The historic mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, nestled in the Snowdonian mountains, was once the centre of a thriving slate mining industry which continued mass production until the late 1800s.
Production, albeit on a much smaller scale, does still continue in the area to this very day, however, it is the more unique tourist attractions of the area that see people flocking in huge numbers and those numbers look set to rise even higher, about 900 metres higher to be exact!
Last week saw the opening of a brand new experience to this beautiful location in Wales and I was fortunate to be invited along to see this truly breathtaking area from a completely different perspective, a genuine ‘birds eye view’.
Zipworld Titan is sister to Zipworld Velocity, which opened last year and is only 40 minutes away.
It’s worth noting from the very start that almost all the equipment, building materials, supplies and the majority of the staff are local to the area and it makes absolute sense, timber, harnesses, the lot, all sourced locally to provide a unique tourist attraction to the UK.
Don’t let the location put you off at all.
We drove from north of Preston to Zipworld in around three hours, which didn’t feel too much at all for a day trip.
Upon arrival and following a thorough safety brief, we were given our safety equipment which was an all in one suit, helmet, goggles and a pulley device.
All the equipment does feel very well made, it’s reasonably heavy but that to me was a very good thing, considering what I was going to do.
I would have panicked if it had felt at all like plastic!
We were transported to the top of the first hill and was given a brief overview of the local mountain ranges.
It is truly staggering looking out over the Snowdonian Range, it really does give the Lake District a run for its money and is well worth the journey alone.
To mountain bikers of the downhill persuasion – this also sees the start of the infamous downhills of Antur Stiniog – I haven’t tried these yet but they look awesome.
The rigidity and strength of the harness becomes apparent as I am connected to the start of the Zipwire.
The staff are exceptionally friendly and talk you through all you need to know with regards of what to expect and any safety questions before you begin.
I’ll admit that I’m not the best with heights and as I stood, harnessed to the zipwire, counting down from five to ‘GO!’, I did wonder what exactly I’d agreed to.
From the moment you leave that platform you are immersed in exactly what this is all about, pure fun and adrenalin.
The sense of being suspended from such height, with views for miles and miles, is amazing.
There are three zipwires that connect to take you back down to the start, all of which offer their own unique features and views.
My favourite of the day was the second.
The mix of height and speed was just right for me and the view 630 metres below of the open slate mine just added to it. The clever braking system stops you without any noticeable jolt, another thing that crossed my mind as we we drove down.
This is genuinely fun for all the family with children over seven allowed to ride Titan (10 years old for Velocity) and no upward age limit.
A rider 94 years young recently took the plunge!
For more information, visit www.zipworld.co.uk or for information on the areas other offerings, visit www.visitsnowdonia.info.