Snowdonia National Park: A Wildlife Enthusiast’s Guide

Wildlife Visitor's Guide to the Snowdonia National Park

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Standing at 3,650 feet (1,111 meters), Snowdon is the tallest mountain in Wales and the largest mountain in Great Britain south of Scotland. Surrounding this iconic peak is the Snowdonia National Park which attracts around six million visitors every year.

With breathtaking scenery, beautiful hiking trails, outdoor activities, and of course plenty of wildlife, it’s no wonder this is such a popular part of the UK. If you’re planning a trip to Snowdonia National Park this year and want to check out the local wildlife, I’ll cover everything you need to know in this guide.

Snowdonia National Park Overview

Wales, despite being a small country, has three national parks that cover around 20% of the entire land area of this British country. Snowdonia National Park is perhaps the most well-known because of the mountain’s claim to fame in terms of its size.

Spanning an area of around 823 square miles (2,131 square kilometers), the Snowdonia National Park truly is one of Wales’ gems. Locals know the park as Eryri National Park but people from all over the UK head here thanks to how accessible it is from cities like Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, and Birmingham.

As I mentioned earlier, Snowdon, measuring 3,650 feet (1,111 meters), is the highlight of the park for many, but this is far from being the only attraction. With rugged mountain ranges and vast, deep valleys, Snowdonia National Park boasts one of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK. You’ll also find pristine lakes and forested areas that are home to a whole host of wildlife species. 

If you’re visiting Snowdonia as a wildlife enthusiast, this is certainly good news and what’s even more exciting is that, because of the variety of habitats, this part of Wales has rich biodiversity and a diverse range of ecosystems where you’ll find many of the most well-loved plants and animals in the UK as well as many rare species like the rainbow leaf beetle and the Snowdon lily. The Snowdon lily is a rare plant and it’s thought that only 80 individuals are left around Snowdon, making this one of the most rare flora species in the UK.

Exploring the diverse nature of Snowdonia is made easy by the numerous trails that wind through its varied wildlife habitats. The region is particularly renowned for birdwatching, with spots like Cwm Idwal attracting raptor enthusiasts, and peregrine falcons are a common sight in this area as well.

However, with so much tourism, there is a risk to the delicate ecosystems in Snowdonia National Park which is why authorities are keen to promote sustainable tourism and why they have implemented several conservation programs. One such example of this is the £7 million program to restore the Celtic rainforests within the national park.

Even if you’re not here for the wildlife, there’s still plenty that Snowdonia has to offer. Cycle along the trails or try your hand at mountain biking. Maybe you’d like to test your rock climbing skills or take to the waters of Lake Bala and Llyn Padarn for some watersports.

Of course, one of the main attractions is Snowdon itself and around half a million people make the climb to the top every year. If your legs won’t carry you that far, there’s no need to miss out on the view from the top as the Snowdon Mountain Railway runs throughout the spring and summer, offering guests an alternative way to get to the top.

Over the course of several ice ages, sedimentary and igneous rocks were shaped and molded and, during the last ice age, the landscape we see at Snowdonia National Park today was formed. With such an interesting geological history, Snowdonia has become a hotspot for scientists and education.

As well as having geological history, Snowdonia National Park has a lot of human history with evidence suggesting that humans have inhabited the area since the Stone Age, around 4000 to 3000 BC.

Coming out of prehistory, the area has incredible cultural significance that dates back hundreds of years. With mines, slate quarries, and castles dotted about the landscape, visitors are given a glimpse through history and how rural industry shaped the area to become what it is today.

But it wasn’t until 1951 that Snowdonia was designated a national park although it was the third of the fifteen national parks in the UK to be designated. Today, the park is well equipped to receive up to 6 million visitors every year with activities like guided tours and educational programs that provide an insight into the history and culture of the park as well as its wildlife.

You’ll find visitor centers at three locations throughout the national park including Aberdyfi, Beddgelert, and Betws-y-Coed. Here, you’ll be able to get your hands on information, educational resources, maps of the park, and other helpful things that will ensure you make the most of your trip.

Types of Wildlife to See

The wildlife diversity in Snowdonia National Park is seriously impressive. Animal lovers flock here every year to see many of the UK’s most well-loved creatures. But there are also some rarer species here including the pine marten.

From beautiful soaring raptors to a range of interesting insects as well as mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, there’s always an excellent chance to spot unique wildlife when visiting Snowdonia National Park.

