Rafting the River Dee in Wales,  a Photographic Guide

Rafting the River Dee in Wales, a Photographic Guide

November 12, 2018 Off By Peter Carol

The River Dee is the most reliable rafting River in Wales, the water is kept up all through summer so that Chester and Warrington get enough drinking water, so the river is always raftable, unlike the Dam Release Dependent River Tryweryn at Bala, which is refutable about 200 days per year..

White Water Rafting on the River Dee in North Wales

The river is now open for Rafting year round, this only came about in 2013 in no small part due to extended negotiations by ProAdventure’s founder Peter Carol, this has created and secured many local jobs both with rafing companies and support services locally.

The River Dee White Water Rafting Trip

The Dee is an excellent rafting river at any time of the year, so have a read and then come and find out for your self.

You will be greeted and the centre by our friendly and reassuring staff, after signing in we will equip you with a clean wetsuit, buoyancy aid and helmet, along with wetsuit socks if it is cold, pop in to the changing rooms and combine our kit with your swimming coustume and your old trainers or wetsuit boots and you will be looking the part and raring for action on the River

Jump in to the minibus and you will be whisked from the rafting centre to Llantisilio Green, where you will meet up with your raft guides and safety kayaker. After a quick manual handling briefing you will help your guide carry the raft down the grassy slope to the riverside above the Horseshoe Falls. You can see Josh and Marbles in the image below, with a spectacular view of Llantisilio Mountain behind.

After a thorough safety briefing by your raft guide and safety kayaker, along with some practice drills on the grass it is time to launch on to the pool above the Horseshoe Falls and practice paddling the raft with your guide giving instructions and steering form the rear. Forwards, backwards, left, right, sit ins and high sides are learnt.

Then you will paddle away after the safety kayaker down the 3 foot drop that is the Horseshoe Falls, the picturesque feeder weir for the Llangollen Canal World Heritage Site. A simple stretch takes you down to the Famous Llangollen Chain Bridge, and the bouncy chain bridge rapid, just a stones throw below the Chain Bridge.

Next comes the lead in to the second biggest rapid on the River, the Serpents Tail, also know as Robbers Leap, in lower water this is a channel narrowing down to the width of a raft, in higher water a succession of waves and holes criss crossing the full width of the River Dee.

The shot above shows the Serpents Tail at a good Summer Level and the image below the Serpents Tail being rafted at a higher level.

Following on from the Serpents Tail is a flat section for fun and games, and a variety of smaller rapids, the larger being at the Llangollen Motor Museum, and the Camp Site Rapid.

The next section, which used to be the only section rafted on the river Dee is the section by Mile End Mill, first you will drop down Tombstones,

Surfing The Middle Drop

And play in Factory falls, a double drop with two excellent surf waves,

As time runs short you head downriver into the town itself, through the riverside park and past the Llangollen Steam Railway to the Finale of the Trip, Llangollen’s Town Falls.

White Water Rafting on the River Dee in North Wales

Approached via the Weir feeding the old Corn Mill, Town Falls is a big double drop below the pub decking and a great way to finish the trip.

Above Anthony guiding his raft safely down Town Falls

Caerwyn hits the final hole on Town Falls above

Celebrating with the end of the Trip with our Guide Pete, and Safety Boater Steve

What the customers say

We promised you some feed back from our customers so let them tell you how much fun it is,

“Fantastic day had by all!”

Reviewed 7 October 2013

Had a brilliant day white water rafting. Initially felt nervous about it, since I’d never done anything like that before. Soon felt at ease and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The instructors were all great, and made sure we all knew what to do when different commands were given by them. Would recommend to people of all ages looking for something a bit different to do. Would definitely return to try out other activities!

Visited September 2013

“Awesome Experience”

Reviewed 16 September 2013

Spent the morning White Water Rafting with Pro Adventure and can safely say it was fantastic. All the instructors where great and just wanted everyone on the trip to have a good time. I would recommend everyone to have a go! Its Water tubing for us next!

“White Water Rafting”

Reviewed 5 August 2013

White water rafting was fantastic. This was our first time and certainly won’t be the last! A little nervous to start, however, Josh (our guide) was very reassuring and professional, clear with instructions and made it fun too! The whole team are a friendly bunch and helped to make our experience spot-on!
Will definitely be returning to Pro Adventure!
Great photos too!
Many thanks
Lisa and Dave

Visited August 2013

“White water rafting – such a laugh!!”

Reviewed 5 May 2013

We’re a group of 8 girls who’ve never been rafting before and decided on an unusual start to a hen do. Most of us were fairly apprehensive but our instructors Kaz and Pete put us at ease and we knew exactly what to do in different situations to stay safe. A fab way to see the gorgeous DeeValley from a different perspective and a great way to ‘bond’ with your mates, it was such a laugh that we’ll definitely do it again – hard work, totally drenched, hilarious!!

Visited May 2013

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Q: ” A few years ago, I went to Bala rafting, while the course was relatively short we did several runs. There was a cafe area and plenty of viewing points for photos along the river.
 From what I’ve seen you run a longer run but I’m not sure what else, are there viewing points, somewhere for friends and family? How long does the session last? “


The River Dee Rafting Trip is one run, approximately 2 miles, the session lasts approx 2 hours depending on the group and river levels.
There are a good view points of the two biggest rapids, Serpents Tail and Town falls with time to drive between them.
Refreshments are available at the Chain Bridge Hotel near the start of the trip and at many places in town, The Corn Mill pub provides a good view point with decking overlooking Town Falls and a great view point is the Famous Bridge in Llangollen.
Rafting image courtesy of  Eagles Nest Photography