There are plenty of options in the area, including river journeys on the Conwy, Llugwy and Glaslyn. Alternatively, Anglesey’s inland sea or the Llŷn Peninsula are good places to develop your skills.
One of the most frequently paddled rivers in North Wales is the Afon Llugwy. Much of its popularity comes from its position, but it is also because it has something to suit most levels of experience and ability. There are some extremely difficult and dangerous sections though, which most will choose to avoid.
The Glaslyn is a river loved for its contrasts. The upper section between Llyn Gwynant and Llyn Dinas is a good run but watch out for trees and low bridges. The section from Llyn Dinas and past Beddgelert provides a great class II run. Below Beddgelert the river swells where it joins the Afon Colwyn.
At the entrance to the Aberglaslyn Gorge, the character of the river changes again. This legendary section is short (only about 1.5km) but it is certainly action packed, particularly if it is attempted in full flood when it becomes a very committing grade 5 run.
North Wales has more than 250 miles of the most intensely varied coastline to be found in the UK.
Anglesey holds the excitement of paddling through the Menai Strait and under the soaring cliffs around Gogarth, or in contrast the more sheltered and secluded bays of its northern and eastern coasts.
Closer to the hostel, the Llŷn Peninsula has more than 100 miles of coast from Caernarfon around to Porthmadog. For a more memorable experience, why not take a tent, sleeping bag, a stove and a few rations with you and camp out under the stars in a sheltered bay or on a secluded beach. You’ll see glorious sunsets!
Bardsey Island, or Ynys Enlli as it is known in Welsh, sits in splendid isolation just off the south-western tip of the Llŷn Peninsula. In times past, religious pilgrims travelled great distances to this site; these days the area attracts experienced sea kayakers. The island is a truly special place, however, a trip out to Bardsey is considered a serious paddle and one which requires detailed tidal planning to safely cross Bardsey Sound.
A less challenging option on the Peninsula is Aberdaron Bay where there are two interesting islands, Ynys Gwylan-fawr and Ynys Gwylan-bach. Here you may see cormorants, puffins and perhaps a seal or two. Another option is to paddle around the Uwchmynydd headland, passing Pen y Cil and Braich y Pwll to reach the delightful beach at Porthor on the north coast of the peninsula.
The Dwyryd Estuary, in the north-east corner of Cardigan Bay, is a good place for an introductory paddle. From the water you’ll be able to see the crags at Tremadog and beyond them, the hills of southern Snowdonia.
Looking for a longer paddle, then the north coast of the Llŷn Peninsula is for you. In the right conditions, the trip between Porth Towyn and Trefor (19km) can be done in a single phase of the tide and as the tidal streams run almost parallel with the coast, navigation is straight forward. A shorter (16km) trip can be done from Porth Dinllaen to Trefor and this section is slightly more sheltered.
Check out the ultimate paddler’s pub, the Ty Coch at Porth Dinllaen. Located beachside in the corner of the cove, it’s accessible from the sea as at high tide the water comes right up to the terraces at the front. Unless the winds are strong keep out to sea from Porth Dinllaen to Penrhyn Glas. The final section from Penrhyn Glas to Trefor is pretty spectacular – including the huge guano splattered sea cliff of Craig y Llam.
The Trwyn y Gorlech headland, just north again, is also impressive. And lastly, before Trefor is reached, some interesting caves can be found at the Trwyn y Tal cliffs.
Just offshore from the busy seaside resort of Abersoch, lie the small Tudwal islands. Although close to a popular tourist town, the area still feels wild. The tidal currents are not too strong here, and thus a trip out to the islands is relatively straightforward. Tudwals East has a large population of seabirds, in particular kittiwakes and fulmars. It is possible to land halfway along the eastern side and, should you need it, there is a small ruin at the southern end of the island that could provide some shelters. The southern end of Tudwals West is a good place to see seals. Currently owned by Bear Grylls, who has built a holiday home here, the island has an automatic lighthouse.
How can you experience our coastline at close-quarters? Coasteering, of course…a mixture of rock-hopping, shore-scrambling, swell-riding, cave-exploring and cliff-jumping for the ultimate aquatic adventure. All done in beautiful scenery with the chance to see some amazing wildlife. Yet en route you’ll discover wildlife and beautiful scenery too. Whether off the coast of Anglesey or the Llyn Peninsula, this is very much a weather dependent activity and better suited to the summer months.
We run all these events under with expert instructors and guides, if you’re ready for the adventure give us a ring.