Many people use Snowdonia as an opportunity for bird watching. The rugged landscape and variety of habitats mean that there are many species to discover. In surveys, 34 different species were recorded although there could be more. Some of the most exciting birds to look out for include the peregrine falcon and the red kite. But the most majestic and rare bird of prey ever seen in Snowdonia National Park is the golden eagle.

These birds are extremely rare in the UK and sadly, they became extinct in Wales in the 1800s because of human persecution. However, there are conservation programs underway that hope to reintroduce these birds to Wales in the future.

When it comes to bird watching, spring and autumn are excellent times to visit Snowdonia as these provide you with the opportunity to see seasonal migrations of species like swallows, willow warblers, and redstarts.

In Snowdonia, you may also be lucky enough to see an osprey. These fish-eating birds of prey don’t have extremely high numbers in the UK, largely because of illegal killings. However, their populations are relatively healthy in Snowdonia, especially if you visit the Glaslyn Osprey project where you can observe these birds during their nesting season.

Around the rivers and lakes of Snowdonia, you may be able to spot the kingfisher. This brightly colored aquatic bird is known for its superior hunting skills and you’ll likely see it perched on a low-hanging branch before diving into the water after its prey at speeds of up to 25 mph (40 km/h)!

Head into the forests and woodlands that cover Snowdonia and you may hear the charming call of the cuckoo. Locals believe that hearing the call of the cuckoo brings good luck but since these birds have declined in number in recent years, you’ll really have to keep your ears open. While you’re listening, I’ll bet you might hear the iconic hammering of the woodpecker!

Since Snowdonia National Park has more than 74 miles (119 km) of ancient coastlines, bird lovers come here to see both rare and common sea birds and coastal species. One of the most iconic is the puffin which can be found on Puffin Island, located just off the coast of Anglesey. However, it is worth keeping in mind that this island is restricted and protected so you can’t actually visit it. That said, there are boat tours that allow you to get closer to the island and spot these stunning birds on the rocky ledges.

Coming to Snowdonia National Park also gives you the chance to spot a range of rare and wonderful mammals. The red and roe deer can both be spotted here but it’s worth noting that these elusive creatures are typically found in the more remote areas of the park.

Red squirrels are common in Snowdonia. This species is actually the only native species of squirrel in the UK but it’s outnumbered by the invasive gray squirrel that was brought here from North America in the 1800s. While there are thought to be 2.5 million gray squirrels, there exist only around 140,000 red squirrels. If you’re looking to spot one of these beautiful rodents then Snowdonia provides the perfect opportunity; check out wooded areas or places with lots of tree cover. 

One of the rarer animals in Snowdonia National Park is the pine marten. These mustelids are not common in the UK apart from the northern parts, such as Scotland. But there are populations in Snowdonia although the species is mainly active at night so, if you do spot one, count yourself incredibly lucky.

While there are populations of wild mountain goats throughout Snowdonia National Park, one of the true highlights is the feral ponies found here. It’s thought that there are around 300 individuals and it’s believed that they date back to the Bronze Age. While they’re not a unique species, rather related to the Welsh mountain pony, they do seem to have adapted to life in the park with unique traits such as waterproofing.

Around the coasts of Snowdonia National Park, you may have the chance to see aquatic mammals like the porpoise, dolphin, and seal while around freshwater habitats, you could be lucky enough to see otter populations. Active mainly at dusk and dawn, your best chance to spot these playful creatures comes in areas around Afon Erch and Afon Artro.

Whether around coastal or freshwater habitats, you’re bound to see an abundance of life including Atlantic salmon and trout which you can fish for in some areas. During the spawning season, around September to November, salmon migrate from the ocean to the rivers in which they were born and this provides an excellent opportunity to see them in great numbers. Take the chance around freshwater to look for the water vole. This is an incredibly rare species that’s considered to be Critically Endangered in Wales.

Other interesting aquatic species include the glutinous snail. This species is actually only found in Snowdonia National Park in a very specific location at Llyn Tegid, Y Bala. Here, you’ll also find the gwyniad, a rare species of fish that was confined to the lake after the last glacial period and is now found nowhere else on the planet.

