Seven new adventures for 2021 around Snowdonia National Park

North Wales is taking its adventures up a notch — just in time for Snowdonia National Park’s 70th anniversary this year.

By Sarah Barrell
Published 29 Mar 2021, 08:00 BST
Adventure Parc Snowdonia continues to innovate since its transformation from an abandoned aluminium works in 2015.

Adventure Parc Snowdonia continues to innovate since its transformation from an abandoned aluminium works in 2015.

Photograph by Adventure Parc Snowdonia

It’s no coincidence TV franchise I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! chose North Wales to host last year’s series, when travel restrictions forced producers to swap the Australian jungle for Gwrych Castle, above the village of Abergele. Over the past decade, the region has positioned itself as the home of high-octane activities in some of Britain’s most dramatic landscapes.

This corner of the country has some showstopping spots for adventure, from Snowdonia’s 3,560ft heights to the 500ft depths of repurposed mines, plus inland lakes, deep valleys and miles of rugged coast. Crowning the region, Snowdonia National Park celebrates its 70th birthday in 2021 with a bumper calendar of challenging sporting events.

Adventure Parc Snowdonia continues to innovate since its transformation from an abandoned aluminium works in 2015. New for this year, the site adds a new waterside glamping site, spa hotel and open water swimming lessons. There’s also an all-weather track for bikers.

Meanwhile, over in Llechwedd, former slate mines now host tours journeying 500ft below ground on Europe’s steepest cable railway, where you’ll find a vast web of subterranean trampolines. Zip World relaunches its ‘Skyride 2’ swing this year, which launches five riders out over the Conwy Valley.

For bespoke adventures, North Wales Active takes groups into the wilds, this year adding new canyons and coasteering routes where participants get to tackle traverses with zip-wires and Tyrolean lines. Plas Y Brenin outdoor centre, meanwhile, is set to launch 25 new two- and three-day courses this spring, covering everything from canoeing and hill walking to climbing Snowdonia. 

And if hiking is your thing, set off on Offa's Dyke National Trail, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Celebrations will include numerous walking events and the reopening of Offa’s Dyke Centre on St David’s Day (1 March).

Three new hotels in North Wales

1. The Rocks at Plas Curig
This five-star hostel in the heart of Snowdonia National Park reopened last month after extensive refurbishment. Just a stone’s throw from Snowdon, it’s perfectly positioned for active travellers who want a bit of luxury for less, including a new firepit, local libations and ample bike storage. From £28, or £200 at the Retreat, Rocks’ dog-friendly, three-bedroom annex cottage.

2. The Hilton Garden Inn
One of North Wales’ smartest hotels is set to open on the edge of the inland surf lagoon at Adventure Parc Snowdonia, with bookings from 26 March. Waves Garden Spa is the crowning glory: an indoor-outdoor wellness centre with benchmark spa 
facilities, a restaurant overlooking the lagoon and the Adventure Concierge service to help guests explore instructor-led activities. From £89. 

3. Glamping Adventure Parc Snowdonia
New glamping pods set in the Parc’s woodland and along the lagoon shore come with underfloor heating and sundecks, and sleep up to four guests (one double bed, two singles). There’s also an onsite deli, bar and kitchen serving everything from breakfast to burgers, pizzas and more, in view of the surf. From £65.

Published in the March 2021 issue of National Geographic Traveller

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