Blessed with beautiful natural surroundings, NATIONAL SNOWDONIA PARK has become the outer capital of Wales. But there is more to this mountainous region. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Snowdonia.
Standing on the summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, Snowdonia National Park is unveiled at your feet. A line of travel tracks wraps itself in sidewalks and clear lakes. Rocky mountains and potholes are disappearing as far away as the Irish breeze can be seen.
A world of amazing natural beauty that keeps both photographers and adventure lovers in. Climb or climb high cliffs, swim in clear pools, or take a kayak through the rugged plains.
Aside from the outdoor experience, there is more to do in Snowdonia National Park than to meet in an instant. Find out about the excavation of sheets in historic buildings that helped build, to the masses of slag left behind. Travel the magnificent trains, visit ancient castles, explore beautiful beaches, and explore the big cities.
Our Snowdonia National Park guide covers all of the top attractions, as well as a few you may have never heard of.
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1 – RISE OR RIDE A SESSION
The view from the summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, was once voted the best in Britain. The trail disappears over rocky cliffs with steep slopes longer than the glistening lakes. Fortunately, it is not only the vision from above that is deceptive, but also the journey to get there.
There are different hiking trails to the summit, each with its own personality. The adventurous – unmovable by the heights – quarrels over the small structure of the Crib Goch that falls back and forth giving the heart-breathing pleasure. Those who like to get off the beat track go to South Ridge, a big climb without crowds. For longer climbing and stability, Llanberis Path is also a popular way to deal with Snowdon.
But our recommendation, for first-time people, is Pyg Track. The easy way to follow up the U-shaped curve of Snowdown, the assembly looks spectacular.
When all that sounds great, the Stendon Mountain Railway from Llanberis climbs to the north side of Snowdon to the summit. Due to COVID restrictions, it was closed most of the year 2021, but limited service is expected to start in October 2021. Ask about Snowdon Mountain Railway and book ahead.
2 – Call DRAMATIC LLANBERIS PASS
You don’t need to put on your hiking boots to see the magical beauty of Snowdonia National Park. Just call Llanberis Pass and its amazing size is revealed.
The road starts at Llanberis and then rises through a rocky valley to the 359-meter-high summit at Pen-y-Pass. It is a claustrophobic journey with pillars on the sides of Snowdon high above you on one side and Glyderau massif on the other.
From Pen-y-Pass the local closure is bright as the road continues to Beddgelert. The award is a spectacular view up to the Snowdon conference and the Llyn Gwynant watershed. There is no other road in Snowdonia like it.
3 – CHECK THE HERITAGE DOLGELLAU WRITINGS
Of all the cities in Snowdonia, Dolgellau (called dol-geth-lai) is our favorite. Trapped at the foot of Mount Cadair Idris, its 180-year-old monuments are lined with history. Built of white dolerite and slide stones, tall buildings have narrow corridors of houses with quirky independent businesses.
TH Roberts started life as an Ironmonger before changing the restaurant recently. Wooden benches and glass cabinets retain their original shape. Coffee was not encouraging, but cakes were popular.
Dylandwad is the brainchild of a Welshman from Essex and the daughter of an Arthog farmer. They sell a selection of foreign and Welsh wines (yes, Welsh) that you can pair with a delicious Caws Cenarth cheese.
In a visionary publishing house, it’s hard to beat the Royal Ship, while the Cross Keys has a much better place. For a great restaurant experience, just walk out of town and cross the prize Cross Foxes.
4 – VISIT THE ITALIANATE CITY OF PORTMERION
Like the Italian city, Portmeirion, a fortress, was designed and built between 1925 and 1975. Round houses, large cupolas, and church towers rise above the middle green with fountains, flowers and a large chessboard.
The set overlooking the Dwyryd river port, is more like a film set than a real village, but it still draws a pleasant breeze on a beautiful heel.
The series ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed here in the 1960s along with several episodes of Doctor Who. A city tour is available, or you can just walk at your own pace, including the peninsula.
