Menai Straits

Menai Straits

The Menai Straits is a well known tidal section of water that separates the island of Anglesey from the mainland of Wales. 

It offers journeys of interest which can be planned to be on either flat or moving water. A beautiful venue both naturally and historically with original bridges and impressive castles.

There is a big feel to the Menai Straits, with the satisfaction of a worthwhile journey.

"We were really moving quickly with the fast flowing water, seeing the seal pop up was the best!"
Paul Gibson
canoe journey uk

Canoe Jounrey

We will often use canoes to journey up or down the Menai Straits. The canoes can be rafted together to provide a stable platform and be easily controlled or separated for those with experience.

There are many start and finish points to allow for different lengths of journeys. For each we take into account the tides and wind direction to gain assistance. Along the way we often stop to build fires and cook pancakes or toast marshmallows during lunch. 

White Water Rafts

On bigger tides, when the tidal flow is much faster, we will use the white water rafts if groups want to play in the ‘Swellies’. This is a narrower area between Menai and Brittania bridges that produce a range of waves, eddies and fast moving water to play in. 

The group need to work together if they are to gain the right lines as they maneuver the raft between the islands on their journey along the Menai Straits. 

Learning Outcomes

For Outdoor Education Courses

  • Control a water craft using different strokes.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work as a member of a team, to reach an end goal.
  • Identify ways to succeed in different challenges and games.
  • Look at geographical factors such as weather and location to make informed choices about risk e.g the appropriate clothes to wear, whether it is safe to enter the water.
  • Understand tides and how this effects the flow in the Menai Straits.

Activity Venues

The Menai Straits is the strip of tidal water separating Anglesey from the mainland. There are a number of launching or egress points, a few are mentioned below.

Menai Bridge offers a slipway for access. Close to the swellies for fast water or slower water up towards Bangor pier. 

Felinheli has a slate beach from which to launch or egress.

Caernarfon launching point has fine views of the Edwardian castle. The other castle is Beaumaris castle at the Northern end of the straits.


Menai Straits Courses

Menai Strait journeys forms part of our outdoor education courses at Arete, it is popular full day activity. Through the outdoor adventures, and residential stay, we incorporate a range of educational benefits for the pupils. Journeys on the Menai Straits can also be part of geography field work, looking at river processes and erosional environments or focusing on the marine ecology. 

Courses of all lengths available throughout the year. A dedicated and experienced instructor is allocated per group. They will tailor the outdoor education programme, that will be flexible to adjust to pupil progression and weather.

Costs: As an example, a 5 day fully catered course starts from just £235 per pupil for courses in November – February.

How to Book: Please email or use our contact form. Let us know the time of year, approximate size of course, year group and any aspirations or learning objectives you may have.

 See our Primary or Secondary section from more information on our outdoor education courses. We also have a general Teachers & Leaders Guide.

All of our activities, including journeys on the Menai Straits, can be booked as a private session for any type of group.

Costs: Regardless of activity combinations, £70 per person for a full day of activity, £50 per person for half day of activity.
Minimum payment of £280 for a full day or £200 for a half day of activity.

Discounts: For groups, every 10th person can attend for free. 10% discount for schools, colleges, scouts & guides, cadets and certain youth charities.

Ratios: We run our courses at low ratios of 1:11 or less to ensure your safety and maximum participation.

Included: Safety kit, wetsuit and / or waterproofs as necessary. Transport can also be provided if you’re staying at Arete Outdoor Centre.

How to Book: Please email or use our contact form. Let us know your preferred date, approximate size of course, year group and any aspirations or learning objectives you may have.

More information: Please see our page on Adult Groups, Youth Groups or Family Activity.

We run Gold DofE Residential courses and Summer Camps during the holidays. Journeys on the Menai Straits can form a part of this 5 day multi-activity course. The accommodation is fully catered. You will meet like-minded individuals and have a great week of adventure.

2018 Dates: 9-13 April, 20-24 August, 27-31 August, 3-7 September.

Cost: £295 per person fully catered

How to Book: Please email or use our contact form. Let us know you preferred date.

More information: See our Gold Residential or Summer Camp page. Alternatively contact us if you have further questions.