While the UK isn’t famed for its reptile and amphibian species, that isn’t to say that they can’t be found here. In fact, Snowdonia National Park is home to quite a few interesting scaly and slimy species including the common lizard which you’ll be able to spot in grassy areas and heathlands. Here, you may also spy the only venomous snake in the UK; the adder. But don’t worry, they’re likely to slither away when they encounter a human and their bite typically doesn’t cause many complications.

You might spot the slow worm. This incredible species looks like a snake and is called a worm but it’s actually neither of these things and is instead a species of legless lizard!

Head to bodies of freshwater, especially ponds, where you might see common amphibian species such as the common toad and the smooth newt.

There are many unique and rare plant species in Snowdonia and this area can also lay claim to having one of the oldest oak woodlands in the UK, Coed Felinrhyd. In the woodlands, you’ll find ancient oak trees as well as other species like the Scots pine. You’ll also find many of the 15,000 species of fungi in the UK within these woodlands, some of which are very rare.

Owing to the high elevation of 3,560 feet (1,085 meters) at Snowdonia National Park, there is an abundance of Alpine plant species such as the Snowdon lily I discussed earlier in this guide. And because of this, pollinators and insects are attracted to the national park. In fact, butterfly spotting is one of the main activities for wildlife enthusiasts and you may be lucky enough to see rare species such as the pearl-bordered fritillary, the high brown fritillary, and the purple emperor.

During the Seasons

Spring (March to May)

The arrival of spring in Snowdonia means also the arrival of many migratory bird species that are returning to the area to breed. Many species of song birds including warblers and swallows as well as the awesome red kite.

The landscape of the national park really starts coming back to life in spring but since the weather is still not completely warm, there are fewer tourists, giving you the opportunity to explore in greater peace. This is also a great time of year to spot the red squirrel as it reaches the peak of its activity.

Watch over the valleys as the wildflowers begin to blossom, turning the dark, rocky landscape into an abundance of color.

Aside from wildlife, spring provides visitors with many other exciting opportunities in Snowdonia. The annual beer festival at the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways in May is not to be missed and spring is considered to be one of the best times of year for hiking the Snowdonia trails.

Summer (June to August)

Summer is the most popular time of year for visitors to Snowdonia National Park and this is when the crowds really start coming in. The weather warms up, with summer temperatures sitting around 64 to 68°F (18 to 20°C), on average. This provides the perfect climate for watersports like paddle boarding and canoeing. 

In terms of wildlife, summer brings many unique opportunities such as observing birds in the height of their breeding season as well as spotting some of the rare butterfly species found within the park. Look in grassy areas and meadows with lots of wildflowers for the best chance of spotting species like the high brown fritillary, the small white, the small skipper, and the Duke of Burgundy.

However, I would urge you to consider that there may be wildlife viewing guidelines in place to protect animals in their most sensitive periods. It is essential to follow these to minimize disturbance.

Around the waterways and ponds, you may be treated to a sight of the common frog and the smooth newt as well as bird species like the osprey, the purple sandpiper, and the curlew.

During the second week of July, head to Llangollen for the annual International Music Eisteddfod which sees orchestral performances along the river.

Hiking remains a popular activity in summer, especially up Snowdon but keep in mind that, on hotter days, the temperature can soar into the high 68-77°F (20s°C) so be sure to take lots of water and keep yourself protected from the sun with suitable attire and SPF.

Autumn (September to November)

For wildlife enthusiasts, autumn provides one of the best opportunities of the year; it’s deer rutting season! Being home to both the red deer and the roe deer, Snowdonia’s deer populations enter into their breeding season with males putting on displays of dominance. These animals are most active at dusk and dawn and, while elusive, are best spotted in areas like Coed y Brenin.

All those migratory birds that made an appearance in spring are now preparing to head back to their winter feeding grounds and may start to take flight between September and November, depending on the species.

Once again, the landscape starts to change and takes on a whole new character during autumn. With changing foliage and much of the rugged landscape now visible, this is an excellent opportunity for photographers to snap some amazing images, especially at sunrise and sunset when the warm glow and rusty foliage make the perfect contrast.

The crowds start to die down by the end of summer so autumn is a great time to come if you want to be able to explore Snowdonia without being one of millions. However, if you are planning to head to the summit of Snowdon, keep in mind that the mountain railway closes at the end of October.

Winter (December to February)

One of the quietest times of year in Snowdonia but still one of the most beautiful, winter allows you a glimpse of snow-capped mountains and many chances to see winter wildlife such as the many birds of prey that are still active like the kestrel and buzzard.

