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Snowdonia: from Sea to Summit

A journey through the dramatic Snowdonia National Park
 
Discover an incredibly diverse National Park on this self-guided walking holiday, with luggage transfers included. Your journey takes you from the spectacular Wales Coast Path to England and Wales’s highest peak, and includes a ride on the Welsh Highland Railway, the UK’s longest heritage line.
Snowdonia: from Sea to Summit. 6 nights
Snowdonia: from Sea to Summit. 6 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in Snowdonia

As the highest point in England and Wales, Mount Snowdon is certainly impressive, with a towering, cloud-piercing peak and views that can stretch as far as Ireland and the Isle of Man. However, what makes Snowdon – or Yr Wyddfa, as it’s known in Welsh – really special is its setting in the spectacular Snowdonia National Park.

This beautiful corner of Wales has so much to offer, and a great deal more diversity than you might expect: as well as lofty mountains there are panoramic valleys, secluded lakes and a truly sensational coastline – making for surprisingly accessible walking amid a remote and authentic landscape.
Our holiday begins by the sea, in the lively harbour town of Porthmadog, and advances north to Snowdon via charming, chocolate-box-pretty Beddgelert. The opportunities for immersing yourself in outstanding natural beauty are limitless, but our routes also offer an insight into the many ways in which mankind has shaped the local area: visit spectacularly sited Harlech Castle, built on the orders of Edward I; experience the thrill of old-time rail travel with a ride on the steam-powered Welsh Highland Railway; and explore Snowdonia’s fascinating slate landscapes, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 

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What we’re doing so you can book and travel with confidence >
 
Images courtesy of Nick Jenkins, Freespirit Images Photography (© NJ)
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.

Unless indicated otherwise below, pay locally for all train and bus journeys.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    You should always be prepared for wet weather, whichever month you are travelling.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 7 8 10 12 15 17 18 18 17 14 10 8
    mm 134 101 97 92 95 88 100 99 87 124 120 133
  • Arrival in Porthmadog
    Night 1: at Yr Hen Fecws (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Choice of walks from Porthmadog: both 11km (7 miles)
    NB we have not provided an elevation profile for either of these routes because they are largely on the flat.

    The Llyn Peninsula: 11km (7 miles), 4hrs; 165m ascent/150m descent
    Beginning directly from Porthmadog and following the long-distance Wales Coast Path west, this is a charming first walking option: it affords views over the Glaslyn Estuary, frequented by giant leatherback turtles, before passing through the Pen-y-Banc Nature Reserve to reach a series of sandy coves – each with a wonderful bay for swimming. Then comes the sprawling golden beach of Black Rock Sands, from where you continue inland to the town of Criccieth, known for its 13th-century castle perched atop a rocky headland. Return by train.

    Harlech Castle: 11km (7 miles), 4hrs; 95m ascent/descent
    After a 10-minute train ride from Porthmadog to Llandecwyn, you pick up the Wales Coast Path and head south to Harlech. Your route takes you along a raised bund and beside salt marshes rich in flora and fauna, with views extending towards the peaks of the Snowdonia National Park and across the estuary to Portmeirion – an unusual village renowned for its Italianate beauty, fine pottery and as the setting of 1960s TV series, The Prisoner. As you turn inland, Harlech’s mighty, UNESCO-listed castle comes into view. You can visit this famous fortress from pretty Harlech village – reached via the steepest street in the Northern Hemisphere, almost the only ascent of the day – before catching the train back to Porthmadog.
    The Llyn Peninsula walk
    En route to Harlech Castle
  • Porthmadog to Beddgelert: 1 hour by train, followed by 5.5km (3.5 mile) walk
    Today you journey into the heart of the National Park on the Welsh Highland Railway, the UK’s longest heritage line. This included trip is a real experience: it is rail travel as it used to be, with comfortable carriages and steady, steam-powered movement. Please note trains do not run daily, and the schedule is subject to change; if your journey falls on a day when there is no train running, you will be transferred from Porthmadog to Beddgelert by taxi.

