Go wild in Wales!
All too often, the words ‘adventure travel’ are only uttered in conjunction with remote corners of the world, accessible only to a hardcore set whose Instagram accounts are awash with mind-bending images of incredible vistas, amazing activities and apparently secret destinations. The truth, though, is markedly different: those singular adventures are achievable right here in the UK – in the glorious, often furious, landscape of Wales.
Undoubtedly one of Europe’s finest natural playgrounds, Wales offers a plethora of adventures, from the gentlest ramble in the hills to the most extreme downhill mountain bike ride. It’s the birthplace of coasteering, a thrilling way of exploring some normally inaccessible coastal gems. It’s also a paradise for open-water swimmers – spots off the beaten path include the former gold mine at Rhaeadr Mawddach in Snowdonia, and the coastal splendour of Porth Oer on the Llyn Peninsula. And it’s a holy grail for bikers, with great MTB riding at Afan Forest Park, near Port Talbot and Nant yr Arian Forest, close to Aberystwyth.
Adventure travel isn’t about photo-stream one-upmanship and impossible tales from impossible places. Epic lives close to home – in wild Wales.
More info on: visitwales.com
Coasting through Pembrokeshire
The wacky, water-based adrenalin rush known as coasteering was born in South West Wales. What is it? Simply put, it’s the act of reaching otherwise inaccessible stretches of coastline – steep cliffs, rocky ledges, caves, gullies – by diving, clambering, swimming or floating. Pembrokeshire is famed for its amazing coastal scenery, and no other part of the UK can boast such a diversity of marine landscapes. Many tour companies organise coasteering treks – a great way to see a secret side of the island we live on.
HIT THE TRAILS: NANT YR ARIAN FOREST
Nant yr Arian Forest offers rugged MTB riding at its best, including mountain climbs, river crossing and technical descents. There are two red-graded trails and a black trail, offering 60km of ground to explore.
Wild water Llyn y Fan Fach
This 18m-deep pool high in the Brecon Beacons has its own legend: the Lady of the Lake is said to have appeared from its waters in the 13th century. She chose a good spot: Llyn y Fan Fach was named one of the world’s ‘1,000 Ultimate Sights’ by Lonely Planet.