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Watersports in the Land of Song

Wales. Land of song, deep valleys, hills, mountains and stunning scenery. Its coastline stretches for more than 1,600 miles, so it’s little wonder that watersports play a huge part in its culture. Journey north, and at Llandudno and Colwyn Bay there are numerous sailing clubs. But sailing isn’t just reserved for the coast. Visit Llyn Brenig and you’ll discover the highest inland sailing venue in North Wales. The lake’s conditions are perfect for both the serious and less competitive, irrespective of skill.

Close to Llyn Brenig is the Alwen Reservoir, offering superb waterskiing facilities. The largest man-made lake in Wales, it covers a huge three miles with a shoreline ideal for hiking. During the summer, the Conwy River Festival gets into full swing. Dating back to the early 90s, the festival has developed to include both water and land based activities for the whole community in the shadow of its historic 13th century castle. The River Festival – and Quay Day – is where the town’s competitive spirit comes very much alive.

Kayaking in Wales

Travel from the Conwy estuary, and you’ll discover the sheltered waters of the Menai Strait, the divide between North Wales and the island of Anglesey. Nearby in Caernafon, is the National Outdoor Centre for Wales – Plas Menai. They offer a wide variety of activities, so whether it’s sea kayaking, windsurfing or sailing, there are expertly run courses to suit all abilities.

With possibly the best lake for watersports in the UK, Bala Adventure and Watersports offers action packed fun for the whole family. Their activities include raft building, sailing, kayaking and white water rafting. Add to this the spectacular Snowdonia National Park and gorgeous scenery, and you’ll understand why this family run business offers such great value for money: www.balawatersports.com has all the details.

Wales’ intricate coastline is almost tailor-made for exploring by kayak, and the region offers some of the best sea kayaking in the world. Canoe enthusiasts have the pick of the crop with the Montgomery Canal and flat water paddling on the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Llangollen.

The west coast offers plenty of choices for the keen watersports enthusiast. Aberystwyth, with its highly tidal harbour, is a great choice for surfing, while Borth is an ideal location for sailboarding. Further south, Aberaeron’s shingle beach is very popular for sailing, windsurfing and canoeing.

Pembrokeshire’s numerous Blue Flag beaches are home to an equally large number of watersports. Whether it’s waterskiing, surfing, fishing or sailing, you’ll find them all here. West Wales Watersports – RYA certified – offers sailing and surfing courses off the coast at Newgale and Dale Bay for all ages and skill levels. Along the coast in Carmarthenshire, Boat Fishing Wales in Burry Port, offers the chance to venture out into the Bristol Channel for bass fishing.

For a more genteel fishing experience, Latchygors Lake near Llanfallteg is ideal. The lake is well stocked with brown trout and is the ideal spot to unwind. Fed by a natural spring, Latchygors Lake can yield catches of up to five pounds. If you’re planning a more long-term visit, the lake has its own holiday cottage and family groups are very welcome. To see more of what Wales has to offer, visit www.visitwales.com.

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