    Your accommodation for your two nights in pretty Beddgelert is Plas Tan y Graig B&B, located centrally, close to the confluence of the rivers Colwyn and Glaslyn. As you arrive in the village before midday, we suggest a short circular walk in the afternoon:

    Aberglaslyn Gorge & Gelert’s grave: 5.5km (3.5 miles), 2hrs; 185m ascent/descent
    This short loop south from Beddgelert packs in huge variety and gives an overview from its highest point of the hills south of Snowdon. Initially following a well-made riverside path downstream, you soon arrive at the heavily wooded and hugely atmospheric Aberglaslyn Gorge, through which you ascend to attain the high panoramic plateau of Bryn Du. Descending northwards from here, you walk first via rocky, partially wooded country then traverse meadows to reach the final resting place of Gelert, the faithful canine companion of one of Wales’s most powerful princes, Llewelyn the Great. From Gelert’s grave – where the hound’s tragic story is told – it’s a short walk to Beddgelert, with a small detour to visit the village church and priory remains – one of the oldest Christian sites in Wales.
    Ride the Welsh Highland Railway to Beddgelert
    Aberglaslyn Gorge and Gelert’s grave: 5.5km
  • Circular walk from Beddgelert: 15km (9.5 miles), 5.5hrs; 390m ascent/descent
    Glorious views await on this rewarding valley walk, which begins by heading upstream from Beddgelert along idyllic riverside paths. A tiny, leafy lane then brings you to the former Sygun Copper Mine, renovated and reopened as self-guided museum that allows you to explore deep into the mountainside. From here, you cross the river in the direction of Craflwyn, a National Trust estate, where you climb through forest to reach a historic viewpoint. The walk now becomes a proper mountain route, traversing typical upland grazing grounds of sheep and Welsh cattle, and with a real sense of being in the foothills of Snowdon – at the waterfalls of Afon Cwm Llan, your way intersects with the Watkin Path, one of the more challenging routes to the summit. To return to Beddgelert, descend to the valley floor and follow a lakeside path back to Sygun, from where you retrace your steps.

    It's possible to shorten this route to 4km by walking only as far as the Sygun Copper Mine (and back), or to 6km by continuing from the mine to the lakeside before then returning to Beddgelert.
    Around Beddgelert
    Circular walk from Beddgelert: 15km
  • Beddgelert to Llanberis: 9km (5.5 miles), 3.5hrs; 355m ascent/420m descent; shorter option: 7.5km (4.5 miles), 3hrs; 355m ascent/370m descent
    After a short, included transfer to the small village of Rhyd Ddu, you strike out north through some of the quieter and more remote landscapes of the National Park – this is an area untouched by roads, where natural beauty reigns supreme. The main route takes you through an extensive and atmospheric former slate mine, with large ruined buildings; the terrain here can be marshy, which in turn can obscure some of the way-marking. To avoid this, choose to be transferred beyond Rhyd Ddu to follow our shorter walking option, which bypasses the mine. Both routes converge later to continue to the Maesgwm Pass, before descending, with superb views of Snowdon and other peaks, to your final destination, Llanberis. You spend two nights here at the welcoming Plas Coch guesthouse.
    En route to Llanberis
    Beddgelert to Llanberis: 9km
    Shorter option: 7.5km
  • Choice of walks from Llanberis: 3.5 to 10km (2 to 6 miles)

    The Snowdon Mountain Railway & Llanberis Path: 10km (6 miles), 4hrs; 295m ascent/950m descent
    ‘Incredible’ is the word that best describes the Snowdon Mountain Railway, the Victorian line which transports visitors all the way from Llanberis to the highest summit in England and Wales*. The views from the carriage window are exceptional and ever-changing: as you gradually ascend, look out for waterfalls, lush green countryside and dramatic sheer-edged valleys; but please note that this journey is much in demand, and advance booking is essential (tickets can be purchased here). Once at the summit, we recommend descending on foot via the popular Llanberis Path: this is the least technical of the six main routes, but it still offers sweeping views as it winds its way downhill to Llanberis, mostly following the railway line.
    *Please note that trains are currently terminating at Clogwyn Station, three quarters of the way up the mountain. From here you can continue on foot to the summit, or return with the train.

    The Pyg Track: 7.5km (4.5 miles), 4hrs; 730m ascent/340m descent
    The Pyg Track is the shortest route to Snowdon’s summit, a steady ascent along a very well-made path, but featuring rock steps that can be steep in places. The track starts from Pen-y-Pass (reached by bus; an early start is recommended to beat the crowds), and about halfway through your climb you are treated to classic views of the Snowdon ‘horseshoe’. Once you meet the more heavily travelled Miners’ Track, the going becomes rockier, but is still not technical and there is no significant exposure. After a short descent from the summit on foot, take the mountain railway down to Llanberis, or for a longer walk continue via the Llanberis Path (add 6km).

    Llyn Padarn: 8.5km (5 miles), 3hrs; 150m ascent/descent
    We highly recommend an additional night in Llanberis for the chance both to ascend Snowdon and to enjoy this lovely lakeside circuit. The first part of the route takes you along pleasant forest tracks, but it is after you round the lake that the walk really takes off: undulating lanes wind through ancient woodlands and meander via picturesque hamlets, and you also pass a former quarry hospital, currently closed but usually home to a fascinating museum. A final descent down a spectacular ‘staircase’ brings you to the lakeside and the National Slate Museum, which, occupying the site of the old Dinorwic quarry – once the world’s second-largest slate-mining operation – is essential viewing for all visitors to the area. From the museum, you return to Llanberis via a beautiful lakeside meadow.

