Snowdonia National Park is renowned for being an area of outstanding natural beauty, providing everything from scenic strolls to mountaintop views. The scenery is wonderfully varied, with rugged ridges and peaks, golden beaches, and verdant forests making it the perfect place to get completely lost in nature for a while.
Also known as Eryri – thought to be derived from the Welsh for “the place of the eagles” – Snowdonia has a lot to offer its visitors throughout its 838 square miles of protected land; one of three National Parks in Wales, the other two being the Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons.
Because there is so much to see and do, it’s the perfect place to base yourself on holiday – you could spend weeks in the area and hardly scratch the surface. There really is something here for everyone: from hikers and bird-watchers to surfers and mountain bikers, all tastes are catered for. And it’s accessible too, with lovely seaside towns such as Bangor, Llandudno and Caernarfon located just a short drive from the northern limits of the National Park, and the beautiful village of Betws-y-Coed and the market town of Bala to the east. It’s no problem if you’re without a car, as the public transport network is reliable and goes just about everywhere.
The choices of activities are wide and varied; Gwynedd’s beloved National Park is perfect for mountain climbers, offering 14 separate peaks of over 3000 feet in height, the most famous of course being the eponymous Snowdon, measuring a staggering 3546 ft. But don’t worry if your legs can’t take the strain – you can reach the summit by train. However, Snowdon is not Britain’s favoured mountain among hikers; instead, that honour falls to Tryfan, which is also located in Snowdonia! If you’re after a challenge and that classic pointed peak, Tryfan is the mountain for you. Thrill-seekers can also get a kick out of jumping between Adam and Eve, the twin monoliths which crown the summit.
However, if neither mountain biking nor mountain climbing is your thing, perhaps you’ll be more tempted by one of the following: canoeing, kayaking, fishing, quad biking, clay pigeon shooting, golf, bird watching, horse riding, sailing or windsurfing. You can even take to the skies, with Caernarfon Airport offering flying lessons and pleasure flights.
If it’s days out you’re looking for, there are plenty of options. For something truly unique, head to Portmeirion Village, the Welsh answer to the Italian Riviera. Designed by the renowned architect, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the village rose to prominence after providing the filming location for the ‘60s cult series The Prisoner, although parents of young children would be forgiven for recognising it as ‘Wiggyville’ from the Cbeebies series Gigglebiz!
North Wales is of course famous for its castles, and the castles of Beaumaris, Caernarfon and Conwy are all a short journey from Snowdonia, while the stronghold of Dolwyddelan lies right in the centre. Failing that, you can instead choose to venture down into the slate caverns of Llechwedd, check out the views from the top of Llandudno’s Great Orme, or perhaps you’d rather scare yourself silly with the world’s longest underground zip line at Zip Below Xtreme in Betws-y-Coed. And naturally, there’s an abundance of manor houses, museums and art galleries from which to choose as well.
From birds to beaches, mountains to moorland, fishing to free-falling, Snowdonia has unparalleled diversity, making it the ideal place for a UK getaway. To view a full list of our self-catering holidays in Snowdonia from which to begin your adventure, click here.
Snowdonia is located over a wide area of central North Wales and easily reached by car (the A5 runs through the park), bus or train (there are a number of small stations between Betws- y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog).
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Mount Snowdon is known in its native Welsh as Yr Wyddfa, and it is the highest mountain in Wales. It is known as the busiest mountain in Britain, because it is so popular with hikers and climbers.
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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.
Choose a cottage in the Snowdonia area for qucik access into the Snowdonia National Park. From remote cottages overlooked by soaring mountains to cottages in small villages you can find the right level of "countryside" for you.
All of these cottages accept pets so all the family can come on holiday together. North Wales is a great place for dogs with plenty of open space if needed. There's no extra charge either!
Escape to the countryside and access nature straight from your front door. These cottages are away from towns and villages but often a short car journey from ammenities.