Bethesda is home to Zip World Velocity, the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe. It has been dubbed as the nearest thing to flying other than taking a sky dive. It has clocked in speeds in excess of 100mph, found within its breath-taking spot more than 1000ft up. Expect adrenaline, stunning views across the Menai Straits, and possibly a few screams as you fly head first down a mountain.
Zip World Velocity: The Fastest Zip Line in the World
The Zip World Velocity experience starts off with registration at the sign in office and then to the changing rooms. Here you are accurately weighed for your safety and given some of the most robust harnesses I’ve experienced. Rest assured you are in safe hands as the staff check, double check and triple check every little adjustment to keep you up in the air.
I’ll skip on the safety briefing, and take you straight to the first preparation in learning to fly… The Little Zipper. Now the name may sound pretty tame, and I think it does its job pretty well. What you probably aren’t aware is this zip wire is actually the third longest zip wire in Great Britain.
As our group takes on the zip line we all get familiar with the process as we painstakingly watch each pair of people fly off one by one. Instead of hanging from the wire like a normal zipline, at Zip World you lay down flat in your special harness. This really does give you the sense of flying through the air.
Three, Two, One, Whoooosh! Before I know it we are like a bird, 72ft up in the air, flying across the 500 metre zip line at around 40mph. That is one way to everyone’s adrenaline going!
Once we have all completed the Little Zipper, we start our ascent up to the top of the quarry via a huge red truck. The atmosphere is something I’ll never forget.. we were all obviously pretty apprehensive as to how high the zipline is, after driving up higher and higher. The clouds feel like they are touchable we are that high up. To break those nerves, the truck played Frank Sinatra’s Come fly with me as we reach the top. Incredible views right across the quarry, little dots at the bottom are actually cars and houses. None of us can spot the finish point of the zip line. Suddenly it all feels a little too real, it’s time to hop out and make our way to Zip World’s most famous zip line.
At the top we reach the ‘drop zone’ for the Big Zipper. Greeted by a big slate sign that reads: ‘Maximum speed of 100+mph’ and ‘height of 1400+ft’ – Enough to scare away the nervous ones, but no backing out now!
After a few obligatory photos of what felt like our final moments, we were called up to the platform awaiting our fate..
Luckily Zip World have added a second zip wire, so you can race down in pairs, otherwise I think it may have been a flip of the coin to decide which unlucky one was going first! Joking aside, we jumped at the chance of doing this. The staff keep checking our harnesses are on tight, we step forward to the edge and get clipped on. We are in full forward facing position, hanging ready to fly just off the edge of the platform. The wind is blowing and rocking us gently as we wait for the all clear. At this moment it is totally silent, my mind is trying to take in everything my eyes can possibly see.
We hear the all clear over the staff radio, the numbers count down and the last safety catch is yanked out. The acceleration is something I’ve never experienced before, no rollercoaster beats this. Flying head first through the air like a bird, we are going seriously quick now. I can feel how fast we are cutting through the wind as we hurtle down the quarry. The rocks are getting closer and closer and in no time they flash past as the cliff floor vanishes to reveal the beautiful blue lake 500ft below.
Before I knew it, I was struggling to breath as we were going so fast! A quick turn of the head enabled me to catch my breath and concentrate on the race. Both neck and neck all the way down to the end. Wow. Mind is blown! heading down to the finish the guys are telling me to stretch my arms out wide to help slow down. We smash into the magnetic shock absorber on the zip line which really helps slow things down. One of the crew runs to grab our hands to stop us pinging back down the line.
We made it! Adrenaline is in full swing, I feel like I want to do it again and again. The fastest zip line in the world, takes around a minute to complete, but we did it. It was incredible, absolutely exhilarating. Zip World Velocity is a must when you visit Snowdonia.
Article written by Adam Boston
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