant boulders, with various types of rock and levels of difficulty.
Rock climbing is about technique and not, as many assume, purely upper body strength. You’ll need to use your legs and take your time – speed will only wear you out faster. You’ll also need good footwear, although there’s no need to buy anything special for your first experience on a beginner slope.
Rock climbing does require some special equipment including protective helmets, ropes and an experienced buddy, but there are plenty of climbing venues in Wales where you can get a real taster before deciding whether you want to take it up as a new hobby. And don’t forget, what goes up must come down. A lot of the courses include an abseil back down to the base of the rock face, which for some is the reward for all that hard work.
Let’s combine a spot of mountain walking, plenty of scrambling and the protective gear from rock climbing – and throw in some streams, waterfalls and rivers. Gorge walking is all about climbing up, or sliding down, a mountain river complete with plunge pools, waterslides and rapids.
The level of difficulty depends, of course, on the speed of the river and the depth of the gorge. Some routes can involve abseiling down waterfalls, jumping from outcroppings into plunge pools and clambering up rushing water to the top of the falls.
By the end of the day you’ll be wet, tired, and full of a sense of real achievement for this, possibly the most exhilarating of all mountain sports. There’s no better place to experience gorge walking for the first time than in the fabulous Welsh mountains.
Expert guides will provide wetsuits, but you’ll need to bring walking boots and a dry change of clothes for the trip back to your cabin, where you can relax tired muscles in front of your wood-burning stove and regale each other with tales of your achievements over a well-earned beer.
Are you ready for a new adventure?
If you’re ready to feel exhilaration and succeed at something new, now’s the time. Book in to a cosy log cabin near the picturesque village of Beddgelert, and you’ll be in the heart of Snowdonia, the very best place for mountain sports in the UK and with a huge choice of the most knowledgeable and experienced guides in the region. There’s no better place to get a taste of adventure.