Published: Thursday 6th Nov 2014
Written by: Ginnie James
I know many people, my daughter included, who love nothing more than enjoying the great outdoors whatever the weather. Although my natural inclination is towards just curling up with a book, once I do get out and about, partaking in more strenuous activity than just wandering along the canal with the dog, I wonder why I don’t do it more often.
Throughout Wales there is plenty of opportunity for all kinds of outdoor pursuits and though I won’t even try and pretend that I have had a go at everything on offer there is genuinely something for everyone out there. Young or old, enthusiastic or still need to be persuaded there will be a way for you to enjoy our beautiful countryside. Personally I find real pleasure in walking and the great thing is you can do it almost anywhere and for free!
Whether you want to walk the full 870 miles or so of the Wales Coastal Path, conquer Cadair Idris, tick off one of our many signed routes from your list or just simply savour fresh air in beautiful surroundings everyone can enjoy a ramble. I always love making my way up a steep track to a ruined castle and feel a great sense of achievement once I get to the top and get my breath back, sitting on the stones and enjoying the view. Dolforwyn, Montgomery and Llansteffan are three of my favourites that in my opinion are well worth the climb up!
I also recently purchased a bike as I do like the idea of branching out into the realm of family bike rides. However, the reality of riding a bike for the first time since I was 15 (over half a lifetime ago!) was a painful experience and I only managed a few miles. We are lucky that there are a number of well-maintained and fairly flat cycle paths where I can rediscover the joy of riding and we have recently acquired a bike rack for the car so we can head on up to Lake Vyrnwy and all enjoy a leisurely ride around the stunning lake. I can’t imagine me ever being up to full-on mountain biking but the world-class facilities at Coed-y-Brenin would be a good place to start for anyone wanting to give it a go.
Watersports are not my cup of tea and I must admit that although the thought of coasteering along the Pembrokeshire Coast or Whitewater rafting in Bala fills me with dread I can understand why they are such popular activities. It’s not as if I am adverse to a little bit of thrill seeking. What I really want to do is try the new trampolines of Bounce Below within the Llechwedd Slate Caverns and feel the exhilaration of travelling up to 70 miles an hour on a zip wire down a mountain!
Where is your favourite place in Wales to walk or ride? What exciting activities would you recommend? We love to hear from you. Go on - challenge us to find the perfect location for your kind of outdoor holiday!