Underground Zip Line:
For the last five years North Wales base Go Below have offered a range of underground adventures in abandoned slate mines and in 2015 they added the World's longest underground zip line to their list of attractions. With 9 lines in total day visitors can take a 5km trip underground, including a 70ft abseil and Goliath, at 130m the longest single underground zip line anywhere on the planet. With prices from £39 for 5 hours (minimum age 10) to £79 for the all day long Zip Below Xtreme (minimum age 18) you can pack in a bit of caving, abseiling, wire bridge crossing and even a freefall jump on a single trip.
Europe's Longest Zip Line:
Not content with the World's longest underground zip line North Wales also plays host to the fastest zip line in the world and the only four person zip in Europe. With twin centres at Berthesda and Blenau Ffestiniog you get a choice of the 100mph Velocity or the 4 man Titan zip lines run by Zip World.
Velocity has two pairs of zip lines. The experience starts with the ‘Little Zipper’; a great introduction and confidence builder with a maximum speed of around 45mph. An off-road vehicle then takes you to where the Big Zipper begins. This is a mile long zip line that provides riders with a birds-eye view of the historic quarry and the spectacular North Wales coastline and beyond.
Zip World Titan is the first of its kind, the only 4 person zip line in Europe, where riders reach speeds up to 70mph over moor, mountain and mine. In summer the full tour takes up to 2 hopurs with seperate lines totalling 8km. Prices start from £50, for Titan, and participants will be supplied with a safety helmet, goggles and a flying suit that is wind and shower proof.
Photo © Zip World
The UKs first dedicated Via Ferrata was established at Honister in the Lake District in 2012 and the Via Ferrata Classic is the original Award Winning product suitable for most ages and abilities. Following the original Miners route to the top of the Mountain, Via Ferrata Classic is a perfect introduction to move out of the comfort zone while Via Ferrata Xtreme was introduced to bring a much more challenging (and some say scary) Via Ferrata experience. High above the Borrowdale valley the via ferrata routes allow you to experience the views only climbers usually get while constantly remaining clipped into a saftey cable as you make your way up the side of Fleetwith Pike.
You don't have to head for the wild's of Snowdonia or the Lake District for a bit of adventure with indoor climbing facilities popping up all over the country.Indoor climbing at centres like Awesome Walls in Sheffield has exploded in popularity over the last 20 years with cutting edge design yet still accessible for total beginners. Alongside big walls like the DMM Shield you get bouldering areas with a range of angles from vertical to 45% (that's overhanging, not away from you!) and even a Children's space zone where the younger climber can play. Awesome Walls do Taster Sessions for a minimum of 2 people costing £15 for a junior or £19 for an adult and if you get to like it prices range from £20 for a 1 week pass to £380 for an all year round ticket.
Awesome Walls Sheffield
Strange as it may seem you can now take a jump from 12,000ft without a parachute and without even stepping outside, or at least come pretty close to it. If you've always fancied jumping out of a plane but haven't really got the necessary head for hights you can experience the thrill without the flight. Airkix have centres at Basingstoke, Milton Keynes and Manchester where you can be suspended in a clumn of air which reproduces the feeling of freefall for the equivalent of a jump from 12,000ft. Off peak prices start from £29 and if you're visiting the Manchester venue there's even the UK's biggest indoor ski centre next door for a complete day of adventure.
Probably the best known of the indoor adventure facilities ski slopes have changed beyond all recognition over recent years. Forget the plastic carpets of interlocking hexagons, though there's still some around the industry now boasts indoor centres producing real snow and conditions that will get you ready for the real thing all year round. Back in December we checked out the UK's biggest indoor ski centre at the Chill Factore in Manchester in preparation for a first ever ski trip and can definitely vouch for the value of a few lessons indoors before heading for the Alps. INterestingly, though, the Chill Factore slopes weren't just full of novices trying to learn but had at least an equal number with a skill level we could only dream of. Officially a beginner's day lesson for an adult will cost you from £165, but you can knock a third off that by signing up for membership and there's regular offers than can drop the price below £100 including lunch.
Learning to ski at Manchester's Chill Factore
White Water Rafting:
The National White Water Centre is the home of white water rafting and kayaking in the UK. Based just outside Bala on the River Tryweryn the water levels are dam-controlled so you can enjoy thrilling white water and reliable river conditions all year round. A 1 hour taster session is suitable for individuals and groups. Your introduction to rafting will consist of 2 busy runs down the Upper Tryweryn course and cost £35 or you can choose from a range of options up to £300 for a group (4) booking on a full 2 hour paddle the 7km into Bala.
Rafting the River Tryweryn
If you've got the nerve for it and really want to step outside your comfort zone then Paragliding's got to be one of the ultimate adventures you can have in a day. You can book a tandem paraglide or tandem hang gliding sesson from places like Peak Airsports from around £120 and get around 30 minutes air time free to relax and enjoy the experience, together with the fantastic views. Flights are captured on "in flight" video and conditions permitting you may even get the opportunity to take control of the glider for a short period.
If that's not enough to get you out enjoying a day of real adventure then keep yopur eyes open this summer for a new addition in the form of Surf Snowdonia; an exciting new surfing and water sports park to be built in the Conwy Valley. Featuring the World’s first publicly accessible Wavegarden artificial surfing lagoon. This revolutionary concept generates powerful and consistent surfing waves, of varying heights up to 6 feet, in a 300m long lagoon. It is ideal for all surfers, from grommets (beginners both young and old) to professional surfers, and looks set to become a favourite family destination.