Who knew that once we moved into our van and took off to Wales that we would fall in love with the country so much! We had BIG plans to go and explore the world in our van. Taking our puppy around the world, jumping from adventure to adventure. Oh what a thought. What we didn’t know was not only was a pandemic on it’s way, but our love for North Wales would stall us going off to explore the world. Often forgotten, this part of the UK is a perfect home for anyone looking for a life of adventure, a holiday full of thrills and an easy transition between mountains and coastline. Wales is an adventure paradise and the people who live here, definitely have love for the outdoors in their blood.
So, when I tell you this is the place we are planning to settle down, you shouldn’t shocked. Wales, the adventure paradise often forgotten is our home. Come and explore just a handful of the reasons we have decided to make North Wales our home.
The Mountains Are an Adventure Paradise
Of course I have to start this post off with the main point of the mountains. But seriously. The mountainous landscapes of North Wales are incredible. I come from Scotland and having traveled the world, areas with mountains tend to have a pull on me. North Wales is a like a small Scotland and much more compact. It has taken all the best bits, extreme bits and beauty and shoved it all together. Driving into Snowdonia National Park you are met with layers of mountains, walls of beauty that grab your attention.
While the mountains are gorgeous to look at. The most beautiful part is climbing, hiking and summit them. Each mountain offers a different view, they all connect in their own ways and you can push for BIG day adventures and multi-day if you wanted to. Our favourite mountains in North Wales are far from the most popular. While Snowdon and Tryfan are exciting, they are super busy. Some good alternatives are Moel Siabod; this mountain is our favourite for sunrise hikes and we would highly recommend! As well as Siabod, Bristley Ridge scramble is good and challenging and one of our favourites is Pen Yr Ole Wyn. The views from the top are 360 of Snowdonia National Park. It is just simply incredible and mind blowingly beautiful. Because the National Park is so compact, the views you get change everyday depending on the weather. You can play on the mountains everyday and see something new, and have your breath taken away each time.
The mountains made Wales an adventurers paradise and certainly made me fall in love with the place almost instantly.
If you were to ask Callum why he fell in love with Wales he will shout, the rivers. For sure. If you are a kayaker, rafter and all round rapid lover North Wales is filled with adventure. There are hundreds of rivers in North Wales alone, if you look at a map they look like the veins of the country. Many will take you into the lesser populated areas, allow you to view the countryside from a different perspective, hidden from roads and surrounded by forest or mountains. They will of course, give you the thrills you were after. But thankfully there are rivers for both beginners (like me) and thrill seeker paddlers (like Callum). The National White Water center in North Wales, Bala are awesome. It is where Callum first fell in love with North Wales and where I completed my raft guide training! This is a great place to experience high thrills on the river without being in charge, you just get to sit in the raft and enjoy the ride!
No Adventure Paradise is without The Community
Most people tend to agree that while anywhere can be beautiful, it is the people who live there that really make it. Throughout Wales, the people are lovers of the outdoors and definitely have a more laid back attitude on life. Most areas we have visited have been beautiful and the people have made us feel so welcome. It’s been one of the easiest places to make friends with people who are like minded and into the outdoors as we are. The adventure paradise of Wales is really brought out by the people. There is always something going on even in the smallest of towns, it is a great place to live and visit.
Right now Callum and I are lucky to live 10 minute walk from the coast and 5 minutes from the mountains. It is probably the most idealistic place to live. The coast around Wales is brilliant. Especially if you’re a keen surfer, paddle boarder, sea kayaker, diver or sailing enthusiast. You can even do a summit to sea in a day (or a few hours) if you want! Wales is an adventure paradise for anyone interested in any activity. There is always something new to try, friends willing to teach and a great community to cheer you on. If the sea is not your thing, Wales has a dedicated coastal walking path. It is hundreds of miles long but you’ll walk the full coast of wales. Now that is pretty awesome – and probably on my list for next year if i can get away!
Adrenaline & Adventure Fueled Activities.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all this outdoor activities, skills you need to have the gear you need. Hang on a second! Wales isn’t an adventure paradise for the prepared only, it has some of the best outdoor guides and centers. From outdoor activities such as Zip World. To guided trips in nature by North Wales Active or Plas-Y-Brenin. There is a way to experience the adrenaline and adventure fueled activities Wales has to offer. More suited to those of you planning a visit, but it is a nice treat for those of us who live here as well!
Have you been to Wales before? We currently live in North Wales right on the border of Snowdonia National Park. We love it and after New Zealand, consider it one of the best places we’ve ever lived. For adventure lovers like us, it is the perfect place to fuel adventure addiction and the lust for adrenaline! From living in a van in the Welsh countryside. To finding a proper base here, we are really beginning to lay down some routes and it is exciting. Means more local adventures!
If you’re planning to visit let us know! We are always keen to head out on adventures and enjoy the gorgeous scenery of Wales!