It was spontaneous. We decided to go just a few days before, and to leave on the Friday, just after work, direction: Snowdonia National Park in Wales.
Overcrowded camping? Grey sky? Busy trail? Who cares! The majesty of the scenery, the fresh air of the outdoors and the smell of the mountains was just what we needed for the week-end break, far from from London life. Sometimes it is just about getting out there in the wild… and enjoying a good beer at the end of the day :-).
Made it to the mountains… Happy!
Hiking Mount Snowdon
Snowdonia National Park is covered with hiking paths. For our first visit and given our limited time, we decided to follow the most famous of all and climb mount Snowdon. With a summit at 1085m (3,560 ft for our imperial friends), it is the highest point of the flat British Islands outside of Scotland. Though Sir Hillary trained in these mountains before his 1953 Mount Everest ascent, many paths are accessible to the casual hiker or families – given that you carry appropriate equipment and that the conditions are good.
We decided to opt for a loop , going to the top of mount Snowdon via the Pyg track and down via the Llanberis path. Both of them are gradual, with no major difficulties or exposition to the edge.
On the way up via the Pyg track you get impressive views of Mount Snowdon and the surrounded mountains (700m ascent). More than 10 hiking paths meet at the top and there is also an old steamed train bringing tourists from the valley to the summit, so the top can get over crowded on week-ends but the hike is still a pleasant experience. On your way down, you are over-looking the valley, the town of Llanberis and the reservoir (850m descent).
For a taster of what it is to hike Mount Snowdon, watch the mini film of our welsh micro adventure.
Make it happen – Micro adventure in Snowdonia National Park
- Be ready for the 4 season sin one day: water, sun cream, and rain jacket
- Wear good hiking shoes – you won’t believe what shoes people hike it…
- Don’t for get cash, cards are not widely accepted. You will need change for the parking
Having your own heels will make your trip much more enjoyable, at least to get to your base.
In the hiking season a service of bus “Snowdon sherpa” liaise the main parkings around the National Park. This enables you to hike one way up and another down. Check routes and timetable on the park official website
There are dozens of ways to go to top of mount Snowdon. Check the highly useful blog Walk Up Snowdon
to choose yours, and don’t forget a map.
We left the car at the Nant Peris parking, took the bus to the start of the Pyg Track and walk down to Nant Peris via the Llanberis path (15km, 6h30 with breaks). You can take the bus from Llanberis to shorten it a bit.
Eat like the locals
Drive to quiet coast town of Criccieth and queue up with the locals to get a fish and chips at Castle fish and chips (one of the best in UK according to some!). As weird as it may sound, the long queue is to order take away, you can skip it if you eat in!
Have more time?
Kayaking on the sea side of the National Park would have been lovely… but we didn’t had time for it!
The small town of Criccieth on a summer afternoon (Snowdonia National Park in the background).