Snowdonia National Park
Discover mountainous Snowdonia National Park, Wales
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park is a sublime landscape where the mountains meet the sea and castle’s perch on cliffs guarding a natural fortress of rock and forest.
Wales has three National Parks; Pembrokeshire Coast, The Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia being the largest. The region has nearly 1,500 miles of public footpaths with a variety of gradients to suit all or you can take a mountain railway to Snowdon peak.
Other activities include; Touring the famous Castles, Climbing, Water sports and Horse Riding. All this in one of Britain’s most beautiful landscapes.
Snowdonia National Park
The areas we now call National Parks in Britain have always been exploited for their resources. We now have habitats that have adapted to sheep grazing, mining and now tourism. Despite that, Snowdonia harbours unique wildlife from plants that only grow on the highest peaks to fungi of international importance, yes fungi is precious.
The park includes nine mountain ranges and fifteen peaks over the magic 3,000 ft mark. It is pretty wild here, and you can understand why people avoided these sometimes harsh environments. The weather is changeable and terrain tough. It was the wild romance of Snowdonia that attracted poets and artist in the first place, who then inspired modern tourism and most importantly, an appreciation for the beautiful landscapes and wildlife.
Snowdonia is a place where the Welsh language thrives more than anywhere else in Wales. However, Welsh is the first language now taught in schools alongside English. It is beautiful to hear, and your driver-guide will teach you a few words.
All of the peaks of Snowdonia have an old tale; places of natural beauty tend to inspire a myth or two. The real story is of violent volcanic activity over 450 million years ago that thrust molten rock 10,000 metres (32,000 ft) into the clouds, higher than the Himalayas. Over millions of years, rain, wind and ice have eroded and shaped the rock into their current form and size. The sculpted valleys were shaped by the last ice age, 10,000 years ago, creating lovely ‘U’ shaped valleys in every direction.
In recent times expert climbers have trained in Snowdonia’s terrain to practice ascents of Mt Everest, there are similarities of typography and rock types.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
The railway to the heavens, the Snowdon Mountain Railway allows people with less time or the inclination to reach Mount Snowdon's peak, the highest in England and Wales.
Reaching the summit by train was the brainchild of Sir Richard Moon in 1869. He was the chairman of the North-Western railway, and it made sense to him to continue the railway line up Snowdon, for the fun of it. Remember, this was Britain in the Victorian age, a period of enormous self-confidence, ambition and resources.
Touring the Lake District became popular, and now it was clear Wales should be on the tourist map. Building began, 150 men with shovels and dynamite constructed two viaducts, built several bridges, and a 100-metre section out of the solid rock. Workers laid five miles of track up a one-in-seven gradient. This engineering project took fourteen months, a truly remarkable achievement.
Some of the original locomotives are still taking passengers to the summit. It is calculated that the steam engine ‘ENID’ has travelled the distance to the moon and back four times – that is approximately two million miles. Roll Royce engines power newer models and by all accounts are extremely reliable. Therefore, even the less able can take in the fresh air at the peak by climbing the last fifty-foot to the very top and hopefully spot a rare Snowdon Lily.
Take a railway journey with us to Mt Snowdon on your next trip to Wales. It is a wonderful experience – subject to the weather, of course.
The Roman’s mined Welsh Slate, but, the industry took off in the 19th Century when demand was high, the population was expanding, and house building was at its zenith.
Slate Mining was big business in the 19th Century in this part of the world. Global buyers recognised the quality of Welsh slate as being the best. Getting it out of the ground was a dangerous business and involved to use of dynamite. Landslides were another hazard. Gangs of men would rent a side of a mountain and blast away until they got a prized block of premium slate. Miners could make a modest living, but not all the time. Many miners sustained terrible injuries, and life was harsh.
Today, slate mining in Wales is small scale and much safer. It is a nice gift to take a piece of slate carved with your house number - a reminder of Snowdonia.
Touring and accommodation
Some of Britain’s best-preserved medieval castles are on the park's edge, such as Conwy Castle. Bodnant Gardens is probably the finest garden in Wales and has the backdrop of Snowdonia to frame the beautiful terraces.
Our Wales and England Tour includes the highlights of Wales and England, please take a look at the itinerary. There is a variety of accommodation options in the area. Unique Places to Stay and Guest Houses are ideal for families. Please contact us for further options and details.
If this is your first time to England, we would recommend a custom version of our Town and Country Tour; it covers the famous places and allows you to utilise your private driver-guide by getting-off-the-beaten-path. Our Classic tour of Ireland is a good place to start for the first trip to Ireland, and we suggest the Classic tour of Scotland for your first trip to the bonny Highlands.
Mountains Meet the Sea
Over 800 square miles of sublime beauty
- Reach Snowdon Peak by Railway
- Tour UNESCO World Heritage Status Castles
- Visit Bodnant Gardens
- Hike and Climb with Professional Guides
- The Heart of the Welsh Language
Let Our Driver-Guides Take the Strain
Drive the Emerald Hills
Mount Snowdon Hikers
View from Snowdon Mountain Railway
Snowdonia National Park - The Landscape