You’d think I was mad, right? Well, despite the absurdity, it is completely possible and we recently made a visit of our own just to make absolutely sure.
We almost didn’t make it. I had decided to couple a visit to Liverpool, England (see our Liverpool posts here) with this experience in Wales and had booked us a hotel near where I thought the experience was based. Upon arrival at our hotel, the receptionist delivered the bad news that we were in fact an hours drive away and that we would almost certainly miss our booking. I frantically called the organisers and asked them if there was anything they could do. They said they might be able to squeeze us on the last session of the day should there be two no-shows.
Driving through Snowdonia National Park
We set off immediately, hoping that we’d get to go down into the cave. To get there, we had to wind our way through the stunning landscape of Snowdonia National Park. The further we got in, the more spectacular and rugged it became. While we enjoyed the scenery, we were concerned that our efforts may be in vain and that we’d just have to turn back again. Upon arrival, we parked up and rushed through the rain-sodden car park to the reception to find out our fate.
Waiting in line was excruciating. It seemed like ages! When it came to be our turn, we nervously identified ourselves and were told… that two people had cancelled. What unbelievable luck!
The Nervousness Begins
The panic was over, for one of us at least. I had made the booking and had watched videos on YouTube by others who had already visited. Jade on the other hand hadn’t and was now a little bit nervous about what was about to happen. This photo demonstrates the difference in our anticipation.
Helmets and red jump-suits were donned and a liability waiver was signed, neither of which helped calm her nerves. After a short talk by one of the staff, we were ushered to an old and very tiny mining train for a five minute journey into the side of the mountain and into the cavern. The tunnel was dark and very claustrophobic. The train bumped its way through the murk to a large opening where it came to a halt. Here, we were asked to put on net shoe covers and were given more safety advice before we were led around the corner to see the experience for the first time.
A Network of Nets
Before us, lit atmospherically in a changing variety of colours, was a cavern twice the size of St Paul’s Cathedral in London. A complex web of bungy ropes stretched from corner to corner, cradling three huge levels of bouncing netting linked by tunnels and slides. After a few minutes, we were invited to enter the network for our hour of bouncy fun.
It was immediately clear why we were wearing so much safety equipment. It wasn’t long before were were flat on our backs and struggling to stand up. The nets were significantly more bouncy than I had anticipated and what with 20-30 others bouncing around on the same net, it was not a place for dignity or balance. Soon we were all in fits of laughter and falling about like toddlers.
Here’s a short video showing Jade and I bouncing around in the darkness. It does a really good job of capturing what it was like.
Bounce Below is not a place for those with a fear of heights. The highest of the three nets is suspended 180 feet above the bottom of the cavern and, because it’s just netting between you and a long fall, you are very aware of the depth.
Ascending and Descending
Getting between the levels was a challenge. To get up, you had to climb through tight and sometimes steep net tunnels. Some parts were so tight and steep, we had to resort to getting on our hands and knees. Going down was not so strenuous, but it was still challenging. The only way down was via enclosed net slides. In essence, these were nothing more than holes in the floor of the nets with a tube of netting going all the way down to the net below. Here, we recommend covering your face as once again, the nets are tightly enclosed and scraping your nose on them is almost a certainty. Despite all of this, traversing the network was just as fun as simply bouncing around.
An hour is a long time when you’re spending that whole time either attempting to bounce as high as possible or trying to stabilise yourself. We got tired pretty quickly and found we had to take regular rests, essentially turning the net into the world’s largest hammock.
Soon, the lights in the cavern flashed, signifying the end of our session. We’d had a fantastic time and were reluctant to leave, but we clambered back up the exit slope and back to Derek, the train that had brought us in. We slipped our shoe covers off and trundled back into the brightness of daylight, grinning from ear to ear.
Had it been worth it?
Would we take a stress-filled hour’s drive through the mountain-filled scenery of Snowdonia to do it all again? Absolutely! Our experience at Bounce Below was totally unique and one that couldn’t be replicated anywhere else on earth, so we look back very fondly on it. Although tiring, we had such incredible fun bouncing around in our red jump-suits. It’s always good to remind yourself that doing stuff that on the face of things seems childish normally always turns out to be well worth it. It’s a shame that so many adults around the world focus so much on their grown-up responsibilities whilst forgetting that having fun is also incredibly important to ones emotional well-being. Bounce Below is one of those attractions that serves no other purpose other than to allow people to have nothing but fun for an hour, and for that reason, we heartily recommend it.
Bounce Below is one of a number of adrenaline-inducing attractions organised by Zip World. Their headline attraction is Velocity, Europe’s longest zip line. You can find out more information about Velocity and the other zip lines here. To book a session on Bounce Below and for more information, click here.
What do you think? Does an experience at ‘Bounce Below’ sound appealing?