Blessed with lovely pure surroundings, Snowdonia has turn into the outside journey capital of Wales. However there’s a lot extra to this mountainous area. Listed here are our favorite issues to do in Snowdonia.
Standing on the summit of Snowdon, the best mountain in Wales, Snowdonia Nationwide Park is unveiled beneath your ft. A maze of strolling tracks curl away over steep-sided pinnacles and alongside pristine lakes. Craggy and buttressed mountains disappear into the space and Eire glints as a faint mirage throughout the ocean.
It’s a land of unbelievable pure surroundings; a lovely place to go to within the UK holding each photographers and journey fans entranced. Hike or scramble dramatic peaks, swim in pristine lakes, or take a kayak out amongst rugged landscapes.
Past outside experiences, there are extra issues to do in Snowdonia Nationwide Park than instantly meets the attention. Uncover the story of slate quarrying from the historic buildings it helped assemble, to the slag heaps it has left behind. Journey on creaking scenic railways, go to medieval castles, laze on wonderful seashores, and wander quirky cities.
Our information to Snowdonia Nationwide Park covers all the highest points of interest, plus a couple of you won’t have heard of.
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IN THIS GUIDE
VISITING SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK
1 – HIKE OR RIDE UP SNOWDON
The view from the summit of Snowdon, the best mountain in Wales, was as soon as voted the most effective in Britain. A maze of paths disappear over craggy summits with steep-sided ridges that tower over shimmering lakes. Happily, it’s not solely the view from the highest that beguiles, so does the journey to get there.
There are numerous mountaineering routes to the summit, every with their very own character. The adventurous – unshakable by heights – scramble over the slender arête of Crib Goch that drops vertically on both aspect providing a heart-pumping thrill. Those that wish to get off the crushed monitor head for the South Ridge, an excellent ascent with out the crowds. For an extended and regular climb, the Llanberis Path can also be a well-liked solution to sort out Snowdon.
However our suggestion, for first-timers, is the Pyg Observe. The simple-to-follow path steadily climbs the U-shaped curve of Snowdown, with the summit tantalisingly seen a lot of the approach. For these much less sure guided excursions head up both the simpler route – or over the extra nerve wracking Crib Goch.
If that every one sounds an excessive amount of, the Snowdon Mountain Railway runs from Llanberis up the northern flanks of Snowdon all the way in which to the summit. Because of COVID restrictions, it was closed for a lot of 2021, however a limited-service is anticipated to start in October 2021. Examine with Snowdon Mountain Railway and e-book forward.
FULL GUIDE / HIKING SNOWDON VIA THE PYG TRACK
2 – DRIVE THE DRAMATIC LLANBERIS PASS
You don’t must put your mountaineering boots on to see the magical great thing about Snowdonia Nationwide Park. Merely drive over the Llanberis Cross and far of its rugged grandeur is revealed.
The highway begins in Llanberis and climbs up a boulder-strewn valley to the 359-metre summit at Pen-y-Cross. It’s a claustrophobic journey with the steep-sided Snowdon massif towering over you on one aspect and the Glyderau massif on the opposite.
From Pen-y-Cross the confinement of the panorama opens up because the highway continues on to Beddgelert. The reward is wonderful views as much as the summit of Snowdon and throughout the waters of Llyn Gwynant. There’s no different highway in Snowdonia fairly prefer it.
3 – STROLL THE STREETS OF HERITAGE-LISTED DOLGELLAU
Of all of the cities of Snowdonia, Dolgellau (pronounced dol-geth-lai) is our favorite. Huddled beneath the mountain of Cadair Idris, its 180 heritage-listed buildings are steeped in historical past. Constructed from gray dolerite stone and slate, tall buildings flank slender lanes housing quirky impartial companies.
TH Roberts began life as an Ironmonger earlier than extra lately changing to a café. Picket benches and glass cupboards retain the ambiance of its former self. The espresso was uninspiring, however the desserts had been successful.
Dylandwad is the brainchild of a Welshman from Essex and a farmer’s daughter from Arthog. They promote a curated choice of international and Welsh (sure, Welsh) wines which you’ll be able to pair with some scrumptious Caws Cenarth cheese.