You may also be able to see waterfowl around the lakes including swans and ducks like the red-crested pochard, one of the most beautiful species of duck in the UK.

Winter is also a great time for hiking along the quiet trails and gives you the chance to see the landscape with an entirely new character. While the weather does get pretty chilly, don’t let this put you off exploring ancient ruins like Tomen Y Mur.

What to Explore & Do?

Covering an area of well over 800 square miles (2,072 square kilometers), it’s no surprise that there are tons of things to see and do when you visit Snowdonia National Park. While my focus in this guide is on wildlife, there are lots of other things I’d like to include to give you a chance to explore as much of the park as possible.

Hiking & Cycling

Miles and miles of hiking and cycling trails can be found in Snowdonia National Park and there’s so much to discover on each and every one of them. What’s more, trails come in a range of difficulties so there’s something for every skill level.

  • The Mawddach Trail is certainly one of the highlights of Snowdonia and runs for 9.5 miles (15 km) along the Mawddach Estuary, following a disused railway line. At the end of the trail, you’ll cross the railway bridge and end up at Barmouth, a quaint seaside town, surrounded by mountains, with plenty to see and do.
  • Try the Cwm Idwal Walk for something that poses a slight challenge but rewards you with some of the most amazing mountain and rocky views in the whole national park. Taking around 3 hours to complete, the highlight of this walk is Cwm Idwal itself. This lake in a hanging glacial valley is quite unique and is steeped in history and legend. However, it’s also an excellent spot for spying a wide range of plant and animal life.
  • Take a trek to the most stunning waterfall in all of Snowdonia National Park with the Aber Falls trail. This path is highly accessible and easy to get to, plus it provides you with the chance to walk right up to this breathtaking waterfall.
  • Try the Snowdon Horseshoe if you want to give yourself a hiking challenge with the reward of the best panoramic views in the whole park.
  • The Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park has a series of mountain bike trails which come in a range of difficulties. There’s even a bike rental shop here so you don’t have to worry about taking your own equipment.
  • Cycle the Fford Brailsford trail and go through the Pen y Pass and the village of Capel Curig, which, despite its small size is certainly worth a visit.

Wildlife Spotting Opportunities & Nature Reserves

I would highly recommend going to one of the three visitor centers in Snowdonia National Park before heading off on a wildlife spotting adventure. Here, you’ll be able to get your hands on information about what to see and where as well as finding out about any local guidelines. Always be sure to respect the wildlife and leave no trace of your presence.

The Glaslyn Ospreys are one of the most famous wildlife attractions in Snowdonia National Park and something I’d highly recommend to bird lovers. This project was the result of the RSPB no longer offering protection to these gorgeous raptors and aims to protect ospreys in the local area. There are several ospreys that find refuge here and a pair has been breeding in the area consistently since 2004.

Of course, this certainly isn’t the only place that birdwatchers will be in their element. Head to the RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve where there are plenty of trails allowing you to get up close and personal with a diverse range of species including the skylark, the reed warbler, and the lapwing.

Further wetland birds can be spotted at the Ynys-hir Nature Reserve and it’s here that you’ll find some of the rarer species found in Snowdonia. These include species such as the black lark and the royal tern.

If it’s not just birds you’re looking to see then I would recommend the Coedydd Aber National nature Reserve which has some of the most diverse wildlife in the park thanks to the variety of habitats here including some stunning ancient woodlands. Home to the iconic Aber Falls and with many interesting geological features, this is somewhere that everyone can enjoy.


At 3.5 miles (5.6 km) at its widest point, Llyn Tegid is the largest lake in Wales and a popular spot for those looking to see water birds in their natural habitat. The serene setting provides a perfect opportunity to relax, take a walk, enjoy some photography, or get involved in the fishing and watersports available here. Do keep in mind that you will need a permit to take part in these activities.

There’s also an interesting legend behind Llyn Tegid. It is thought that the lake was named after an evil king who was submerged in its waters because of his cruel way of life. Is that true? I’ll leave it up to your imagination to decide.

The second lake in Snowdonia National Park is Llyn Padarn, which is a hotspot for watersports and is surrounded by picturesque scenery, ideal for a relaxed stroll or a more challenging hike in the 800-acre (324 hectares) country park that surrounds the lake. 

