Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park is the largest park in Wales, United Kingdom covering 823 miles of diverse and beautiful landscapes. The park has the largest lake in wales and the highest mountain in England and Wales which is called Mount Snowdon. The Snowdonia National Park is situated on the west coast of Britain and is also known as the “Land of Contrasts”. The large park has many picturesque villages which are rich in culture and history and around 26,000 people live within the premises of this amazing national park.
The Snowdonia National Park is so diverse that you can be on top of the world on Mount Snowdon in the morning and by afternoon you can be relaxing on sandy beaches of the park. The National Park is also called “Eryri” in Welsh which means “Land of the Eagle” because the area is ideal for hiking and rock climbing. The area has more than 50 beautiful lakes, many spectacular valleys, attractive beaches, mesmerizing fields, prehistoric circles, and Roman ruins. The area is considered ideal to experience, history, culture, natural beauty, local lifestyle, and wildlife within a park.
16 Wonderful Attractions in Snowdonia National Park
Mount Snowdon is one of the most popular mountains in the United Kingdom and is also the highest mountain in Wales at 1085 meters. Mount Snowdon is also the most popular destination for hiking in United Kingdom as it offers some of the best views in Britain. From the top, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the unspoiled Welsh landscape that is spread across miles. Legends state that King Arthur killed a giant Ogre, Rhita which is buried somewhere on Mount Snowdon.
You can reach on top via many different paths which are well signposted, these paths are differentiated by the lengths, difficulty, and the characteristics of landscape around them. The easiest way to go up is by the Snowdon Mountain Railway. On clear days you can have views up to the Scotland and Ireland from Mount Snowdon. There is a beautiful curved granite café and a visitor center on the top for those who want to relax and learn more.
- The easiest trail to reach up is Llanberies trail which is 10 miles long and runs along with the railway line so you cannot get lost.
- Miner’s Trail is also an easier one which starts off less steeply and winds past some lakes before a final steep climb.
- The Pyg trail has a steep start which continues till the end until it merges with the Miner’s trail in the end.
- If you like waterfalls, then Watkins trail is your best option that starts from Nantgwynant car parking.
- The least used route and probably the most adventurous one is called Rhyd Ddu Trail which is around 8 miles long.
- In winters, the most commonly used trail is called Snowdon Ranger which is around 7 miles long.
The most popular trails are The Pyg and Miner’s and it takes 4 to 5 hours to reach on top through them. The other trails take 5 to 6 hours to get you to the top of Mount Snowdon.
Hafod Eryri of Snowdonia National Park
Hafod Eryri is the visitor center on top of the Mount Snowdon and is a highlight of the climb. This is a uniquely designed granite building with huge windows to provide sheltered views of the area. Hafod Eryri is also the highest visitor center in the UK and is also a terminus of the Snowdon Mountain Railway. The visitor center provides all the information you need and has a café and souvenirs shop.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Snowdon Mountain Railway is a great facility to those who want to reach the summit of Mount Snowdon but do not want to climb by foot. Initially started as a donkey ride to take visitors up, it turned into a Snowdon Mountain Railway that takes you through an unforgettable scenic journey to the top. The railway is more than 100 years old and was opened in 1896 which runs on the five-miles route and makes stops at Hebron, Halfway and Clogwyn stations along the way. Many visitors prefer to enjoy the train ride for the spectacular views on this steep route and then they come back via the hiking routes.
Snowdonia Walking Path
The scenic Snowdonia Path which follows the coast and lower mountain slopes between Prestatyn and Bangor, offers spectacular sights of Aber Falls and Druid’s Circle. There are 18 circular walks to help you enjoy the most from the coastal walking experience. You will be enchanted by the nature, heritage, culture, and adventure opportunities that are available in the villages and towns along these paths. These circular paths are diverse, and you can choose the paths according to your fitness levels and mood.
- Wales Coast Path follows Gwynedd’s coastline which is stretched along 180 miles from the Llanfairfechan towards the north. The path will take you to some amazing landscapes, small coves, and beautiful sandy beaches. The path also passes through rugged cliffs and wild highlands.
- Snowdonia Slate Trail is famous among those who want to explore the industrial heritage of the slate villages throughout Snowdonia. You can visit many villages like Llanllechid, Bethesda, Dinorwig, Llanberis, Waunfawr, Beddgelert, Croesor, Nantlle, Rhyd Ddu, Ffestiniog, and Penmachno.
- Mary jones Walk is a 28 miles trail that offers spectacular countryside views of the old county of Meirionnydd and an enchanting valley. Some of the paths will cross from the private properties which is permitted by the landowners. This is one of the most romantic paths which views of lakes, mountains, and old picturesque lanes.
Llanberis in Snowdonia National Park
Small village of Llanberis is situated in the beginning of the stunning Llanberis pass. This village is the popular starting point for the hikers who want to explore Snowdon along the Llanberis Path. The annual 10-mile race to Mount Snowdon also begins from this village. There is a large underground power station nearby which is one of the largest pumping stations in Europe. Close to the powerhouse are two spectacular lakes Padarn and Peris. There is a castle between these two lakes which is called Dolbadarn Castle which has an early 13th century round tower. You will be amazed by the 20-feet tall steel sword on the shore of the lake Padarn which is known as “Blade of the Giants”. There is another lovely castle called Bryn Bras Castle just two miles away from the village. There is also a scenic 40-minutes railway route alongside the lakes which offer wonderful views of the mountains of the Snowdonia region. The village has good facilities for accommodation and is loved by backpackers.
