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Dŵr Gwyn Rhyngwladol Caerdydd, Ffordd Watkiss, Bae Caerdydd, CF11 0SY

White Water Rafting... in Cardiff...really?! I was searching online from my home in Australia for an adventurous, adrenaline-charged activity in Cardiff for my sister's upcoming Hen Do. We'd decided Cardiff would be a great option for a girly get-together - perfect location for friends and family travelling from London, Bath, Somerset, Swansea and abroad. With great restaurants and nightlife, a revitalised Bay area to explore - and having grown up in Wales but with an English wedding on the cards, all lines pointed to Cardiff.

So, having decided on a location, the task of sourcing the activity began! With one search for hen activities in the Welsh capital, out popped the CIWW website. Now, I knew I hadn't visited Cardiff for a long, but White Water Rafting! Had I missed something?! Intrigued and sold by the online testimonials and with a gang of women keen and willing for watery adventure - we booked!

Before long the hen party day was upon us, and we woke up to perfect summery blue skies, much excitement and a healthy dose of trepidation. Watching the sluice gates open and the water rush in, tumbling down the rapids was reassuring, as the sight of the purpose built, concrete-lined channel had me (and I'm sure a few of the girls) asking what on earth had I booked us in for.? "How many times do we get to go around?" one of the party asked. Oh man! An essential question I hadn’t even thought to ask?! Was it once? Twice? More? I guess we’d soon find out!

The CIWW staff were amazing. Their thorough safety briefing and oozing confidence helped to diminish any lingering fears. Kitted out with wetsuits, boots (how cold was the water going to be?), helmets and life jackets and split in to two groups, we boarded our rafts and were taught the paddling commands and got to experience the water temperature for the first time – which wasn’t actually as brain-numbing as feared!

Then we were off, up the conveyor belt with paddles ready and then into the first run. An hour and a half later; with aching arms, colossal smiles and a confident but squelchy swagger in our steps, it was over. We had SO much fun. White Water Rafting had exceeded all our expectations and left us buzzing for the rest of the day! A great hen party activity choice, and we will definitely be back!


Charlotte Grove