White Water Rafting in Wales, UK | Everything You Need to Know

White water rafting in Wales - Bala national rafting centre

Picture these beautiful green fields among the stunning backdrop of Snowdonia National Park and the sound of crashing water rapids in the background. Maybe it is not the peaceful vision you imagined, but there’s the sound of white water rafting in the air. Water sports are one of our very favourite adrenaline junkie activities so read on to discover what there is to love about white water rafting in Wales. 

Wales White Water Rafting Contents

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Where can you go white water rafting in Wales, UK? 

white water rafting in wales, starting it slow on Tryweryn River
Don’t be misled into thinking this is a lazy day type of experience

People often wonder whether there are any rapids in the UK or the best place to whitewater raft. Well, a short ten-minute drive from the beautiful Bala Lake and nestled under the stunning Snowdonia mountains is the national white water centre, Gwynedd. Here you can get fully emerged in a fun, adventure-filled day tackling the white water rapids.

Check out Hotels nearby:


If you’re visiting Wales for a few days then consider adding a hike to the summit of Mount Snowden to your bucket list too. Check out the price and availability below.

What can you expect at the national white water centre?

On arrival at the national white water centre, you will get sorted with your safety equipment; a wetsuit, helmet and water shoes, so no need to bring any of your equipment unless you want to. Then, as you wait for your instructor, you’re treated to a tremendous front-row seat of the rapids that flow around the Tryweryn River in the centre. 

Once you have received a safety briefing, hop on the minibus, which takes you upstream to the loading area of the river.

white water rafting Wales - hitting the rapid hard and fast

There are several different white water rafting sessions you can take: 

  1. The FULL Rafting experience gives you 2 hours of adrenaline fuelled rafting which equals four runs down the natural river, each time taking a slightly different path.
  2. The rafting taster session which wets your appetite through a one hour session and two trips down the river
  3. Rafting safari for children ten and above.

The great thing about the adventure centre is that they have a photographer travelling down the river with you. So while you can take your action camera, this is another excellent way to get incredible snaps of your whitewater rafting experience in Wales. It also helps you focus on staying afloat!  

What are the rafting sessions like? 

White water rafting in Wales - hitting the rapids hard
Hitting the rapids

The rapids are dependent upon the Llyn Celyn reservoir, releasing a vast flow of white water into river Tryweryn. While this means you can’t do Wales white water rafting all year round, the good thing is that you get guaranteed water levels from Spring to Autumn. 

If you have ever done white water rapids before, you will know that you will start nice and steady on a calm part of the river that gives you a false sense of peace and security. Then bam! the white knuckle, fast-paced action and thrills will kick in. But, if it’s your first time, don’t worry, the experienced rafting guide will be in control and will show you everything you need to know. 

Many different parts of the river will give you exhilarating moments of fun, from fast and powerful rapids to the little whirlpools. You’d be surprised how big an impact the whirlpools have! The guide will make you double back on yourself and dip the front end in to create and massive wave, drenching the people at the front of the raft. Don’t think you’ll escape a soaking as you change spots on your second run!

How long is water rafting in Wales? 

The white water rafting trips take about 20-25 minutes each time, including two water pools along the way. The second pool is right outside the centre.

Once you’ve been around a few times, you will dock back in the warm riverbed and jump straight back on the minibus or get taken for another trip. 

Is there other white water rafting in Wales? 

There are also opportunities for South Wales white water rafting. Other popular destinations are: 

Cardiff International White Water fun: Cardiff bay is another popular destination for white water action with a family twist in South Wales. 

Black mountain adventure: get your adrenaline fix with white water adventures on the River Wye in South Wales. Best of all, this rafting is open over winter when the North wales rafting is closed for the season. 

If you want a more gradual rafting experience, head to the River Dee, Denbighshire, which has calm waters between the crashing waves. 

White water rafting in Wales Summary 

While you might not associate the UK with a booming white water rafting scene, you can now see there are many options. So, what are you waiting for? Head to one of these wild rivers and have an incredible day with this fun outdoor activity. 

If you’re looking for more adrenaline junkie activities in the UK, then you will love these:

Let us know what you think about White water rafting in Wales in the comments. We’d love to hear about your adventures.  

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About the Author


Welcome to Adrenaline Junkiez. We're Kerry & Jason, just two people who like to push ourselves out of our comfort zone and travel the world in search of adventure. Discover ideas for the ultimate thrill seekers bucket list and get your adrenaline pumping.

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