Snowdonia Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Madasabull
  • Aberglaslyn Pass
    Aberglaslyn Pass
    by eddilowe
  • Things to Do
    by eddilowe

Most Recent Things to Do in Snowdonia

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    Betws-y-Coed

    by Madasabull Written Mar 2, 2014
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    Betws-y-Coed, pronounced Betwis e Coid, is a stunning village in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, and is a place where, if you get the chance, to spend a few nights.

    It has great restaurants and bars, lovely hotels, and is in a stunning location where you can walk out of your hotel room for lovely walks.

    There are plenty of gift shops and stores, and basically everything you need for a short or long stay.

    It does get really busy in the summer when all the leaves are on the trees, and the hills are full of colour. But it beautiful in a different way during the winter, with snow capped mountains and much quieter.

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    Welsh Highland Railway

    by eddilowe Updated Jan 2, 2013
    Porthmadog station
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    Just a word to begin with..... there are two very similar sounding railways operating in the area.... this one is not to be confused with the West Highland Heritage Railway which is a different thing altogether and can be found here if you are interested.
    .....................................................................................................................................................

    This particular trip is a wonderful 25 mile scenic journey which runs between Caernarfon and Porthmadog, stopping at various stations inbetween, including Beddgelert, and runs along the Aberglaslyn Pass which is spectacular. As we were staying in Porthmadog we got the train from the station by the harbour. The station car park is quite small and fills up quite quickly. there is a small charge to park though I cannot recall the exact amount.

    We travelled just between Porthmadog and Beddgelert an adult return between Porthmadog and Beddgelert costs (at the time of writing) £18 and takes about 50 minutes. You can buy a souvenir guide on the train for £5. All the prices and timetables are available on the Ffestiniog website. Refreshments are also available on the train.

    As a guide, a return adult ticket between Caernarfon and Porthmadog is currently £33 and the journey takes about 2 hrs 25 minutes.

    You can take your dog on the train (but not in 1st class section) and bicycles can be accommodated too. I would ask for confirmation at the ticket office when you buy your ticket, especially at busier times as there may not be room. I prefer to go when it's quieter as you can scoot from one side of the carriage to the other to get all the best views.

    There is a good cafe at the station in Porthmadog and a large souvenir gift shop. It is all fairly level being right by the harbour and nice to walk around while you wait for your train.

    The station at Beddgelert has no real facilities to speak of at all. Just the platform, a small ticket booth, toilets and a shelter to wait for the train. There is a good size, relatively inexpensive car park in Beddgelert just by the station (but up quite a slope if you are not that nimble on your feet).

    The Ffestiniog railway also operates out of Porthmadog towards Blaenau Ffestiniog ... the details are all on the one single website listed below.

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    One of Britain's only Drive-On Beaches

    by eddilowe Updated Jan 2, 2013

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    Sand dunes at Black Rock Sands
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    Black Rock Sands

    As the title says, this is one of the few beaches in Britain that you can drive onto.

    It's quite spectacular and stretches for about 2 miles. Looking inland Snowdonia is the backdrop; looking up the coast you can see Criccieth and Criccieth castle (see my tip).

    The cover of the Manic Street Preachers album This is my Truth Tell Me Yours was taken here on the beach. Also I'm told, although I've never seen it, parts of the film First Knight starring Sean Connery, Richard Gere and Julia Ormond were shot here.

    It's a great place to visit for either a nice walk (with a dog if you've got one) or a picnic or a day out with the kids....and the benefit is you don't have to lug all your stuff down from the car as you can park it as near as you want.

    Morfa Bychan village is quite flat and easy for walking round. There are plenty of holiday cottages and campsites available - a search on the Net will find them for you.

    The gates are closed approaching high tide and there is a beach patrol so there's no danger of becoming stranded on the beach sat on top of your car with the water lapping around you! ...although I did like the postcard I picked up as shown....

    Directions

    From Porthmadog High St, turn up Bank Place at crossroads, by Woolworths I think, go up the hill and just after the bend the road splits - take the right fork signposted to Morfa Bychan (the left fork goes down to the pretty village of Borth-y-Gest which is worth a visit).
    Go through Morfa Bychan, past the golf club and the first turning to the beach is called, appropriately, Beach Road, or follow the road through the village past Chip Shop and Spar supermarket on your left, past Greenacres Holiday Park (where we stayed) and take a left turn down toward the beach.

