Thinking of heading on a walking trip to North wales? This will convince you!
Of all the famous walking destinations in Britain, it is perhaps Snowdonia that has the greatest mix of history, myth and legend. Encompassing the mountains, rivers and coast of north-west Wales, the area is blessed with outdoor opportunities for all abilities, meaning someone can easily plan to go there on their first walk, but there are also challenges for the best climbers in the country.
One reason for this is the huge difference between the rugged, pointy and generally impressive mountains, and the plethora of woodlands and deep valleys. With hundreds of low level walking options and a new long-distance trail winding its way up the whole Park, there really is something for everyone, which is one of the reasons we go there so much!
Created as one of Britain’s first National Parks in 1951, people have been coming to Snowdonia to study botany and geology, and to go mountaineering, for hundreds of years. Alongside these activities, there are thousands of people who call the area home. Over the years, Snowdonia has seen the rise and fall of mining industries including slate and copper, the growth of forestry, and the presence of farmed sheep on the hills for at least 300 years.
Hundreds of years ago, when Wales was a separate princedom to England, the mountains of Snowdonia were the power base of the great Welsh Princes. We often walk past their old castles, such as Dolbadarn and Dolwyddelan, and it is easy to see with the mountains soaring above why these were such good defensive positions.
With such a rich history and culture, it is not surprising that North Wales, and especially Snowdonia, is the heartland of many of our national myths. King Arthur appears often, from the supposed site of his death high on the south side of Snowdon, to one of the rumoured resting places of Excalibur in Llyn Ogwen. We also meet Merlin, delivering the prophecy of the two dragons on Dinas Emrys, and hear of the defeat of the legendary beast the Afanc, and the giant Rhita Gawr.
Having such deep history and myth makes walking here more than just putting one foot in front of the other. Whether you are heading up one of Snowdon’s nine paths or taking a stroll along the beach near Harlech, there is something in the landscape to excite. And of course there are the creatures who we share the National Park with, the birds of prey and secretive small mammals, and the wildflowers hiding on the ledges high on the mountains.
Our reasons for visiting Snowdonia are broad, so whether you are here to summit a major peak such as Snowdon or Cadair Idris, take a closer look at the landscape on our Hidden Snowdonia weekend, or perhaps try your hand at water-sports, you’ll soon see what makes this land so special.
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