You must go Coasteering in Wales. It’s a thrilling adventure of a lifetime! Imagine jumping off cliffs into the freezing Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the UK while being slugged in the face with crashing waves.
Then you get to scale slippery rocks to before walking along a precarious narrow path, all while wearing a double wetsuit to take in the view. Sound like fun? If you said yes, Coasteering in Wales is for you! If not, don’t worry; Coasteering is not as scary as it sounds.
Coasteering in Wales
When we asked people on our Facebook Page if they’d like to try coasteering? Many of the answers were – No way! Are you crazy?
This didn’t surprise us as many people think coasteering is just for adrenaline junkies. And it’s no wonder. When watching the videos on the Preseliventure website the night before our trip, I started to worry about what we had gotten ourselves into.
Unfortunately for me, I happened to click on the adrenaline junkie video where extreme TV Hosts Orlando and Aline Coasteering and challenged each other to jump off the highest cliffs possible.
Then when I did a Google search for coasteering, I watched video after video of people flying through the air from high sea cliffs into unforgiving waters. We didn’t have to do that did we? Luckily the answer was no.
What is Coasteering?
Coasteering was invented in Wales and we decided that if we were ever going to give it a try, it would be here. Wales is fast becoming the adventure capital of Europe.
People here love to try quirky and zany things and coasteering is definitely at the top of that list. We were told that it was invented by cold water surfers who were looking for an alternative to surfing when Wales’s coastal conditions weren’t ideal.
They still wanted to be able to get in the water and play, but they also wanted the challenge that surfing offered. Coasteering fit the bill and it has grown in popularity over the years.
Preseliventures was one of the first (if not the first) outfitters to offer coasteering tours in Wales. Our guide Rob told us that Coasteering could be as extreme or as tame as you want it to be. Contrary to popular belief, it’s simply a traverse along the shore and an excellent way to explore the coast. Once Rob put it that way, I relaxed. If I felt like jumping later, I could, if not, no worries.
Coasteering is Exploring and Traversing
The jumping is the popular part for marketing, but it’s only one small aspect of coasteering. Coasteering is actually more about exploring and traversing than simply jumping from big rocks.
There are caves, wildlife, rocks and islands to explore.So to put it plainly, coasteering is for everyone, not just adrenaline junkie thrill-seekers. Although if you are an adrenaline junkie you won’t be disappointed either.
We met Rob and owner Sophie at the Preseliventure Eco-Resort to suit up for our afternoon in the waves. The lodge is the perfect getaway for nature lovers and they even offer pick up from the train station.
You can leave London in the morning and be on the coast of Wales in mere hours! There are several rooms where couples, families and groups can book accommodation and meals and drinks are available at the lodge.
When coasteering, you need to have a good pair of rubber-soled trainers that you don’t mind getting wet (or they have a few on hand that you can borrow if you are in a pickle).
The Coasteering companies supply wetsuits, helmets, pdfs, and booties. Once we were suited up and thoroughly looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy, we hopped in the van for the 5-minute drive to the coast.
Our Coasteering Experience in Wales
My heart was pounding as we walked along the shore to our jumping in point.
I was trying to act confident, but Dave told me my face was white as a ghost. Coasteering was something I have avoided for much of my travel life.
There is something about being swept out to sea that utterly terrifies me. But Rob had a calming way about him that made me feel confident and ready for the challenge.
He and Dave got in the water first and I could tell by their reactions, it was cold.
I followed Rob’s advice and bit the bullet and just jumped right in. It took my breath away and I could feel my chest squeezing shut as the cold water flowed into my wetsuit.
It took a few minutes, but once the water warms against your skin, it’s all-good. And soon my breathing was back to normal.
See Dave and Deb take on the Polar Plunge in Antarctica
Leave it to us to go Coasteering during the tail end of a hurricane.
As we swam to the first set of cliffs, Rob said the ocean was quite rough as Wales was experiencing the remnants of Hurricane Joaquin. Great, just what I needed rough seas.
But as we learned, it really doesn’t matter what the weather is like, Coasteering can easily be modified to suit the day.
Lucky for us, we wouldn’t be able to go out to the high cliffs that Orlando and Aline jumped off of because the water was too rough to swim through to get there.
Aw, too bad so sad. I shed my single tear and happily went on with our day knowing that I wouldn’t have to face the choice of jumping from high sea cliffs. It all turned out in the end!
Check out our Coasteering Wales Video!
So, we spent our time playing in some waves feeling what it was like to be in a washing machine.
Dave was far braver than me and loved every minute of it. He’s a Pisces and was made for the water, so with each crash, wave, jump, or churn, he was gung ho with full force.
After playing around on the shore for a while, Rob suggested we cross the channel to check out the views from the nearby island. Sea lions played in the water and watched intently as we crossed. At times I almost felt that they wanted to join us.
Incredible Views of Wales Coastline
When we got to the other side, we climbed up more cliffs and then enjoyed a leisurely walk to the top. Wales is known for its majestic coastline and this was the most beautiful view we had seen during our time there. The swim was definitely worth it as we looked out over the sea and saw an endless line of imposing sea cliffs.
I think we spent a little too long up there, but Dave and I couldn’t stop taking photographs and video. It was magnificent. And I appreciated it when our guide said, “This is what coasteering is all about.” The fun in the water is one thing, but exploring the coast is the payoff. It was truly a great payoff to a great day.
The weather couldn’t have been better. It was early autumn, but the sun was shining, the air was warm, and our view was endless. Who could ask for more?
We made our way back across the channel and our sea lion friend was still out there keeping an eye on us. The van was waiting for us when we got back and after changing into our warm and dry clothes Sophie asked us how it was. I was amazed to reply, I loved it and I’d do it again!
Will I go Coasteering Again?
Now that I’ve done coasteering once, I know that it’s no the big scary thing that I made it out to be in my head. I do believe that when given the chance, I may even jump off one of the high rocks into the churning sea.
But that’s easy to say when I’m sitting here warm and dry at my computer. You’ll just have to follow along to see if I follow through.
Preseliventure is located in Pembrokeshire and they offer everything from sea kayaking adventures to surfing. You can drive to the eco-lodge or take the train and they will pick you up. There are multiday adventures or single day activities and an afternoon of coasteering with guide is a very affordable €45.
So what are you waiting for? Want to try a brag-worthy adventure? Coasteering is for you!