Highway to Thrill
The brand new Adventure Highway map from Zip World is set to get your pulses and your senses racing with fun for all the family. Here writer Laura Garner takes a trip down into beautiful North Wales.
Dramatic scenery, breathtaking views, world-class trails and mountains for miles. You’d be mistaken for thinking you were talking about the Remarkables in New Zealand or the Pyrenees in France, but just under two hours away by car from Cheshire and you can find all of these things. That place is Snowdonia National Park.
Cherished by many as a place for family trips in their childhood, the park is now globally-renowned for being a must-visit destination for thrill-seekers and athletes alike. One of the reasons is because it is home to the highest point in Wales, Snowdon; a staggering 1,085m above sea level, this monstrous mountain attracts tourists from both near and far to take on its various pathways to its summit.
Another attraction putting Snowdonia on the map is Zip World. This multi- layered adventure paradise, boasts a range of rides and thrills for every age and the geniuses behind the concept have recently launched an Adventure Highway, so you miss not one second of the nearly 50-mile road - filled with both historical, scenic and high-voltage escapades.
Kicking off the journey is Zip World at Penrhyn Quarry - the home of Velocity 2 - the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe. Down below in Penrhyn Quarry, experts will take you on a tour in a famous Red Truck through time to explore how slate was extracted from this, one of Wales’ most prominent mines while zippers soar through the sky above. Watch all the action and refuel in the Blondin Restaurant before you set off on the Adventure Highway. For families, one of the most accessible spots to stop on along the way is the Cwm Idwal Walk. Set around the beautiful lake, we recommend a sunset or sunrise to get the most spectacular views of the Glyderau range.
For those wanting to test their mountaineering skills, Glyder Fawr is the fifth highest summit in the whole of Wales, and its neighbour, Tryfan, are the only mountains you have to scramble up on your hands and knees in the UK! This stop on the Adventure Highway is not for the faint-hearted. Try it at your peril.
Summer holidays and half-term breaks need not be boring at Plas Y Brenin - activity holidays and courses for all levels and abilities run all year long. And so to the exhilarating Forest Coaster at the Zip World Forest - fun for all the family. You can also take a journey through the canopy of the trees on Zip Safari or bounce and explore to your heart’s content on Treetop Nets. Soar over the treetops on the giant five seater swing, Skyride, or keep your little adventurers busy on Tree Hoppers.
For a gentle stop off between all of the exciting adventures, Betws-Y-Coed is perfect for a nice refreshing drink and we’d recommend a pizza at Hangin Pizzaeria (www.hanginpizzeria.co.uk) - one of the quirkiest and most delicious places to eat in North Wales.
Fuel is what you’ll need for the run-up to Blaenau Ffestiniog. The Slate Caverns includes an experience for almost everyone, from Titan, the first four-person zip line in Europe to the unique, all- weather underground adventures that are Bounce Below and Zip World Caverns.
If you feel the need to get away from it all but a plane or a train is just one step too far - get in the car and jump on the Adventure Highway in North Wales - you’re in for a thrilling ride..
For more information go to www.adventurehighway.co.uk