An ‘experience voucher’ could be the perfect gift for a loved one who has everything this Christmas. Denbighshire has a wealth of adventure sports and outdoor activities on offer and this winter you can treat someone to a present with a difference or get them kitted out with all the equipment they need for the new year. Caroline Dawson, who set up SUP Lass Paddle Adventures, an accredited Water Skills Academy SUP school based in Loggerheads, offers stand-up paddle board tuition, river adventures, coastal trips and safety sessions. She also paddles competitively and recently came second in the GB SUP Series Great Glen Challenge in Scotland. Caroline said: “My passion is adventure and I like to offer customers more than just a basic lesson, I often serve up hot chocolate or a mug of soup on the water’s edge. To see people attend sessions has been wonderful, especially after the pandemic, seeing paddlers laughing and having fun again was fantastic.”
Paddle boarding involves participants using a paddle while standing or kneeling on a paddle board. Caroline said:
“Paddle boarding has grown hugely over the last 12 months, it is really popular. Denbighshire is a really good area for adventure sports, they are popular with locals and visitors and there are so many businesses offering a wide range of adventure sports. It is very important to support local businesses and to shop local this Christmas, it helps support the economy in Denbighshire and there is so much on offer.” She added: “This is the perfect time of the year to get a loved one who has everything something different. You can’t put a price on a memory with a loved one, a new experience or learning a new skill. It is something special and magical. Like a lot of adventure businesses we sell vouchers on our website and are able to customise them to fit any of our sessions.”
Caroline and Llangollen’s ProAdventure are amongst a number of independent businesses supporting the #LoveLiveLocal campaign being run by Denbighshire County Council to encourage more people to support local businesses and shop local this winter.
ProAdventure opened in 1991 and is a specialist outdoor adventure retailer selling everything from tipi tents, bush-craft equipment, outdoor clothing and equipment for cooking and living comfortably in the great outdoors. Peter Carol runs the business with his wife Lesley who is a trained mountain leader, a qualified canoe river leader and a Nordic walking coach. Peter, who has more than 30 years of experience of working in outdoor adventure training and holidays, said: “Adventure sports are very popular in Denbighshire and we are seeing it grow. There is also a wealth of beautiful countryside for people to explore.
“Now is a great time to get kitted out for the new year, or for those who are experienced in the outdoors you can repair, wash or reproof kit with the supplies we carry in the shop. The products we sell reflect our love of walking and camping, Scandinavian culture and back garden living. We also make careful buying choices while taking account of the environmental impact products make and this includes choices on what we sell and who we buy it from, sourcing renewable electricity and using LED lighting throughout the store. We have a very sportive business community here in Llangollen and we would encourage shoppers to look at their local high streets this Christmas and to think outside the box when looking for presents.”
Shoppers can help by sharing great experiences and products on social media to let people know you have shopped local this winter and encourage others to #LoveLiveLocal too. You can get involved here.