Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Hike, SUP and Wild Swim in Snowdonia

A rejuvenating weekend in a wild Welsh wonderland

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Trip Ref #10481

Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Hike, SUP and Wild Swim in Snowdonia

A rejuvenating weekend in a wild Welsh wonderland

DURATION

2 nights

LOCATION

United Kingdom

ANNUAL LEAVE

1 day off work

SEASON

May-Sep

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Pen Y Bwlch campsite, Caernarfon

ACCOMMODATION

Glamping

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

You'll need average fitness levels to manage the hikes and paddles, and be at least a basic swimmer to enjoy the swim spots to their fullest

Hike through pristine Snowdonian landscapes to reach idyllic wild swim spots such as Llyn Dinas, with friendly local guides

Paddleboard across Llyn Padarn, one of the largest glacially formed lakes in Wales, and discover hidden lagoons and inlets

Camp beneath the stars in bell tents with spectacular mountain views of the Snowdonia National Park

All our reviews are verified

We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

Shaun, August 2022

An excellent foray into the magical Welsh valleys and landscapes. Catering, accommodation and facilities were more than adequate, with incredible night-time views to boot. Props to Jim and Sue for their brilliant organisation of this experience.

Sharon, August 2022

From start to finish this trip was amazing. The hosts were fantastic, professional and very knowledgeable. Scenery was just beautiful. Highly recommended.

Rebecca, August 2022

A great trip with fantastic hosts. Magical scenery and wonderful adventures! Five stars

Kristian, August 2022

This trip was great fun! The guides were very helpful and they catered for all abilities. The views from the campsite were awesome. I would 100% recommend this trip.

Poppy, August 2022

Such a wonderful weekend! Couldn’t have been better the campsite was unbelievable with uninterrupted views of Snowdon. Jim, Sue and the other guides were amazing and made me feel confident to try and learn new things. Very well organised and loved how adaptable the itinerary was to accommodate everyone avoiding crowds and working with the weather conditions. Couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

Beth, August 2022

An absolutely amazing weekend! The instructors were so friendly and knowledgeable, taking us to all the best spots for swimming/dipping/paddle boarding. It was one of the hottest weekends of the year so everywhere was busy but they thought of other places we could go as well that weren’t as packed. The food was good, accommodation was good and views from the campsite were spectacular. We were all sad when the weekend came to an end and can’t wait to go back!

Rosie, August 2022

What a wonderful way to spend a weekend! I highly recommend this trip in the breath-taking Snowdonia area. The views from the campsite were spectacular and the friendly hosts Jim and Sue made us feel welcome from the moment we arrived to when we left. All the wild swimming and SUPing activities were fantastic and I really appreciated the flexible approach of the instructors Kat and Elle ensuring everyone of all abilities was catered for.

Included

Guides

Qualified open water swim coach and SUP instructor

Accommodation

2 nights in bell tents

Meals

2 breakfasts & 2 lunches

Transfers

Transfers between camp and the activities

Equipment

Paddleboard, paddle & buoyancy aid, tow floats for swimming

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Bangor Station or Pen Y Bwlch campsite

18:00 at Bangor Station / Anytime from 15:00 at Pen Y Bwlch

Ends

Bangor Station or Pen Y Bwlch campsite

16:00

Transfers

Your host runs a group transfer from Bangor train station at 18:00 on Day 1 and a return transfer to Bangor train station at the end of the trip on Day 3 at 16:00. Please contact your host for more details and to sign up to the group transfer. You will need to ensure your return train ticket is for a departure after 16:30 on Day 3.

Travel options

If you are making your own way to Pen Y Bwlch campsite, you can take a train to Bangor train station and then a taxi from there to Pen Y Bwlch. There is onsite parking for any guests who drive their own car to the site.

Day 1

Glamping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Glamping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Breakfasts at camp are filling with generous portions of cereal, toast and a cooked breakfast (meat, vegetarian or vegan) with tea and coffee. Packed lunches include sandwiches, crisps, cake and chocolate. You'll need to bring your own snacks and drinks for the activities each day. Dinners are not included; your host will arrange a trip to the Glyntwrog Inn - a friendly local village pub in the heart of the Welsh countryside, offering a great selection of drinks and serving hearty food made using locally sourced ingredients. You should budget around £20 for dinner and a drink - extra if you fancy a few post-swim pints!

All dietary requirements including vegetarian and vegan can be catered for: just make this request on your passenger information form.

What is the accommodation like?

