This is a really different holiday idea for this coming summer. And the best thing? You don’t have to get on a plane, you can take the car, so you have no strict luggage limits. And it’s not in Ireland, so it passes the test as an international destination.
So what is this holiday? Picture this: A perfect lozenge-shaped fresh-water lagoon, roughly the size of six football pitches, set in the lush, green Conwy Valley in the lee of the Snowdonia mountains in Wales. Breathe it in. It’s clean, it’s fresh, it’s wild and it’s beautiful. And you can surf in it. Like, properly surf. That is because it has an impressive wave machine like nothing else on this earth.
In Wales, a new holiday idea has made itself known. Welcome to the Surf Snowdonia Adventure Parc: a revolutionary world-first inland surf lagoon. And as far as a really easy international holiday goes, it’s intriguing. If you take the ferry from Dublin (90 mins) then the Snowdonia Surf park is just 45 minutes’ drive from Holyhead in Wales. You could leave in the morning and arrive in time for a nice lunch.
The biggest attraction of this new holiday park is the powerful head-high wave that rises at the centre of the lagoon, peels perfectly for more than 150 metres, and dissipates softly as it hits the shore.
And if you have never surfed before, there are lessons for you and the kids. The kids will be better than you almost immediately, so prepare to be a giant flop at it for at least the first day. After that if all goes well, your disgrace will fade away as your skill improves.
The 300-metre surf lagoon is the main deal, but there’s loads of other stuff to try out as well, from stand up paddle boarding safaris, to kayaking and kiddies soft play areas. There is even a watery assault course with giant spinning balls, monkey bars, climbing walls, balance beams and rope bridges.
And of course, there is “The Blob” where your kids will go flying through the air courtesy of a spectacular catapult. The ‘blob’ is a large air-filled rubber tube. It is 10 metres long by 4 metres wide. The blob floats on the surface of the lagoon, for the most part minding its own business.
The ‘blobber’ sits in position at the end of the blob. The ‘jumper’ is at the other end of the blob, climbing a 4.5 metre tower with a dastardly smile upon their face. The jumper then jumps down on to the blob, catapulting the blobber high into the air. It’s the stuff of kiddie dreams, and let’s face it, every adult wants to do this too. Don’t pretend you don’t.
If you can’t get enough from one day at the park, you can actually stay glamping-style at Snowdonia Surf. Just a few metres from the water’s edge, the accommodation comes in the shape of cosy camping pods, each sleeping up to four people. All of the pods have underfloor heating and electricity. You can wake up to the soothing sound of waves and the Conwy Valley’s own natural soundtrack. To stay in a pod it will set you back £100 per pod per night for 3 or 4 people or £70 per pod per night for 2 people. And deliciously, breakfast is included.
There is also a restaurant and bar for when parents don’t want to cook and want to get pasted via the uploading of cocktails. Well, it is a holiday after all.
We here at the Almanac will definitely go this summer… once they heat up the water in that there billabong…