Hurtling along at high speed with nothing but an inflatable raft between you and a raging river, white water rafting is certainly one of the most exhilarating activities the UK has to offer. And Wales is something of a white water hot spot, offering excellent rafting opportunities to excite even the most hardened of thrill seekers.
And white water rafting is an excellent team-based activity that is as suitable for team building as it is for stag and hen parties or even just a like-minded group of extreme sports enthuisiasts.
Bala, North Wales
Based near Bala in North Wales the river Tryweyn is a dam released river that offers an all-year-round white water rafting venue, even when other rivers in the UK are running at low levels.
The grade three and four rapids offers steep chutes and its continuously flowing white water runs through a boulder strewn river so you can be sure you’re getting an exhilarating ride. The fact that rapids on this stretch go by the names of the Ski Slope and the Graveyard says it all!
Tryweyn is home to the National White Water Centre, which opened in 1986 and was the first commercial white water rafting centre in the UK, so you know you’ll be in safe hands, no matter how dangerous the rapids look!
You can expect to take about four runs at these rapids and this excursion is definitely one for the adrenaline junkies and is not suitable for anyone under the age of 12.
Llangollen, North Wales
Not quite as exhilarating, but no less fun, is the white water rafting offered by a 1km stretch of the River Dee, near to Llangollen. These rapids offer grade two and three white water and thrill seekers can even body surf in certain sections. As this offers more by the way of fun than thrills, the minimum age for these rapids is eight.
Cardiff, South Wales
The Rivers Rhondda, Wye and Usk all run pretty close to Cardiff in South Wales and all give excellent white water rafting opportunities. These are all natural white water rivers that are not reliant upon dam releases but still offer all-year round rafting.
All three rivers offer powerful, fast-flowing rapids, with boilers, drops, eddies, stoppers and weirs and are perfect for fun lovers and thrill seekers alike.
What you’ll need
No matter what grade of rapids you decide to take on, it is still a hazardous pursuit, and so if you do decide take the plunge – or, preferably not take the plunge and stay in the raft – then make sure it is with a fully qualified team that is part of a reputable company.
Although age limits vary, any children under the age of 18 will have to be accompanied by an adult and activities like this are taken at a person’s own risk. That’s not to say anything bad will happen, it’s just so you know that, no matter what safety precautions are taken, there is always an element of danger involved.
When you turn up for your white water adventure, you should only need yourself, some comfy shoes and some swimwear as all other equipment, such as helmets, wetsuits, splash jackets and buoyancy aids, will be provided.
Oh, and you’ll also need to take along courage by the bucketload! Enjoy!