Pen y Bwlch

Nestled in the spectacular Caernarfon countryside, Pen y Bwlch overlooks mountains and rivers on the edge of Snowdonia National Park. This is a secluded retreat with lots of space and an off-grid feel, but it’s also just a 15-minute drive from Llanberis, at the foot of Snowdon. Simple facilities include eco-composting toilets, hot showers and drying facilities in the barn. You'll stay in bell tents on a twin-share basis. You'll need to bring your own sleeping bag, sleeping mat and pillow.

Upgrades

There are not enough bell tents to offer a private bell tent, however, your host can provide a solo tent if you prefer to sleep alone. See Optional Extras for the price.

Day 1

Settle in to Snowdonia

Make your way to Pen Y Bwlch campsite and settle into your bell tent. Enjoy the views of the Snowdon and Glyderau mountain ranges before meeting your fellow adventurers and guides in the early evening for a chat through the adventure, which kicks off tomorrow.

Day 2

Hike to secret swim spots

Hiking

2-3hrs · 6km

Wild Swimming

1-3hrs

Wake up to birdsong, enjoy a camp breakfast and start the day with an easy hike to Llyn Dinas - a beautiful lake with a mountainous backdrop. This is a shallow lake, which makes it the perfect place for your first wild swim led by your friendly local swimming guides. Tuck into lunch before hiking through tranquil woodlands to a series of pools where you can take a dip in the calm section or a rush under the mountain cascades. You'll then return to camp for sunset and a well-earned bunk down.

Day 3

SUP and swim

Stand Up Paddleboarding

3-4hrs · 6km

Wild Swimming

1hr

Enjoy your final camp breakfast before heading to Llyn Padarn, one of the largest natural lakes in Wales, carved out by glaciers pouring down the valley from the surrounding peaks of the Snowdonia National Park. Hop on your paddleboard and set off to explore the many lagoons and inlets. Grab a final wild swim before the adventure comes to end and you head home, refreshed and rejuvenated.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's Included

  • Paddleboard, paddle and leash
  • PFD (life vest)
  • Tow float
  • Wetsuit

What do I need to bring?

BAGS
Soft duffel bag or rucksack
Daypack (15-25 litres)

SLEEPING
Sleeping mat
Sleeping bag (three season)
Pillow

CLOTHES
Waterproof and windproof jacket
Fleece jacket or similar
Trousers/shorts/skirts for hiking
T-shirts
Underwear and socks
Sunglasses
Sunhat
Warm hat
Something to sleep in
Waterproof hiking boots (worn-in)
Lightweight shoes for around camp

SWIMMING
Swim cap
Wetsuit (if you want to use your own in the lake - we suggest 3-5mm)
Neoprene gloves and socks (optional)
Goggles
Towel, changing robe or dryrobe

OTHER
Power bank or solar charger
Passports (and visas)
Travel insurance documents
Suncream
Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
Quick-dry towel
Alcohol hand-gel
Face mask
Headlamp
Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)

OPTIONAL
Earplugs
Energy bars and snacks
Camera

Solo tent

Payable Before Departure

Solo tent

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 29kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

The hikes are very easy going and the paddleboarding is gentle as you explore the inlets and coves of a calm lagoon. The wild swims are more about being immersed in Snowdonia's natural landscapes, feeling the rejuvenating effects of cold water wild swimming.

As a mixed ability group, you'll swim as far as the group is comfortable with, learning lots of skills and developing techniques as you go. You should be able to swim basic front crawl comfortably for 25m in a pool. The wild swimming sessions are not suitable for beginner swimmers, but are perfect for beginners at wild swimming. Wild swimming inherently carries some risk, but every care is taken to make sure you have a safe swim. There will be a qualified open water coach in the water, as well as a safety paddleboarder. Your host will monitor the conditions of the water and the weather to make sure that every session takes place in the safest spot. Therefore, your flexibility is required with the itinerary and swimming locations.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Daytime temperatures in Snowdonia average from 11-14 °C in the spring and 16-18 °C in the summer. It’s sunny and clear for about half of the days each month. The water temperature in the lakes and rivers will be between 12°C to 17°C, depending on the date of your trip and the prior weather conditions.

You can leave your main pack at your bell tent at Pen y Bwlch campsite while you head off for your SUP and wild swimming escapades. There are no safety deposit boxes for valuables at the campsite so it's best not to bring too many valuables. Anything that you do bring, however, can always be left in your hosts van.

Your host provides wetsuits, however the style of these wetsuits is more suited to wild swimming as a fun pursuit with multiple dips and short swims, rather than lengthy open water crossings. If any members of the group are wanting to take on the bigger swim crossing the lake, we recommend that you bring your own wetsuit. If you arrive earlier on Day 1, there is a shop called Snowdonia Water Sports in nearby Llanberis which sells swimming accessories if you need to pick anything up. Wet suit boots and gloves are not included, so do bring those if you want to keep your hands and feet warm while swimming.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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