Canolfan Tryweryn (grid reference SH890401) is the National White Water Centre for Wales, and is based near Bala in North Wales. It developed the first commercial white water rafting operation in the UK in 1986, and since then has grown to become the largest and most well-respected rafting organisation in the UK. The centre is home to paddlesport National Governing Body Canoe Wales and Rescue 3 (UK) who run a number of Safety & Rescue courses. The National White Water Centre is ideal for canoeing, kayaking, play-boating and coached groups who sometimes run BCU/CW Star Awards.
The River Tryweryn
The Tryweryn is a river in north Wales. It flows from Llyn Celyn in the Snowdonia National Park and after 19 km joins the river Dee at Bala. It is one of the main tributaries of the Dee and has been dammed to form Llyn Celyn. Water is stored in winter when flows are high, and released over the summer to maintain the flow in the Dee, meaning that the river often has suitable water levels for kayakers and rafters at time of year when natural rivers throughout Wales may be too low. Usually between 9 and 12 m³/s are released by the dam.
Access to the centre is free of charge for canoeists and kayakers. Although commercial providers still have to pay.
The river is generally split into three sections: Top Site, Centre Section and the Lower Tryweryn.
This constitutes the section of river leading from the setting basin below the Llyn Celyn dam along to the chipper (a metal fish trap, so called because it resembles a chip-slicer). The chipper is actually a fish-trap. This section is a nice Grade II coming onto III, with a good play-hole (the "Top-Hole") and a playful weir. The section is often used for safety and rescue courses, as well as kayaking freestyle competitions. Officially there is no raft or canoe access to this top section.
The Centre Section
This section (commonly known as the "Upper Tryweryn") is the main part of the Tryweryn, it runs for approximately 2 km from the chipper down to the Tyn Cornel camping site, and is a good Grade III. It contains most of the main features of the river (in order of occurrence):
- The Graveyard
- The Ski Jump
- Fedwr Gog Falls (aka Miss Davis' Bridge, or 'Stone' bridge),
- Café Wave
- NRA (National Rivers Authority) Bridge
- Chapel Falls
The Lower Tryweryn
Running the 4 km from the Tyn Cornel campsite down to Bala, this is a good Grade II bordering on Grade III section which finishes spectacularly at Bala Mill Falls (an easily portaged Grade IV rapid). This section is not managed like the upper Tryweryn, although the centre has been known to remove fallen trees and other obstructions/hazards quickly.
- Afon Tryweryn
- Cardiff International White Water
- British Canoe Union
- Welsh Canoeing Association
- International Scale of River Difficulty
- The Welsh Canoeing Association Union announces that paddling is free at the National White Water Centre.