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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 07 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: David Atkinson

Located near Bangor in what once was the world’s largest slate quarry, Penrhyn Quarry is a multi-adventure site better suited to families with older children. There are four adventure options on site, including Quarry Karts, a three-wheeler descent down an obstacle-filled slate track (ages 15+).

It’s best known, though, as home to the death-defying Velocity 2 zip wire, the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe. Strap in for speeds of up to 100mph.

For something less white knuckle, try the Penrhyn Quarry Tour, in army truck, to learn more about the history of the quarry and the Welsh slate industry. The heritage is now recognised by UNESCO as part of a wider World Heritage site.

Price from: £12
Minimum age: 3
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 2+ hours

Getting there & doing it

The three Zip World sites are all located within roughly a 20-mile radius, spread (with a new, fourth site located in South Wales). Zip World Penrhyn Quarry is located near Bethesda and just off the A55 main expressway through North Wales. It’s primarily a driving destination for independent visitors.

It’s advisable to book in advance and the booking fee is cheaper for tickets booked online (as opposed to by phone). The minimum age for the zip wire is officially 3, but you need to be 1m tall to ride it. Remember to wear suitable clothing for an outdoors setting.

There’s a handy on-site restaurant, Blondin, (closed Wednesday) for brunches, main meals, and pizzas. The outdoor terrace offers spectacular views, while the name refers to an aerial ropeway to transport slate.

When to do it

This is a year-round, all-weather experience. Expect busy periods and queues during school holidays, and always check the Ride Status page before setting out.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[15 miles]

Stylish stays and sea salt treatments are de rigueur at this contemporary hotel, located within the grounds of Adventure Parc Snowdonia. Families and surf dues will feel equally at home with activities aplenty on the doorstep.

Official star rating:

Plas Dinas Country House

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[15.6 miles]

An elegant country house hotel, located between the mountains and the sea, Plas Dinas is underpinned by a timeless love story of a Royal princess. Expect genteel surrounds and elegant nostalgia from the new Judge’s Room to the Gunroom Restaurant.

Official star rating:

Olif Guesthouse

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[19.2 miles]

Homely, cosy and fuelled by local produce, Olif is a rare find in an area besieged by coach trippers come high summer. Adults only.

Official star rating:

Plas Weunydd

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[19.7 miles]

A boutique property with a real sense of history, it offers a stylish, central base to explore both the industrial heritage and the ever-expanding adrenaline activities of the region. It sits amid Wales’ latest UNESCO site.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Snowdonia National Park

Wales, United Kingdom (UK)

Snowdonia’s national park is the rural heartland of North Wales — think mountains, glacial valleys, and sparkling waterfalls. But there’s also plenty here for families, history buffs and Sunday strollers.

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Overview >

Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

National Slate Museum

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[6.3 miles]

This industrial-heritage museum celebrates the international significance of Welsh slate in ‘roofing the 19th century world’. There are plenty of hands-on exhibitions for families and history buffs alike, plus regular talks and workshops.

Best for ages: 10+ | Free

Welsh Highland Railway

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[20.1 miles]

Rail buffs, wannabe train drivers and anyone who appreciates spectacular scenery will love this gloriously scenic route through the landscape of the Snowdonia National Park.

Best for ages: 4+ | £25 | 2+ hours

Ffestiniog Railway

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[22.7 miles]

The world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway offers the chance to travel deep into Wales’ most spectacular mountainscapes.

Best for ages: 4+ | £25 | 1-3 hours

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

GreenWood Forest Park

GreenWood Forest Park

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[9 miles]

GreenWood is one of North Wales’ favourite family attractions – and one of the greenest. The 17-acre site has the UK’s first solar-powered ride, the Solar Splash. Otters and native birdlife can be spotted on a walk through the woodland grounds.

Best for ages: 4+ | £17

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Overview >
Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[10.9 miles]

The last and most elaborate of the four, Beaumaris is a castle designer’s dream with its concentric design of a castle within a castle. Although unfinished, it represents a dramatic landmark and the gateway to the visitor-hub town of Anglesey.

Best for ages: 4+ | £8

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Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[14.6 miles]

This imposing medieval fortress was originally built in the 11th century, then enhanced by King Edward I at the end of the 13th century. The scene of many a siege and sacking, and then increasingly unnecessary, it fell into disrepair so that only the shell walls remain today.

Best for ages: 4+ | £11

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Adventure Parc Snowdonia

Adventure Parc Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[15.1 miles]

The artificial surf reef and activity centre in the Conwy Valley is an adventure hub with activities for all ages; activities on offer include indoor high ropes courses, soft play, caving and climbing, and outdoor climbing, zip lines, and surfing. There’s a Hilton hotel handily placed next door.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free

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Overview >