A HEART-stopping 106ft plunge from a tree, followed by Europe’s highest giant forest swing topped off with a 27-zipwire canopy adventure – welcome to the giant playground that is North Wales.
I crossed the border recently to take on Snowdon as part of my self-appointed training for Rotherham Hospice’s Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge on May 20.
But by the time my friend Jenny and I came to take on the highest mountain in Wales and England, its eight-mile climb seemed like the most relaxing thing we had done all weekend – until the weather took a turn for the worse that was!
We decided to make a weekend out of our training and set up camp in Snowdonia National Park’s principal village Betws-y-Coed.
I say “camp”, what I mean is three-star bed and breakfast at the Royal Oak Hotel.
The hotel, a former Victorian coaching station, was in the heart of the village and its adjacent pub had a large outdoor area where walkers and climbers congregated to enjoy a well-deserved beer, making it the ideal spot.
We wasted no time in joining in after a three-hour drive from Rotherham and there was also a live band playing upon our arrival to get us in the holiday mood.
The following morning we headed to Zip World Fforest (yes that is two fs, we were in Wales, after all), just a stone’s throw away from the hotel to tackle some sky-high challenges.
If you want a good laugh, go and check out the video on Twitter @TiserAdele of when I jumped off the world’s highest Plummet Tower, a treetop parachute simulator at the woodland centre (suitable for ages seven and over).
Stepping off the 31m platform with nothing to hold goes against everything natural, especially for someone like me who doesn’t have the best head for heights.
My shrilling scream practically brought the place to a standstill.
Of course, its powerfan technology ensured the smoothest of landings, but the few seconds of freefall were like nothing I had felt before.
We didn’t bother to catch our breath as we were straight onto Europe’s first five-seater Giant Swing.
After being harnessed in, we were hoisted 80ft into the air while a crowd gathered below and revelled in our fear.
What’s great about this attraction is that the rider has to pull the release string, which added to the build-up and was a great way of tormenting my pal.
Once released we were catapulted back and forth over the magnificent Conwy Valley — again captured on video for your amusement.
To keep our heart rates at peak level we were then taken on the 566m zip wire course which weaves its way through the forest with its highest point being the selfie platform at 60ft.
This course can take up to two hours to complete (depending on how scared of heights you are).
I realised halfway round the course that I was far more suited to the fast and furious-style rides that were over in seconds. The adventure centre is also expanding this month with the opening of its first roller coaster on May 10.
After all that action, we saw the rest of the sunny day out firmly on solid ground at the beautiful nearby Bodnant Garden.
The 80-acre Grade I-listed paradise is part of the National Trust’s portfolio and is a treat for the eyes.
The following day we hit the manmade waves at the Surf Snowdonia Adventure Parc.
The 300m fresh-water, outdoor lagoon is nestled in the Conwy Valley and is another world first.
Pulling up to the inland surfing centre and seeing the 150m wave rise up every few minutes befor peeling back down was at first slightly daunting.
But once we were kitted up for our surfing lesson and realised the water wasn’t as cold as it looked, we got stuck in.
Surfers of all abilities can hit the water at the same time as there were designated areas for different levels.
The onsite glamping pods also mean you can make a weekend of it.
We fared better on the Crash and Splash assault course, though, where we relived our childhoods and flopped, flipped and splattered around in hysterics.
Oh, and we were catapulted off the Giant Blob for good measure.
After two days with an enormous number of fun challenges, it was time for our biggest yet — at 3,560ft to be precise.
After battling 40mph wind, hail and rain — oh, God, the rain! — we made it to the summit via the rugged Pyg Track in around two hours.
We couldn’t really take in much of the recently-voted UK’s best view due to the fog, but the descent via the Miner’s Track provided some glorious views of Glaslyn Lake.
We returned to South Yorkshire feeling like we could take on anything and pumped up ready for the hospice’s 24-mile challenge — now we’re just keeping our fingers crossed for better weather.
If you would like to help us reach our £500 fundraising target visit http://tinyurl.com/hysd3wp.
For more information on what else is on offer, visit www.attractionsofsnowdonia.com and for savings on attractions and eateries visit www.snowdoniapass.co.uk.
Jenny and reporter Adele Forrest tackling Snowdon
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