This 30km tour of Snowdon will give you some amazing views of the Mountain and its surrounding valleys of Nant Peris, Nant Gwynant and Nant Colwyn. You will pass numerous llyns (Lakes), venture through ancient forests, pass locations where Hollywood movies have been shot and quaint, chocolate box villages and famous ice cream shops. What more could you ask for!
• Distance: 18.5 miles / 30 km
• Highest Point: 468m
• Time: 10+ hours
• Start Point: Royal Victoria Hotel, Llanberis
• Grid Ref: SH 583 597
Starting at the high mountain pass of Pen y Pass you will descend into Nant Gwynant, popping out by the first hydroelectric power station that is well over 100 years old. You will see the giant pipeline, carrying the water to the station, which was featured in a James Bond film. The broad gravelled path will lead you alongside the river as it flows towards the first llyn.
Passing beneath the cliffs that housed “Camelot”, in the 2017 King Arthur film, you head up above the llyn on “Elephant rock” and through a section of ancient woodland. At the far end of the llyn you will cross through the National Trust arm of Hafod y Llan, maybe you will spot their unique long necked sheep! Shortly after the farm you reach our first check point and toilet stop. If you fancy a snack, pop into the yummy Café Gwynant before you continuing a bit down the road, crossing and heading toward the Snowdonia Shepherdess’ farm.
You may be lucky to catch Teleri as she tends to her flock, but even if you don’t you can’t fail to notice the beauty of the valley, that she gets to call home. You will now join another gravelled and boardwalk route, with Llyn Dinas on your right. Legend has it that in its depths the famous Welsh dragon sleeps awaiting to rise when the nation most needs it. This path will lead you into the picturesque village of Beddgelert, where you can discover the tale behind the villages name (Grave of Gelert). You have now walked for approximately 12km and have earned a break so why not have an ice cream or enjoy a cuppa in one of the village’s food and drink establishments.
Heading past the tourist information and up towards the Beddgelert forest, now you will get your first glimpse of the Welsh Highland Railway, which carries the stunning steam engine and carriages form Caernarfon to Blaenau Ffestiniog. We will be tracing its route for the next 10km to its station at Rhyd Ddu and beyond. Winding your way through the forest, along good tracks, you will have a chance to see buzzards soaring above and numerous flowers on the forest floor. Take a glimpse of Yr Aran and Yr Wyddfa from their western flanks but most importantly keep your eye open for marshals and our signage!
We have another rest stop and toilets at Rhyd Ddu station before you head up for your high point of the day at 468m, Bwlch Maesgwm. You will have been walking for around 6-7 hours at this point. As you walk away from the station the gravel path continues for another few km before turning to a less-defined grass trod. Don’t be phased though as our safety team will be on hand marking the route and helping you as you cross through one of the abandoned slate quarries. This gradual ascent is only 280m spread across 3+km so it is slow, steady and very achievable.
When you reach the bwlch it is all downhill from here. This route is known locally as Telegraph Valley, as the old telegraph poles used to follow the track up and over. You can still spot some of them today. You will see the village beneath you as you get ever closer, eventually you will cross over the railway and heading on to the Snowdon Café. Why not stop for some homemade lemonade before making your way down the final hill back to base. Well done, you’ve finished your day!
To sign up, please click here.