Sprawling along the Irish Sea coast and centered Mount Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain, Snowdonia National Park is a rugged wonderland of grassy hills, medieval castles, and glistening lakelands. With ample opportunities for hiking and outdoor activities, it’s one of the most visited attractions in Wales.
Most Snowdonia National Park tours run from the North Wales towns of Bangor, Holyhead, or Caernarfon, and a day trip offers plenty of time to admire the scenery. Highlights of a day tour typically include a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Caernarfon Castle, a ride on the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the top of Mount Snowdon, family attractions such as the Llechwedd Slate Caverns or the Electric Mountain Visitor Centre, and a scenic hike through the valleys. Alternatively, visit as part of a multi-day tour of the United Kingdom and combine a tour of Snowdonia with a visit to the Peak District National Park and the English towns of York and Cambridge.
Things to Know Before You Go
Although entrance to the national park is free, some natural attractions, including Swallow Falls, have an admission fee.
There are several car parks in the national park (fees apply).
Bring comfortable shoes, layered clothing, and a raincoat—the weather can change quickly in the mountains.
Insect repellant is a must in summer, when midges are common at dawn and dusk.
How to Get There
Trains and buses link Welsh towns like Llandudno, Bangor, and Caernarfon with cities such as Cardiff, London, and Manchester; from there, trains run to Betws y Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog in Snowdonia National Park. However, the best way to explore the park is by private vehicle——well-marked roads connect all the main sights—or on a guided tour.
When to Get There
It’s possible to visit Snowdonia all year round, but the most popular time is in July and August. Spring and fall offer the best weather for hiking and outdoor activities, although you can still explore the area in winter—just keep an eye on the weather.
Outdoor Activities in Snowdonia National Park
Climbing the 3,560-foot (1,085-meter) peak of Snowdon tops the bucket list for many avid hikers, but with some 90 peaks to choose from, there are plenty of other options. Popular hiking destinations include Lake Bala, Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall, and the challenging Llanberis Path. Other fun activities include bike tours through the mountain valleys, river rafting along the River Tryweryn, bird-watching along the sea cliffs of the Llyn Peninsula, or lake sports like stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and wakeboarding.