For a pub with a view, it’s arduous to go previous The Royal Ship, whereas the Cross Keys has the cutest location. For a grander eating expertise, head simply out of city to the award-winning Cross Foxes.
4 – VISIT THE ITALIANATE VILLAGE OF PORTMERION
Resembling an Italian village, the considerably weird Portmeirion was designed and constructed between 1925 and 1975. The pastel-coloured homes, grand cupolas and church towers rise above a central inexperienced with fountains, flowers, and an enormous chessboard.
Set overlooking the Dwyryd estuary, it’s extra like a movie set than an precise village, but it surely nonetheless attracts gasps of enjoyment from the well-heeled.
The cult sequence ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed right here within the Nineteen Sixties together with a number of episodes of Physician Who. Excursions of the city can be found, or you possibly can simply stroll round at your individual tempo, together with alongside the peninsula.
Lots of the homes at the moment are vacation lets so you possibly can keep on-site. Excursions from Llandudno cease right here and embody Caernarfon Fort in addition to some particular Snowdonia surroundings.
5 – CAPTURE THE REMARKABLE VIEWS AROUND LLYN OGWEN
Snowdonia Nationwide Park is blessed with excellent vistas, however probably the most dramatic space is round Llyn Ogwen. Right here imposing craggy mountains tower over lakes; huge partitions of rock create magnificent pure amphitheatres. It’s residence to among the finest ridge walks and scrambles within the nation with a community of trails passing over steep-sided ridges and buttressed summits.
Nevertheless, a lot of the most effective surroundings might be loved with out an excessive amount of effort. The views from the automobile as you drive alongside Llyn Ogwen are glorious, but it surely’s value parking the automobile and taking two quick walks.
Firstly, from the east finish of the lake, stroll for 10 minutes north in direction of Bryn Mawr to search out magnificent views of Tryfan open up behind you. Secondly, from the western finish of the lake, take a 15-minute stroll to Llyn Idwal for a lovely lake surrounded by rising cliffs of rock.
6 – SCRAMBLE UP TRYFAN
On the southern fringe of Llyn Ogwen, Tryfan (917 metres) is likely one of the most recognisable peaks within the UK. From the north, there seems to be no simple approach up its craggy summit, and certainly there isn’t. However the courageous and adventurous try it anyway.
The North Ridge ascent of Tryfan is a 600-metre grade 1 scramble. One of many longest steady scrambles within the nation, it’s a heart-pounding journey clambering sharply up the face of rock. It takes 3 to 4 hours to finish and with barely anywhere to relaxation, the problem is each psychological and bodily.
Discovering a great path to the summit just isn’t simple, so if you happen to don’t know the realm it’s value becoming a member of a guided group. Not solely will a information decide one of the best ways up for you, however they’ll additionally assist with foot placements and reassure you in the course of the climb.
It’s not for the faint-hearted or for anybody who doesn’t like heights. But it surely’s a day you received’t neglect.
MORE GUIDES / BEST SCRAMBLES IN THE LAKE DISTRICT
7 – EXPLORE THE SLATE INDUSTRY AT LLANBERIS & BLAUNEAU FFESTINIOG
In 2021 the slate panorama of North Wales grew to become a UNESCO World Heritage Web site. Whereas slate had been quarried in Wales for over 1800 years, it grew to become the world chief in slate manufacturing after the commercial revolution. As Victorian Britain expanded its empire, Wales was mentioned to have “roofed the Nineteenth-century world”.
At present, solely a tiny fraction of manufacturing stays, however the slag heaps, ruined buildings and gigantic quarries go away behind an intriguing previous. To know extra, go to the Nationwide Slate Museum in Llanberis. Nestled beneath the Dinorwig slate quarry (an enormous gash of gray rock reduce into the hill), the museum relives the heyday of the quarry.
The slate trade in Wales is a narrative of the rise and fall of a world-leading trade, the impact on the working class and the scars left on this lovely panorama from the Industrial Revolution. To be trustworthy, the museum might do a greater job of making a compelling narrative, but it surely’s nonetheless value exploring. And it’s free.
