- Nearest national cycle network
- Snowdonia National Park is the UK’s third largest National Park
- Snowdon is the highest peak in England and Wales
- Although now associated with farming, recreation and tourism, Snowdonia was once a major exporter of copper, gold, leas, iron ore and slate – a legacy still visible today
- Amongst its diverse habitats, Snowdonia includes extensive peatlands, habitats which are considered rarer that tropical rainforests
- There are almost 1,500 miles of footpaths in Snowdonia, ranging from low level walks to adrenalin-pumping mountainous traverses
- All five countries of the British Isles (Wales, England, Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man) can be seen from the top of Snowdon on a clear day
Since its designation in 1951, Snowdonia has been regarded as being among Europe’s greatest and most varied National Parks. Within the 823 square miles included in the boundary, there are nine mountain ranges, covering about 52% of the Park, with many peaks reaching 3,000ft – including Wales’ most famed peak, Snowdon, at 3,560 feet. Apart from the beauty and charm of its high mountains, Snowdonia has an incredibly varied landscape of steep river gorges, waterfalls and green valleys. Oak, ash, rowan and hazel woodlands are found scattered throughout the Park, whilst the breathtaking Dyfi, Mawddach and Dwyryd estuaries, as well as the 23 miles of coastline and sandy beaches, contribute to the overall diversity of the landscape.
In addition to its natural resources, it is a heartland of the Welsh language and culture; well over half of the population is fluent in the language, and there is a strong sense of community in the region. Snowdonia is a place of myths, legends and native Princess, whilst more recent industrial legacies provide a fascinating glimpse into some of the forces that forged Britain. Today, the landscape continues to support a vibrant farming sector, and is a place of tranquillity or adventure, enjoyed by holiday-makers and locals alike, retaining the power to inspire and inform future generations, as it did Charles Darwin, Sir Edmund Hilary and Sir Kyffin Williams.
The variety of landscapes and experiences offered by Snowdonia are almost unrivalled – where else could the moment of solitude enjoyed on a mountain top or the tranquillity of a walk along a sandy beach be followed by walking, climbing, surfing or mountain biking – there's lots of variety of activities for both beginners and experts alike – or you can just marvel at the scenery from one of several all-ability trails.
Ifer Gwyn, Principal Policy Officer for the Snowdonia National Park
Adventures in Snowdonia National Park
Antur ym Mharc Cenedlaethol Eryri
Travelling to and around Snowdonia
Snowdonia is reached easily by train from the main population centres in England and Wales. Direct train services run to the popular North Wales coastal destinations, with inland connections onto the Conwy Valley Line which runs through the Snowdonia National Park to Betws y Coed and onwards to Blaenau Ffestiniog (see Getting around, below). Services from the Midlands via Shrewsbury and Machynlleth link up with the Cambrian Coast Line for stations to Pwllheli. National Express services run to Llandudno, Bangor, Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Pwllheli from London, Chester and Manchester. Cyclists can get to Snowdonia via the National Cycle Network.
Towns and villages within the park are connected via a network of local and regional bus services. Wherever you are staying in the national park, the Snowdon Sherpa bus service, which links walks, mountain destinations with a whole host of tourist destinations, is your best bet for getting around. The Snowdon Sherpa day ticket allows you to hop on and off the Snowdon Sherpa network all day as many times as you like.
Ordnance Survey maps:
Map of Snowdon: Explorer OL17
Snowdonia National Park, Wales
Map of Snowdonia National Park provided by Snowdonia National Park Authority.
Photo Credits: Castell y Gwynt, Tryfan and Llyn Nantlle, photos by Malcolm Davies; Camping: Craig Wen. Nantlle inversion, taken from Elidir Fawr, Snowdon Range, Snowdonia National Park, Photo: Arfon Davis. Mountain biking, Pont Scethin, Dyffryn Ardudwy Valley, Photo: Ray Wood; Family cycling, Lon Las Ogwen, Ogwen Valley, photo by Ray Wood; Family hillwalking, Moel Siabod, photo Garry Smith.
The update to this online guide to Snowdonia National Park in 2016 was funded by Welsh Government.