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Capability

Road from Bala to Ffestiniog, Snowdonia National Park, North Wales A4212, B4391

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From the natural challenge of the mighty peaks in the Snowdonia National Park to the very man-made challenges of the area’s burgeoning adventure sports industry close by, North Wales is fast becoming known as the UK’s go-to place for outdoor excitement.

Snowdon itself is the biggest of the UK’s mountains outside of Scotland, and the stream of climbers looking to reach the summit via one of its six routes, is as busy as it ever was. But recently North Wales has found a home for thrill seekers looking to get their kicks through a series of activities that capitalise on the legacy of the region’s industrial past.

Surf's up on Snowdonia

There’s Surf Snowdonia, an artificial surfing lake built on the site of an old aluminium works that guarantees the perfect wave every 90sec, and Zip World Titan, Europe’s first four-person zip line, that sends specially-suited adrenaline junkies over the historic Llechwedd slate quarry at speeds of up to 70mph.

That’s 10mph faster than the law allows you to travel on the surrounding roads, but the swooping ribbons of Tarmac that criss-cross this area have an excitement all their own. Framed by some of the most spectacular scenery the UK has to offer, the roads of Snowdonia National Park are always challenging and often blissfully free of traffic.

And if you do spot another car here, there’s every chance it will be wearing some form of psychedelic camouflage-patterned vinyl wrap across its body panels to disguise its true shape from lurking photographers. These roads are so good to drive the world’s car makers come here to test their latest vehicles before signing off the final suspension setup.

Perfect place to discover the benefits of Subaru

Which makes Snowdonia and roads like the B4391 from Bala to Ffestiniog the perfect place to discover the benefits of Subaru’s Boxer engines, a configuration unique in the SUV class. Mounted low in the car, the Boxer engine lowers the centre of gravity, limiting the vehicle’s body roll to improve handling and agility.

You can feel that capability with every direction change, just as you can feel the reassuring grip and traction of Subaru’s always-on four-wheel drive system. Which is just as well, because as the residents of nearby Capel Curig – named the UK’s wettest village by the Met Office – can testify, the often-inclement Welsh weather is never less than exciting.

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