Why we love Snowdonia
What’s your adventure? Because Snowdonia is full of them – and from its sky-scraping peaks to plunging glacial valleys, it’s bursting with breathtaking scenery too.
This 823 square-mile national park is catnip for adrenaline seekers, who flock to climb, cycle, raft and zip through North Wales’s wildest corners, but you don’t need nerves of steel to appreciate its charms: there are pretty villages to explore, seaside strolls to enjoy, and local delicacies to devour.
And while Snowdonia is famous for its epic mountains – especially Snowdon, Wales’s highest peak – the region has a softer side too, its foothills full of wildflowers and woodlands, and its coast dotted with long sandy beaches. Whether for a wild weekend or an action-packed holiday, here’s how to plan your perfect trip.
Explore Snowdonia’s peaks
The National Park is home to nine mountain ranges, with hiking and climbing trails to suit every ability. For a wheelchair-accessible route, try the 9 mile (14.4 km) Mawddach Trail, which follows the tranquil estuary between Dolgellau and Barmouth.
Brave the world’s fastest zipline
Love the fast lane? You can go more than 100mph on Velocity 2, the world’s speediest zipline – which plummets from a mountain eyrie to an old quarry lake. All over Snowdonia, former slate-mining spots have been transformed into adventure hubs: check out Zip World Slate Caverns, Llechwedd’s and trampoline park, too.
Kick back at the beach
There’s more to Snowdonia than mountains, you know: its 23-mile shoreline is ripe for exploring, with dolphin watching in Cardigan Bay, hiking highs on the Wales Coast Path, and an abundance of glorious beaches. The soft sands of Harlech are perfect for picnics and paddling, surrounded by grass-topped dunes and views of the peaks.
Hit the mountain bike trails
With its gnarly descents and sublime singletracks, Coed y Brenin Forest Park is a mountain biker’s paradise. It features eight graded routes, traversing dense pine forest and white-knuckle hills – with trails for beginners and pros alike, as well as adaptive bike riders. Check out the running paths, geocaching and orienteering courses too.
Hike the Coast Path
The Wales Coast Path runs right through Snowdonia – a 180-mile feast of wild beaches, lofty cliffs and refreshing sea views. It takes most hikers two weeks (at least) to cover it all, but you can take your pick from soul-stirring day walks, or follow one of the 18 circular loops off the main route – ranging from gentle strolls to leg-pumping ascents.
Make a splash
You’ll hear the rapids’ roar before you see them – and a chorus of screams and squeals too. Set in a lush forested valley, the National White Water Centre is nature’s rollercoaster, with thrills and spills for kayakers, canyoners and white-water rafters. Prefer surfing? Adventure Parc Snowdonia serves up guaranteed waves in a crowd-free freshwater lagoon.
Things to do in Snowdonia
Featured things to do
See wild flowers springing up in Bodnant Garden, from bluebells to daffodils. Visit on March 1st for a special themed celebrations as the date marks St David's Day, Wales' patron saint.Learn more about Bodnant Gardens
As the seasons change, many of Snowdonia’s green forests transform into blazing autumn colours, and the ivy-covered Tu Hwnt i'r Bont tearoom turns a dazzling red. Learn more about Snowdonia’s forests
From blustery beach strolls to valley hikes between snowy mountains, winter is a spectacular time for walking – and you’ll likely have the trails all to yourself.Learn more about Snowdonia’s walking routes
Places to stay in Snowdonia
For a wild night out, look to Snowdonia’s glamping sites and shepherd’s huts – with options as rustic or luxurious as you like.
Offering home-cooked food and warm Welsh welcome, the park’s pub hotels are full of local charm.
Snowdonia’s valleys and woodlands are dotted with traditional stone-built cottages, many of which can be rented.
Getting to Snowdonia
Llandudno Junction can be reached by train from Manchester and Liverpool in around two hours, with onward direct connections to Betws-y-Coed (30 minutes), Blaenau Ffestiniog (one hour) and other key Snowdonia towns. By road, the closest international airports are Liverpool John Lennon (90 minutes), Manchester (one hour 40 minutes) and Birmingham (two hours 30 minutes)
Hopping on board a train isn’t just convenient: Snowdonia’s rail routes are picturesque too, with the Cambrian and Conwy Valley lines weaving through beautiful scenery. For the easiest access to hiking trails, it’s wise to hire a car – but the local bus services are convenient and well-connected.
Want to know more?
Head to Snowdonia’s official website to discover all the best things to do and places to stay.