Surf Snowdonia – Dolgarrog, Wales - Atlas Obscura

Surf Snowdonia

Britain's only artificial surfing lake is nestled in the beautiful mountains of Wales. 


The mountains of Snowdonia in Wales are a beautiful destination for hiking and camping—or surfing, if you’re up for something a bit different from the typical terrestrial activities.

The artificial wave pool at Surf Snowdonia is the first manmade commercial surfing lake in Great Britain. The freshwater pool can generate a 6.7-foot that can last 16 seconds and travel a distance of 490 feet, which the park claims is the world’s longest artificial surf wave.

The pool contains a wave-generating mechanism that’s based on a prototype built in San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque Country. It can produce three different sized waves at a rate of one per minute. 

Pristine rainwater from reservoirs in the nearby hills fill the pool, which, at just under 1,000 feet long and 360 feet wide can hold up to 52 surfers at a time. The water passes through the hydropower station to extract its energy before it’s used in the pool, which holds some 6 million gallons of water. 

The Welsh town was previously home to the Dolgarrog Aluminium Works, which closed in 2007. After other proposed developments to take its place failed, plans for this unique inland surfing attraction were unveiled in 2013.

Because of its century-long use as an industrial site, reopening it as an adventure park required much decontamination. Construction cost a total of £12 million. When the site opened to the public on August 1, 2015, 14,000 people visited in its first two weeks of operation. Around 3,500 people surfed in the pool.

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In addition to the surf pool, other facilities on site include a surfing academy training school and what is called a “Crash and Splash” lagoon. It also has  a café/bar and coffee shop, a soft play area for children, a retail area, and provides accommodation in 36 wooden camping pods and some canvas bell tents. There are also RV hookups.

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