Named after Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia (Eryri in Welsh) is a mountainous region and national park in the northwest of Wales. Its wild landscapes and rugged peaks are steeped in history, and there are lots of things to do in Snowdonia.
The area was designated a national park (covering 823 square miles) in 1951 and is a popular destination for tourists, attracting over 6 million visitors each year. Apart from its historical sites, it is known for its excellent hiking, thundering waterfalls, serene lakes, and picturesque villages.
An Exciting List Of Things To Do In Snowdonia
1. Mount Snowdon: Highest Peak In Wales
At 1,085 metres, Mount Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales and climbing it is one of the best things to do in Snowdonia. It is famous for its challenging hikes, associations with the Arthurian legend, and breathtaking views (you can see all the way to the Isle of Man, Scotland and Ireland on a clear day). Those not up to making the seven-hour-long hike up to the summit, can take the Snowdon Mountain Railway, and experience the stunning views from authentic Victorian-era carriages. The summit is also home to a café and visitor centre, Hafod Eryri.
Walking in the mountains is free, but the Snowdon Mountain Railway charges £29 for adult and £20 for children’s return tickets.
How to reach: There are railway stations at Bangor and Betws-y-coed that are the best options for anyone wanting to climb Snowdon.
Best time: June, July and August are the best months for your hike to the summit of the mountain.
How to Book: You can get information about the time and schedule for the Snowdon Mountain Railway here. The Snowdon Mountain Railway will reopen in 2021. You can also download the interactive app ‘Snowdon Mountain Railway’.
2. Conwy Castle: Medieval Castle With Fantastic Views
Built for King Edward I in 1283, to solidify English rule in Wales, Conwy Castle is one of the best surviving medieval fortifications in Europe. Built by Master James of St George, its high towers, fortified gates, and curtain walls are built on a narrow rocky outcrop. The castle’s battlements offer spectacular views across the mountains and sea.
Tickets cost £9.50 for adults and £5.70 for children.
How to reach: You can reach the castle via road, rail, bus and cycle. For details click here.
Best time: All the seasons are good to visit the castle.
How to Book: You can book tickets here.
3. Llechwedd Slate Caverns: Explore The Underground World
Located at Blaenau Ffestiniog, the Llechwedd Slate Caverns allow visitors to explore the underground world of a slate miner. Slate mining was one of the most prominent industries on North Wales between the early 1800s and the 1960s. The Miners’ Tramway Tour explores the skills needed to extract slate in the late nineteenth century, while the Deep Mine Tour lowers visitor 500 feet into the mountain to look at the vast underground caverns and a beautiful underground lake making this one of the most unique things to do in Snowdonia.
Both tours at the Slate Caverns cost £16.30 for adults and £12.10 for children.
How to reach; By train, the caverns are a 20 minutes’ walk from Blaenau Ffestiniog railway station. There are buses that leave Blaenau Ffestiniog railway station to Llandudno that will drop you off outside Llechwedd Slate Caverns.
Best time: Visit the Caverns during Christmas season to make it truly special.
How to Book: You can buy tickets online here.
4. The Waterfalls: Witness Nature’s Spectacles
There are many impressive waterfalls in Snowdonia. However, the most stunning are Conwy and Swallow Falls (pictured). Both are set amidst lush woodlands full of wildlife and are close to Betws-y-Coed. Conwy Falls is at the confluence of the Conwy and Machno, while Swallow Falls is set on the river Llugwy.
Swallow Falls is free to visit; but, there is an entrance charge of £1 per person at Conwy Falls.
How to reach: Look for the nearby bus or railway station to reach these waterfalls.
Best time: After monsoon as you’ll find these falls in full flow and the surrounding greenery in full bloom.
How to Book: Check the official sites for booking.
5. Caernarfon Castle: An Important Medieval Castle
Constructed on the order of Edward I in 1283, Caernarfon Castle was built to be an imposing symbol of the then new English rule in Wales. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the world’s finest surviving medieval castles and one of the best places to visit in Snowdonia. Caernarfon is also among the most important castles in the country.
Tickets cost £9.50 for adults and £5.50 for children.