Many homes are now holiday season for you to stay on site.
5 – DOWNLOAD IDEAS OVER MLILN OGWEN
Snowdonia National Park is blessed with beautiful vistas, but the most remarkable place is around Llyn Ogwen. Here the beautiful mountains have rocks over the lakes; large rock walls form beautiful natural amphitheatres. It is home to some of the world’s richest roads and highways.
However, the best location can be enjoyed without much effort. The view from the car as you drive with Llyn Ogwen is great, but it is worth parking the car and walking short distances.
First, from the east side of the lake, walk 10 minutes north towards Bryn Mawr to get a nice view of Tryfan opening behind you. Second, from the west of the lake, take a 15 minute walk to Llyn Idwal in a beautiful lake surrounded by steep cliffs.
6 – SCRIPLE UP TRYFAN
On the southern edge of Llyn Ogwen, Tryfan (917 meters) is one of the most famous mountains in the UK. From the north, there seems to be no easy way up to its rock formations, and it really isn’t. But it is a courageous effort and effort to try anyway.
The ascent of North Ridge at Tryfan is a 600-meter-high quarrel in grade 1. One of the longest running conflicts in the country, is a traumatic event that hardens the rock surface. It takes 3 to 4 hours to complete and there is no place to rest, the challenge is mental and physical.
Finding a good route to the conference is not easy, so if you do not know the location it is worth joining a guided group. The guide will not only choose the best route, but it will also help you with footwork and reassure you as you climb.
It’s not for the faint of heart or for anyone who doesn’t like to stand up. But a day you will never forget.
7 – CHECK THE SLATE USE OF LLANBERIS and BLAUNEAU FFESTINIOG
In 2021 the North Wales site became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the slate was mined in Wales for more than 1800 years, it became a world leader in the production of titles after the industrial revolution. While Victorian Britain expanded its empire, Wales was called “the roof of the 19th century”.
Today, only a small portion of the product remains, but the mass of slag, damaged buildings, and large quarries leave behind a fascinating past. To find out more, visit the National Slate Museum in Llanberis. Museums placed under the Dinorwig slate quarry (a large gray rock cut from the hill), also have a quarry period.
The slate industry in Wales is the story of the rise and fall of the world’s leading industry, the impact on workers and the scars left in this beautiful place from the Industrial Revolution. To be honest, a museum can do a great job of making compelling narratives, but it still has to be explored. And it’s free.
The best position for the mine is Blaenau Ffestiniog. Only about 10% of the identified slate goes to final production, the remaining 90% are left in large quantities of slag. Blaenau Ffestiniog is a village surrounded by a plentiful stream of glistening greenery instead of green hills. Walking through this desert space is a fun and memorable experience, yet it is one of the best things you can do in Snowdonia.
8 – A WILD COUPLE IN A BEAUTIFUL POOL
Wildlife swimming has started a few years ago, and there are few better places to enjoy this magnificent activity than Snowdonia National Park. The lakes have valleys that provide a good place for good swimming. Combine long walks and is a glorious and refreshing way to relieve fatigue. While you can jump into almost any lake (but not the quarries that would be hard to get out of), we have a few favorites.
If you’ve ever climbed Snowdon from Pen-y-Pass by Crib Goch or Pyg Track, then down the Miner’s Track and into Llyn Glas. This 600-meter-long tarn is high, fun, amazingly set and extremely cool.
If your group is divided into a fitness club, go to the Tyn Y Cornel Hotel. Located on the edge of Talyllyn, enthusiasm and courage can swim in the pools, while others can have pants on the beach.
Finally, our favorite place is Llyn Idwal. Not only is it beautiful to look at (as described above) with a lovely little beach to reach, but there is an unusual climate that makes it warmer than most others. What you think, thank you very much.
9 – GO TO FFESTINIOG & WELSH HIGHLAND HERITAGE RAILWAY
For a more relaxed way to enjoy the beauty of Snowdon, take a train ride. There are a few different routes to choose from.