An excellent higher pit cease is Blaenau Ffestiniog. Solely about 10% of slate that’s quarried goes into closing manufacturing, the remaining 90% is left in large slag heaps. Blaenau Ffestiniog is a village surrounded by spiky gray piles of slate as a substitute of the rolling inexperienced hills of the countryside. Driving by way of this desolate moonscape is an eerie and unforgettable expertise, but probably the greatest issues to do in Snowdonia.
8 – WILD SWIM IN A BEAUTIFUL LAKE
Wild swimming has taken off in the previous few years, and there are few higher locations to take pleasure in this on-trend exercise than Snowdonia Nationwide Park. Lakes dot the valleys providing the right spot for a scenic swim. Mix it with an extended stroll and it’s a wonderful and refreshing solution to wash the tiredness away. Whilst you can leap into virtually any lake (however not quarries which might be difficult to get out of), we’ve a couple of favourites.
When you’ve got hiked up Snowdon from Pen-y-Cross by way of Crib Goch or the Pyg Observe, then descend by way of the Miner’s Observe and take a dip in Llyn Glas. This 600-metre-high tarn is wild, enchanting, dramatically set and very chilly.
In case your group is split on the deserves of untamed swimming, head to Tyn Y Cornel Resort. Located on the sting of Talyllyn, the energetic and courageous can swim within the lakes, whereas the remainder can have a pint on the shore.
Lastly, our favorite spot is Llyn Idwal. Not solely does it have nice views (as described above) and a beautiful little seashore for entry, however there’s a wierd micro-climate that makes it hotter than many others. Which as you possibly can think about, is drastically appreciated.
WILD SWIMMING LAKE DISTRICT // WILD SWIMMING IN THE THAMES // WILD SWIMMING CORNWALL
9 – RIDE THE FFESTINIOG & WELSH HIGHLAND HERITAGE RAILWAY
For a extra stress-free solution to benefit from the gorgeous Snowdon surroundings, take a journey on a steam prepare. There’s a few totally different routes to select from.
Established virtually 200 years in the past, the Ffestiniog Railway runs on the world’s oldest narrow-gauge monitor. At present majestic steam trains pulling grand carriages sweep by way of the hills between Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog. Over the course of 13.5 miles, the prepare clings to the sting of mountains or tunnels by way of them, with flower-strewn meadows, wooded forests, and delightful lakes whistling previous.
Alternatively, take the Welsh Highland Railway. Operating for 25 miles from Porthmadog by way of Beddgelert to Caernarfon, this heritage-listed steam prepare ups the chance for consolation. Slum it in third class (really, very good) or go a bit loopy and benefit from the first-class service within the Pullman carriages.
10 – VISIT IDYLLIC CEUNANT CYNFAL NATURE RESERVE
There are a couple of grim vacationer traps in Snowdonia. Non-public waterfalls with entrepreneurial homeowners charging £1 or £2 to take a look at a tiny trickle of water. However get just a bit off the crushed monitor and never solely do you escape the crowds at busier spots, however you may as well discover among the finest waterfalls in Wales.
There are few extra idyllic issues to do in Snowdonia, than exploring the waterfalls within the Ceunant Cynfal Nationwide Nature Reserve. A stunning brook babbles by way of a slender gorge forming tiny swimming pools between a sequence of cascades. It’s solely a 10- minute stroll from the highway on a wooded monitor, and also you’ll virtually positively have all of it to your self.
It’s a barely difficult scramble to get right down to the grassy banks however decide a great spot and also you’ll discover a number of secluded places for a picnic or a fast dip in a leafy pool.
READ MORE / BEST THINGS TO DO IN PEMBROKESHIRE
11 – VISIT SNOWDONIA’S MIGHTY CASTLES
Is Wales the fortress capital of the world? If not, it have to be shut. The world round Snowdonia Nationwide Park is blessed with well-preserved defensive fortifications. Within the west, Harlech Fort stands proud on a sheer rocky crag overlooking the ocean and dunes under. With mountains rising behind, it’s probably the most spectacularly set of the coastal fortresses constructed by Edward I.
Caernarfon Fort, (a brief drive outdoors the Snowdonia Nationwide Park) lies on the coast subsequent to the Menai Straits. Right here Edward constructed a fortress, city partitions and quay, all on the identical time. It could have taken 47 years however the result’s an enormous medieval fortress towering over the close by harbour.
