From soaring mountains to sweeping bays, we all know that North Wales has some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. But although the great outdoors remains beautiful throughout the changing seasons, we don’t all relish the thought of a soggy tramp up Snowdon in the drizzle. We don’t know if you’ve heard or not, but occasionally in Wales, it does rain. Just a little bit. (Alright, sometimes quite a lot!) So what do you do when it rains? The good news is that at Great Escapes Wales, we’re prepared. North Wales is so versatile that there’s always something on offer to keep you busy; so for good weather and bad, for old and young, we’ve put together a list of our favourite attractions.
The fastest and longest zipwire in Europe at a mile long, this isn’t one for the faint hearted! It is, however, suitable for all ages. The oldest person who has done it so far – and who is now an undisputed hero – took on the zip at the ripe old age of 94! Built over a disused quarry, you can enjoy the most incredible views while you soar – especially if this winter brings a festive dusting of snow.
Drizzle factor: 6/10 – This attraction is largely outdoors, so there is a chance you might get wet. The ride only lasts a couple of minutes – probably the most exhilarating couple of minutes of your life! – but the whole experience takes about 2 hours, which is long enough to get drenched if it happens to be raining.
This one’s perfect for kids as the team have worked hard to make the Sea Zoo really interactive. Expect informational talks, feeding times, live scuba diving displays and you can even fish for your own pearl to be turned into jewellery. There’ll be plenty of close encounters with all manner of sea snails, lobsters, starfish and more. If it’s spiny or slimy, this place has it!
Drizzle Factor: 2/10 – This attraction is indoors, so you’re safe from the rain if the weather outside isn’t on its best behaviour. You might get splashed by a rogue fish, however. Enter at your own peril!
3. Pili Palas
If you love cute critters but marine animals aren’t your thing, then head over to Pili Palas. There you’ll find adorable meerkats, amphibians, birds and lizards – just beware the scorpions! Their female tailless whip scorpion gives birth to live young which she carries around on her back, and the whole troupe makes a somewhat formidable first impression…
Drizzle factor: 0/10 – This attraction is fully indoors and there’s no risk of accidental splashing here!
4. Plas y Brenin – The National Mountain Sports Centre
If you want to make the most of your visit to the adventure capital of Britain, then look up these guys in Snowdonia. Experts when it comes to climbing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking – and pretty much any outdoor pursuit you’re daredevil enough to try – Plas y Brenin offer the courses and equipment to get you on your way. There’s something here to suit all ages and abilities.
Drizzle Factor: 10/10 – This is an outdoor activities centre, therefore the activities are outdoors. We can’t really stress that enough. Half of them – kayaking, canoeing, coasteering – actually take place on water. The chances of you getting really rather wet are sky high, but you’ll have an amazing time doing so.
Experience equal measures of trepidation, amazement and astonishing beauty when you venture down into the dark depths of the Earth at Llechwedd. The huge underground chambers are home to impressive rock formations, mysterious lighting and even a Santa’s Grotto! It’s an all-round exciting experience, just try not to awaken the Balrog while you’re down there.
Drizzle Factor: 4/10 – You could argue that this attraction is indoors. After all, there is a roof over your head… of sorts. However, the likelihood of you getting dripped on or stepping in a puddle is quite high, so leave your stilettos at home and don a mac for this one.
If you’re after even more great ideas for things to do and attractions in North Wales, Visit Wales has put together this fantastic video of some of their favourite attractions. You might even spy a few of our picks in there! Enjoy.
by Ben Griffin