It’s always great to tick an item off your bucket list, but even better when you have others to share the experience with you. I jumped at the chance of a Fforest Zip World Betws y Coed review, a half an hour trip from where we were holidaying in Llandudno after our Ironbridge Gorge trip and a great stop gap on our way down to Hereford.
Zip World is very well signposted and we even drove past it on our way to Llandudno – I had to feign ignorance as Liv spotted it as she had no idea we would be visiting two days later!
There are three Zip World sites based around North Wales which are all within easy travelling distance of each other (more details below). The Betws y Cowd site has an amazing array of activities for adventurers and it is such a great place for a memorable family day out. Set in breathtaking woodland, the setting of the activity centre is amazing and somewhere everyone should visit at least once!
There is extensive car parking space with attendants on hand to guide you, but you will find everything is marked out, easy to find and very well organised, even on a very busy day such as when we attended.
I would advise booking the activities you wish to experience in advance – you can do this online (here) or via the phone with the site you wish to visit. At the Betws y Coed activity centre you will find the Zip Safari, Treetop Nets, Fforest Coaster, Tree Hoppers, Skyride and Plummet.
The reception centre is the first place you happen across for checking in, where you will also be given wristbands for your chosen activities. There was a queue to check in which moved swiftly as the reception was well manned and organised, so I would suggest turning up early before your activities.
As we waited for the rest of our party to arrive, Liv and I found ourselves jumping around on the Treetop Nets (from £13 per person) positioned 18m above the ground. After a safety briefing we entered the nets and climbed up to reach the heady heights of the nets. Liv loved it and bounced around everywhere… I didn’t and was appreciative of the tree huts to gain some stability!
There are several large sections meaning everyone isn’t jumping around in the same space – with large inflatable balls in one section for added fun. You will fully enjoy your allotted two hour slot on the nets, be prepared for a full workout! There are plenty of picnic tables and seating areas in the nets section if you prefer for your feet to be on the ground… like me!
If you do need to store your personal belongings away, lockers are available at each activity for £1 (non refundable).
For what seems like forever I have wanted to have a ride on the Fforest Coaster (priced from £20 per person) – reaching speeds of up to 25mph, the 365m track has you zipping through the forest on possibly the most exhilarating toboggan ride on rails ever. That’s after you have been cranked up a 500 metre hill to start your descent.
You have 3 rides on the coaster, each lasting roughly 6 minutes a turn, but it will never be enough as you will never want the Fforest Coaster to end! The ride is very well managed and monitored – when you climb into the toboggan, your seating position and seat-belt are checked.
You do get to control the brakes on your taboggan, with signs warning you when you need to brake. Whilst it sounds fun to zip around the circuit, believe me it really is, I truly wish I could have bottled the laughter – if someone in front of you is whizzing around slowly, then you too will be slowed down accordingly; the monitoring system is fantastic! I was told off by Liv several times for braking when I wasn’t! I have a little thrill seeker on my hands! The Fforest Coaster is so much fun and I cannot believe I have been able to tick this off my list of ‘things I really need to experience’.
Whilst we only got to experience two of the activities, being there and seeing everyone enjoying themselves on the other activities made us wish we had researched what was on offer properly. The 80ft high Skyride swing looked awesome – seating up to five people, fly through the forest with spectacular views of the Conway Valley. This is definitely a ride for thrill-seekers and is a very reasonable £10 per person.
The Zip Safari is an obstacle course set 60ft high through the forest and an activity that Liv absolutely loves, having tried several before. Unfortunately on the day we didn’t have time to complete this due to heading to our next destination as the activity can take up to two hours. It’s totally worth it though and it was funny to see people zipping through the trees above our heads! The Zip Safari is suitable for children aged over 9 years with a participating adult, but there really is something for everyone and all ages at Zip World.
Despite all the activities happening around you, it was very easy to relax at the site and chat with other people enjoying the experience. You can take refreshments with you, however there is a cafe (Fforest Caffi) on site serving food and drinks. You can check out the menu before your visit here.
Other Zip World sites include:
Penrhyn Quarry (Bethesda) – take a ride on the fastest zip line in the world as you strap up and travel head first over the Penrhyn Quarry.
Velocity 2 will see you zooming from 0-60mph in under 10 seconds and reach speeds of up to 100mph… a ride for the ultimate thrillseeker, although there is a little and big zipper to choose from! This can take up to two hours, which gives you time to check out the Penrhyn Quarry Truck Tour too!
Slate Caverns (Bleanau Ffestiniog) – here you can experience Titan, Europe’s largest zip zone across the quarry; this is somewhat more sedate than Velocity 2!
Bounce Below is an awesome network of nets that are suspended underground disused mine! A trip to Bleanau Ffestiniog isn’t complete without a trip around the disused slate caverns via monkey bars, zips and more. This activity can take up to 3 hours!
Whether you are looking to try out a Zip World centre as a family treat, a friend’s trip out, a child’s party or even a team building jolly, there really is something for everyone. I was really impressed with Zip World Fforest, how well the space in the forest was used, but also how well it was respected. Definitely life long memories made and a huge thank you to Zip World for giving us the chance to experience an awesome day out! When will you be booking your adventure there?