Many people love to travel to Wales to see its beautiful countryside, ancient ruins and medieval castles. However, no trip to Wales should be complete without a visit to the Snowdonia National Park. Located in the northern part of the country, Snowdonia is a region of exceptional beauty created by mountains, lakes, waterfalls, quaint villages, and misty, green valleys dotted with historic castles. What’s more, the national park is a natural playground offering a variety of outdoor adventures as well as a glimpse into traditional Welsh life and medieval history.
Mount Snowdon and Outdoor Activities
Snowdonia’s most popular attraction is also its biggest, Mount Snowdon, the highest peak of both Wales and England. This majestic mountain and its surrounding area is a popular destination for hiking and mountaineering with plenty of footpaths to suit all fitness levels. The park’s Mawddach Trail is considered one of Britain’s best trails for both walking and cycling as well as for accessible walks. Additionally, the park features deep gorges, rivers and lakes that all present opportunities for gorge walking, mountain biking, kite surfing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and camping.
If you are not up for hiking Mount Snowdon, you can still experience the mountain’s grandeur by taking a train adventure to the mountain’s summit.
Castles and Historic Landmarks
If you want to experience the rich history of the area, you can visit a number of castles here that vary from ruins to impressive fortresses such as Castell y Bere, Harlech, and Dolwyddelan. A former Tudor fortification, Gwydir is now a B&B if you want to stay the night in a castle.
Other landmarks well worth a visit include the Conwy Suspension Bridge and a 16th century farmhouse that is the birthplace of William Morgan, who first translated the Bible into Welsh. You can also take a ride underground on Britain’s steepest passenger railway to tour the award-winning Llechwedd Slate Mines at Blaenau Ffestiniog and learn about the region’s important slate mining history.
Towns and Villages in Snowdonia
Scattered across the Snowdonia National Park area are several market towns and villages such as Bala, Aberdyfi, Dolgellau, where you will find accommodation, pubs, restaurants and shops as well as museums and lovely public gardens. One of the prettiest towns in Snowdonia and all of northern Wales, Betws-y-Coed, is the gateway to the spectacular attractions like Swallow Falls, the country’s highest continuous waterfall, and the Fairy Glen, an enchanting green and misty gorge.
Wildlife in Snowdonia
Snowdonia is also home to a variety of flora and fauna such as the Snowdon Lily, a rare plant that only grows here in the national park. Wildlife that you are likely to see here include birds like ospreys, peregrines, robins, tits, and cuckoos as well as animals like red squirrels, bats and badgers. Along the park’s coastline, you can glimpse dolphins and seals.
To get around Snowdonia National Park, there are a few trains and a number of buses that connect visitors to all the villages and main trailheads. You can also explore Snowdonia on your own by renting a car.