5 Best Walks in Snowdonia
Whether you prefer challenging yet exciting mountainous walks or a relaxed lakeside stroll – Snowdonia is one of the best national parks in the UK when it comes to variety, offering visitors a chance to explore untouched landscapes that stretch for miles.
Ready to find out the best places to go walking in Snowdonia? Read on to find out more…
Distance: 8 – 10 miles.
Time: 6 – 8 hours.
Located in Gwynedd, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, attracting visitors from across the globe. Snowdon is known for its challenging (yet rewarding) ascent.
Snowdon is arguably the most popular outdoor hotspot in the entirety of Snowdonia. Although it may appear daunting at first, don’t be put off by the sheer size of Snowdon (3,560 feet) as there are a variety of different walking routes on offer, depending on your experience level.
No matter which path you take, walkers will get a chance to see some of the most breathtaking views of Wales – including sights of vast natural landscapes, beautiful riverscapes (on either side), majestic moonscapes, untouched greenery, cliff edges, and plenty more along the way.
If you’re interested in taking a different trail, here are the names of the other routes available for Snowdon:
- Pyg Track.
- Miners Track.
- Llanberis path.
- Rhyd Ddu path.
- Watkin path.
At the very top of Snowdon, walkers have been known to be able to see as far as Ireland. Of course, the weather would need to be in your favour to see as far as this, but it’s definitely a possibility.
Snowdon is home to a variety of wildlife, and it isn’t uncommon for walkers to catch glimpses of wild mountain goats during their ascent. We would recommend maintaining a distance (especially if there are children present) as nannies will protect their young fiercely!
When attempting a challenging walk such as this one, be sure to arrive prepared. Snowdon can be quite strenuous and testing at times, and it will likely take most of the day to complete. Walkers should expect an eight-mile (depending on the route) trail that will take around six hours to finish. Remember to take it at your own pace – and don’t be afraid to take breaks when necessary.
Distance: 1.5 miles.
Time: 2 hours.
Difficulty: easy to moderate.
If you’re looking for a walking path that will guide you through scenic natural waterfalls, large rivers, and mature woodland areas – you won’t be disappointed strolling through Rhaeadr Ddu and Coed Ganllwyd.
The Rhaeadr Ddu and Coed Ganllwyd circular walk takes place on a well-kept trail, perfect for all levels of walking experience.
This is a superb riverside walk, which will take you past the famous River Gamlan, as well as through beautiful open oak woodlands – and the famous Rhaeadr Ddu waterfalls.
A fun fact about the Rhaeadr Ddu waterfalls is that no experience will ever quite look the same as the last. They will appear differently depending on the weather, light, and recent rainfall.
This is the perfect walk for families and solo walkers alike, and you’ll likely spot some of Snowdonia’s diverse wildlife along the way. The route should take no longer than two hours to complete if you plan on going at a leisurely pace, concluding in the quaint village of Ganllwyd; the perfect location to enjoy a hearty meal after you’ve completed the walking trail.
Distance: 5 – 6 miles.
Time: 2 – 3 hours.
Next, we have The Devil’s Kitchen – the perfect place for mountaineering folk. This is a truly memorable mountain walk that is set in Cwm Idwal, the heart of Snowdonia. You may be wondering about the reason behind the name – it’s because when the water or steam rises through the crack of the mountain, it resembles a chimney.
The Devil’s Kitchen is a very popular walking route amongst adventurous outdoor enthusiasts. Although it’s worth it, the hike up to The Devil’s Kitchen is a tough one, so be prepared to endure some seriously steep slopes and rocky terrain at times. If you have children with you, we would recommend the Cwm Idwal circular walk as an alternative, which we will go into in more detail later on in this article.
The Devil’s Kitchen is nestled between the mountain peaks of Glyder Fawr and Y Garn, so on your ascent – expect to see some of the most spectacular views of vast mountain ranges, interesting rock formations, and views of Snowdonia’s most crystal clear lake below – Llyn Idwal.
Walkers should allow for approximately 2 to 3 hours to complete the 5-mile walk (if you plan on walking at a leisurely pace), but it’s common for visitors to stay longer so that they can savour the fantastic views and natural surroundings.
Distance: 3 miles.
Time: 2 hours.
Difficulty: easy to moderate.
The Cwn Idwal circular walk is a popular alternative to The Devil’s Kitchen, as you’ll still get to experience the breathtaking views of The Devil’s Kitchen throughout the walk, without having to partake in the challenging hike up to the summit of Y Garn.
Located in the heart of Snowdonia, the Cwm Idwal circular walk is a superb valley hike with breathtaking mountain views throughout. This is the perfect walk for beginners and families, as although there are uphill climbs at some points, the route is incredibly easy-going for the most part.
Famous for its unique volcanic rock formations, Cwm Idwal’s circular walk takes place around a glacial valley, where hikers will get a first-hand glimpse at what’s nestled within the natural amphitheatre – Llyn Idwal, which is known to be Snowdonia’s most beautiful lake.
Cwm Idwal (the first ever natural nature reserve in Wales) is a delightful circular walk – perfect for families who are looking for relaxed trails in the area. It’s worth mentioning that although less strenuous than other walking paths in Snowdonia, the terrain can become muddy and particularly slippy depending on the time of year. Be sure to invest in a good pair of walking boots to avoid any accidents!
Walkers visiting Cwm Idwal can expect to witness some of the most impressive natural landscapes in the UK throughout their walking adventure, along with glimpses of rare plant life, such as a variety of rare arctic alpine plants. The Llyn Idwal lake contains crystal clear natural water, making it a very popular wild swimming spot in the warmer months.
If you’re looking for a delightful lakeside walking trail that offers a variety of unforgettable views, superb valley sceneries, whilst also being able to witness incredible historical geology – you won’t be disappointed when taking the time out to enjoy the Cwm Idwal circular walk.
Distance: 4 miles.
Time: 3 hours.
Difficulty: easy to moderate.
To conclude the five best places to go walking in Snowdonia, we have none other than Aber Falls, located approximately 2 miles south of Abergwyngregyn.
A walk to Aber Falls (known as Rhaedr Fawr to the locals) will guide you to an impressive natural waterfall that is hidden within the foothills of the Carneddau mountains. The waterfall plunges 120 feet from the valley above, so it’s no wonder that walkers tend to be in awe of just how tall the Aber Falls waterfall is in person.
A walk up to Aber Falls is perfect for all types of walking enthusiasts who enjoy exploring natural wonders. There are some trails that can be challenging at times, however, there are easier and more accessible routes available.
The most straightforward route to take would be to start from the Aber Falls car park. From here, visitors should expect a walking path distance of around 4 miles. We would recommend allowing at least 3 hours to complete the entire experience, as you’ll likely want to stick around to enjoy the scenic views and incredible natural surroundings.
It’s worth mentioning that when taking a walking trip to Aber Falls, waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear is highly recommended. The spray from this enormous waterfall can be pretty substantial if you’re standing close enough!