Sunday, 23 August 2015

Bounce Below

We recently visited Bounce Below in the Llechwdd Slate Caverns in Blaneau Ffestiniog. I admit I booked it without really finding out what was involved, I thought it was just nets suspended a few feet above floor in a cavern. I had read from the reviews that we would probably be worn out at the end and I was prepared for that, but that was about it really. Little did I know…
You are advised to arrive about half an hour before your allocated time which in our case was 5.00pm. I would definitely recommend booking well in advance if you want an early slot and it is not advisable to just turn up, especially during the school holidays and weekends as you are unlikely to get in. There are only about 34 people allowed in a particular time slot as they need to limit the number on the nets at any one time. It cost £20 each and you are on the nets for an hour.
Once we had been kitted out with helmets, and in the case of those who weren’t fully covered on their arms and legs a jumpsuit, we were then escorted into the caverns. You don’t go down into the cavern, it is a short flat walk to the nets and you arrive on the platform. It id there you get to see the full extent of the nets in the cavern and the lighting makes it look absolutely amazing and wondrous. It was only then that I knew I had made a mistake. Craig does not like heights and is very uncomfortable in confined spaces. There are three nets in the main cavern, stacked one above the other and the only way to go down to them is via a net chute and the only way up is a narrow enclosed rope ladder. The highest net is about 100 metres up and the lowest is about 2 metres from the floor of the cavern. I thought there is no way Craig would go on. I will give him credit though as he did and he stayed on for the full hour. He didn’t go up or down to the different levels though.
There is one net in the second cavern and I have to admit I was a little freaked out when I went on that. That one was probable about 80 metres up and beneath you there were people zip wiring. With the lighting in that cavern and the fact the net was black it looked like you were floating in mid air. Although I went on it I have to admit I didn’t stay on for long simply because all I could think about was what would happen if the ropes or the net snapped. I didn’t get that feeling in the main cavern as I know there were other nets underneath me that would break the fall.
To move between the levels you had to go down a chute. It was a bit snug and you definitely need to cover your face as the chute is made from ropes. I enjoyed going down the chutes and would not have been bothered if they had been longer. Going up a level was done by scrambling up an enclosed rope ladder. These varied in length depending on the level. This was the tiring part of the experience unless you are quite fit.
The kids loved it and I frequently lost sight of them as they were all over the place. Matthew loved the chutes and he spent most of the hour going up and down the levels. He didn’t pluck up the courage to almost jump down the chutes like some of the other kids were doing. One of the rules is that you don’t jump down the chutes and there were members of staff overseeing the use of the chutes and ladders.
Overall I really enjoyed the experience and the unexpected workout I got. Even though I thought £20 was a lot to pay for one hour after doing it then I think it is really good value for money ( I am sure Craig would not agree with me) The kids said they would be there every weekend if we lived closer they loved it that much. We will be returning as Emma wants to do the Zip Wire experience that is there for her birthday. She wanted to do it that day but we did not have time and we also heard that it was £50 each.

I apologise for the lack of photos. It was quite dark in the cavern and my camera was not up to the job.

Further details about Bounce Below can be found here