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Fun things to do at Cardiff’s iconic reservoirs this half term

Credit: Welsh Water

With the weather getting warmer and a bank holiday weekend and half term approaching, it’s a great time to take the plunge and embark on a water adventure at Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs.

The Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water visitor attraction in North Cardiff opened in July 2023 as a hub for health and wellbeing and a haven for wildlife. It offers a fantastic range of water activities set in stunning surroundings – including sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking, open-water swimming, and cold-water dipping.

Anyone can enjoy the thrill of exhilarating water sports at Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs. Beginners can book instructor-led taster sessions with qualified, friendly staff and can hire all the equipment they need, including wetsuits. While seasoned paddlers can pay to self-launch their own craft and can purchase discounted multiple-session passes. There are also induction courses to introduce people to the increasingly popular activity of cold-water dipping.

Water activities take place on Llanishen Reservoir where water conditions are perfect with clean water and no currents or tides. At the visitor centre, there are changing rooms with hot showers, and a café that serves delicious food and drinks and offers panoramic views of the reservoirs.

Fun-filled family offers

Families of up to five (2 adults and up to 3 children age 5+) can enjoy a 90-minute canoe or kayak session for a special price of £55. With a choice of single, double, or triple seater craft, this is a wonderful way to explore the reservoir while enjoying quality family time together.

Or, for an unforgettable experience, jumbo stand-up paddleboards for groups of four to sixteen people age 5+ can be hired for £20 pp, which provides plenty of fun and laughter for all ages.

Half term activity days

Over half term and throughout the summer holidays, Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs offers children’s multi activity days and youth introduction and intermediate sailing courses. These are perfect holiday clubs for adventurous children aged 8-15, and no prior experience is required.

The action-packed days run from 9am until 4pm, and include kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing, sailing, raft building and games. A day costs £65 per child or a discounted price of £275 for a full week of adventure (5 days).

Join the SUP social

Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs has launched a SUP social club on Thursday evenings. This is a great opportunity to socialise while exercising and taking in the stunning views and fresh air.

No experience is necessary, and paddleboards are available for hire or regular paddleboarders can bring their own board, try new waters, and refine their SUP skills.

Open water swimming and cold-water dipping

For those who prefer to get into the water rather than on it, open water swimming sessions offer a fantastic way to get fit and experience the joys of swimming in the outdoors.

Studies show it can improve mental well-being, strengthen the immune system, and boost overall fitness and muscle tone. Sessions run throughout the week including early morning swims and Wednesday and Thursday evening sessions.

Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs has also recently launched cold water dipping which includes an initial compulsory one-off induction course to ensure that all participants learn how to dip as safely as possible. The sessions are run by experienced water activities instructors, followed by a guided cold-water dip. Subsequent dips cost just £3.

Birthday parties

Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs children’s birthday party packages offer the perfect experience for children aged 8+ to celebrate their special day.

With delicious food and a choice of fun and safe water activities, party packages are available on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year, plus weekdays during school holidays.

Activity Manager for Dwr Cymru’s Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs, Jack Bailey, says: “Whether you prefer being in the water or on the water, enjoy exercising alone or being with a group, there’s a water activity that suits everyone at Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs.

“We’re blessed with beautiful surroundings and have a great team who are passionate about ensuring safe but fun access to the water for everyone. Because we have everything you need here to participate in the activities – you can just turn up and get stuck into your preferred water adventure. We look forward to welcoming returning and new visitors to Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs this spring and summer.”