What makes Snowdonia national park the best in the UK (in our opinion at least)? Scotland has bigger mountains, the Brecon Beacons is often quieter and the Lake District has more cafes! Many people think solely of Snowdon itself when considering a mountain walking trip in Snowdonia, but little do they know Eryri has a huge variety of mountains and crags all within an hour’s drive of some lovely towns and villages!
Forget the Llanberis track up Snowdon, The Glyderau and Carneddau, Rhinogau, Moelwyns and others all are home to enough walking and scrambling to last a lifetime. There’s a reasonArete Outdoor Centres mountain and climbing instructors choose to live where they do! The mountains are so accessible in fact; we often get out after work in the evenings for a scramble or walk, with the added bonus of a fantastic sunset.
Snowdonia really does have everything you could possibly want as a mountain walker; fantastic views of picturesque valleys right through to exposed ridges with a truly ‘alpine’ feel. Starting your day at Arete Outdoor Centre, just outside the popular village of Llanberis, you can find yourself within hours in a totally wild place. This could be at the back of Cwm Idwal, a nature reserve famous for its unique flora and fauna, carved into its dramatic bowl shape by a glacier during the last Ice age. Alternatively, after a fifteen minute drive and a short walk in, you can be standing of the magnificent Crib Goch. This is the super atmospheric ‘knife edge’ ridge, which provides one of the finest routes to the top of Snowdon, a must do for any budding scrambler. Of course if you’re new to scrambling, we’d suggest taking part in a scrambling course, to build your confidence and improve your skills.
Here is our top 5 ‘to do’ list for mountain walking in Snowdonia:
• MoelSiabod – a quieter mountain, with options to walk or scramble (via the DaerDdu ridge 1) to the top giving great views of the adjacent Snowdon and Gylders.
• Cnicht – at 689m Cnicht isn’t the biggest mountain, but it’s fantastic views and peaceful slopes make it a must do.
• Y Garn – Located in the Glyderau, the walk up Y Garn will take you through some beautiful scenery. We recommend heading up The Devils Kitchen, a huge cleft in an ancient rock face.
• The Nantlle ridge – Not as vast or as rocky as the mighty Cuilin, but the Nantlle ridge is one of Snowdonia’s best kept secrets! This walk, with views of the Snowdon Massif and the coast is best done as an A to B trip.
• The Snowdon Horseshoe – An essential tick for any mountain lover. Its worth starting early to beat the crowds, a sun rise on Crib Goch is worth getting up early for!
We think mountain walking Snowdonia is the best in the UK, but don’t just take our word for it.