Hiking Mt Snowdon – a Weekend Guide
As road-trips go, driving to Snowdonia has got to be up there as one of the most picturesque in the UK. The deeper we got into the heart of the national park, the more awe-struck we became with the stunning scenery of craggy peaks, tranquil lakes that shimmered in the warm glow of the setting sun and rolling hills as far as the horizon. We couldn’t have felt further away from our starting point of London – and it felt amazing.
We could have spent weeks exploring the wild beauty of Snowdonia, but as we just had a few days, we focused on the main event: hiking Mt Snowdon – the roof of Wales at a soaring 3,560ft above sea level.
Hiking Mt Snowdon: the route
There are six routes up Snowdon of varying difficulty, but we settled on the Miner’s Track, which starts at Pen-Y-Pass. As we had never hiked there before, we opted for a guide as we didn’t fancy getting lost in the case of bad weather (given my questionable sense of direction, very likely.). As it happened, we couldn’t have been luckier with an absolute stunner of a day. Apparently it was one of the clearest days they had had in a long time!
The hike took us along the old miners’ track, built to carry copper from the Britannia Copper Works near Llyn Glaslyn to Pen y Pass. One of the easier routes up the mountain, it just has several steep sections as you approach the summit. You just have to watch your footing carefully – especially as you take in the incredible panoramas of sharp peaks and deep valleys dotted with lakes.
It took a couple of hours to reach the summit, where the wind picked up and the temperature drops several degrees (I can imagine on a colder day it would have been absolutely freezing!). Like us, many others had made the most of the amazing weather and the summit was packed, as was the cafe where we huddled to get warm with a coffee. The views were spectacular from every angle and as our guide pointed out, it was so clear that they stretched as far as Ireland.
If you don’t fancy the trudge, you can also hop on the vintage Snowdonia Mountain Railway, which has been chugging its way up the peak from Llanberis since 1896.
The way down was more gradual and took us through farmland, before eventually reaching our starting point, where we had parked at Llanberis. After the hike, we had a nice cold drink on our minds, so we made our way back to the idyllic Snowonidan village of Beddelegert where we were staying, which looks straight out of a postcard with its picturesque location on the river Colwyn and cosy pubs. Here, we demolished a delicious meal and some well-deserved wine at Hebog cafe as we soaked up the last of the summer evening warmth.
Where to stay: Forest Holidays Beddgelert
Perfectly-located in Beddgelert, and just a 20-minute drive from Pen-Y-Pass – the starting point for most Snowdonia treks – you’ll find Forest Holidays Beddgelert. With 16 cabins of various sizes, our little home away from home was a Golden Oak cabin and we quickly fell in love with it. With one master bedroom with en-suite, and two twin rooms, there was oodles of space. I loved the fact that in the master, you were given robes and slippers too!
Tucked away in its picturesque leafy setting, our Scandi-style cabin really made the most of the setting with its large wall-length windows, al fresco dining area and – the best of all – our own private hot tub. After a long day’s hiking, soaking in the tub with a glass of wine (for hours!) was utterly blissful.
The cabin really did have everything we needed, but it was also great to have facilities on-site a short walk away, especially in the morning when we needed to pick up some hiking essentials (and a much-needed coffee) from the shop. There’s a bakehouse for warm rolls too and, although we ate out, you can even order dinner and have it delivered. Perfect if you’re making the most of the log-burning stove and cosiness of the cabin after a long day’s exploring.
* Stays at Forest Holidays Beddgelert are from £655 for a 3-night break (minimum stay) based on up to four sharing a Two Bedroom Silver Birch Cabin. Book via www.coolplaces.co.uk.