Greentraveller's Guide to Snowdonia National Park
Written by David Atkinson
Artwork for Greentraveller's Guides by Tina Smith and Mark Edwards
Foreword by Ifer Gwyn, Principal Policy Officer for Snowdonia National Park Authority
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.
What our writers discovered in Snowdonia
Snowdonia has so much to offer, whether you are visiting for the first time or are a seasoned devotee. There are mountains, cliffs and ravines to scale for those who seek adventure and physical challenge and tranquillity, serenity and breathtaking beauty for those who come in search of restoration. Snowdonia is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest and most varied National Parks. Within its 823-square miles there are 23 miles of coastline and nine mountain ranges that cover about 52% of the Park, with Wales’ most famed peak, Snowdon, rising to 3,560 feet.
Let us be your guide to this magnificent, majestic National Park.
David Atkinson and daughter Maya spend a day exploring the woodland trails in Coed y Brenin, a mountain-biking centre in Snowdonia National Park
David Atkinson and daughter Maya spend a day hunting for mini sea creatures in the rock pools on Llandanwg Beach, a remote spot on Snowdonia National Park's coastline
Stay, Eat, See & Do
Our picks of places across Snowdonia
Google Map Key:
Click on the coloured icons for more information about each listing
Green = Places to stay
Blue = Places to eat
Yellow = Attractions
Purple = Activities
Click on the square brackets top right of map to reveal expanded map
- 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
Map of Snowdonia, Wales
Map supplied by Snowdonia National Park
Credit for main images: Llyn Nantlle and Castell y Gwynt Tryfan, by Malcolm Davies, Family Cycling by Ray Wood, Cantilever Stone by Nigel Shepherd
This online guide to Snowdonia National Park was funded by Welsh Government.