If you live in the UK and want an active, picturesque weekend away, look no further than Snowdon in Wales.
It takes just over 4 hours to get to Snowdonia National Park from London by car. It would be longer, more expensive and more complicated getting there by train / bus. I recommend you hire a car for the duration of your trip if you don’t have one. You can rent one for 3 days (2 nights) from London for less than £150!
You have many different route options which vary in length but all take about 6 hours there and back. Here they are in order of difficulty, starting with the easiest…
- Llanberis Path – a long, gradual route to the summit
- Snowdon Ranger – straightforward and quite easy
- Miners Path – built as a route to carry copper until 1916 and remains from the work can still be seen today – therefore, the route isn’t too strenuous
- Rhyd Ddu Path – quite straightforward
- Pyg Track – this is the one I opted for – not a massively difficult route but requires some steep climbs and quite rough under foot
- Snowdon South Ridge – has a quieter path which involves some sections of scrambling
- Watkin Path – physically demanding especially in the final section
- Crib Goch – by far the toughest route due to its knife-edge
Crib Goch means ‘red ridge’ in Welsh! It’s not for the faint hearted (someone had to be air-lifted from Crib Goch when I was there). It’s the site of many accidents (a lot are fatal), and should not be tackled by novice walkers.
I saw a few people attempting to climb Snowdon in flip-flops and a t-shirt which didn’t look fun! I would bring…
- Walking boots
- Layers – it can be cold but you’ll warm up quickly on some of the steeper climbs! Best have items you can take off one by one! Fleece jackets, thick trousers
- Good socks
- Hat & gloves especially in winter
- Waterproofs – check the weather
- Sun cream / sunglasses in the summer
- Sweets & biscuits to keep you going! There’s a cafe at the top but it’s very busy and expensive so should probably be avoided! If you’re a particularly hungry person, it’s probably wise to pack some other snacks / small meals too
- Plasters – just in case anything is rubbing
- Backpack – for your layers, food and water
Of course, there are plenty of other mountains to climb in Snowdon of varying sizes and difficulties. I’m a novice, but if you’re skilled you can scramble and tackle some interesting climbs until your heart’s content.
Where to stay?
If you’re planning on hiking for the whole trip then it’s probably a wise idea to stay in Snowdonia. I booked the trip quite late and there were no rooms available at any accommodation in the National Park – space is limited so make sure you book in advance. Many people camp in the park, but I’m not sure what the rules are in regards to this so may be worth researching.
I stayed in Llandudno which was a 45 minute drive from Snowdon. The Grand Hotel certainly wasn’t amazing (cheap and cheerful) but right on the pier at a cost of £125 for 2 nights. You’d probably find somewhere cosier on AirBnb.
In Llandudno you can stroll along the pier, throw pebbles into the sea on the gorgeous beach (if the weather is nice) and enjoy delicious fish and chips! I looked online at ‘things to do in Llandudno‘ and there’s also a cable car & tramway which might be worth checking out if you have the time.
If you have the time, I would suggest a drive to Conwy Town which is just 15 minutes away! It’s a world heritage site with a thirteenth-century castle as its focal point.
You can walk the town walls to enjoy great views. It has a cute harbour where I ate the best fish and chips ever! Watch out for the cheeky seagulls though as I nearly lost my lunch. If you have longer than a couple of hours to explore, you can find more things to do in Conwy here.
Snowdonia and the surrounding areas are stunning and well worth a visit 🙂