Kayaking, Canoeing & Rafting

White Water Rafting In Wales | The Best Places to Get Wet in Wales

A guide to white water rafting on the River Wye, in Snowdonia National Park, in Cardiff & on the River Dee

White water rafting in Wales can be a pretty exhilarating experience. With modern white water facilities and the stunning Snowdonia National Park, Wales has something for all ability levels, from white water rafting beginners to advanced paddlers. Not only that, but many of the rafting spots in Wales are close to centres for other adventure sports too – so if you want to combine a day’s white water rafting with hiking, mountain biking or camping in Wales it’s perfect.

To help you plan your Welsh white water rafting trip we’ve put together a quick guide to some of the best spots that you should check out. So strap on your helmet, grab your paddle and get stuck in to Mpora’s guide to white water rafting in Wales.

White Water rafting on the Tryweryn – Photo: Phil Parsons

White Water Rafting In Cardiff

Probably the most accessible white water rafting spot in Wales is Cardiff International White Water. Located down the south end of Cardiff bay the site is easy to get to by either bus or train and there’s also tonnes of free car parking.

The £13.3m Olympic level venue has a 250m long white water course that funnels you down a concrete channel, past man made barriers that create the rapids. Running at up to 16 cubic meters of water per second, the course propels you round a giant switchback before dumping you into a flat water pool at the bottom.

Cardiff International White Water – Photo:

Prices for a 2 hour white water rafting session at Cardiff International White Water start at £40 for adults. The site also runs family trips, with a reduced water level, allowing kids as young as 6 to get their first taste of white water rafting.

White Water Rafting In Snowdonia National Park

White water rafting on the Tryweryn river – Photo: geograph.

Anyone going to try action sports in Wales has a pretty good chance of ending up in Snowdonia National Park. Home to Wales’ highest peak this area is packed with fantastic climbing, caving and mountain biking and it’s also home to the National White Water Centre.

Based on the Tryweryn river the centre has a dam controlled water flow, making it one of the most reliable spots in Wales for finding some rapids. Water is released regularly at up to 12 cubic meters per second from the Llyn Celyn reservoir to help maintain the flow of the river Dee which the Tryweryn runs into.

The upper section of the Tryweryn has had boulders placed along the bed to increase the difficulty and fun of the rapids, creating up to grade 4 white water. Lower down the river is still in its natural state where and becomes a much more chilled grade 2-3 rapid.

For £66, a 2 hour session at the National White Water Centre will get you around 4 runs of the river or if you’re in more of a relaxed mood, a 6km long safari of the Tryweryn will set you back £44.

White Water Rafting On The River Dee

If you want to enjoy the scenery as much as the rush of white water rafting in Wales then the river Dee is probably the spot for you. Forming part of the border between North Wales and England, the Dee’s white water is broken up by longer stretches of calmer water where you can soak up the beauty of the Welsh/English landscape and really get your nature on.

That’s not to say that it’s all plain sailing though. With water ranging up to grade 4 at some points, especially the popular rapids just upstream from Llangollen, you will still get your adrenaline fix though the general level of water is closer to a 2 or 3

River Dee, Llangollen rapids – Photo:

Thanks to water flow regulation from Llyn Celyn, the Dee can be paddled on for most of the year allowing rafting companies to offer almost 365 days of trips. Tour operator Whitewater Active  only take a break on Christmas Day itself, meaning that you can take a trip down the Dee pretty much any time you want.

A two and a half hour session with Whitewater Active will set you back around £55 and takes in 3km of rapids including the popular Town Falls and Serpent’s Tail areas, with a chance for anyone not rafting to grab some photos of your watery antics at the Llangollen bridge.

White Water Rafting On The River Wye

White water rafting on the river Wye – Photo: blackmountain.

The Wye is your best bet for a spot of raft touring. Rather than a quick dash through some concentrated rapids, a trip down the Wye can take a whole day, tackling loads of different types of water from totally chilled to some fairly big waves.

The Wye is the fifth longest river in the UK and just like the Dee it helps to form part of the border between the land of song and its neighbour England. The lower Wye Valley is classed as an area of outstanding natural beauty which means that you’ll have plenty to feast your eyes on in between the white water which can reach grade 4 in some places with up to 8ft standing waves.

Black Mountain Activities run a day long trip down the Wye, covering 15 miles of the beautiful river. You’ll have to give them a buzz to check on prices but getting the chance to go white water rafting in Wales for nearly 8 hours is not to be missed.

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