Llanberis is situated in a beautiful part of North Wales – you will find it nestled at the very base of the famously majestic Mount Snowdon, lying alongside Llyn Padarn, a glacial lake that is one of the largest natural lakes in all of Wales. This lake is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest for its status as a home to endangered plant and animal life, and is also a haven for fans of water sports: kayaking, sailing and rowing are permitted here, as is swimming.
Llanberis itself is a popular destination for all sorts of sporty people. Due to its location just outside of the Snowdonia National Park, it is close to a great deal of lakes and rivers, as well as mountains waiting to be climbed and biked up. A lot of scuba diving is done in the area, as well as pony trekking throughout the Snowdonian peaks. Mountaineering and climbing are of course popular here, and with many beautiful paths and tracks dotted around the place, opportunities for a lovely walk are fantastic too.
For endurance runners, Llanberis is the place to be when summer rolls around. July is when Llanberis is the host of the Snowdon Race, the internationally renowned, 10-mile fell race in which runners compete to see who can make it to the top of Mount Snowdon and back. The current record stands at just over an hour – good luck if you want to give it a go!
Looming above the village are the ruins of Dolbadarn Castle. This military stronghold was built by the Welsh prince, Llywelyn Fawr (“the Great”) towards the beginning of the 13th century, and the keep, which still stands, was regarded as the finest surviving example of a Welsh round tower by Richard Avent, the late castle historian. Now run by Cadw, the Grade I listed building makes for a beautiful day out.
If you don’t want to run to the top of Snowdon, you can always walk it. There are six major paths to the top, each of which has its own character and difficulty, offering different views over the rest of Snowdonia. Llanberis Path is both the easiest in terms of gradient and the path underfoot and in its variety of landscape, which is fortunate for visitors to the village! It is from Llanberis, also, that one can catch the Snowdonia Mountain Railway, which will take you comfortably to the summit with a minimum of effort. It’s perfect if you want to experience Snowdon’s magnificence without putting the effort in.
There’s no shortage of tourist attractions in the area, either, from the Llanberis Lake Railway that takes you on a pleasant journey around the placid Llyn Padarn, to the nearby National Slate Museum, which teaches its visitors about the area’s rich history of mining. There’s even the fascinating Electric Mountain – you will take a trip into the hollow Elidir Mountain and go on a tour of the vast hydro-electric power station.
Click here to find out about our self-catered cottages in North Wales. From Llanberis, lovely towns such as Caernarfon, Betws-y-Coed, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Porthmadog and Conwy are just a short journey away, making it an ideal place from which to start your own Welsh conquest. Make sure you go on at least one of the Llanberis Heritage Trails: these walks show you the beauty in and around the village, at the same time as teaching you about the area through the ages.
Llanberis is reached by car via the A4086 from Caernarfon, the A4244 and then A4086 from the A55 Bangor or the A4086 from Capel Curig. There is plenty of parking as this is the main centre for exploring Snowdon and a number of places to eat - we recommend Pete's Eats
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Found right at the base of the Llanberis Pass – the route that takes hikers from the town of Llanberis all the way to the top of Mount Snowdon – this Grade I listed building was built towards the beginning of the 13th century and still commands an imposing presence to this day.
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