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 Things To Do In Blaenau Ffestiniog

A surprising adventure playground

 

Our Top Things To Do In Blaenau Ffestiniog

Most Blaenau Ffestiniog things to do revolve around slate in some way

Take a guided trip below the surface via a narrow gauge cable railway, the steepest in Britain

Mountain bike down a slate quarry

Get the adrenaline pumping on Europes largest zip wire 1800 ft up

Take one of the many walks in Blaenau Ffestiniog that offer an unrivalled insight into Welsh industrial heritage

Take a ride on the Ffestiniog Railway from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog

Go on an off road adventure in the Quarry Explorer and take in the spectacular views of Snowdonia

Grab a burger and a pint at the Quarryman's Tavern

Go glamping in a Safari tent with views overlooking Snowdonia and take in the extraordinary stillness at night

Image of Blaenau Ffestiniog in snow

Blaenau on a beautiful winters day

 

Image of a dilapidated builder's shed in Blaenau Ffestiniog

The old builders shed is one of the landmarks of Blaenau

 

Image of Blaenau Ffestiniog town and Snowdonia mountains North Wales UK

Blaenau Ffestiniog

Blaenau Ffestiniog is one of the most remarkable places in Wales to visit. It’s a town built on its sole industry, slate quarrying, in the middle of, but not yet part of – the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. 

It’s one of the most unusual landscapes in Wales, set in an imposing amphitheatre   of mountains, with an imposing amphitheatre of slate spoil and waste between the houses and the mountains.

I spent some time working there almost ten years ago, and things have greatly improved since then.

Attractions like Bounce Below and Zip World have opened up in recent years, bringing the Blaenau Ffestiniog to a completely new audience. It’s now a hub for adventurers and adrenalin addicts, something I wouldn’t have imagined a decade ago. And to top it all off, it may just about to become part of the UK’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site – the reason I was working there ten years back.

Read on to find out about the best things to do in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Image of the Bounce Below attraction in Blaenau Ffestiniog Wales

Bounce Below

Below was the first of the Zip World attractions to open in Blaenau Ffestiniog. It’s basically a giant underground trampoline, a series of bouncy nets strung together on different levels of one of the slate caverns.  You can slide from one level to another down a chute in the corner of the level.

PRICE – It costs £25 an hour (£20 for 7-17s) to bounce around, but to make the most of it a little strategy comes in useful.

TIP – When I visited everyone went full tilt for about 10 minutes, and spent the remining 50 minutes passed out, exhausted. You need to bring your own long-sleeved trousers and tops.

Zip World Caverns

Caverns is a 3-hour journey through Llechwedd, via a series of 13 zip wires, rope bridges and a via ferrata (a metal ladder up a steep rock face). I haven’t tried it out yet, but it sounds like a great and gruelling challenge. 

Price:  Tickets are £65 each for adults and children aged 10 and over.

Zip World Titan

Zip World Titan is a thrilling three-part zip ride from a Blaenau Ffestiniog mountain top over the slate landscape to a finishing point next to Llechwedd Slate Caverns. I haven’t tried it yet but when my son is old enough we’ll be racing each other down.  As their site says ” Sit back and zip away as you and your friends fly down Europe’s largest zip zone! Take flight on 3 exhilarating zip lines and soak up the amazing quarry views during the experience of a lifetime. ”  

Price:  Winter  is 30 GBP and  Summer 50 GBP

 

Image of slate fencing near Blaenau Ffestiniog Wales

The Slate Caverns

The Slate Caverns are located on the road out of Blaenau towards Betws-y-Coed. They are the best of the Blaenau Ffestiniog slate mines, and have offered a deep mine tour for many years. You travel around 500 feet underground before beginning a walking tour of the caverns. These vast underground chambers are beautifully lit, and at each a character’s voice tells you a story. These range from quarrymen who toiled underground for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, to the quarry’s founder. It’s a wonderfully evocative tour.

Llechwedd has upped its game hugely over the last few years, and it is now among the best things to do in North Wales. The Caverns are also home to two new attractions, Bounce Below and Zip World, both of which we’ve written about below.

Price:  20 GBP per adult – check website for other prices

See Reviews Here

Top Tip:  You can now explore the slate landscape around Llechwedd, something that has only recently become possible. The Quarry Explorer takes you off road in a former military vehicle around the Blaenau Ffestiniog landscape, above Llechwedd to Maenofferen and Diffwys quarries nearby. A Quarry Walking Tour has also been introduced in. 2020 – if the Blaenau Ffestiniog weather is favourable, prepare for some heart-stopping views.

Image of the station sign at Blaenau Ffestiniog Wales

Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway

The Ffestiniog Railway has joined forces with the Welsh Highland Railway  so that you can now travel between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Caernarfon by narrow gauge railway. The Ffestiniog Railway runs between the coastal town of Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog, following the route of the slate from the quarries to port. It’s a beautiful journey, starting out with a journey across the Cob causeway, which gives a view of the whole Snowdonia range. It then climbs gradually into the rugged Moelwyn mountains, past Tanygrisiau reservoir into Blaenau. You can also get to Blaenau Ffestiniog by mainline train via Llandudno and Llandudno Junction. It runs up the picturesque Conwy Valley, one of the most enjoyable train journeys in Wales. Both lines terminate at Blaenau Ffestiniog station.

The Welsh Highland Railway is a spectacular run up the west side of Snowdonia, through the county of Gwynedd to Caernarfon, the trains terminating a short walk along the quay from Caernarfon Castle. Whether you do the full Blaenau Ffestinjiog to Caernarfon run or the Porthmadog return journmey, it’s one of the best days out in North Wales.

Image of Rhosydd slate quarry near Blaenau Ffestiniog

Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway

The Ffestiniog Railway has joined forces with the Welsh Highland Railway  so that you can now travel between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Caernarfon by narrow gauge railway. The Ffestiniog Railway runs between the coastal town of Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog, following the route of the slate from the quarries to port. It’s a beautiful journey, starting out with a journey across the Cob causeway, which gives a view of the whole Snowdonia range. It then climbs gradually into the rugged Moelwyn mountains, past Tanygrisiau reservoir into Blaenau. You can also get to Blaenau Ffestiniog by mainline train via Llandudno and Llandudno Junction. It runs up the picturesque Conwy Valley, one of the most enjoyable train journeys in Wales. Both lines terminate at Blaenau Ffestiniog station.

The Welsh Highland Railway is a spectacular run up the west side of Snowdonia, through the county of Gwynedd to Caernarfon, the trains terminating a short walk along the quay from Caernarfon Castle. Whether you do the full Blaenau Ffestinjiog to Caernarfon run or the Porthmadog return journmey, it’s one of the best days out in North Wales.

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Mamun Shikdar

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