Other Attractions

I couldn’t start this section with anything other than Yr Wyddfa, known in English as Mount Snowdon. The highest peak in the peak and indeed, in Wales, Yr Wyddfa is considered to be one of the most challenging climbs in the UK and is even part of the National Three Peaks Challenge.

Mount Snowdon is naturally the highlight of Snowdonia National Park and many people enjoy the climb to the top. But this challenging hike isn’t for everyone. That doesn’t mean you should miss out on the view from the top. The Snowdon Mountain Railway gives all visitors easy access to the summit and the views along the way are something you’ll never forget. Open in spring and summer, visitors can catch the train from the station in Llanberis.

Being a Dark Sky Reserve, Snowdonia National Park is the perfect spot to relax after the sun goes down and observe the stars and planets in all their glory. On a clear night, the Milky Way is visible as well as several constellations, depending on the time of year so this really is an astronomer’s paradise.

Snowdonia National Park is well known for its rugged landscapes and remote areas but there are towns here that allow visitors to get back into the hustle and bustle. Portmeirion is a stunning village with unique architecture inspired by Italian style and something quite unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

The quaint village boasts hotels, shops, places to eat, and cottages so choose to spend a day here or stay for a couple of nights to make the most of your exploration.

Throughout Snowdonia National Park, you will find many historical buildings including castles and fortresses. One of the most popular and interesting is Castell Harlech which is located on the edge of a rocky crag so, not only are you getting a glimpse into history, but you’ll also be treated to beautiful views from this vantage point. Listed as a World Heritage Site, Castell Harlech was built as a coastal fortress by none other than Edward I.

I would also recommend the National Trust-owned Penrhyn Castle which is a totally unique structure where you can also explore pretty walled gardens, more than 60 acres (24 hectares) of parkland, and explore the staff quarters and Victorian kitchen.

If you’re looking for a totally unique day out in Snowdonia National Park then Zip World really does have you covered. This is a world-famous attraction set in an old slate mine where you’ll find underground obstacle courses as well as the fastest zip line on the planet that allows you captivating views over the lake as you speed down the 1,640 feet (500 meter) wire.

For those of you who haven’t had enough thrill after a visit to Zip World, why not jump on the water and try your hand at white water rafting? There are all types of experiences on offer including the ultimate rafting session, a canyoning session, and even a safari session which is perfect for families.

Want to learn more about how hydroelectricity works? Then check out the Electric Mountain tour which allows you a glimpse into the technology of this power station. While it’s education, it’s also exciting and offers a completely unique experience.

For kids, the magic of fairies can never be understated, and let’s face it, as adults, there’s also something intriguing about these mythical creatures. Bring that magic to life by visiting the Fairy Glen at Betws-y-Coed. Located in the Gwydir Forest, this enchanting spot gives you the opportunity to explore this stunning part of the world where you’ll find walking trails, rock formations, and waterfalls. And, if the legends, stories, and poems are to be believed, you might even run into a fairy or sprite!

Where to Stay?

Exploring as much of Snowdonia National Park will require at least a few days, if not more but the great news is that there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from. From quaint holiday cottages to luxury hotels and family-friendly campsites to glamping pods, there’s something to cater to every taste, need, and budget.

Towns to Choose From

Before I get into the details of various different accommodations, I think it’s worth taking a quick look at some of the most popular towns and villages to stay in. Which you choose will depend largely on what attractions you’re keen to see.

No matter where you stay in Snowdonia National Park, you’ll benefit from stunning scenery and, since this is a Dark Sky Reserve, you can spend your evenings looking up into the clear night sky.

Betws-y-Coed is a stunning quaint village that boasts an excellent central location, giving you easy access to many parts of the Snowdonia National Park. It’s a great base for those looking to enjoy the many hiking and cycling trails, such as the Betws-y-Coed and Llyn Elsi trails as well as the Gwydyr Forest walks. 

Bala, located near Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid) is great for those looking to indulge in fishing and watersports. This is another excellent spot for hiking, with many heritage trails going through the town and around the lake. Despite being a popular location, Bala offers a sense of peace and tranquility for a truly relaxing break. 

Llanberis is ideal for anyone looking to take the challenging hike up Snowdon and, since the Snowdon Mountain Railway station is here, it makes it all the more convenient. You’ll find a charming town with several shops and places to eat as well as watersports and hikes on Llyn Padarn.

