An extraordinary National Park set on the west coast of Wales, Snowdonia has a unique and diverse landscape brimming with great things to do. And what better time to visit than spring, when the flowers are starting to bloom and adorable bleats from lambs echo through the valleys?
Boasting the highest peak in England and Wales, 823 square miles of land, quirky villages and rugged coastline, it is a fascinating place to explore. Whether you opt for a journey on the vintage steam railway or from the water in a canoe, explore Snowdonia your way this May half term with our handy guide on the best places to eat, the best spots to discover and the ultimate abode to return to at the end of the day.
Beautiful spots to explore:
Portmeirion: Undoubtedly one of Snowdonia’s most famous attractions, this stunning coastal village was created by architect Clough William-Ellis between 1925 and 1976. Stunning architecture rises from exotic woodland, offering numerous walks and romantic vistas.
Barmouth: Another extraordinary settlement in Snowdonia. With a long sandy beach and mountain views, Barmouth can be found straddling the beautiful Mawddach estuary. The town offers everything for the perfect vintage seaside holiday with a twist. You really must see it to believe the true wonder of this other-worldly setting.
Brilliant activities to try:
For the adrenaline junkie: if you’re a confident cyclist and fancy pedalling with a view, then Snowdonia is the perfect spot for some mountain biking fun. But to really step it up a notch, why not try a bit of white-water rafting through the Tryweryn River or strap yourself in and experience the longest zip line in Europe at Penrhyn Quarry. Nothing quite beats soaring like a bird at over 100 mph!
For the perfect family day out: Bounce Below in the Llechwedd slate caverns is like something from a childhood dream! In a stunning, other-worldly cave setting lie three trampolines for all the family to enjoy. And when you’re done bouncing around in the dark, head outside to the Welsh edition of Total Wipeout where you can not only burn some serious calories but laugh your way to a six pack!
For some further activity inspiration, why not check out our ’16 screen-free things to do in Wales’ blog too?
Exceptional cuisine to taste:
To fuel the climb: Tucked away among mountains and valleys are Snowdonia's first-class cafes, pubs and eateries. There's no shortage of eateries with a view, but it's well worth stopping at Caffi Gwynant for a meal before or after you climb Mount Snowdon. With the backdrop of Wales' iconic mountain peak, tuck into a hearty breakfast or lunch at the café, including everything from smashed avocado on toast to a full Welsh breakfast.
For fine dining and local ingredients: Signatures Restaurant is the perfect choice! Set on the North Wales coast, expect decadent dishes such as duo of Welsh beef with horseradish pomme puree, and root vegetable gratin in red wine jus, or trio of Welsh lamb with a carrot and swede parcel and fondant potato.
For traditional taste: Ty Gwyn is a former coaching inn set deep in a valley in Snowdonia. Expect local favourites such as grilled Pen Loyn Farm lamb fillet with brie, asparagus and Parma ham or fresh steam Conwy mussels smothered in garlic parsley and white burgundy sauce.
Stunning homes to return to:
For when all the adventuring has been done, we have a stunning selection of properties that are perfect for resting tired feet.
Geeler House is in 500 acres of farmland with stunning ancient woodland, mountains, lakes and unrivalled views. Close to the gateway of Snowdonia National Park you can discover waterfalls, river pools and hilltop lakes and enjoy walking, climbing, cycling and canoeing right on your doorstep. This stunning home exudes period charm with quirky staircases, exposed beams and stone filling the cosy interior. The multiple roaring fireplaces throughout this home are the perfect spot for relaxing after a day outdoors and the five bedrooms mean no family member or friend need be left behind.
The Long House is just 24 miles from the iconic peak of Mount Snowdon. Its idyllic location almost halfway down Snowdonia National Park makes it perfect for exploring the entire region. This delightful cottage can be found on the Llyn Peninsula, most appealing to nature lovers and active families. A traditional Welsh long house, it has a huge country garden to relax in, leading down to meadows and River Erch. Wind down on the super comfy sofas and tuck into a hearty home-cooked meal in the spacious kitchen.
Cappele Cottage is a stunning romantic home nestled away in a beautiful Welsh valley. Perfect for smaller groups, this two-bedroom abode is close to the adventure training mecca of Betws-y-Coed and the craft centric town of Ruthin – giving you the ability to experience excitement and culture. Close to idyllic restaurants and the fabulous Zip World Caverns there is something suitable around for all and involved and the brilliant enclosed garden means that even your four-legged friend can join you too!
If Snowdonia sounds like your perfect destination this May half term, explore all of our May half-term cottages to find the right break for you.