Where in Wales is Snowdonia?
Making up just one of the UK’s 15 National Parks, Eryri (Snowdonia) is arguably one of the most famous and enduring areas of natural beauty in Britain, drawing in around 10 million visitors from all four corners of the globe, every year.
Eryri’s rugged landscape, made up of craggy peaks, dramatic glacial landforms, and expansive views across numerous rolling green valleys, has become a hotspot for adventure tourism in North Wales. With exhilarating mountain biking routes, endless hiking trails and fresh challenges for climbers, the imposing Eryri Mountain range is a perennial magnet for outdoors enthusiasts far and wide!
Where is Eryri (Snowdonia)?
Stretching from Cardigan Bay’s High Water Mark in the Northwest of Wales to the Conwy Valley in the east, Eryri (Snowdonia) spans the Gwynedd and Conwy county boroughs in northern Wales.
Although Eryri, and the entire Northwest Wales skyline for that matter, is dominated by the country’s highest mountain, Eryri is much more than just its renowned 1,085m high peak. Whilst there is much to learn from the legendary landmark of Mount Snowdon, the 823-square miles that makeup Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park are littered with a wealth of fascinating attractions, histories, myths, and of course, stunning sceneries. Whether you’re an avid mountaineer or lover of leisurely strolls paired with breathtaking views, Eryri’s diverse landscapes and vibrant histories have something for everyone.
In such an expansive area where tourism thrives, the possibilities of things to do and see are inexhaustive. Whilst it was difficult to whittle it down to just a few, tourist centres in and around the park include:
- Lake Bala. The mesmerising freshwater glacial lake is the largest natural lake in Wales, offering kayaking experiences, swimming and white-water canoeing!
- Snowdonia’s gateway village: Betws-y-Coed. Lying on the edge of the park, the magical village is home to scenic wooded gorges, tranquil waterfalls and bridges.
- Blaenau Ffestiniog. Here, visitors can stroll around the defunct Llechwedd Slate Caverns that gesture towards North Wales’ industrial past.
- Dolgellau, the handy base for exploring Eryri. Overlooked by the rocky summit of Cadar Idris, the dark-stoned market town has a wonderful range of road and off-road hiking trails and cycling routes.
- The coastal Cardigan Bay resorts of Harlech, Barmouth and Aberdovey.
Getting to Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park
Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park, and North Wales in general, is a favoured holiday destination often due to its remote and wild nature. If you’re after a break from fast-paced city life or a rural retreat with loved ones, you’ll find this wonderful slice of Wales hard to beat.
Despite its detached and secluded feel, most visitors are surprised to discover that the Snowdonia Mountains and coastline are only a couple of hours away from the UK’s main transport hubs, with fantastic road, rail and coach links!
If you’re planning on packing up the car and embarking on a road trip, you’ll want to aim towards the M56 and A55 from the North and the M54 from the South. Motorway links in the Midlands are great too, with the M6, M5 and M1 bringing the Snowdonia mountains and coast within easy reach of South England.
From the comfort of a carriage can be one of the best ways to travel to Snowdonia. Not only does it take the stress and concentration out of driving, but this laidback approach to visiting North Wales can also reward you with some spectacular views! Wherever you’re coming from, you’ll want to aim for Llandudno or Shrewsbury. Direct services (including Virgin Trains from London to Bangor) take you to the popular North Wales coastal destinations from most parts of Britain.
From here, inland connections such as the Conwy Valley Line and the Cambrian Line can take you all across the park, including beautiful Betws-y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Where to Stay in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park
Here at Rarebits, we have some fabulous properties located in, or in close proximity, to stunning Eryri. We recommend extending your stay as long as possible to make the most of the unique scenery and plethora of things to do!
Snowdonia’s neighbouring market town of Dolgellau is home to Penmaernuchaf Hall, a grand country house hotel that is a wonderful base for walking or cycling the Mawddach Trail!
The proud receiver of multiple top awards, including ‘Wales Hotel of the Year’, the finely restored grey-stoned manor is ideally located for Harlech and Aberdyfi beach trips as well as mountain biking at the world-class purpose-built terrains in the Coed y Brenin Forest.
After a day spent in the fresh Welsh air in and around Snowdonia, Penmaenuchaf Hall’s blazing log fire will provide a warm welcome back for the evening.
Perched on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, the quaint seaside town of Aberdyfi calls home to the stylish port of call that is Trefeddian Hotel. If you’re looking for a beachside staycation within short driving distance of Snowdonia’s hills, and even the inland Cambrian Mountain range, Trefeddian is your best bet!
Truly versatile in its location, the Trefeddian stands between mountains and sea, proudly perched atop a hillside that overlooks Aberdyfi’s famous golf links and the Cardigan Bay coastline.
Top tip: keep an eye out for Red Kits flying above Snowdonia’s hills behind the hotel, whilst spectacular bayside sunsets are a front-of-house speciality.