The UK has some truly spectacular National Parks and if you’re like me, you’ll be keen to get out there, get some fresh air and see as many of them as possible in all of their natural splendour.
I love hiking. Always have, and always will. It’s a great way to get some exercise, let off some steam, relax, unwind, and get out and about amongst nature. Whereas I do love a city break, if I had the choice between living in a city, or out in the countryside, the countryside would win every single time.
Because of this, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some of the UK’s most stunning National Parks, and I can honestly say that Snowdonia in Wales, is up there with the absolute best, and is the ultimate hiking destination.
But exactly what is it about Snowdonia that makes it so special? Let’s take a look, shall we?
Here are se7en reasons why Snowdonia is a must-see National Park.
If you thought you’d seen beautiful countryside and panoramic vistas, just wait until you see what Snowdonia National Park has to offer.
The views here are amazing, even from land as you’re treated to more greenery than you could possibly imagine.
For truly amazing photo ops to bump up those likes on Instagram, though, just make your way up to the higher ground and the views will be out of this world.
The hiking routes
If you’re into your hiking, you simply must visit Snowdonia, like, now, right this minute!
Okay, maybe not right this minute, but very soon.
Snowdonia is the ultimate National Park for people with a keen interest in hiking. It is home to rugged moors, farmland, rolling hills, meadows, forests, and of course, mountains, including the daddy of them all – Snowdon.
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and there are six different hiking trails that you can follow to reach its summit. Make no mistake about it, though, Snowdon is far from easy and is not for beginners.
The route is treacherous and the weather conditions often make it worse.
Providing you come prepared, are experienced, and know what you’re doing, however, the hiking trails in Wales are amongst the best you could ever long for.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Yes, I know I’ve blabbed on and on about hiking in Snowdonia, but what about if you don’t particularly enjoy hiking, or simply want to try something different to pass the time? Well, don’t worry, because Snowdonia has got you covered.
The Snowdon Mountain Railway, for example, is a fantastic day out and is a far easier and more relaxing way to reach the summit of Snowdon.
This is a unique railway in that it is the only track and pinion railway in the UK, with trains running regularly and offering amazing views. There’s even a newly opened visitor centre to enhance your experience.
Just be aware that adverse weather conditions can shut down the trains for safety reasons.
When in Snowdonia, the stunning town of Betws-y-coed (pronounced BET-uhss uh Coyd, not Betsy Co-ed) should definitely be checked out as it is a stunning little place nestled in the mountains, surrounded by trees and offering amazing scenery.
Not only is the townhome to a gorgeous church, but it’s also a stone’s throw away from Swallow Falls.
Swallow Falls is an amazing selection of waterfalls which are open all year long, with very cheap admission that is most certainly well worth paying.
These waterfalls look amazing and they and their surroundings are home to a diverse array of wildlife and will offer you the opportunity to snap some fantastic pictures.
Though the falls are open all year round, I personally, suggest that you visit in the summer when the sun is hopefully shining. If you do decide to visit in December, don’t blame me if you wind up suffering from hypothermia.
How many of you have ever day-dreamed about ziplining over an abandoned slate quarry?
Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say, but for the adrenaline junkies amongst you who are looking for the ultimate thrill experience, Zip World in Snowdonia is well worth a visit.
Zip World is home to the world’s fastest zip line in the world ‘Velocity 2’ whereby individuals can zipline more than 500 metres above a disused quarry and bright blue lake at speeds which can surpass 100mph.
The views at the top are spectacular, and the adrenaline rush that you experience afterwards will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.
There are also smaller zip lines and more laidback thrill experiences is you can’t quite stomach Velocity 2. If you can, however, it’ll be an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Snowdonia isn’t just forests, mountains, hills, and moorland, it’s also home to some fantastic beaches and stretches of coastline.
Home to over 200 miles of coast, both sandy and rocky, along with a whopping 25 beaches, if you do want a quintessentially British seaside holiday, why not get yourself over to Snowdonia?
Shell Island, which is located near to Harlech, is home to more shells than you could ever imagine, along with sand dunes and amazing sea views.
For a truly unique seaside experience, however, you need to check out Porth Oer, also called ‘Whistling Sands’ due to the fact that the sand beneath your feet literally squeaks as you walk upon it. It’s really quite bizarre but a whole lot of fun.
The National Slate Museum
Finally, the last reason to pack your things and head over to Snowdonia is the fact that it is home to the National Slate Museum.
This museum is dominated by imposing slate mountains and is located at the site of an original Victorian Engineering Workshop in the Dinorwid Slate Quarry.
The museum paints an incredibly informative picture of the history of North Wales’ slate industry.
Open year-round, you can marvel at a functioning water wheel, see fully furnished Quarrymen’s houses, and even see live slate-splitting demonstrations.
Now that you‘ve seen the ultimate UK national park, are you ready for a hike? I know I am!
Until next time stay safe, stay curious and don’t stop wandering!