Top things to do in Snowdonia

Posted by Content Team on 11th August 2019

Disclaimer

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

Snowdonia National Park dominates the north west coast of North Wales, charming visitors with its beautiful mountains and unspoiled coastal landscapes. The whole region is teeming with a superb choice of Snowdonia activities for you and your fellow adventurers to get yourselves into.

Snowdonia 

Our guide is brimming with things to do and attractions to visit, with Snowdonia activities to enjoy with all the family. Snowdonia has much to offer all year round. Visit in the springtime to see the rebirth of the countryside; come in the summer, when the flowers are in full bloom; enjoy autumn, and take in the most spectacular colours in the trees, or bring the winter in and witness the region at its most natural and starkly beautiful. We know all the best things to do in the National Park. Read on to find out why Snowdonia is a superb holiday location for those who love the great outdoors.

Discover Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park is home to the highest mountain peak in Wales, 823 square miles of wild countryside, picturesque villages and sandy coastline; there are many cool and unusual things to do in North Wales. Choose from activity-packed days out that could include a relaxing journey on a vintage steam railway, canoeing or sea kayaking, mountain biking or hunting for waterfalls. Water sports nuts will jump at the chance to go white-water rafting through the Tryweryn River; you could also experience the longest zip line in Europe at Penrhyn Quarry – and that’s just for starters. Where else can you spend the morning on a sunny, sandy beach followed by a climb up a mountain in the afternoon but in Snowdonia National Park? The region is also studded with iconic castles to discover; there’s no shortage of historical places for an enjoyable outing in Snowdonia.

Snowdonia Trains

Stay at a self-catering holiday cottage in Snowdonia. We have a collection of lovely properties in inspiring locations all across the national park, from Barmouth in the south to Betws-y-Coed nestled in the mountains. There are tons of things to do in Snowdonia; our guide will give you all the ideas you need to plan an activity-packed holiday itinerary.

Find your Snowdonia cottage

Climb to the peak of Wales’ highest mountain: Mount Snowdon

Mount Snowdon man

Rising 1085 feet above sea level, Mount Snowdon is relatively accessible to everybody as you can reach the summit by way of a mountain railway as well as walking. There are numerous paths to the top (Llanberis Path, Pyg Track, Rhyd du Path, Snowdon Ranger, Miners Path and Watkin Path), a variety that ranges from moderate to strenuous in grade, but no matter which trail you pick, gorgeous views are almost guaranteed (weather permitting). Enjoy unrivalled views across the National Park as far as the coast.

The Snowdon Mountain Railway has been running since 1896 and is a staggering feat of engineering prowess. The journey to the summit from Llanberis takes around 45 minutes and passengers can buy singles or returns, so if you don’t fancy walking up or down this is a lovely alternative way to appreciate the views. The train doesn’t run all year round and is a weather dependent service.

  • Facilities: Parking at the base, WCs, disabled access to the train, no dogs on the train (except for assistance dogs), café and restaurant.
  • Entry prices and opening times: Free - except for the train. Visit the website.
  • Postcode: Mount Snowdon, LL55 4TD
  • Stay at: Hyfrydle | Sleeps: 3 guests  

Make believe you are on the Amalfi Coast in Italy at Portmeirion

Portmeirion

Portmeirion is a visitor attraction built to resemble an Italian village built in a secluded cove on the west coast close to Porthmadog. Created by an architect, Clough William-Ellis, in the 1920s, the Italianate villas are surrounded by eye-catching woodlands. It’s a great choice for those looking for an amble along the village’s pathways which lead to inspiring views across Ceredigion Bay.

  • Facilities: Parking, WCs, disabled access, café and restaurant, no dogs (except for assistance dogs).
  • Entry prices and opening times: Visit the website.
  • Postcode: Portmeirion, Porthmadog, LL48 6ER
  • Stay at: Hermon Bach | Sleeps: 4 guests plus 1 dog 

Visit Harlech Castle

Harlech

Harlech Castle was built as an important component in Edward I’s ring of iron in the 13th century. His fortresses around the coast of Wales are still standing to this day. Harlech Castle comes recommended for its sheer beauty, its position above the village and its unforgettable views. You can see Mount Snowdon and the ranges of the Llyn Peninsula from the castle ramparts. Harlech is a lovely place for beach lovers too, as the long sandy beach is a great place to wind down, or you could let your kids play to their hearts’ content, building sandcastles or paddling in the shallows.

