What could be more thrilling than a ziplining adventure? Whizzing along those zip wires high above the ground is so exhilarating! But what about whizzing along those zip wires… underground? That’s exactly what we did on our underground ziplining adventure in, believe it or not: Wales!
I had no idea that underground ziplining even existed, I just stumbled across it in my search for a birthday surprise idea for my boyfriend Will. If there is one thing he loves even more than adventure courses with zip wires, it’s exploring caves and caverns! So, when I came across Zip World Slate Caverns, it seemed the perfect blend of his favourite things. In theory, it was the greatest surprise birthday trip ever, though in reality I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect…
As it turns out, our adventure exceeded all expectations! Even just arriving was pretty impressive: our destination was a part of the Llechwedd Slate Caverns that had been inaccessible for around 200 years, so the whole area had really dramatic scenery thanks to the enormous hills of slate that surround it. Once inside, we started off by getting all kitted up with gloves, harnesses, helmets, etc. Then we headed to the training course – a small cave where we practiced using the safety system to lock on and off each part of the course.
When we were ready we headed out to the starting cavern, which was much bigger than I thought it would be! Because we visited in low season, we ended up being the only two people in our group, having the caverns all to ourselves, which made all of the spaces feel even larger and more atmospheric. Being alone together added such a special touch because we could take our time around the course and it felt like a really personal experience.
As well as getting to whizz from cavern to cavern along a lot of ziplines (I lost count), we also got to cross rope bridges and tight ropes, scale the sides of the caves using via ferrata routes, and climb through tunnels.
Even though it was super fun as an adventure experience in itself, I’m not going to lie – the very best part was how absolutely terrified Will was! He has a big phobia of heights, so this was a really weird sensation for him because he was underground… but at the same time, really high up above the ground. He was scared in a good way of course, it was the kind of fun, excited fear that you get a theme park, so it was quite funny for me to watch him trembling but enjoying himself at the same time!
We considered trying out some of the other attractions, like Bounce Below (giant trampolines in underground caves!), but we had such an exhilarating time just completing the zip course that we decided to have a much calmer afternoon. We drove to the nearby village of Betws-y-Coed and discussed our adventures over a hearty, traditional Welsh rabbit!
I wish I had more photos to show you of the caverns, but it was so dark down there, and honestly, I was way too focused on making my way around the course to think about taking photos. (Not to mention I was terrified of losing my phone to the abyss!) All I can offer instead is to leave you with some of the photos of our beautiful afternoon in lovely Betws-y-Coed…