January is a great time to start thinking about getting active and setting new fitness goals for the year ahead.
And what better place to do that than in North Wales, a region renowned for its beautiful landscapes and abundance of adventure activities.
From the rugged peaks of Snowdonia (Eryri) to the sandy beaches of Anglesey (Ynys Môn), North Wales has something to offer for everyone looking to get active in the great outdoors.
One of the best ways to get active in North Wales is by participating in any one of the numerous annual events that take place in the region.
There are events to suit all ability levels, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out on your fitness journey.
And one of the best things about North Wales is that these events are spread out over many different terrains…
it’s not just about the mountain trails, there are plenty of relatively flat courses, on the beach or even on roads.
One of our favourite local events is the World’s Steepest Street Run, which takes place in Harlech in March. As part of a 6km run, this challenging event sees participants run up the steepest street in the world, Ffordd Pen Llech, which has a gradient of 37.5%. It’s a true test of fitness and determination and a great way to kickstart your active year (check out the event page here).
Another popular event in March is the Harlech Duathlon/Harlech Triathlon, which offers a great opportunity to test your endurance and fitness. The event consists of a run, cycle and run, with the duathlon consisting of a 5km run, 21.5km cycle, and a 2.5km run. The triathlon is a more challenging event, consisting of a 400m pool swim, 21.5km cycle and a 5km run.
Both events organised by Always Aim High Events, finish with the legendary ‘storm the castle’, ascending 108 steps to the finish line in Harlech Castle. These events are a great way to push yourself and test your limits – as well as benchmarking your fitness level ready for the year ahead (check out the event pages here).
If you’re looking for a more ‘relaxed’ event, the popular Abersoch 10k in June and the more challenging Abersoch ½ Marathon in July are both great options, and form 2 parts of the Abersoch Triple Crown.
These events take place in the picturesque coastal village of Abersoch and offer stunning views of the sea, sandy beaches and surrounding countryside – the 10k in particular sees swathes of spectators and participants of all abilities, take to the famous streets of Abersoch each year.
Both events provide a wonderful experience and a great day out, for participants and spectators alike, against the stunning backdrop of the Llŷn Peninsula (check out the event pages here).
For those looking for real adventure and a much more intense challenge, The ROC Wales (Abersoch – Snowdon) and The Pen Llŷn Coastal & Trail Series in May are not to be missed. The ROC Wales is a challenging event that takes participants a gruelling 115km from Abersoch to the summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales & England, and then back again. The event starts with a sea swim, followed by a bike to Snowdon, where you ascend and then descend on foot, before the second 50km cycle back to Abersoch. A final run along the beach sees you across the finish line (check out the event page here).
The Pen Llŷn Coastal & Trail Series is a series of off-road races that take place along the beautiful souhtern coastline of the Llŷn Peninsula, between Pwllheli and Abersoch. It offers distances from 5k up to a full marathon (check out the event page here).
Both these events offer a true test of fitness and determination and are a great way to experience the beauty and ruggedness of North Wales.
If land-based activity isn’t really your thing, The BIG Welsh swim might be more appealing. Organised by Love Swim Run, this event is perfect for swimmers of all abilities and is family/child friendly (providing an adult family member is participating).
It provides a unique opportunity to swim in the crystal-clear waters of Llyn Padarn here in North Wales, at the foothills of Llanberis and Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) – plus for some distances a narrow gauge railway will take you to the starting line. With a choice of distances to suit all abilities, whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or just looking for a new challenge, The BIG Welsh Swim is a great way to get active and experience beautiful mountainous scenery from an unusual aquatic perspective (check out the event page here).
Last but not least, Tour De Mon (Anglesey) in August is a perfect way to experience the beauty of Anglesey while getting active. This popular event is a bike ride around the island of Anglesey, passing through some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the island. It’s a great way to explore the island, get active and challenge yourself. Distance choices range from 3.5 miles to 106 miles, making the event accessible to all levels of riders, whether you’re a new or experienced (check out the event page here).
For those who are not quite ready to participate in one of these challenging events, Hafan Pwllheli Parkrun is a great option for building fitness on a weekly basis. Parkrun is a free, timed 5k run that takes place every Saturday morning at 9 am, in a friendly and non-competitive environment. It’s a great way to get active, improve your fitness, and meet new people. It’s open to people of all ages and abilities, and is a great way to ease yourself into a more active lifestyle.
The course is set in a beautiful coastal location, and you will be able to enjoy the fresh air and stunning views while you run. The parkrun is well-organized, with volunteers to ensure your safety and help you with any questions. The event is also timed, so you can track your progress and see how you improve over time (check out the event page here).
So there you have it, our summary of just a few of the events taking place in 2023 and why North Wales is such an excellent destination for adventure activities, with a wide range of annual events to choose from. From the World’s Steepest Street Run, Harlech Duathlon/Triathlon, Abersoch Triple Crown, The ROC Wales, The Pen Llŷn Coastal & Trail Series, Tour De Mon and The BIG Welsh Swim, there is something for everyone looking to get active in the great outdoors.
So why not set yourself a new fitness goal and take part in one of these events this year, and experience the beauty and adventure that North Wales has to offer.
And when it comes to finding accommodation for these events, why not choose Madryn Castle Holiday Park.
Our Pritchard Lodge is an extremely comfortable and spacious option, with three large bedrooms (2 x double and 1 x twin), an open plan lounge, dining room & kitchen and a huge outdoor area with decking, private parking and an outdoor hot tub in the paved patio space of the garden.
Our park is located at the heart of the Llŷn Peninsula, near the coastal towns of Nefyn, Pwllheli & Abersoch, and is the perfect base from which to explore the region and participate in these events.
Our park has a range of facilities and amenities to ensure that guests have a comfortable and enjoyable stay. There is a laundrette, indoor games room, out door play park and multi sports court, and we have plenty of designated green spaces to stretch yours and your pets’ legs, including a woodland walk.
Our staff are always on hand to offer advice and information about the events, and can help to arrange transport and other logistics. With its comfortable accommodation and great facilities, Madryn Castle Holiday Park is the perfect choice for anyone looking to participate in the events and explore the beauty of North Wales.
You could also check out our sister site, Sarnfaen, located on the beach near Barmouth, part of our portfolio of Pritchard Leisure Five-star Escapes.
If you found this blog useful, please share it on social media using the links below.