Also visit North Wales’ other fortresses and estates: Bodnant, Conwy Castle and Caernarfon Castle too. Read our guide to Wales' castles.

  • Facilities: Dog-friendly, gift shop, WCs, disabled access, light snacks available, bike storage, parking
  • Entry prices and opening times: Visit website. 
  • Postcode: Harlech Castle, Harlech, LL46 4YH
  • Stay at: Ty Nansi | Sleeps: 5 guests plus 1 dog   

Enjoy walks from the Alpine-style escape of Betws-y-Coed

Betws-y-coed

Betws-y-Coed is referred to as the gateway to Snowdonia. Occupying a lush location on the confluence of four mountain rivers, high peaks and rushing waterways characterise this lovely little Snowdonia village. It’s a buzzing centre of activity for adventure seekers that have come to Snowdonia to climb the mountains or to discover the region via its vast network of walking trails. Betws-y-Coed was also home to Wales’ first artist colony, and it's easy to see why this place still forms a pilgrimage for creatives.

Throngs of walkers and trekkers visit Betws-y-Coed all year round. Seek out Fairy Glen, a secluded gorge with waterfalls and cascades on the Conwy River that is a great place to hike to. Hiking boots are recommended, and the walk is well worth it for the magical experience. The spectacular waterfalls of Swallow Falls inspire photographers and painters alike; it’s a place of staggering beauty. Other walking trails to add to your itinerary include the Gwydyr Forest which is home to curious old miners’ paths, cycle tracks and forest walks leading the picturesque lakes of Llyn Elsi, Llyn Parc, Llyn Geirionydd and Llyn Crafnant.

Also take on the Snowdonia Way

Watkins Path

The Snowdonia Way is a challenging 97-mile-long walking route through North Wales. It beckons wayfarers to explore the whole length of the National Park from Machynlleth to Conwy in the north. The path takes in well-known landmarks with access to detours up to some mountain peaks. The path is easily accessible from Betws-y-Coed.

  • Facilities: Shops, pubs, gift shops, WCs, disabled access, cafes, restaurants, parking, dog-friendly facilities, tourist information.
  • Postcode: Betws-y-Coed, LL24
  • Stay at: Snowdonia Stone Cottage | Sleeps: 3 guests plus 1 dog  

Do cool things underground at Bounce Below

Bounce Below

Bounce Below at Zip World Slate Caverns is the brain fruit of entrepreneurs with cool ideas to burn. The perfect family day out is one of the UK’s strangest adventure venues. Situated in the Llechwedd slate caverns the other-worldly cave setting is home to three massive trampolines to bounce on. There’s a subterranean zip wire in the caves too. You can also go caving in the caverns here so book a tour/course before you go. There’s also Zip World Forest and Zip World at Penrhyn Quarry to discover too!

  • Facilities: Parking, WCs, light refreshments available, pet stop (book in advance)
  • Entry prices and opening times: Visit the website
  • Postcode: LL41 3NB
  • Stay at: Dinorwic Quarterdeck | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 1 dog

Even more Snowdonia activity ideas

Train

Snowdonia is an exceptionally beautiful area of Wales to enjoy with mountain climbing, caving, walking, mountain biking, trampolining, and beachcombing. For even more ideas for outdoor activities in North Wales and the rest of Wales, read our other guides to all the many outdoor pursuits you can get involved in on your holiday.

Where will you stay during your time here? Start browsing our collection of self-catering holiday cottages in Snowdonia today. We have cosy accommodation for couples and larger properties for family groups and friend reunions. Visit our collection of self-catering holiday homes today to find your perfect place to stay in Snowdonia.

Snowdonia cottages

 

Photo credits:

Bounce Below @ philsi87