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    Aberglaslyn Pass

    by eddilowe Updated Jan 2, 2013

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    Pont Aberglaslyn
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    Just south of Beddgelert at the junction of the A498 and A4085 is Pont Aberglaslyn ( Pont meaning Bridge )

    As you stand on this bridge and look up the Aberglaslyn Pass you're confronted with one of those "I must take a photograph" moments. The guidebook says it's one of the most photographed views in Britain. Parking is pretty much impossible right near the bridge but there is a dedicated Aberglaslyn carpark a little way way up the A4085 and you can walk back down the road or I think there is a path from the carpark down the slope which will be fairly steep.

    You can also walk here from Beddgelert which is about 3 miles.

    The road from the bridge toward Beddgelert takes you through the pass alongside the river.

    The Walking Englishman website gives an interesting rundown of a walk around the Beddgelert area taking in the Aberglaslyn Pass en-route.

    EDIT: On our last trip in March 2012 we parked in the village at Beddgelert and walked down the pass and then the road to Pont Aberglaslyn, crossed the bridge and walked all the way back to Beddgelert on the rocky path running next to the river which is really beautiful, and pretty flat too so not too strenuous.

    If you're lucky you might spot the steam train from the Welsh Highland Railway near the village as we did.

    Here is a 4 & 1/2 mile walk from the National Trust website (graded "hard") for Aberglaslyn Pass and Cwm Bychan you can print out in pdf.

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    Useful links

    by MalenaN Written Jun 3, 2012

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    When you plan for your visit to Snowdonia these are very useful websites:

    Snowdonia National Park (official website): http://www.eryri-npa.gov.uk/home

    For weather information: www.metoffice.gov.uk/loutdoor/mountainsafety

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  • Learn Welsh

    by Arawn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    There is an old quarry village on the coast in North West Wales that has been rescued destruction and turned into a centre for Welsh Language and Culture. For mental stimulation, relaxation in a stunning place, helping to save an endangered language, it is an interesting option for a different type of holiday. I heard the rooms are being renovated because they used to be a bit basic. Worth a visit even if you don't do a course there - if you like places off the beaten track. There is a good pub in Llithfaen - Tafarn y Fic.

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    Beddgelert - Gelerts Grave

    by eddilowe Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Gelerts Grave
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    Beddgelert is a truly beautiful village at the heart of Snowdonia.

    A short walk to the south of the village, following the footpath along the banks of the river Glaslyn leads to Beddgelerts most famous historical feature "Gelert's Grave" which is where the village get's it's name - The word bedd means grave . It is well signposted.

    According to legend, the stone monument in the field marks the resting place of Gelert the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llywelyn the Great.

    The story, is told on the tombstone:

    "In the 13th century Llywelyn, Prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, "The Faithful Hound", who was unaccountably absent. On Llywelyn's return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant's cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the hounds side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog's dying yell was answered by a child's cry. Llywelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but near by lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here"

    Standing on the bridge near the church and looking toward the mountains is a spectacular view. The rivers Glaslyn and the Colwyn meet at this bridge.

    The village has won awards for Wales in Bloom and Britain in Bloom on numerous occasions and won the Entente Florale, the Europe in Bloom competition.

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    St Marys Parish Church - Beddgelert

    by eddilowe Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    St Marys Parish Church

    I didn't have a chance to have a look in the church but it's very picturesque from outside.

    St Mary's Church is built on the site of a 7th century Augustinian Priory. It retains relics of the original building severely damaged by fire in the 13th century.

    The Priory was said to have been devastated again by fire in the early 16th Century, and was finally dismantled or allowed to fall into ruin during the period 1536-1539 on the orders of Henry VIII, leaving only the Chapel standing. Not much remains of the original chapel apart from parts of the North and West walls which are believed to be 12th Century, along with other sections of the East wall which are 13th Century.

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    Visit Beddgelert

    by hayward68 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The picturesque town of Beddgelert is well worth a stop if travelling in the area. Our hotel was just up the road so we took some time to explore this lovely place.
    It is a consistent winner in the Britain in Bloom competition is home to the legend of Gelert. (See tourist trap tip)
    There are many places to stay in the area and numerous shops to entice you in to spend your money.
    The village is also famous for being the place where Rupert the Bear was set.
    It's the perfect spot to stay for touring North Wales.

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    Bedgelert

    by NomadicWorld Written Sep 15, 2010
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    "In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, "The Faithful Hound", who was unaccountably absent.

    On Llewelyn's return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant's cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood.

    The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound's side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog's dying yell was answered by a child's cry.

    Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but near by lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain.

    The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here".

