A week of walking through the mountains of North Wales. Snowdonia isn't just about Snowdon!
The hills of North Wales would take a lifetime to explore. You’ve heard of Snowdon, but what about the others? How about the Glyderau, the Arans, the Rhinogydd? Snowdonia is a huge area, with miles of trails through valleys that many walkers don’t get to. And until now there hasn’t been a long-distance trail to link them all together.
Launched this year with a new guidebook, the Snowdonia Way aims to change that. It’s a 97 mile route right through the National Park, from Machynlleth in the south, near Cadair Idris, all the way north past Snowdon to finish in Conwy.
The trail stays low-level, aiming for the valleys, forests and passes rather than the peaks, and therefore is accessible for people who love a long walk but want to admire the scenery from below. If you’re a seasoned long-distance walker, think of it as being like the West Highland Way.
There are many highlights of the route, which starts by going through the Dyfi Forest before rounding the great flanks of Cadair Idris and reaching the River Mawddach. From there it heads further north, passing through Coed y Brenin and the wilds of the central Snowdonian moors before dropping down into the Vale of Ffestiniog, where you glimpse the sands of Tremadoc Bay and the Irish Sea.
Beyond the flanks of the Moelwyns you’ll walk the Pass of Aberglaslyn, past Snowdon via Beddgelert, and enjoy a stunning few miles up the Nant Ffrancon, with its two lakes. Heading over the pass into Dolwyddelan, and Llewelyn the Great’s famous castle, you then turn north again to pass Moel Siabod and walk through the awe-inspiring Ogwen Valley. The final stage passes along the northern flanks of the great Carneddau mountains, with the sea on one side and rolling hills on the other.
The attraction of the route is not just the epic scenery but the stories and history that go with it. Welsh hills are soaked in myths and legends, from the bottomless pools of Cadair Idris to King Arthur’s final battle on Snowdon. There is also history in the landscape, with evidence of slate mining still dotting the landscape, and the old narrow-gauge railways weaving their way through the crags.
The route takes from 6 to 8 days to walk, and at the end of every stage there’s a town or village, perfect for those who also want to enjoy great accommodation. Large Outdoors will be running a fully guided and supported Snowdonia Way in September 2017 – and alongside the walking we’ll show you our favourite pubs and cafes on the route – an important part of Welsh hospitality!
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