The National Slate Museum
The National Slate Museum is located in the village of Llanberis. The 19th century workshops and machinery has been restored to their original condition and Britain’s largest working waterwheel is also in operation in the museum. This large wheel has a diameter of 50 feet. The museum provides an informative insight to the slate industry and demonstrates how the slate was quarried and split before being shipped around the world. You can also learn about the tough conditions which the workers used to face during those times. Admission to the National Slate Museum is free of charge.
Beddgelert in Snowdonia National Park
Beddgelert is a beautiful tiny village located at the point where the River Colwan and River Glaslyn meet. This village is also a favorite starting point for many hiking and climbing routes. The name of the village is influenced by the grave of Gelert which was a legendary faithful dog. The Bedd means grave in Welsh hence the name became “Beddgelert”. The village is a great place to experience a pure Welsh culture and is also a favorite spot for the backpackers. The cycling routes from this village are considered as one the most beautiful routes in the Britain.
Sygun Copper Mine in Snowdonia National Park
Sygun Copper Mine is an award-winning attraction in Beddgelert. Visitors get a chance to explore a variety of winding tunnels in this underground mine. The amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations in the mine are very eye catching. The mine was discarded in 1903 and later became a museum to highlight the hard conditions faced by the miners in the past. Visitors get audio guides and video presentations which help to explore and learn about the mining and facts. There is a lot of walking involved in the tour of Sygun Copper Mine, so it is better to wear comfortable shoes during the visit.
Cycling in Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park is highly popular and an ideal destination for cycling enthusiasts. Cyclists of every age and skill level can enjoy their rides here in this diverse park. The local hero Geraint Thomas MBE is a double Olympics champion and 2018 Tour de France winner. This also has attracted the cycling lovers to the Snowdonia Park.
The park has all kinds of cycling routes for all kinds of cyclists with steep challenges and gentle off-road recreational routes along the coast. The area has many cycle-friendly hotels and guest houses to accommodate the cycling enthusiasts. The park also has world class facilities and paths for mountain biking along with the breathtaking views of the coastal area with a backdrop of mountains.
Dolwyddelan Castle in Snowdonia National Park
Dolwyddelan Castle was built between 1210 and 1240 by Llwelyn the Great who is known as the most powerful prince in the Welsh history. The castle is located on a ridge set against Moel Siabod. The castle stayed in use until Wales fell to the English forces in 1283. Now, the old fortress is a superb attraction for visitors and the village around it provide many picturesque spots for the viewing of the castle. There is also a 500-years old church near the castle which is also worth a visit during your trip.
Caernarfon Castle in Snowdonia National Park
This Caernarfon Castle was constructed in 1283 on the orders of King Edward I to symbolize the English Rule in Wales. The castle was built with advance techniques of the time to prevent invasions which can be seen in the form of arrow slits and murder holes. These murder holes were used to pour hot liquids on the attackers. The Eagle Tower is considered as the jewel in the Castle’s Crown. The castle was also accessible by river through a water gate on the River Seiont. The castle has sustained three attacks and successfully prevented invasion all three times. The castle was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
Bala Lake of Snowdonia National Park
Bala Lake is the beautiful highlight of the little market town of Bala which is a popular holiday destination at the foot of the Mountains of Aran and Berwyn. The Bala Lake is 4 miles long and is famous for adventures like sailing, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. There are some dedicated swimming areas around the lake for families. There are many gentle walks and trails around Bala Lake which are easy and suitable for families with kids. In addition, the Bala Lake Railway takes the visitors on a picturesque small journey along the shoes of the beautiful lake.
Betws-y-Coed is a beautiful small town that is situated in Gwydyr forest at the junction of the Conwy, Lledr and Llugwy valleys. The town is a famous tourist spot in summer who come to admire the ruins of Pany mill and the Pont-y-Pair bridge from the 15th century. The name Betws-y-Coed means “temple in the woods” which seems true to its meaning cause the place is surrounded by spectacular surroundings including waterfalls and thick forest.
The town has another attraction which is known as the Ugly House. It seems strange but yes, it is called Ugly House and the interesting fact is that this stone cottage not at all ugly. The stone cottage also dates back to the 15th century and is well maintained for the viewers. The town of Betws-y-Coed is also equipped with nice accommodation and restaurants for the visitors who come here to stay.
Fishing in Snowdonia National Park
The region of Snowdonia National Park has always been famous for fishing activities. The park has more than 50 lakes which are ideal for fishing. The park has hosted many international fishing completions and is regarded as one of the premiere fishing reservoirs in Wales. Excellent river fishing is available in many rivers throughout the region of Snowdonia. These rivers are famous for amazing wild brown trout, sea trout and salmon. Some of the privately owned lakes in the park also provide fishing activities with facilities.
Water Sports in Snowdonia National Park
As we have already talked about the huge number of lakes and rivers in the large Snowdonia National Park, hence watersports are obvious entertainment for the visitors. There are endless possibilities for those who want to explore the river and lakes and enjoy the thrill of water sports. The Bala Lake is highly famous for sports activities and the Llyn Geirionydd in the Gwydir forest is famous for its scenic location. The Llyn Gwynant is also a popular lake for the water sports lovers and was the location for scenes of Hollywood Blockbuster movie “Tombraider II”. The award-winning National Whitewater Center is located near the town of Bala and is ideal for white water kayaking and rafting where world-class competitions are held every year.
Bardsey Island is a trust-owned island in the Snowdonia Region and is famous for its 6th century monasteries and the tallest lighthouse in the United Kingdom. Bardsey Island has amazingly beautiful natural scenery, rugged rocks, and beaches where you can see dolphins and seals.