You might also choose Dolgellau which is a popular town on the River Wnion. Perfect for riverside walks and activities like rafting, this is a great choice for families. Located in the southern part of the national park, Dolgellau is a charming market town with plenty to see and do as well as a choice of excellent accommodations.

In the following sections, I’ll cover some of my top accommodation picks but before I do, I have to mention Gwern Gof Isaf which boasts every type of accommodation you could ever want. There’s a campsite, shepherd’s hut, bunkhouses, and two holiday cottages all of which are set in beautiful surroundings.

This farm has easy access to walking and cycling trails, Zip World, and many castles and other historical locations. For families, this is the perfect place to stay to enjoy the full Snowdonia experience.


I’m a big fan of staying in a hotel as it provides you with a comfortable base for your adventures and many of the hotels around Snowdonia National Park are well-equipped with a whole host of amenities.

  • The Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis is set in beautiful grounds with mountain views from every angle. There’s a buffet breakfast included in your stay and an a la carte menu with some delicious dishes. Right at the bottom of Snowdon and within a two-minute walk of the Mountain Railway, this comfortable hotel is the perfect base for exploring the mountain.
  • In the village of Bleddgelert, you’ll find the Royal Goat Hotel. With modern, well-equipped rooms, a great selection of wines and cask ales as well as easy access to many attractions like Portmeirion, the Mountain Railway, and the Llanberis Slate Museum, this hotel is the perfect base for exploring the entire Snowdonia National Park.
  • If you’re staying in Bala and want to relax in 5* luxury then I’d highly recommend the Pale Hall hotel. This stunning building boasts Victorian architecture and inside, you’ll find elegantly decorated rooms and a Michelin Star restaurant. With beautiful grounds to explore and easy access to places like Lake Bala, this is the ideal relaxing getaway.
  • The Pen-y-Gwryd hotel is not only a charming example of British hospitality but it’s also of great historical significance. The property has had guests like Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay who stayed here during their Everest training. Enjoy the Tales From The Smoke Room event which gives you a look into the history of the hotel or take a stroll around the grounds before you relax in the bar which boasts a gorgeous fireplace.
  • Try Afon Rhaiadr for a complete luxury experience in Dolgellau. This stunning hotel boasts beautifully manicured grounds, a restaurant, super comfortable rooms, and plenty of areas to kick back and relax. Its location means you’re within easy access to attractions such as Cymer Abbey and the Mawddach Trail.
  • The Trefeddian Hotel really does place you in the lap of luxury and there are also five self-catering cottages on site. With modern interiors, sea views, delicious restaurant menus, and a swimming pool and spa, you really will have everything you need.
  • If you’re looking for a hostel over a hotel then there are several YHA properties within the Snowdonia National Park. These provide guests with affordable yet comfortable accommodation and are a great choice for people who want something simple as a base.

Holiday Cottages & Lodges

All over the Snowdonia landscape, you’ll find pretty holiday cottages and cozy lodges that are perfect for a relaxing and more private holiday. Some of the best locations for these cottages include Betws-y-Coed, Dolgellau, and Llanberis. While there are hundreds to choose from, let’s take a look at some of my top picks.

  • In Bala, you’ll find Ty’r Afon which is a charming little cottage with beautiful gardens. Located on the river, you’ll have great access to angling as well as a whole host of hiking and biking trails. The seaside town of Llandudno is just a stone’s throw away if you fancy some beach activity with the family.
  • If you’re looking for a base that puts you within easy reach of Snowdon and the Mountain Railway then Eithin Bach may be just the answer. This cottage boasts a contemporary interior with facilities like WiFi and a fully equipped kitchen; it really is a home from home.
  • For group holidays, I’d recommend nowhere more highly than this beautiful holiday let in Porthmadog. Sleeping up to 11 guests and boasting a modern interior, this house allows pets and has beautiful mountain views. Snowdon is around a 22 miles (35 km) drive so it’s ideally placed for day trips and the local town features a beach, shops, and excellent places to eat and drink.
  • Snowdon Snug, which tells you everything you need to know about this gorgeous holiday let, is located in the heart of Snowdonia National Park in Llanberis. With immediate access to Snowdon and the Mountain Railway, it’s the perfect base for outdoor adventures. It boasts a fully fitted modern kitchen, WiFi, and private parking as well as glorious views as far as the eye can see.

