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Greentraveller's Guide to Snowdonia National Park

Posted by Florence Fortnam at 02:44 on Wednesday 20 March 2013

As part of our celebration of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the UK, we've published a Greentraveller's Guide to Snowdonia National Park.

A hiker admires the view. Photo: Snowdonia NPAA hiker admires the view. Photo: Snowdonia NPA

This guide is the latest of our online destination platforms for specific protected areas in the UK, including other National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) that are proving popular with holidaymakers looking for that special local touch.

You'll find a fantastic selection of places to stay, from B&Bs offering a true home-from-home experience with owners on hand for local recommendations and remote cottages with sweeping valley views where children can run riot, to luxury hotels for romantic breaks. For hillwalkers after a rustic retreat, we've discovered a remote bunkhouse at the foot of Snowdon – no road access means you're as isolated as can be!

Snowdonia has one of the UK's finest natural larders right on its doorstep – pubs, cafés, and specialist food shops throughout the region are bursting with fantastic ingredients which have notched up very few food miles along the way. From salt marsh lamb and black beef, to crab, lobster and mussels from Cardigan Bay, to creamy local cheeses, and breweries scattered throughout the national park, if sampling local flavours is high on your holiday to-do list, you're in for a treat.

Snowdonia's rich and rugged landscape is an adventure playground for walkers, climbers, cyclists and bikers, and we've featured plenty of outdoor pursuits – the forests, peaks, lakes and coast will keep everyone entertained. There's also fantastic biking opportunities.

Ifer Gwyn, Principal Policy at Snowdonia National Park, says:

"Since its designation in 1951, Snowdonia has been regarded as being among Europe’s greatest and most varied National Parks.  The National Park’s landscape includes rugged high peaks, rolling hills, steep wooded valleys and gorges, forests, moorland and quiet sandy beaches.

"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 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.  All this to a backdrop of one of Europe’s oldest languages and cultures."

Here's a taster of what you'll find in our Greentraveller Guide to Snowdonia National Park:

Places to stay

Photo: Bryn ElltydPhoto: Bryn ElltydBryn Elltyd Guest House Stunning mountain views and a steam train that curls around the borders of the grounds. This guesthouse is the brightest shade of green you're likely to come across – sun rays, rainwater, and wind are all harnessed to power this thoroughly eco-friendly place to stay. 
>> See more B&Bs in Snowdonia National Park 

Yr Helfa Bunkhouse If you're after some blissful isolation – and I mean, proper isolation – then you can't get much better than this bunkhouse at the foot of Snowdon. As long as you don't mind the half-mile hike with all your clobber (there' s no direct road acess to the bunkhouse) you'll be rewarded with underfloor heating, cosy wooden bunks, and fabulous views.
>> See more self-catering options in Snowdonia National Park

Places to eat

Photo: Blue Sky CaféPhoto: Blue Sky CaféCosy up at Blue Sky Café Cosy up by the woodburner and tuck into a Welsh beef burgers, homemade Welsh beef brisket (which is, by their own admission “amazing”), or sandwiches made using local artisan bread. Lovely interiors – old wooden floorboards, terracotta walls, fresh flowers – are welcoming and inviting. >> See more cafés and tea rooms in Snowdonia National Park

BronDanw This mellow, yellow-painted pub is the hub of the village and reflects the true community of local life in Llanfrothen. There are open fires, pews and oak settles, real ales on tap and a good, honest menu with dishes like Welsh sirloin steak and local Edwards of Conwy pork sausages, and an outside terrace with children’s playground overlooking farmland. It’s well placed for bikers and hikers, too. >> See more pubs in Snowdonia National Park

Places to visit

Domes at the sustainability gardens. Photo: Centre for Alternative TechnologyDomes at the sustainability gardens. Photo: Centre for Alternative TechnologyCentre for Alternative Technology Covering all aspects of green living –from woodland management to renewal energy and environmental building – the centre runs courses on sustainable living, as well as educational programmes for schools and graduate training programmes. There are seven acres of interactive displays, and a shop and vegetarian restaurant on site.
>> See more eco centres in Snowdonia National Park

Old-fashioned family fun at Bewilderwood Family-packed fun for kids and adults alike in the heart of Snowdonia. From climbing up treetop towers and having a go forest theatre, to den building and scrambling through tunnels in the undergrowth, everyone will love getting back to nature at this activity centre. They are admirably green too: used cooking oil is processed into biodiesel and they have planted over 500 trees every year since opening in 1993. >> More ideas for family fun in Snowdonia National Park

Things to do

Photo © Crown copyright (2011) Visit WalesPhoto © Crown copyright (2011) Visit WalesCycling aCoed Y Brenin This forest was the first to be developed for mountain biking; the area has now become a biking mecca. The ever-expanding network of routes has varying levels of difficult, from flat, easy tracks for families and novices, to challenging and rocky trails for the more advanced bikers. >> See more biking in Snowdonia National Park

Birdwatching at Cors Dyfi This nature reserve is teeming with wildlife year-round and is home to the Dyfi Osprey Project. Most people visit between April and September when the magnificent Ospreys – named Monty, Nora and Scraggly – are around, but there are lots of other plants and animals to spot throughout the rest of the year, including water buffalo. There’s an elevated bird hide, a visitor centre and a small shop onsite. >> Birdwatching in Snowdonia National Park


>> For more ideas for things to see and do, see our Greentraveller's Guide to Snowdonia National Park

>> See all our Greentraveller's Guides to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty


Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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