I wanted to start off with a really fun one and thought what could be better than sharing one of my recent adventures with you all.
Last week I FINALLY took a couple of days out of my crazy busy actors life schedule to actually have a little mini-break holiday and do something fun for myself! (I'm not very good at treating myself as I'm very goal driven so can be a bit of a workaholic sometimes...)
We had a couple of vouchers from last Christmas that needed to be used and they were for a night's stay in a hotel and an experience. Seeing as how I like adventure and being active, it was decided that we'd go to Snowdonia in Wales and check out Bounce Below (which I've thought looked cool ever since I first heard of it). Bounce Below is one of the attractions at Zip World near Blaenau Ffestiniog in a massive underground slate cavern, and is essentially four floors of bouncy nets that are strung across the cavern with slides and net tunnels too.
One hour is definitely long enough and it's more than worth the money. I highly recommend the experience to anyone except those who don't like heights. You can see through the nets to the levels and people below you, and the cavern floor below that, plus as it is bouncy the floor is anything but stable. But yes, as long as you're ok with heights then you will love it.
To add to the atmosphere the staff play music (I won't forget bouncing along to Guns N' Roses Sweet Child O' Mine) and the whole cavern is lit with colourful lights. The experience is child friendly and they provide mats to help you get down the slides too.
While Zip World itself doesn't have a cafe, there is one on site and they have good and reasonably priced food. They even had jacket potatoes to keep my wheat intolerant tummy happy. There is also a gift shop and a couple of other experiences with the company who own the old quarry, though we definitely did not have time to do it all in one day.
Oh my gosh, where do I start with this one... It's a three hour zip lining and climbing experience through the caverns next to Bounce Below. I was excited about it from when we booked it, I got more excited when I could see other people doing part of the course during our time on Bounce Below, and it honestly lived up to every expectation. I absolutely LOVED it and can say that it is probably my favourite climbing/zip lining experience so far.
Like Bounce Below, the caverns are lit with bright colours and the location is just beautiful. You have to start off by going through training to make sure that everyone knows how to use the equipment properly and safely, and the equipment itself is extremely clever. With some of it designed by a local man, you are attached to the safety line at all times and it is not possible to take yourself off of it, there are clever lock style gates that help you move from section to section. I felt very safe doing the course because of this, which was great because once you set off it is not with your instructor so you can go at your own pace, there's even a way for you to overtake each other if you're faster or slower than the others around you. Don't worry though because the instructors are on hand watching you on cameras so they can come to assist you if you need help.
During the experience we completed eleven zip lines, scaled the walls of the cavern, scrambled a little on the slate and up nets, crossed rope bridges, and even got to choose between the challenge of monkey bars or a tightrope at the end. I chose the tightrope because I just don't have that much upper body strength (no seriously I tried them in my local park and only managed two bars before failing hilariously), and I didn't fancy just ending up dangling above a cavern!
I had the time of my life doing the Caverns experience and it was certainly the highlight of the trip. I've love to go back to Zip World again at some point to try out their other experiences, especially as they also have two more sites, so hopefully that will be possible...
If you want to see more from my experiences there then you're in luck as I will also be posting a vlog from the trip so do keep an eye out for that on #TheReelRoad playlist on YouTube!