Think of Snowdonia and you may envisage a landscape of rugged, deserted snow-capped mountains enveloped in thick fog and little else. In reality Snowdonia is a hive of activity encompassing a diverse range of habitats from sandy beaches to snowy peaks. Even its highest peak, Mount Snowdon, has been described as “probably the busiest mountain in Britain”. The landscape is a treasure trove for naturists and a playground for outdoor and sports enthusiasts. There are hillside towns with rich heritage and seaside resorts with beautiful beaches. All of them are great for food, shopping and fun with a distinctly Welsh twist.
Places to go in Snowdonia
Snowdonia covers more than 800 sq miles of northwest Wales, including a large stretch of coastline. Two of the area’s biggest attractions are its stunning landscape and the array of plant and animal life that live there. The hanging valley of Cwm Idwal is home to the illusive Snowdon lily, and there have been sightings of the once thought extinct Pine Marten in Gwydir Forest. There are foot, cycle and horse-riding trails along which to take in the natural beauty of the hills, valleys and forests. You can also go exploring in Porth-Yr-Ogof cave or sailing between the mountains on Llyn Tegid lake. As well as providing a great base for venturing out into Snowdonia, many of the towns and villages nestled in the hills are tourist attractions in their own right, with railways, mines, quarries and factories that have been preserved to honour the area’s industrial heritage. Beddgelert is home to the Sygun Copper Mine, and not far from Llanberis is the National Slate Museum.
Our Top Picks in Snowdonia
We want you to enjoy the best that Snowdonia has to offer and so here's a selection of our favourite things to see and do;
Climbing Mount Snowdon is almost obligatory on a visit to Snowdonia. There are a number of well-known paths up the mountain, the most challenging of which is the Snowdon Horseshoe. The easiest path is the one to the train station where the mountain railway will carry you up. In addition to a train station, the summit features a visitor centre and of course spectacular panoramic views.
You’ll see few British castles better preserved than Harlech Castle. The imposing fortress stands on a hill overlooking the valley below and backing onto the centre of the town from where the castle gets its name. It is one of four 13th Century castles that make up the ‘Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd’, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
National Slate Museum
Don’t be fooled by the name, the National Slate Museum doesn't just house exhibits made up of pieces of slate. The museum is made up of 19th Century slate quarry workshops restored to their former glory to look as though the quarrymen had never left. It features innovative displays, talks and demonstrations that bring the quarry to life and serve as a reminder of the area’s industrial heritage.
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