Lastly, don’t miss the preserved fortress of Conway, on the north-eastern tip of Snowdonia. The spiral staircases within the nice towers have been restored permitting you to stroll the complete battlements. The medieval royal flats are the best in Wales. Reaching out from the fortress, 1.3 kilometres of unbroken city partitions encompass the charming slender streets and cute outlets of Conway village.
Discover all of them beneath your individual steam or see Carnaerfon & Conway castles, in addition to the gorgeous surroundings of Llyn Ogwen, on a guided tour from Llandudno.
12 – HIKE THE GLYDERS AND CADAIR IDRIS
Whereas hordes of walkers try the ascent of Snowdon, far fewer attempt among the different magnificent hikes in Snowdonia. There are tons of to attempt however we’ve a tender spot for 2 of them.
The stroll up Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach from Llyn Ogwen is actually distinctive with an enormous number of curiosity. There’s a lovely lake surrounded by partitions of rock, a vertiginous climb up the aptly named ‘Devils Kitchen’, a slog up a scree ridden slope and a spiky summit of rock with great views. The day we climbed Snowdon there was a queue of individuals ready to get a photograph on the high. The following day we sat on the summit of Glyder Fach and there was nobody else to be seen.
In case you are within the southern half of Snowdonia Nationwide Park then hike the magnificent horseshoe circuit of Cadair Idris. The route step by step however steadily climbs the peaks of Penygadairn and Mynydd Moel. The views throughout the horseshoe are wonderful and Llyn Cau is a beautiful spot for a wild swim.
13 – HAVE BRUNCH AT CAFÉ GWYNANT
If it is advisable escape the rain in Wales (and you almost certainly will) a great choice is to take action whereas having fun with the superb meals at Caffi Gwynant.
Simply east of Beddgelert, this rustic however charming café does a roaring commerce because of well-crafted espresso and an progressive menu. On our go to, the picks included quick rib benedict with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce and scrumptious wanting buttermilk rooster waffles. They’ve an excellent choice of vegetarian choices together with a vegan breakfast for champions, and a spicy avocado on toast dish.
There’s seating indoors, open air beneath a glass cover and in newly constructed pods. The cabin, simply outdoors the entrance door, gives take away and the entire place overlooks the Glaslyn River.
OTHER THINGS TO DO IN SNOWDONIA
There are such a lot of nice issues to do in Snowdonia that they, sadly, couldn’t all make it on our record. When you’ve got time, listed below are another strategies.
AMBLE THE RIVERSIDE AT BETWS-Y-COED
Betws-y-coed is commonly thought of the gateway to Snowdonia Nationwide Park. The city is fairly sufficient, though stretched alongside a busy highway it may be difficult to get away from the site visitors. However the actual pleasure are the leafy trails that head alongside the river and into the Gwydir Forest. You’ll uncover speeding waterfalls, carpets of bluebells and a few pretty spots for a picnic.
ADVENTURE ON ZIPLINES AND KAYAKS
Snowdonia is more and more turning into an journey vacation spot within the UK. Take guided white water kayak excursions from the Nationwide Whitewater centre in Bala. Join multi-day climbing, biking, mountaineering and paddling adventures at stylish Plas Y Brenin.
Hold the children entertained with a day trip at Zip World. Scramble throughout treetop nets, driving a rollercoaster by way of the forest, zipline throughout quarries, or discover underground caverns.
HIT THE BEACH ON THE LLYN PENINSULA
Snowdonia conjures up photos of rugged mountain surroundings however there may be additionally an array of fantastic seashores on the edges of the nationwide park.
On the southern finish, Barmouth is a standard bucket-and-spade Victorian resort. Additional north is Harlech, a wild and distant seashore backed by dunes and ignored by the fortress. However in case you are keen to drive a bit additional, the most effective sands are discovered on the Llyn Peninsula, specifically, the Blue Flag seashore tucked into the cove at Abersoch.
In case you are within the space, pop into the beautiful little village of Beddgelert. It solely takes fifteen minutes to stroll each avenue however the gray slate constructing set alongside a babbling brook beneath excessive mountains make for a really scenic mixture.
