My husband and I have always joked that as long as we are both on ground level we are fine. He hates heights and I can’t do anything underground. So for me to get the chance to zip wire in a Welsh forest is my idea of heaven and his idea of hell. So here we were on the session with a stag do, the stag I presume, was dressed as Superman. So he’d save me if things went wrong, right?
You have a quite a short but steep walk up from the car park where you are given training on how to get into you harness and use of the fail-safe clip system. Our lovely instructor triple checks everything and you are good to go. You get to practice with your feet on the ground, at first it feels hard and alien to get the clips on and off but you soon get used to it. You basically can’t ever have both clips open at the same time, one is always attached. Then you get to do you first lift off, albeit on just few few off the ground. Superman went first as his mates hummed the Superman music. Then with each section you get a bit higher, then a bit higher and before you know it you are 60 feet up in the air!
I went last, my eldest (13) first and then my youngest (9) then me (aged 45). The first time you launch yourself off a platform your mind is just screaming at you “what on earth are you doing, stop it now!” So you just have to literally take a leap of faith and go for it. With my two children having done it before me it was no time for being a chicken, I had to do it.
And what a feeling you get! It’s a rush, panic, daring and delight all rolled into one. You can breathe when you make it over to the other side and steady yourself for the next zip. You can sort of see where you are going through the forest, but it doesn’t really matter as you zip from tree to tree. Some zips longer than others, but it is the same for each, clip unclip attach the glider-thing (sorry forgotten name of it) and grit your teeth and go for it.
My husband seemed a tiny dot on the floor and he admitted later his legs were wobbly and his palms sweaty at the very thought of his whole family up in the branches. About a third of the way round I realised I was totally loving it, off came one hand then the other at each zip to fully embrace to freedom flying feeling – wooo hoo get me! Our instructor was close by at all times, which made me feel safe. My boys loved every moment, totally embracing the wonder of every zip. It was hard work on the hands taking off and on the clips, but my youngest did brilliantly; even yelling ‘I love you Mum’ on one of the zip runs.
About half way round there is a selfie-platform which takes seven adults (all the others take three max) and there is a certain mountain (nicknamed Snowdie by my youngest) in the background that just makes THE best view. I stood there alone just looking, truly stunning and just makes you aware of how amazing Wales is. I’ve not included a picture here because you just have to get up there and see it for yourself, words can’t describe and a picture won’t do it justice.
There are two gut-wrenching bridges to cross during the course. You are still clipped on but my-oh-my they mess with your head. One has little wooden posts you have to step on and this was no-doubt the most hideous bit of the whole thing; I was doing some sort of labour-style panting during these bits. I gave the tree such a big hug after this bit and I just know the tree hugged me back.
Everyone gets hooked into the normalities of daily life and you are rarely pushed outside your comfort zone. I am so proud of myself for doing this, it just shows when you want to do something, you darn-well can if you put your mind to it; even when it is screaming at you not to do it and you are breathing like you are giving birth! The last two zips are the longest and most wildest fun, a brilliant finale to two hours of action packed thrills and heart pounding action. We would have done it all over again there and then. The whole site is genius and the team behind the design very inspired.
There is a lovely cafe on site where much needed tea and cake was eaten after our adventure. All children under 16 have to be accompanied by an adult at Zip Word Betws Y Coed (Zip Sarafi, Plummet, Skride, Tree Top Nets, Junior Tree Trail) is just one of three sites in North Wales where Zip World have some of the best adventures you’ll every go on, including:- Titan, Bounce Below and Velocity Click here for full details.