How to reach: The best way to get from London to Caernarfon Castle is to train which takes 4h 35m and costs £90 – £310. Alternatively, you can bus, that takes 10h 59m.
Best time: The castle’s hours change seasonally, with the longest hours in July and August and reduced hours September through February.
How to Book: You can book the tickets here.
6. Port Meirion: A Vibrant Mediterranean-style Village
This small yet vibrant Mediterranean-style village was built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. Located near the River Dwyryd, it has a hotel, spa, restaurant, tea-room, beach, and numerous shops. It is one of the region’s most popular attractions and is known for its peaceful atmosphere. Port Meirion was also featured on the TV show ‘The Prisoner’.
Entrance costs £9 for adults and £6 for children.
How to reach: You can get all the instructions to reachPort Meirion here.
Best time: Visit during the months ofMay, June, July, August and September.
How to Book: You can book your tickets here.
7. Harlech Castle: For A Bit Of History
Harlech is located on the western edge of the Snowdonia National Park. It is a summer hotspot, offering great accommodation, interesting antique shops, and access to the serene Tremadog Bay. Harlech is also home to the Harlech Castle. Like Caernarfon and Conwy Castles, it too was built on the order of Edward I and completed in 1289. Made of grey sandstone, it consists of a large gatehouse, four corner towers and various fortifications.
Tickets cost £4.25for adults and £3.20for children.
How to reach: You can take bus 39 or you can take the train Arriva Trains Wales.
Best time: A warm clear summers day is the best time to visit the Harlech Castle.
How to Book: Here is how you can pre-book your tickets to the castle.
8. The Glyders: For Spectacular Views
Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr (together known as the Glyders) are two of the finest mountains in the UK. Home to spectacular lakes, such as Llyn Ogwen, Llyn Idwal, and Llyn Bochlwyd, they are famous for their difficult hikes. One of the most famous paths is the Front Ridge of the Carnaddau. Both peaks offer spectacular views of the nearby Mount Snowdon.
Access to the Glyders is free.
How to reach: The summits can be accessed from several directions.
Best time: You can get information about climbing the Glyders here.
9. Betws-y-Coed: Museums And Cosy Tea Rooms
Located in the Conwy Valley, Betws-y-Coed is a small and picturesque village. Consisting mainly of a church, as well as a few hotels, tea rooms, and outdoor shops, it is best known for the Conwy Valley Railway Museum and the Motor Museum. The Railway Museum is filled with railway artefacts and a 1-mile long miniature steam railway. The much smaller Motor Museum displays interesting cars from the past few decades.
Entrance to the Railway Museum costs £1.50 for adults and £1 for children. The Motor Museum charges £2 for adults and £1.50 for children.
How to reach: The mainline route stops at Llandudno Junction where you then take the scenic Conwy Valley railway or one of the local buses through the Snowdonia National Park to Betws-y-Coed.
Best time: Visit during spring when humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel moderately cold.
How to Book: You can book hotels here.
10. Cadair Idris: Yet Another Gorgeous Peak
At 893 metres, Cadair Idris is one of the most beautiful peaks in Snowdonia National Park. Like the rest of the region, it too is steeped in legend. Its name means “the Chair of Idris,” and the mountain is said to have been the chair of Welsh giant Idris star-gazing. There are also several beautiful bottomless lakes and an 11-kilometre ridge along its summit.
Access to Cadair Idris is free.
How to reach: Cadair Idris is 10 miles south of Dolgellau. It is in the county of Gwynedd.
Best time: The best time is during winters but if you are an inexperienced walker, you shouldn’t go alone.
11. The Electric Mountain: Tunnels And Power
The Electric Mountain (or the Dinorwig Power Station) showcases cutting-edge hydroelectric technology. Located near Dinorig, Llanberis, it was built between 1974 and 1984 inside the mountain Elidir Fawr. It was initially used to store power capacity during periods of low usage and to generate hydroelectric energy at times of high demand. Now, it is used as a power reserve to compensate for sudden increases in power demand or loss of other power stations. It is also known for its miles of tunnels and massive man-made cavern.
Entrance costs £7.75 for adults and £3.95 for children.
How to reach: The cheapest way to get from Bangor to Dinorwig Power Station costs only £2, and the quickest way takes just 16 mins.
