Take on the highest climb on Snowdon
DurationSingle Day Event
Difficulty Level3 Three
As the highest mountain in England & Wales, walking to the summit of Snowdon is a fantastic day in the hills and a challenging journey. Joining one of our guided groups, where you’ll meet fellow walkers and hear all about the history of the mountain, is the best way to do it. For this walk we’ll be taking Watkin’s path, on the quieter southern side of Snowdon.
The Watkins Path
Our journey starts in Nantgwynant, the beautiful valley south of Snowdon, filled with woodlands, and with the sleepy Glaslyn River winding its way through farmland and between small craggy hills. This path is the only one up Snowdon that begins in a woodland, and we have a few minutes of peace as we head through it, listening to the sound of birdsong before committing ourselves to the climb ahead.
The track then leads up into the vast glacial valley of Cwm Llan, and although there are some uphill sections, these first miles are relatively easy underfoot. We can admire the crags of Y Lliwedd above us while passing next to the waterfalls of the Afon Cwm Llan.
In Cwm Llan itself we pass Gladstone Rock, where British Prime Minister Gladstone opened Watkin’s path and then began a walk up it at the ripe old age of 89. We’ll also see the remains of the slate mines that were once active in this valley, where hundreds of men were employed to dig out the valuable rock used for roofing and building materials all over the world.
The summit of Snowdon soon becomes visible, and after reaching the slate mines, our track becomes a path and winds its way steeply up to the Bwlch y Saethau, one of the mythological places King Arthur was killed.
After a brief respite along some level ground, with views of the ridge of Crib Goch to the north, we begin the final pull up to the summit, over sometimes loose ground on a narrow path. This is definitely a time for concentration, when our guides will be able to give you a helping hand if you need it.
After drinking in the summit views, stretching from the north coast all the way down to Mid-Wales and sometimes even west all the way to Ireland, we’ll have plenty of time for photographs and congratulations before the descent.
For our descent we have a few options depending on the weather and how you’ve found the walk so far. We can either descend the south ridge, which includes some minor scrambling and allows us to see the brilliant ridge of Bwlch Main, or perhaps take the Miner’s path down to Pen-y-Pass before getting the bus back to Nantgwynant. Either way, we’ll see a different side of Snowdon on the way down and then head to a local café for a well-deserved celebration!
Where to meet your guide
Meeting place – This is a pay and display car park, please only park in the marked bays. The post code is for the Gwynant Cafe.
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What our members have to say...
I have attended Large Outdoors weekends for the last two years , achieving many challenges in the British countryside. Every weekend has been very well organised, in beautiful locations, wonderful walks, nutritious food with lovely people.
I have learned new skills and gained confidence in the outdoors from the mountain leaders. I thoroughly enjoy every weekend and always look forward to the next.Elizabeth BrooksMember Since 2014
Since my first Large Outdoors weekend I have rediscovered my love for the countryside, met so many great people and had a whole lot of fun. I've sailed around the Inner Hebrides on a luxurious yacht, climbed the 3 national peaks Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafel Pike, danced my socks off at the Halloween and New Year celebrations and fallen in love with the beautiful Isle of Skye. Every trip has been amazing fun and I have met so many lovely people and made friends for life. Cheers Large Outdoors!Karen RobertsMember Since 2012
I love the concept of the Large Outdoors weekends and I like to have at least one or two booked for the future, to have something to look forward to. A weekend trip finds me visiting some fabulous parts of the country: Northumberland, Dorset, Brecon Beacons, Lake District, North York Moors... hills, mountains, moors and coast - all well covered by the amazing choice of locations to pick from, with decent (or lovely!) accommodation, great food and qualified walk leaders. They're also very good value.Sue LangfordMember since 2008
I have been joining Large Outdoors on their outdoor adventures for many years now. I wasn’t always an active person and as a self-confessed city dweller I never thought I would appreciate so much of what is on offer when you leave the suburbs behind you. Large Outdoors has not only made me appreciate what natural beauty is on our door step, it has also given me the confidence to challenge myself and see things differently.Shad EverettMember since 2009
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience from beginning to end. The host Kendra was very welcoming upon arrival at the youth hostel, all walkers and climbers were friendly and we got on great as a group. The home cooked food was amazing and the idea of 'kitchen angels' worked really well. The rock climbing instructor and his son were brilliant and helped us all, providing constant guidance and encouragement.Penny GraingerMember Since 2016