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12 Snowdonia activities to try holiday cottages

12 Snowdonia activities to try

Sarah P 09 December 2020

Snowdonia has a growing reputation as the adventure capital of Europe, thanks to its exhilarating, one-of-a-kind attractions and incredible landscape that is perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, solo explorer or an adventurous family, there are a plethora of activities in Snowdonia that are calling out for you to give them a try. From zip-lining through a quarry at 100mph, to climbing Wales’ highest mountain, here is the low-down on where to try the very best Snowdonia activities.

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Take a walking adventure 

With a network of walking routes for all abilities, walking is one of the most popular activities in Snowdonia, and keen ramblers will not be disappointed by the footpaths and trails on offer. The varied and rugged scenery offers gentle walks through the foothills of Snowdonia’s highest mountains, and along paths that meander beside peaceful lakes, rushing rivers, magical waterfalls, and miles of routes along the Welsh Coast Path. Varying in difficulty, you’ll find everything from family-friendly walks to challenging hikes that take you into the depths of the national park.

Top 3 Snowdonia walks 

Llyn Llydaw from Pen Y Pass – this easy route takes you into the mountains to Llyn Llydaw from the Pen y Pass with minimal effort, perfect if you don’t feel ready to tackle the highest heights.

Aber Falls - this easy 4-mile route takes you through enchanting woodland to the cascading waters of the impressive Aber Falls, towering above you at 120 feet high!

Llyn Ogwen - a beautiful 3-mile riverside walk to the glistening lake in the foothills of the Tryfan and Glyderau mountains, an opportunity to witness incredible views without the hike to the summit.

Try a mountain scramble

Home to the highest mountain in Wales, it goes without saying that thrill-seekers flock to the Snowdonia mountain range in search of heady heights and razor-edged rocks that will get the heart racing. While there are some easier routes, true mountaineers crave a challenge, and if you’re one of them, you won’t be disappointed by the mountain scrambles on offer! As well as popular peaks such as Cader Idris and Snowdon, you’ll also find lesser-known heights like Aran Fawddwy which leaves the crowds behind.

Top 3 mountain scrambles

Snowdon - the highest mountain in Wales offers six different paths to the summit, from the easiest tourist route along the Llanberis Path to the hardest, the Crib Goch scramble from Pen-y-Pass.

Aran Fawddwy - as one of the lesser-known mountains, it tends to be a long quieter on the ascent, taking hikers away from deep valleys and across streams and rocky landscape.

Tryfan - one for the daredevil inside you, Tryfan delivers some jaw-dropping scrambles and sheer drops, making these razor-edged rocks not for the fainthearted.

Explore by kayak or canoe

Kayaking or canoeing is one of Snowdonia’s activities that all generations can enjoy, and it offers a different perspective of the national park. There are numerous centres and activity providers where you can hire equipment, learn the basics or book a tour with a professional guide. Choose from a couple of hours on the water, or book half or full-day experiences, pulling up on the riverbanks to enjoy a picnic and spot some local wildlife.  

Top 3 kayaking in Snowdonia spots

Llyn Padarn, Llanberis - nestled at the foot of Mount Snowdon, the beautiful 2-mile long lake is a popular spot for several water sports, available to book through Snowdonia Watersports and Boulder Adventures.

Llyn Gwynant - although a great place to launch if you’re a seasoned kayaker or canoer, you can also hire equipment from Llyn Gwynant Campsite.

Barmouth - take on the extreme white waters of the River Mawddach or, for something more relaxed, you can enjoy sea kayaking on the Mawddach Estuary through Snowdonia Adventure Activities.

Give wild swimming a go

If you love adventure and the great outdoors, you’re likely to love the idea of wild swimming in Snowdonia! The undulating landscape of Snowdonia National Park offers plenty of safe lakes, gorges, and rivers among mountains and breathtaking scenery that are perfect for cooling off! With glass-like glistening waters and shallow spots where youngsters can paddle, there’s something invigorating about wild swimming in Snowdonia National Park.

Top 3 wild swimming spots in Snowdonia

Llyn Idwal and the Devil's Kitchen - a small freshwater lake hidden away in a remote location in the Glyderau mountain range – there is a 3-mile circular walk that takes you around the lake and past the Devil’s Kitchen. 

Watkin Path Waterfalls - a series of crystal-clear pools where you can cool off during a hike along the Watkin Path to the summit of Snowdon. 

Llyn Gwynant - a tranquil lake where you can swim in the shadows of the towering cliff on one slide and swim upon the sandy beach on the other - a great spot for families. 

Fuel the adrenaline with mountain biking

Are you a sucker for big climbs, jaw-dropping descents, and awesome scenery? Mountain biking in Snowdonia National Park is an adrenaline junkie’s dream with plenty of challenging trails, forest roads and single tracks that meander their way through spectacular scenery. It’s an activity in Snowdonia that is sure to get the heart racing!

