Wales Opens World's Largest Underground Zipline

27 May 2015

Wales continues to develop as a leading adventure-activity destination, with the opening of the world’s largest fully underground zipline course.

In the vast Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Zip World’s latest attraction is a 10-line course that takes visitors on an aerial adventure through five caverns, some big enough to fit 75 double-decker buses.

The ziplines are interspersed with rope bridges, balance beams, tunnels and stretches of via ferrata: a mountaineering aid in which a harness is clipped to a cable running along a precipice.

Zip world caverns Exploring the Zip World caverns

Suitable for children as young as 10, the experience lasts around three hours. The walls of the cavern are illuminated by LEDs, transforming the dark cave into a vibrant environment.

The course was built over a period of 12 months, with workers swinging 30.5 metres from the ground using an intricate network of wires and pulleys. Bottles were used for toilet breaks to “increase efficiency”.

Zip world caverns Hanging above the abyss

Explorer and rock climber Eric Jones, 78, was the first person to experience the attraction. “It’s a perfect way for people from all walks of life to experience the thrill of adventure in a safe environment,” he said.

The zipline course is the latest in a series of similar attractions to open in north Wales. Bounce Below, which opened last summer and is run by the same company, is a subterranean trampoline world suspended in a different section of the same slate caverns.

Above ground at the same site, Zip World Titan gives visitors the chance to fly down a line at 110 kilometres per hour, while another company, Zip Below Xtreme, offers a 130-metre underground zipline experience.

Ken Skates, the Welsh assembly’s deputy minister for culture, sport and tourism, said: “This collection of projects in north Wales is an excellent example of regenerating communities … they also show how we can work with our amazing Welsh landscape and heritage to create unique experiences and adventures.”

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This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

This article was written by Will Coldwell from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Will Coldwell

I am a junior reporter on The Guardian travel desk. Previously I wrote extensively for The Guardian, The Independent and other national publications as a freelance feature writer and reporter. I have a radio show on London Fields Radio called The Soul Report and DJ funk, soul and hip hop under the name Royale.