Originating in Wales in the 1970s, coasteering has become one of the UK’s fastest growing outdoor adventure activities. In particular, coasteering in North Wales is extremely popular. But what exactly does coasteering involve? Keep reading our guide to find out what coasteering is, the best places to go coasteering and top tips to make the most out of your experience.
What is coasteering?
When asked what exactly coasteering is there seems to be a real mix of answers. The nature of the activity is what makes it difficult to define, but that’s also what makes it so interesting.
Put simply, coasteering is a group activity that involves traversing a coastline through a mix of rock climbing and swimming. Plus a bit of jumping too, so expect to get wet! The main aspects of coasteering are:
- Wild swimming – sometimes a coasteering route may require you to swim to get from one section to another
- Low-level traversing – this is where you use partly-submerged rocks to make your way across a section of deep water, making your way sideways one foot at a time. You can make it as easy or difficult as you like, plus if you lose your footing you have the deep water to fall back into
- Cliff jumping – this is probably the most fun part of coasteering, or the most daunting for some. A guide will often suggest you start off with a small jump and work your way up to the larger jumps, helping even the most cautious take the leap
- Cave discovery – with some cave entrances cut off by the tide, coasteering enables you to access some of the most unique and untouched parts of the coastline
- Sluices and pour-overs – this is where water rises and pushes between two rocks or pours over a ledge into a deep pool; if timed right, you can let the ocean take you through or over a section
- Gullies – often hidden and requiring a bit of wriggling to get to, gullies can give you access to untouched sections of coastline
- Whirlpools – if timed right, certain rock formations and layouts create a fun whirlpool effect
The best places to go coasteering in North Wales
Coasteering originated in Wales in the 1970s so it’s no surprise that the country offers some of the best coasteering spots. North Wales, in particular, has miles of exciting coastline perfect for exploring and plenty of spots to choose from. Here’s some of the best spots:
- Holy Island – the deep clean water, hidden beaches, sea cliffs and the largest sea cave in Wales make this a top destination for coasteering enthusiasts
- Llŷn Peninsula – with its mixture of low cliffs and larger waves, the Llŷn Peninsula is accessible to everyone of all levels of ability. Plus in some areas you might even be lucky enough to play with the seals. The most recognised spots are the villages of Morfa Nefyn and Aberdaron
Top tips for coasteering
Don’t do it alone
Coasteering is definitely a team activity and it’s advisable to do it as part of a guided tour with an experienced guide. An experienced guide is sure to know the route like the back of their hand and what may look safe to a newbie might not be safe to a seasoned professional.
Wear the right gear
An activity provider will often provide you with the correct equipment and advise you on what to wear beforehand. But if you’re curious about what you’ll need, here’s a list of the essentials:
- Wetsuit – a full length wetsuit will keep you dry all over and provide extra warmth
- Coasteer shorts – these are usually made from neoprene and are specifically designed for coasteering
- Trainers – make sure they lace up; old trainers are great for coasteering as they provide the grip and sole protection needed to tackle the slippery rocks
- Buoyancy aid – even the strongest swimmers need a little help to keep afloat sometimes
- Helmet – a must-have in case you experience any bumps or falls
Keep an eye on the weather and the tide
As coasteering takes place where the ocean meets the rock, it’s important to always check the sea state and tide to make sure the conditions are suitable and safe.
Coasteering and wildlife
If you take part in a coasteering session here in North Wales you’re sure to see some wildlife; including seals, dolphins and razorbills. The Anglesey coastline is one of the most varied and distinctive landscapes in Britain. It is also an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as home to a variety of wildlife.
Coasteering activities at Silver Bay
We’re lucky to be situated next to a stunning piece of coastline, perfect for a spot of coasteering. That’s why we offer family coasteering sessions during the school holidays, guided by an experienced coach.
That’s just one of the amazing benefits of being a holiday home owner here at Silver Bay Holiday Village. You can find out more about Silver Bay life on our blog, from organised activities on site to all the amazing things to see and do in the area.