Discover the playground hiding beneath Snowdonia
Turns out Snowdonia National Park’s beautiful scenery is just a front for a whole host of exciting subterranean stuff. Jump underground into yet another slate mine, this time filled with enormous trampolines. Oh, Snowdonia. What else have you got hiding under there?
Located inside a 176-year-old disused slate mine near Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales, Bounce Below is a network of gigantic bouncy nets, walkways and slides, all strung up from the mine’s walls. The highest trampoline is suspended 180ft above the bottom of the cavern. Fun fact, this is twice the size of St Paul’s Cathedral. That’s 55 metres, or Very High Indeed, if you’re struggling to visualise it.
Begin your journey into the depths with a 5-minute train ride into the cavern. You’ll already be wearing a helmet – you get that above ground – and, if you’ve come in unsuitable clothing, a boiler suit. We quite like the thought of getting dressed up in a boiler suit, but you can avoid one if you wear long sleeves and trousers. Skirts, shorts, t-shirts – leave ’em in the wardrobe. The netting surrounding each trampoline is rough and can scrape exposed skin. It also prevents you falling to your untimely death, so, y’know. Small price to pay.
There are three trampolines inside, linked by net walkways on the way up, and net slides on the way down. Like some extremely bouncy game of snakes and ladders. We guarantee, unless you’re a child or a professional gymnast, your first bounces are going to be filled with some trepidation. But soon you’ll be giggling uncontrollably, perhaps even whooping a little, and eager to make your way up to the next level.
The cave is lit with myriad multicoloured lights, which makes the experience all the more surreal. And good news: your entry ticket gives you a whole hour of bouncing fun. You’ll be exhausted by the end of it, in that ever-so-glad-of-heart way that comes from feeling like you’re a kid again. Even though all the kids there will be a hundred times better at trampolining than you. Ah well. You’ll just need to make a return trip to hone your skills, won’t you?
Bounce Below is in Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales.
Daily, with slots throughout the day. Frequency and start times vary depending on the time of year, but generally things get going at about 9.30am right through to 6pm on weekends and during key holiday periods, and in the afternoons during the week.
What you need to know:
Kids aged 3-6 get their own child-friendly Bounce Below area – anyone over 7 should book a standard ticket. The experience is suitable for most people, although those with weak ankles aren’t advised to take part, for obvious reasons. Take your camera or phone into the cavern at your own risk – once it falls, it’s gone forever…