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    Trekking,Diving,Rock climing

    by dhdear Written May 5, 2010

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    Hi,
    I am back from an excellent trip of Mid & North Wales. The weather god seemed to have listened to our prayers :) The cottage we booked was almost at the edge in a village called Rhiw. It was a basic cottage,simple & clean isolated from the world. We have to put coins for electricity ourselves.The drive from Rhayader to Aberystwyth mountain road was spectacular. We passed through Village of Furnace,Machynlleth,Devil's Bridge,Caernarfon,Pwhlelli etc. We even did a small trek of 1.5 miles to Aber falls.It is worth visit. Snowdon mountain railway was worth the visit, though I personally feel it is a bit expensive. On our way back we passed Portmeirion,Bangor,Bala. Overall it was a nice trip.

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    Elidir Fawr, Deiniolen Path

    by Evenith666 Written Nov 4, 2009

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    The last walk to the summit
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    At 3,031 ft (924 metres), Elidi Fawr is the highest mountain in the Glyderau range, and the 14th highest mountain in Wales. The walk can be split into two stages. From Deiniolen to the Marchlyn Mawr resevoir and from here to the summit.

    The first stage of the walk is quite shallow and the road zig-zags along the last stretch to the resevoir. Experienced climbers can cut a good hour of the overall time by not following the road and climbing up the steep slopes.

    The second stage of the walk is much more difficult. The climb to the top of the mountain is a scramble over piles and piles of slate, and the decent can be even more daunting.

    Climbers must have some good experience or scrambles before attempting to climb to the summit of Elidir Fawr, as falls from near the top will almost certainly result in death or very serious injury.

    I would deffinately reccomend the mountain to climbers however, as the views of the North Wales coastline and Anglesey are breathtaking. At one point you can see all four coasts of Anglesey. The views of Llanberris and Snowdon which are offered to those who reach the summit are also breathtaking.

    As Elidir is not as well climbed as other mountains such as Snowdon, there is no real distinct path to the summit which means climbers must use their own instincts as to what is the best way up. We found that by climbing up a little after the resevoir and then circling the summit untill you reach the other side (where there is a fence and views of Llanberris lake) gave us a shallower asscent. If you had walking poles you could probably carry on straight up from the resevoir. We opted for this route on our decent and allthough fine to go down, would have been much more difficult to go up.

    Unlike Snowdon, which is usually bustling with people, Elidir is very quiet. You should always go up with someone else, and make sure you have some adequate signalling equipment such as a torch or whistle to attract attention.

    The OS Explorer map for snowdon is a must for this (OL17)

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    Snowdonia's Scenic Aber Falls

    by sandysmith Updated Jul 16, 2009

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    Aber Falls
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    Aber Falls, above the neighbouring village of Abergwyngregyn, is a beautiful waterfall and its only a short easy walk (approx 40 mins) to view them. Certainly the most scenic falls in Snowdonia in my opinion. Its a walk we have made several times, I never tire of it but it was not until more recently that we made a circular walk from the village up to the falls and then following the North Wales Coastal PAth and back down to the village. The views looking out towards the sea and across to Puffin Island and Anglesey across the sands were wonderful on a warm summer's day.

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    Mt. Snowdon, Llanberis Path

    by Evenith666 Written Mar 23, 2009

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    The Llanberis path starts, obviously, at Llanberis, and is considered one of the longer but easier ways to climb Snowdon. The path mirrors the Snowdon Mountain Railway (which also starts at Llanberis). There is a 'Half-Way House' along the path which serves drinks and snacks, but this is not open during the winter months. The last quater of the Llanberis path can be a little daunting, especially if there is Ice on the path, and although it is the easiest way to get to the summit, it is still sometimes impassable, forcing people to turn back only a couple of hundred meters from the summit.

    The Llanberis path doesn't require any real mountain climbing experience or special equipment, just wear sensible clothes and take some common sense with you, and of course a bar of Kendal mint cake! For more information on what to take and what to be aware of when climbing Snowdon, see my tips on the Snowdonia Page.

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  • Welsh Highland Railway

    by Gwenllian Written Apr 30, 2008

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    For a wonderfully nostalgic afternoon I highly recommend a leisurely train ride along the recently reinstated Welsh Highland Railway which runs from the old Slate Quay in Caernarfon and will ultimately go all the way through the wondrous Snowdonia landscape to Porthmadoc. This has not been a mean feat for the dedicated people involved but one that I'm certain will be appreciated by both locals and tourists alike for years to come. The feedback from my fellow travellers, a family of four generations from Cheltenham, was of high praise indeed, and if you're ever in the vicinity, and have a couple of hours to spare, do yourself a big favour and hop aboard!

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