Zip World, Gwynedd, Wales
Imagine being suspended from a wire at 1800 feet, looking down at what was until the 1950s the largest man-made hole on the planet. Welcome to Zip World Velocity, the longest single zip wire in Europe and the fastest in the world – the closest humans can get to flying like superman, travelling speeds anywhere between 75mph and 100mph. You start the journey in the base of Penrhyn slate quarry, once the largest slate mine in the world, and still employing around 300 people, producing some of the finest slate on earth. Once you're properly suspended and the “Safetys off”, you're ready to go. It's the closest you will get to sky-diving without jumping out of a plane and it is incredible to say the least; the ground rushes beneath you, at times just metres away, and suddenly you're soaring over the lake back to the quarry’s base. The lake is astoundingly blue – like a pool of fountain pen ink – and somehow time slows down, giving you the chance to soak up all the unbelievable views of the North Wales coastline just ahead, the Isle of Man beyond and the mountains of Snowdonia to the right, before you reach the end. If that’s not enough, Zip World have two other locations nearby, including Zip World Titan in Blaenau Ffestiniog, which has no less than 8000m of zip lines (the largest ‘zip zone’ in Europe, it claims) and might be a little easier to stomach: not only is it slower, but you get to ride in groups of four!
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