If you happen to handle to attain a heat, sunny day Bodnant Backyard is a superb factor to do in Snowdonia. Run by the Nationwide Belief, the 80 acres of backyard are a mixture of flower-filled terraces, manicured lawns, and wildflower meadows. Hold a watch out for its round 40 Champion bushes – particular person bushes which are necessary examples of their species. Proper subsequent door is the Tal y Cafn Welsh Meals centre for having fun with the native produce.
MAP / THINGS TO DO IN SNOWDONIA
We have now included our record of the most effective issues to do in Snowdonia on the under map that can assist you discover all the principle points of interest dotted alongside this rugged, mountain a part of Wales.
BEST TIME TO VISIT SNOWDONIA
The very best time to go to Snowdonia is from Could to early July when the times are lengthy and dry, the mountains are dotted with wildflowers, and the college holidays haven’t but begun. September and October are additionally good choices.
From mid-July to the tip of August the climate needs to be higher and mountaineering situations of their prime. Nevertheless, that is additionally peak vacationer season, and the realm can get extremely busy. If you happen to plan to go to over this time, make sure that to e-book your journey properly upfront.
All our journey instruments might be discovered on our e-book web page.
Winter months might be chilly and moist, however if you happen to can e-book late and look forward to a window of excellent climate, it’s significantly good for pictures with pretty winter gentle.
WHERE TO STAY IN SNOWDONIA
It takes two hours to drive from one finish to the opposite of Snowdonia Nationwide Park. Most of our favorite issues to do are within the northern part, so we’ve skewed our lodging suggestions for that space.
Within the pretty village of Beddgelert sitting beneath the flanks of the best mountain in Wales, the Saracen’s Head has the right setting. Modern well-appointed rooms in a standard pub, there’s additionally an excellent outside terrace. Sit again, hearken to the River Colwyn gurgle previous and take within the vista.
COED MAWR HALL B&B
This lovely home has been transformed into a contemporary and classy B&B. Properly embellished, Beth and Andrew have created a soothing, but elegant ambiance in a fairly location. It’s proper up within the north-eastern part of the park so exploring requires a bit extra driving, but it surely’s value it.
TY’N Y CORNEL
Within the southern finish of Snowdonia Nationwide Park, this resort sits by the lake beneath the summit of Cadair Idris. Fashionable clear and comfy rooms include a beautiful communal lounge and bar. Sit by the log burners when it’s chilly, go for a dip within the lake when its heat, or take pleasure in a pint and watch the world go by.
TYN Y FRON
This elegant stone visitor home is only a quick stroll by way of fields to the village of Betws-y-Coed. Being simply out of city, the backyard terrace is a lovely place to loosen up and it has quick access to most of the finest sights in Snowdonia. The breakfast is fairly good too.
HOW TO GET AROUND SNOWDONIA
The main points of interest in Snowdonia Nationwide Park are unfold out and plenty of are in distant areas or tiny villages. By far, the simplest solution to get across the space is in your individual automobile.
Automotive parks (specifically across the strolling paths up Snowdon) might be very busy and in peak occasions it’s advisable to reach early. Fee is with a combination of PayByPhone (so obtain the app earlier than you go) and bank card. Nevertheless, there are a few automobile parks that also solely take money so all the time have some helpful.
In case you are trying to rent a automobile in your Snowdonia journey, we advocate rentalcars.com who examine costs throughout all main automobile rental corporations.
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
In case you are trying to go to Snowdonia utilizing public transport, examine the Go to Snowdonia web site. The best entry is from the coastal cities within the north which have direct trains to Chester, Birmingham & Manchester. You possibly can then head inland on the Conway Practice Line to Betws-y-coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog or by way of bus from Caernarfon or Bangor.
The Snowdon Sherpa service is the best choice for getting across the park. It runs six totally different bus routes connecting the realm. The busier ones go each hour so making a number of connections might be time-consuming. However base your self in one of many transport hubs (Llanberis, Beddgelert, Capel Curig/Betws-y-Coed) and it’s a great providing.
See the Snowdonia Sherpa web site for particulars.
Single day and multi-day excursions head into Snowdonia from close by Llandudno and Manchester, enabling you to see a lot of the realm with out the trouble.
Llandudno day tour: Bodnant Gardens, Snowdonia & Castles
Manchester day tour: Conway Fort, Chester & Snowdonia
Manchester 3 day tour: Chester & North Wales
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