You can easily get the train to Snowdonia, no matter what part of the UK you’re coming from. The North Wales Coast Line from Crewe to Holyhead connects you to Bangor at the north-western edge of the park and Llandudno, where you can get the Conwy Valley Line down through the park as far as Blaenau Ffestiniog. The Cambrian Line from Shrewsbury sweeps along the southern edge of the park and up the coast to Porthmadog, offering spectacular views and plenty of access points to start exploring Snowdonia’s attractions. Trains to these stations are run by Transport for Wales.
The rugged, mountainous terrain of Snowdonia makes for a fantastic day of exploring - on foot or by bike. Add in award-winning restaurants and pubs, watersports activities and more, Snowdonia is a great place to visit for the entire family. Take a look at the official website for the park for more information on visiting.
Snowdonia National Park is named for Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales standing at 3,560ft. The area's dramatic mountain ranges are definitely worth shouting about, but it's not just the peaks that make this national park so special. There are also 60 miles of coastline, stunning waterfalls, rolling green valleys, peaceful woodlands and wide, wildlife-rich estuaries. Add to all that the famous mountain railways and it's easy to see why Snowdonia attracts over six million visitors a year.
If you're looking for a challenge, Snowdon itself will be difficult to resist: Llanberis is the place to start your ascent on the highest peak, and in the summer months you'll find a little cafe at the summit. Alternatively, get mountain biking at the renowned Coed-y-Brenin centre, fly high on Europe's longest and fastest zipline at Penrhyn Quarry, or ride the Olympic-grade rapids on the Tryweryn River at Bala. History-lovers should make a point of squeezing in a trip to Harlech Castle, a formidable 13th century fortification whose majestic turrets loom high above the beautiful Harlech beach. And just up the coast is the intriguing Italianate fantasy village of Portmeirion, made famous by cult TV show The Prisoner.
A little-known gem in Gwynedd - in the north-western corner of the park - is the Snowden Mountain Railway, a heritage service which takes you most of the way up Mount Snowden. You'll journey across rivers and through mountainous valleys on a narrow gauge diesel locomotive to Clogwyn station, enjoying panoramic views along the way.
Please note that the service does not go all the way to the summit of Snowden as it is not possible to practice safe social distancing in the summit building, Hafod Eryri. The traditional steam service will also not be running, but the diesel service will be operating as normal. Masks are compulsory in the station and compartments on the carriage have been set up to allow for social distancing inside.
Prices for return tickets start at £18 for children and £25 for adults. The return journey to Clogwyn (about three-quarters of the way up the mountain) takes 2 hours, with a half-hour break at the station. There is a £3.50 service charge for booking tickets online, and visitors are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes before departure to collect their tickets.
Our very own travel editor, Tim Dunn, created this time-lapse of his journey on the Snowden Mountain Railway to show you exactly what's in store on this stunning heritage line.
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