Founded nearly 200 years ago, Ffestiniog Railway operates the world’s smallest trail. Today magnificent trains towing large carts pass through the hills between Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog. At a distance of 13.5 miles [13.5 km], the train clings to the edge of mountains or tunnels, with lush meadows, wooded forests, and beautiful lakes.
Alternatively, take the Welsh Highland Railway. Running the 25 miles from Porthmadog via Beddgelert to Caernarfon, this train listings increase your chances of finding comfort. Leave the third grade (actually, very good) or go a little crazy and enjoy the first-class service in Pullman’s carts.
10 – VISIT THE DYLLIC CEUNANT CYNFAL NATURE RESERVE
There are a few bad traps for tourists in Snowdonia. Private waterfalls with business owners charging £ 1 or £ 2 for low water. But get out a little bit on the hit track and you not only get away from the crowds in the crowded areas, but you can also find the best waterfalls in Wales.
There are a few more beautiful things to do in Snowdonia, besides exploring the falls at the Ceunant Cynfal National Nature Reserve. A beautiful stream flows in a small stream that forms small pools between a series of cassettes. It’s only a 10 minute walk from the jungle road, and you’ll probably have it all yourself.
It is a tricky turn to go down on the grass banks but choose a good location and you will find several hidden picnic areas or a quick dip in a leafy pond.
11 – VISIT THE NOWDONIA’S POWERFUL MARKS COURSES
Is Wales the capital of the castle world? If not, it should be close. The area around Snowdonia National Park is blessed with well-preserved castles. To the west, Harlech castle boasts a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea and the dunes below. As the mountains rise in the background, it is the most impressive set of coastal castles built by Edward I.
Caernarfon Castle, (a short distance outside Snowdonia National Park) lies on the beach next to the Menai Straits. Here Edward built a palace, the city walls and a quay, all at the same time. It may take 47 years but the result is a great long-term fortress in the nearby harbor.
Finally, do not miss the reserved palace of Conway, on the northeast corner of Snowdonia. The winding stairs in the main towers have been restored allowing you to navigate all the towers. The former royal flats are the best in Wales. Reaching the castle, a 1.3-mile [1.3 km] wall of the impenetrable city surrounds the magnificent narrow streets and beautiful shops of Conway town.
12 – OVERCOME GLYDERS AND CADAIR IDRIS
While hordes of pedestrians trying to climb Snowdon, very few try out some of the beautiful mountains in Snowdonia. There are hundreds of attempts but we have a soft spot for both of them.
The ups and downs of Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach from Llyn Ogwen are really different in terms of interest. There is a beautiful lake surrounded by stone walls, a steep climb up the aptly named ‘Devils Kitchen’, a slogan that rises on an old slope and on top of a rock with amazing views. The day we went up to Snowdon there was a queue of people waiting to get a picture up. The next day we sat on top of Glyder Fach and no one else could be seen.
If you are in the southern part of Snowdonia National Park then go up the beautiful horse region of Cadair Idris. The trail runs slowly but steadily up the peaks of Penygadairn and Mynydd Moel. The views around the horse shoe are glorious and Llyn Cau is a great place for wildlife swimming.
13 – MAKE A BRUNCH IN CAFÉ GWYNANT
If you need to escape the rain in Wales (and you probably will) it is a good option to do so while enjoying the excellent food at Caffi Gwynant.
Just east of Beddgelert, this cozy but charming restaurant makes a roaring trade thanks to the excellent coffee and new menu. On our tour, the selection includes a short rib with egg yolks and hollandaise sauce and delicious chicken waffles. They have a huge selection of vegetarian options including a champion vegan breakfast, and spicy avocado in a toss bowl.
There are seats inside, outside under a glass bed and in newly built pods. The outer room, outside the front door, provides for removal and the whole area overlooks the Glaslyn River.
SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD DO IN SNOWDONIA
There are so many wonderful things you can do in Snowdonia that unfortunately, they could not do everything on our list. If you have time, here are some suggestions.
