Get your adrenaline on
With Zip Fforest's amazing views of the Conwy valley, take a zip line journey 60ft up through the forest canopy or a 100ft freefall from Plummet Tower, its Powerfan technology ensuring the gentlest of landings. And if the blood pressure allows after all that, why not climb aboard Skyride, Europe’s highest giant swing?
Foray into the forest
Lying in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, Gwydyr Forest Park covers a 28 square mile area (72 square kilometres) surrounding Betws-y-Coed. Waymarked walking trails allow visitors to explore the landscape of lakes, forests and mountains and learn more about the area’s lead and zinc mining industry, which dominated in the latter half of the 19th century.
Tapas with a twist
Far be it from us to encourage you to come to Wales and sample Spanish cuisine, but Olif is not your average tapas bar. The only food that hasn’t been sourced locally are the olives. They’ve even managed to find Welsh chorizo! And once you’ve gorged yourself silly, you can crash overnight in one of their 5-star luxury rooms.
Welcome to Adventure Central
Based in Betws-y-Coed, the staff at North Wales Active have over 20 years of mountaineering and climbing experience between them. So they know the very best places for gorge walking, climbing, abseiling and mountain climbing. Very importantly, they are a Visit Wales Approved Adventure Tourism Operator, which means you don’t have to sweat the safety stuff.
Why go over a mountain when you can go through it instead? Abseil, zip line, scramble, traverse, boat and climb your way around the abandoned mines of Snowdonia with Go Below, encountering deep blue lakes, lofty caverns and long-forgotten mining machinery as you go.
Force of nature
For pure romance, a visit to Swallow Falls on the River Llugwy is a sure-fire winner. Although the main viewpoints are situated on the south bank, we recommend approaching it on foot along the northern bank for a more dramatic vantage point, particularly after a spell of wet weather. Sturdy footwear and a camera are essential.
Sadly, it hasn’t just become one of your recommended five-a-day foods, but when you order a pizza at Hangin’ Pizzeria, they will donate a percentage of their profits to charities helping orangutans in Borneo and gorillas and chimps in Africa. And their traditional Italian-style pizzas are well worth breaking the diet for.
These are not just any Welsh cakes
These are Cwmni Cacen Gri Welsh cakes. As well as serving the traditional favourites, bakers Jen and Jo have created new twists incorporating chocolate mint, orange, cherry and almond; and cranberry and white chocolate. And all are served ‘griddle fresh’ for texture and taste perfection.
The location of the Conwy Valley Railway Museum right next to the National Rail station means that Betws-y-Coed is the only station in the UK with a footbridge that spans three different gauges of track. Visitors can take the mile-long miniature steam railway or the one-third full-size tramcar. It’s great fun for kids - and kids-at-heart.
Get cosy in a coaching inn
The Ty Gwyn Hotel is just the sort of place you want to stagger back to after a ramble through the forest or along the riverbank. Dating back to 1636, the inn still has many of its original features – including open log fires and low, beamed ceilings – which gives it a high cosiness quotient.