Best time: You can visitDinorwig Power Station during any season.
How to Book: You can book your tours here.
12. Snowdonia National Park: Wales’ First National Park
Covering some 823 square miles of north-west Wales, Snowdonia National Park is Wales’s first national park. It was formed in 1951 to protect the environment, particularly around the highest peak in England and Wales- Mount Snowdon (1,085m ). The Park contains 15 mountain tops over 900m (3,000ft), 37 kms of glistening coastline, 50 plus limpid lakes, serene ancient woodland and cascading waterfalls. Its rich cultural heritage features everything from Roman ruins to ancient prehistoric circles, traditional stone walls, and authentic Welsh hill farms. The region offers one of the most popular hiking and rock climbing places in Britain due to its spectacularly rugged mountain scenery.
The park has free entry.
How to reach: There are Direct services that can take you to all the popular North Wales coastal destinations from most parts of Britain. Make inland connections via the Conwy Valley Line which runs through the Snowdonia National Park to Betws-y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Best time: The best time to visit the park is June through August. During this time, rainfall is evenly spread through the year, with the driest month is April and the wettest month being November.
13. Beddgelert: A Pictureque Village
The picturesque village of Beddgelert, located at the confluence of the rivers Colwyn and Glaslyn, is one of the best places to visit in Snowdonia. This tiny village is a place of legend, culture and history. This charming village is unrivalled within Snowdonia for its stone-built dwellings, finest scenery in North Wales, wooded vales, rocky slopes and mountain lakes fill the surrounding countryside. Enjoy Beddgelert’s picturesque and unspoilt location in the Snowdonia National Park. This small and friendly village offers you an authentic Welsh experience at one of the quaint hotels, guesthouses, or B&Bs. You can also enjoy many historical attractions, shops walks and climbs at Snowdonia’s loveliest village.
How to reach: The easiest way to e=reach is via road. The follow the instructions here.
Best time: Visit in the summer to find Beddgelert at its most beautiful. The hills are covered in purple heather and the rough stone of the village is swathed in bright floral displays.
How to Book: You can book your hotels inBeddgelert here.
14. Dolwyddelan Castle: A 13th Century Castle
Built between 1210 and 1240, this solitary sentinel is located in Snowdonia on a ridge set against Moel Siabod. The castle stands alone one a mound of overlooking the surrounding mountains and countryside and offers the best of both worlds-the man-made impressiveness of this defensive installation and the natural beauty of Snowdonian peaks. This roughly hewn edifice of stone was built by Llwelyn the Great, the most powerful medieval prince in Welsh history. It saw active service during the wars between the Welsh and Edward I before falling to English forces in 1283.
Entrance Costs are Adult-4£, family ticket- £11.90 and child- £2.60.
How to reach: Dolwyddelan Castle is easily found off the A470. A large dedicated car park is provided and is well sign-posted from the road. Visitors should be aware it is a relatively steep walk to the castle.
Best time: The castle is beautiful and can be visited during all seasons.
How to Book: You can book a visit to the castle here.
Places To Stay In Snowdonia
- Portmeirion Village & Castell Deudraeth
- Aberdunant Hall Country Hotel
- The Black Boy Inn
- The Castle Hotel
- George III Hotel
- Hafan Artro
FAQs About Things To Do In Snowdonia
Apart from its historical sites, Snowdonia is known for its excellent hiking, thundering waterfalls, serene lakes, and picturesque villages. Things to do in Snowdonia include exploring the historic villages, the wildlife and you can even try nature walks here. You can also take the Snowdon Mountain Railway for a scenic journey.
3 days in Snowdonia is just enough time for one epic Snowdonia road trip!
Portmeirion is known as the prettiest part of Wales.
If you are planning a visit to Wales for reasonably good weather with less dense crowds, go in April, May, September or October. But for outdoor pursuits in Wales, you’ll find June to October the warmest and driest for walking and climbing.
Snowdonia is known for its historic sites, excellent hiking, thundering waterfalls, serene lakes, and picturesque villages. In addition, the Snowdon Mountain Railway makes for a scenic journey and a great way to get up to Mount Snowdon without the hike.