You’ve seen the pictures, you know just how beautiful Wales is, but how much do you know about its’ people? For a small population – just over 3 million people – the diversity is staggering. The Welsh are known as a friendly bunch, and whether they were born here or made the great choice to move here, you’ll likely receive the same warm welcome whomever you get talking to. One thing I learnt through my travels is that you can learn the most about a place by listening to the people that live there. The idea of this series of interview blogs is to give you an insight into the lives, loves & work of people that live in Wales.
Steve, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for our Real Wales, Real People blog series. I think the story of how we met is so typical of Wales – we were both out walking on an otherwise deserted hillside, and got chatting about the weather – ha! You spend your time helping people find adventure in Wales’ incredible natural landscapes – please tell us more about yourself and your work!
I am a Former Royal Marine that has been training in and around the Brecon Beacons for over 25 years and now run an Outdoor Adventure Activity Community Interest Company (not for profit) as an educator and Outdoor Practitioner for private groups, and corporate companies looking for adventures in this stunning environment of South Wales. Outdoor Activities such as: Mountain Walking/Mountaineering; Canoeing; Gorge Walking - Jumping in Rivers and exploring Waterfalls; Coasteering - Jumping from the Sea Cliffs of the South Wales Gower Peninsula Coast line, exploring the caves and small coves that can only be explorer by approaching these from the sea; survival skills and camping; and much more!
What might a typical day for you look like?
Anything from walking in the Welsh hills covering many different viewpoints, teaching navigation or other outdoor skills so people of all abilities can enjoy the stunning locations away from the crowds on busy day, to jumping into the running water of local rivers such as the Afon Mellte and surrounding rivers. Mountain biking at bike parks Wales to finish off the typical energetic day out with active clients.
What makes Wales the perfect place for the nature of your work?
Wales has so much to offer all abilities for all different types of adventures, there are so many different places to visit from visiting local shopping areas; to the stunning hills such as Pen y Fan; and the outstanding beauty of the South Wales Heritage Coast of the Gower Peninsular. Wales is like a play ground, made by natural formations from the last ice age just 20,000 years ago. Everything we need as an outdoor adventure company is within reach and is of easy travelling distance, including the beautiful restaurants that can make for a great finish to an adventure day out with us.
What are your top tips for those looking for adventure in Wales?
Visit our website... look for a different range of activities that can be found in Wales in the North as well as the South, look for something that can give you an adventure on land and in the water whether that is a gorge (inland) or the sea at the Gower. Be safe and enjoy yourself.
As a local, what would your perfect day in Wales consist of?
A water based activity that will give me some education of the Welsh landscape and show me something I haven't yet found... because Wales is full of little secrets.. yet to be discovered, even for the locals...
Where would you take friends that come to visit you?
South Wales Gower Coastline, because of the history and diversity it offers, from lime stone to laver formations where fossils can be discovered if you look close enough. I’d love to explore the West Wales coastline more.
·Finally - what makes you most proud to call Wales home?
The Welsh sense of humour and the friendship the Welsh people give to visitors when they visit us for adventure days; the history Wales has to offer when we explore the landscape; the atmosphere when there is a home Wales game, whether we win or lose.