Camping, Caravanning, & Glamping

I have always said that there is no better way to enjoy Snowdonia National Park than by waking up right in the thick of things. Whether you’re looking for a remote camping experience, a family caravan park, or a luxury glamping pod, there are a wealth of options to choose from.

Keep in mind that many of the campsites in Snowdonia fill up quickly, especially in summer so it’s worth booking well in advance to avoid disappointment.

What I really love about this type of accommodation is that it’s one of the most eco-friendly. That said, there are many hotels, hostels, and lodges that aim to support sustainable tourism so keep an eye out for those too.

  • The National Trust-owned Hafod-y-Llan campsite at the base of Snowdon is an ideal spot for people who want to make the most of the hiking and cycling trails within the area. This is a small campsite with 35 pitches and provides easy access to the Cwm Llan river and boasts amenities such as showers and laundry.
  • Llechwedd Glamping offers cozy cabins with a truly rustic charm right in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. Located in Blaenau Ffestiniog, you’re within easy reach of attractions like Portmeirion and Mount Snowdon.
  • Bryn Gloch campsite sits at the base of Snowdon and is great for people looking for outdoor adventures. There are 200 pitches here for tents, caravans, and motorhomes and the rugged surroundings give you a truly wild experience. Being a five-star campsite, you can expect cleanliness, peace, and there are even some shepherd’s huts on site for those that want a more luxurious stay.
  • Between March and November, Slate Mountain Glamping offers cozy lodges nestled in the hills between Betws-y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog. Perfectly placed for taking advantage of hiking trails, you’ll be able to return to your pod after a long day to a hot shower and comfortable bed.
  • In Porthmadog, you’ll find the Garreg Goch Caravan Park which, with its coastal location offers the best chance to explore the dramatic coastlines of Snowdonia National Park while still being within easy reach of the mountains. There are local activities like watersports, forest hikes, and beach exploration and the site also boasts a selection of glamping pods.

How to Get There?


As someone that has regularly traveled to Snowdonia, and many other parts of Wales by car, I strongly recommend this as a first option, where possible. This is because of the absolutely beautiful views you’ll experience on your journey that compare to nothing else in the UK.

Getting to Snowdonia by car takes around four hours from London but just two hours from places like Manchester and Liverpool. If you’re traveling from the Midlands, expect to be driving for between two and three hours, depending on which part you are coming from.

The main route into Snowdonia National Park is the A55 which starts at Junction 12 of the M53 at Chester.

When driving to Snowdonia, I would advise that you plan additional time for your journey as you’re sure to want to make a stop off along the way to admire the awe-inspiring views. Also be sure to check information such as where to park and any related fees before you travel.

Train & Bus

One of the easiest ways to get to Snowdonia National Park is via train. There are services from all over the country that will take you to the charming train station at Betws-y-Coed and, from here you can use local bus routes, such as the Snowdon Sherpa to take you to your final destination.

You can also take the train to Blaenau Ffestiniog which is steeped in industrial history and the line from here was originally constructed to transport slate out of the area.

The time it takes to get to Snowdonia will largely depend on where you’re traveling from and how many changes you need to make. From London, there are several daily services to Betws-y-Coed, some of which have a single change while others can have up to four. Typically speaking, you can expect to be traveling for around three to four hours.

If you’re using public transportation during a stay at Snowdonia then you may wish to purchase the Snowdonia Travel Pass which is a more affordable way to use train and bus services.


For those coming from further afield, you’ll want to book a flight to Manchester or Liverpool John Lennon Airport, both of which are within a couple of hours’ drive of the national park. Both airports also provide international flights, so are considered the gateway to Snowdonia for those coming from overseas.

Once you arrive in the UK, there are train services running from the airport which take you directly to the national park. For example, trains run from Manchester Airport several times a day to Betws-y-Coed but please keep in mind that this journey does include several changes and requires around five hours to complete.

Cycling & Hiking

Cycling and hiking are among some of the best ways to explore and enjoy Snowdonia National Park and there are many trails throughout the area. What’s more, if you’re able, cycling into the National Park provides you with an eco-friendly travel option. However, do keep in mind that this can be physically demanding and you will need to find bike-friendly accommodation.

For those that are local, there are several hiking trails that take you directly into the park including the Snowdonia Way trail. Not only does this long distance walk take you into the park but it also runs right the way through it.

As with cycling, note that hiking is a challenge and it’s important not to choose routes that are outside of your skill level.

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