Based on the outskirts of Betws y Coed in North Wales, those fabulous guys at zip world have come up with another UK first, and yet another instant hit for the adventurous.
Fforest Coaster opened to the public on Wednesday 10th May and we were lucky enough to have opening day tickets.
The Fforest Coaster is the first Alpine coaster of its kind in the UK. Based on a traditional toboggan run, it is set on rails which, conveniently for the North Wales climate, means it can run all year round through all weathers!
The bonus we had was that it was a day of clear blue skies and sunshine and on a day like that, I can think of few better ways to travel through the beautiful woodlands. Beams of sunlight bouncing through the tall trees, lighting up the bluebells and grass on the forest floor.
The uplift is really quite a tranquil journey. As the gap between toboggans is controlled, it really is just you and mother nature heading up the steep mountainside with no effort. You can just sit there for the 365 metre journey uphill, as the lift system takes you to the summit unaided.
Once at the top there is a brief pause to ensure that the gap between you and the toboggan ahead is sufficient to allow you to tear down at full speed.
That journey down is almost twice the distance at 710 metres, and what a thrill it is. You can not ride this thing without smiling!
Being so close to the ground and at some times within 1.5 meters to the trees it certainly feels quicker than 25mph (40kph) when you hurtle into one or two of the corners but you always feel perfectly safe. The rail system is smooth and you do have a manual braking system if you choose to use it (we chose not to).
The whole system is self braking so there is no actual need to use the manual brake and that self braking system is flawless from my point of view! I certainly didn’t feel like I was being held back at any point but it helps to maintain a safe distance between the sledges.
The sledges themselves are surprisingly comfortable too. Other toboggan systems we’ve ridden have been backless but this has a nice support, comfortable ride position and a seatbelt that is in no way cumbersome or “in the way” and yet does it’s job perfectly.
Riders need to be aged 9 or over and a minimum height of 1.35 metres to ride solo, but the good news is that if you do have younger children then they can ride with you and enjoy the fun.
As usual the Zip World guys have the pricing point just about spot on with it being £15 per adult and for that you get 3 runs. Childs prices are £7.50.
You do get off in between each run so although you have 3 runs you could perhaps have a break between each and grab a drink etc to extend the length of time. Your wristband will be stamped before each run.
All of the staff were of the usual Zip World standard. Knowledgeable of the adventure, friendly, fun and personable. They always ensure you are safe and interact with you in a fun way at all of their adventures.
We spotted a couple of extra activities on site that we’d love to return to try out so keep your eye out for more on www.extremenorthwales.com coming soon.
Check out more details at: https://www.zipworld.co.uk/adventure/detail/alpine-coaster
Address of Attraction: Zip World Fforest, Gwydir Forest Park, Snowdonia National Park, A470, Betws-y-Coed LL24 0HA
Pricing: £15 for adults – £7.50 for children
Video Filmed using OLFI – our action cam of choice. https://www.olfi.co.uk/