    Waterfalls & Dolbadarn Castle: 3.5km (2 miles), 1.5hrs; 65m ascent/descent
    Arguably, the best view of the waterfalls on the Arddu river is from below. The falls are easily reached from Llanberis and can be combined with a circular walk to visit the ruins of Dolbadarn Castle near the Llyn Peris reservoir.
    The Snowdon Mountain Railway
    On the Pyg Track
    The Snowdon Mountain Railway and Llanberis Path: 10km
    The Pyg Track: 7.5km
    Llyn Padarn: 8.5km
    Waterfalls and Dolbadarn Castle: 3.5km
 

Accommodation

For your accommodation, we have selected three small guesthouses, each of which excels in their warm Welsh hospitality and excellent, home-cooked breakfasts.
 
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
Currency converter

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  • 6 nights: 15 September 2021 - 31 October 2021 & 01 March 2022 - 31 October 2022

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    15 - 30 Sep 2021 £715 £355
    1 - 25 Oct 2021 £690 £340
    1 Mar - 30 Apr 2022 £725 £355
    1 May - 30 Sep 2022 £745 £375
    1 - 25 Oct 2022 £725 £355
    3rd & 4th person discount -£65
    Single traveller supplement £65
    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, and any connecting travel detailed below.

    Included travel: transfer Llanberis-Porthmadog (if driving)

    Please note: dogs are not permitted on Inntravel holidays

  • Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Yr Hen Fecws, Porthmadog (B&B) Double room Single room
    15 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £72 £130
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £76 £138
    Plas Coch, Llanberis (B&B) Double room Single room
    15 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £58 £90
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £62 £96
  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - out via Porthmadog, home via Bangor

    Outward route Price per person Latest train
    arrival time
    walk Porthmadog station to hotel (0h10) flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest train
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Bangor station (0h25) deduct £12pp flexible
    bus Llanberis to Bangor station (0h50, pay locally) deduct £30pp flexible
What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 2 dinners
    2 picnics
    6 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • taxi to collect car (if driving)
  • train ride to Beddgelert on day 2
  • transfer to walk on day 4
 
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FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • If your holiday plans go awry because of Coronavirus, rest assured that we’ll do right by you. Since the start of the pandemic, our flexible booking policy and prompt issuing of refunds to customers who prefer not to defer their holiday have earned us high praise in the national press.
  • We sincerely hope that your holiday experience will be as enjoyable as it would have been before the pandemic – walking holidays are ideal in these times of social distancing, and we’re not operating holidays if the key highlights can no longer be delivered – but, naturally, there will be some changes to ensure your and other people’s safety, not least taking tests before and after your holiday for many destinations.
    Your holiday experience: what to expect >
    Safety measures being taken by hoteliers & others >
    Entry requirements for non-UK destinations & for re-entering the UK >
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • Yes, absolutely. Over the years, we have arranged a great many walking holidays in the UK for customers living in the USA, Canada, Australia and beyond.

    If you've never travelled with us before, it's worth reading the web pages which explain how we can cater for customers who live outside the UK. The main thing to bear in mind is that our tour operator's licence doesn't allow us to book flights that originate outside the UK, and nor are we able to book rail travel in the UK, so we can't make travel arrangements for you, other than pre-arranging taxis between the local railway station and the accommodation – see the ‘prices & travel’ section for the options available.

    For practical information about travelling to the UK, see the 'what do I need to know about travelling to England, Scotland and Wales?' question.
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to take out our recommended travel insurance policy (if you live outside the UK you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
  • Unfortunately not. The Inntravel team includes many dog owners, but the extra considerations – such as whether taxi firms accept dogs for transfers to the start of walks, whether routes cross private land on which dogs are not allowed, and proximity to a vet’s – would add another layer of complexity to what are already quite complex holidays.
  • As a minimum, you will need a passport to enter the UK; requirements vary according to your nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. You’ll need to check requirements on the website of your own country’s government or that of the British government. Our essential travel information page provides links to websites where you can find out about the applicable requirements, along with general official travel advice.
     
    English is the most widely spoken of several official languages; in Wales, for example, Welsh has equal status. The currency is the British pound (Scotland issues its own bank notes, but Bank of England notes can be used in Scotland and vice versa). The UK follows Greenwich Mean Time during autumn and winter, but switches to British Summer Time (GMT + 1) from late March until late October.
Last fetch time is : 9/25/2021 7:35:20 AM