Ride the fastest Zip Line in the World

Ever since I heard about Zip World and the experiences they have to offer I couldn’t stop thinking about trying out their Velocity experience for myself.  This is the fastest zip line in world and longest in Europe! It’s also conveniently located in Penrhyn quarry, Bethesda in the North of Wales, which is a comfortable 4 hour drive from my home.


I booked my Velocity Zip Line for 3pm on Saturday 4th February giving plenty of time for travel.  I also decided to make a weekend of it booking a local B&B for that night so that on Sunday my wife and I could hike up Mount Snowdon before driving home.


From here you can see just how high you are, 432 meters to be precise! I guess that’s why it’s called “The Big Zipper”


The Velocity experience is about an hour long.  After you’ve registered at reception you are taken to the kit area for a quick safety briefing, weighed (I will explain later) and then issued a bright red jumpsuit, helmet, goggles and the all-important harness.  This is put on and then checked by the professional staff so no need to panic about missing a buckle.  You can also bring your own action cameras like Gopro’s and the staff provide you with a different helmet with relevant attachment.


The experience itself is split into 2 separate Zip lines.  You are walked to the first called “The Little Zipper” where you are guided through the procedures and set up on the line.  The reason you are weighed at the start is so the staff can estimate what speed you will travel at.  They will tell you to put your arms out as a wind brake at a certain point on the line to slow you down just enough before reaching the end.   As the name suggests it’s a short line down to where the quarry truck is waiting for you.  In my opinion “The Little Zipper” is a sort of dry run before you head to the top of the quarry, but it also adds to the day’s overall experience.


Once you’ve completed your first Zip Line, the group is then escorted onto the quarry truck, which takes you to the top.  This is a 15-minute journey which gives you plenty of time to take in the beautiful Welsh landscape and perhaps a few photographs too!

Once at the top you are taken to a small waiting area, heated by a traditional wood-burning stove.  From here you can see just how high you are, 432 meters to be precise!  I guess that’s why it’s called “The Big Zipper”.  Once on the starting platform you are led through the same procedure as on the smaller line but this time they add triangular sails and trailing parachutes (if needed) according to your weight.  You get a courtesy countdown before they release you and then you’re off!  It takes no time at all to pick up speed, the quarry landscape rushes beneath you.  I described this to my brother as the closest thing to proximity flying you can do.  The hillside then disappears to reveal a great void and you’re then overlooking the lake.  I was told at the end that my weight and tailwind combined meant I reached speeds in excess of 100mph!


This was a very unique and exciting experience which has been ticked off the Blog It List.   But don’t take my word of it though, watch the video above and see for yourselves!

That night my wife and I found a local pub for something to eat before heading to the B&B.  In the morning we had a full Welsh Breakfast to give us plenty of energy to hike up Mount Snowdon.  This was tougher then expected as the route was covered in fresh snowfall, but we made it to the summit safely.  Below are a few pictures from the day, again the Welsh landscape is beautiful and absolutely breathtaking!

Jonathan Phelps

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