A holiday in Snowdonia offers the sort of diversity for which many would travel far and wide, for Snowdonia is more than just a mountain.
Lying in the north west of Wales, Snowdonia covers over 800 square miles of snow-covered mountains, tumbling valleys of green, and nearly 40 miles of coastline.
In 1951 it became the first of Wales’s trio of designated National Parks, and just the third in Britain at the time, following the Peak District and the Lake District. Pulling in over 6 million visitors every year, it is the third most-visited and second largest National Park in Britain.
Straddling the counties of Gwynedd and Conwy, Snowdonia boasts a unique landscape. Nine sprawling mountain ranges cover over half of the Park and, although there really is more to it than simply being a playground for outdoor fiends, the shadow of Mount Snowdon looms large.
Snowdon is Britain’s second highest peak. Anyone fancying a crack at it will be following in famous footsteps - Sir Edmund Hilary’s training for his Everest conquest took place here.
There are seven routes to Snowdon’s summit, from the easiest - the Llanberis Path (Tourist Path) - to the toughest, Crib Goch, a serious climb for serious climbers. An eighth route exists in the shape of the remarkable Snowdon Mountain Railway. Let the train take the strain as you trundle all the way up to the very summit.
Whichever path you opt to take, it’s likely you’ll be in grave need of refreshment once you’ve reached the summit, which is perhaps just as well...
In the summer of 2009 a new £8.4m visitor centre and café opened at Snowdon’s very pinnacle. Designed to blend in with the surroundings and to withstand extremes of inclement weather, the centre is open twelve hours a day – 8 ‘til 8 - and gives visitors a chance to learn more about the mountain they’ve just conquered.
It’s not often you can climb a mountain in the morning (allow about five hours in all to get up and down Snowdon) and spend the afternoon lying on a nearby beach, but Snowdonia affords us that opportunity. With shores of the sandy and pebbly variety, including Blue Flag beaches, some of Wales’s finest seafronts can be found here.
Many visitors are still enticed to Snowdonia by its misty and mystical image of a region of folklore and fairytales. Its many castles chronicle tales of Kings Arthur and Edward, where history, myths and magic abound. Warring dragons, elfin harpists and jousting giants are just the tip of the iceberg.
An iconic part of the Welsh culture and tradition, these legends are celebrated at the National Eisteddfod, a festival which attracts almost 200,000 visitors annually. The 2010 renewal takes place between July 31st and August 7th.
With just 26,000 or so residents dotted around the entire region, Snowdonia is a wide open space of fresh Welsh air – be it rarefied mountain air or the fresh, briny atmosphere of the coast. Come and breathe it in for yourself.
Let's Stay Snowdonia offers holiday accommodation throughout Snowdonia and North Wales, including hotels, B&B and self catering in Snowdonia.
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