Bangor, Caernarfon, Llanberis and the Villages of Snowdonia
How high do you want to go? Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon
is the cream of the crop, the top mountain in Wales and England. It’s not alone. Yr Wyddfa is the centrepiece of our very own Rocky Mountains that include 14 peaks over 3,000ft, the so-called ‘Welsh super-mountains’. Don’t worry if you haven’t got a head for heights. There are wooded valleys, rushing rivers and mountain lakes too, and an attractive coastline along the Menai Strait and the northern gateway to the Llŷn Peninsula.
Small but lively city and university town. Bangor Cathedral has ancient roots - this religious site can be traced back to the 6th century. Art and local artefacts on display at Gwynedd Museum and Gallery. Lots of leisure facilities including pool, Play Centre and pier, where you can enjoy a favourite local treat of tea and fresh scones. A good shopping scene too (along what’s reputed to be Wales’s longest High Street), boosted by the modern Menai Centre. Don’t miss dramatic Penrhyn Castle, the National Trust mansion set in beautiful grounds on the outskirts of town.
Everyone loves Beddgelert – and its enviable location. The picturesque stone-built village is the ideal base for exploring all the classic Snowdonia sights and beauty spots - Aberglaslyn Pass to the south, Nant Gwynant to the east, Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon to the north. Nearby Rhyd Ddu is a great starting point for walking up Yr Wyddfa. Or go underground at the Sygun Copper Mine
, also close by. National Trust’s Craflwyn Estate (an activity, special interest and conference centre) is opposite Sygun on the road to Nant Gwynant. The village is one of the stop-off points on the extended Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog.
Lôn Las Ogwen cycle and walking path. Caban near Gerlan is a hostel catering for outdoor enthusiasts. Exciting new Zip World attraction in Penrhyn Quarry opened in 2013 - Zip World, Snowdonia.
Gwynedd’s county town, home to Wales’s most famous castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mighty Caernarfon Castle commands the lion’s share of attention, but the town’s narrow streets and stylishly redeveloped waterfront also merit a visit. The castle, built in the 13th century by Edward I as a royal palace and military fortress, was at the core of a medieval walled town. The Romans left their mark too 1,000 years earlier they constructed their fort of Segontium on the hill above (its foundations still exist). The story of the town is told in a new exhibition at Oriel Pendeitsh, part of the Ein Treftadaeth ‘Our Heritage’ project. Other attractions include Welsh Highland Railway which runs for 25 miles to Porthmadog, Hwylfan Fun Centre, Redline Indoor Karting, Greenwood Forest Park and Gypsy Wood nearby. Waterside Doc Fictoria is home to Galeri (contemporary arts complex with theatre and cinema) and Celtica (art and crafts centre).
Seaside village with vast, sandy, award-winning beach and views that seem to go on forever. Attractive promenade and play areas. Home of Airworld Aviation Museum and Caernarfon Airport and Helicentre. Big, beautiful Glynllifon Country Park close by.
Where to start? Llanberis is packed with enough attractions to keep visitors busy for weeks. But first, there’s the lakeside location at the foot of Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon. When you’re tired of walking beside the water – which you won’t be – take a ride on two narrow-gauge lines, the Llanberis Lake Railway and Snowdon Mountain Railway. The latter climbs almost to the doorstep of the stunning Hafod Eryri Visitor Centre. Lots to see and do in lakeside Padarn Country Park. The National Slate Museum recalls Snowdonia’s rich industrial heritage, Electric Mountain invites you into its awesome high-tech underground world, while Dolbadarn Castle takes you back a thousand years to the time of the native Welsh princes. If that isn’t enough there are craft shops and watersports too, though most outdoor fans come for the walking. Follow the self-guided Llanberis Heritage Trails taking you to fascinating places around the village.