Climbing Snowdon

If you’re a lover of the great outdoors, then avoid Snowdonia National Park at your peril. River gorges, waterfalls, valleys, and oak, ash, and rowan strewn woodland await visitors here, and a whole host of great activities too. Whether you’re visiting Wales as a single, with your family, or in a group, you’ll find something to entertain all ages and ability levels here.

You could find yourself on a horse exploring the bridleways at the foot of Snowdon or in the countryside of Penmachno, or following the plant lovers Dolgoch Trail, which leads you to some of Snowdon’s waterfalls. If you’re feeling more adventurous, then a visit to Canolfan Tryweryn National White Water Centre for some river rafting, or there are a few options for bikers too. Beginner cyclists could try the smooth trails at Mawddach, while Coed y Brenin or Betws y Coed are havens for experienced mountain bikers. Snowdonia is also where you’ll find the largest natural lake in Wales-Llyn Tegia, which is a popular fishing spot.

Although there are plenty of outdoor activities on offer here, climbing and walking perhaps tops them all. Some 52% of the park is covered by mountains, with 9 mountain ranges in all, dominating the skyline. Some peaks are over 3000ft, including Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales. Snowdon is 3560ft at its summit, and around 350,000 walkers scale the heights each year. Snowdon is popular as it’s at the heart of the National Park, the summit affords great views, and it’s also an area of Special Scientific Interest. The variety of paths up to the summit also adds to Snowdon’s appeal, so if you want to give it a go, you can choose from six main routes. If you do your research before you travel, you can find the best starting point for your walk and trail that suits your ability/needs

If you don’t fancy a walk, then you could join the 60,000 people each year who travel up Snowdon by mountain railway. Subject to weather conditions, the railway normally runs seasonally, starting in mid-March. From then until May trains will run up to Clogwyn, which is ¾ of the way up the mountain, and about an hour from the summit. When trains are running to the summit, you can book a return journey which will take around 2 ½ hours. This includes train travel up and down the mountain, and around 30 minutes at the top, where you will find a visitor centre and refreshments.

Whether you decide to walk or take a train ride up Snowdon, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to see and/or explore the landscape that makes this mountain so special. If you’re lucky you may see the colourful Rainbow Beetle, or the protected Snowdon Lily, which you can only see in the National Park in the UK. Climbing the mountain will certainly be an achievement, but if it’s not for you, then be sure to explore all the rest Snowdon and the National Park have to offer.