AMBLE THE RIVERSIDE EBETWS-Y-COED
Betws-y-coed is often considered the gateway to Snowdonia National Park. The city is beautiful enough, and even if it is stretched out on a busy road it can be tricky to get out of traffic. But the real excitement is the leafy trails that cross the river into the Gwydir Forest. You will find fast waterfalls, bluebells carpets and other lovely picnic areas.
PROTECTION OF JEWS AND BAGS
Snowdonia is increasingly becoming a recreational area in the UK. Take guided white water tours from the National Whitewater Center in Bala. Sign up for day hikes, cycling, hiking and paddling in classy Plas Y Brenin.
Keep kids happy on a relaxing day at Zip World. Peeling off tree trunks, climbing a rollercoaster in the woods, zipping across quarries, or exploring underground caves.
Hit the beach at LLYN PENINSULA
Snowdonia creates a spectacular view of the rugged mountains but also a list of beautiful beaches on the edge of the national park.
On the southern edge, Barmouth is a typical Victorian with a bucket. To the north is Harlech, a wild and remote beach supported by dunes and overlooked by the castle. But if you are determined to drive the distance, the best sands are found on the Llyn Peninsula, in particular, the Blue Flag beach inland at Abersoch.
Once in the area, enter the lovely village of Beddgelert. It only takes fifteen minutes to walk all the roads but the gray barley structure built along a flowing river at the foot of high mountains makes for a spectacular combination.
If you can afford a warm and sunny day at the Bodnant Garden is a great thing to do in Snowdonia. Hosted by the National Trust, 80 acres [80 ha] of gardens are a mixture of flowerbeds, lawn mowers, and wildflowers. Take a look at 40 Champion trees – each tree is an important example of their species. Nearby is the Tal y Cafn Welsh restaurant to enjoy local produce.
HOLY TIME TO VISIT SNOWDONIA
The best time to visit Snowdonia is from May to early July when the days are long and dry, the mountains are full of wildflowers, and the school holidays have not yet begun. September and October are also good options.
From mid-July to the end of August the weather should be better and more mountainous in their youth. However, this is also a high time for tourists, and the place can be surprisingly busy. If you are planning a trip at this time, be sure to book your trip in advance.
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The winter months can be cold and wet, but if you can book late and wait for a nice weather window, it is best to take pictures in good winter light.
WHERE TO LIVE IN SNOWDONIA
It takes two hours to drive from one side to the other of Snowdonia National Park. Most of our favorite things to do are in the northern part, so we have deviated from our recommendations for living in that area.
HOW TO GET SNOWDONIA
The main attraction of Snowdonia National Park is widespread and many are located in remote areas or small valleys. By far, the easiest way to get around is in your car.
Parking spaces (especially around hiking trails to Snowdon) can be very busy and at peak times it may be best to arrive early. Payment has a combination of PayByPhone (so download the app before you go) and credit card. However, there are a few parking lots that only cost money so they are always there.
If you want to rent a car for your trip to Snowdonia, we recommend Auto Europe. Select the links below according to your typical home location.
AUTO EUROPE UK & EU // AUTO EUROPE US
If you want to visit Snowdonia using public transportation, check out the Visit Snowdonia website. Easy access comes from the northern coastal towns with direct trains to Chester, Birmingham and Manchester. After that you can enter the country on the Conway Train Line to Betws-y-coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog or by bus from Caernarfon or Bangor.
Snowdon Sherpa service is the best way to get around the park. It operates six different bus lanes connecting the area. Busy people travel every hour so making more connections can be time consuming. But support them on one of the transport hubs (Llanberis, Beddgelert, Capel Curig / Betws-y-Coed) and it’s a great donation.
See the Snowdonia Sherpa website for details.
As London-based travel bloggers, we often explore outdoor destinations far from home, but there is a wealth of good experiences you can have in the UK. Here are some of our favorite guides in our country. To find out more see our British page.