Top 3 mountain bike trails in Snowdonia

Marin Trail - one for the thrill-seekers and the experience, this is a proper mountain biking trail with a combination of tight rocky tracks, open views, dark forests, and exposed ridgelines!

Beddgelert Forest - the 4km Bedwen Trail is a stunning tour of the Beddgelert Forest with fabulous views, some steep hills and uneven surfaces - a good place for less-experienced mountain bikers to have a go!

Coed y Brenin - home to the UK’s first and largest dedicated mountain trail centre, Coed y Brenin offers adrenaline-pumping tracks for experienced riders and intermediate trails for all abilities!

Take a more gentle cycle ride 


If you fancy something a little gentler and perhaps family-friendly, there are also plenty of easy cycle routes for all abilities that don’t involve hurtling cross-country at 20mph. A Snowdonia activity that takes it a little slower will allow you to soak up some of the incredible scenery you’ll find yourself passing through and, with many traffic-free and flat sections, the whole family can join in.

Top 3 cycling routes in Snowdonia


Mawdacch Trail - running along the disused railway from Dolgellau and Barmouth on the coast, this traffic-free route passes along the Mawddach Estuary below the foothills of Cadair Idris. 

Lon Las Peris - a very short route that runs from Llanberis along the shore of Lyn Padarn to the village of Brynrefail; this is a great traffic-free spot for youngsters to build up their confidence.  

Lon Las Ogwen - from Bangor to Llyn Ogwen, this 17km route is mostly traffic-free with incredible mountain views as you head alongside rivers and through quarries, with some inclines but plenty of flat sections too. 

Try stargazing

One of the most magical Snowdonia activities you can try during your stay is stargazing! Snowdonia National Park was honoured with International Dark Sky Status in 2015, and as one of the best Dark Sky Parks in Wales, it’s the place to go if you’re hoping to spot a shooting star or catch a glimpse of the Milky Way.

Top 3 places to stargaze in Snowdonia


Llyn Geirionydd – a stunning lake that sits above the town of Betws-y-Coed and becomes a popular hub of activity during the summer months; fall quiet as the stars make their appearance.

Llynnau Cregennen - see the stars from this pair of popular lakes in the foothills of Cader Idris, overlooked by the peaks of Tyrrau Mawr and Paren y Cefin Hir.  

Bwlch y Groes - one of the highest tarmacked passes in Wales, this stargazing point sits along this road linking Dinas Mawddwy and Llanuwchllyn.

Explore on on horseback with pony trekking 

Take to horseback for an alternative view of Snowdonia National Park. Pony trekking in Snowdonia is a fabulous way to head deep into the park along miles of traffic-free bridleways in the foothills of Snowdonia’s mountains and along its breathtaking coast. There are plenty of stables in Snowdonia where you can book leisurely treks that cater for all abilities, offering both taster sessions, and half and full-day experiences.

3 places to book pony trekking in Snowdonia

Challenge yourself white water rafting

 

Home to the National White Water Rafting Centre, you won’t find a better location in Wales to go white water rafting than right here in Snowdonia National Park. Experience the thrill of natural rapids on the River Tryweryn with a variety of exhilarating experiences available to book. Start small with a taster session, for a family-friendly rafting safari, or if you’re feeling extra-adventurous go all-in with a full session of 2 hours out on the water. Other white water rafting providers in Snowdonia include Adrenalin Addicts and Get Wet the Adventure Company.

Ride the world’s fastest zip wire

Image credit: Zip World on Instagram

 

Zip World is one of the top outdoor activities in North Wales, home to the fastest zip line in the world: ‘Velocity’. This exhilarating ride soars at 100mph, 1555 meters above Penrhyn Quarry with views like you’ve never seen before. Perfect for adrenaline junkies, this Snowdonia activity is one that will stay with you forever – the question is, are you feeling brave?

Bounce through caves

Image credit: Zip World on Instagram

 

Also based at Zip World, Bounce Below offers a huge underground net adventure that will have children and adults alike bouncing and sliding their way through a disused slate cavern, twice the size of St Paul’s Cathedral. A string of giant trampolines, nets, and slides provide a playground for thrill-seekers and fun lovers looking for exciting activities in Snowdonia.

Surf the manmade waves of Snowdonia

Image credit: paddle365 on Instagram

 

Yet another of Snowdonia’s most unique attractions, Surf Snowdonia is the world’s first inland surf lagoon with man-made waves in beginner, intermediate and advanced zones. This fun, family-friendly environment allows surfers of all ages to learn to surf, or to perfect their skills – a popular day out for those seeking thrilling outdoor activities in North Wales.

Book a cottage in Snowdonia

If the adventurer inside of you is raring to go, then it’s time to book a cottage in Snowdonia from which you can try a variety of Snowdonia adventure activities. We have plenty of cosy cottages hidden away in the national park for you to call home for a few days, whether it’s the two of you or the whole family.


Need some more inspiration? Our complete guide to Snowdonia National Park is all you need to plan a memorable stay in North Wales.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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