The Snowdonia National Park, with its mountain ranges, stretching from Conwy, in the north, to Machynlleth, in the south, surely deserves its romantic Welsh name of ‘Eryri’…’Place of Eagles’. Dominated by
Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) itself, at 3560 feet, it is a diverse area of craggy peaks, high moorland, mountain lakes and rushing rivers. Inferior in height to Snowdon, but unsurpassed in rugged beauty, the nearby Tryfan, with its three peaks towers over the Ffrancon valley, guarding the Ogwen Pass; and with its Milestone Buttress, provides easy-access climbing for those who have only a short time to stay.
To the South, it is Moel Hebog, the Hawk, that forms the backdrop for the famous Cwm Pennant, praised in verse for its beauty.
Travel East, to the sheltered Vale of Ffestiniog, and there Moelwyn Mawr and Moelwyn Bach hold sway. Still further East, the Arennigs - Fawr and Fach - stand firm over the vastness of the wild high moorlands that stretch from Penmachno to Bala, and silently mourn the drowned
, which lies beneath the waters of Llyn Celyn. (Only a dry summer clearly reveals the remnants of its houses, roads, fields, and bridges). village of Tryweryn
Hugging the coast from Talsarnau to Barmouth are the Rhinogydd; a high wilderness of shattered rock ledges (the hardest walking in
!), little lakes and tarns, crossed by ancient trackways, littered with the remains of burial chambers and stone hut circles. Here, Ysgafarnnogod - the Hare - lies forever, one eye on the sea, the other on the intruding road which runs from Dolgellau to Maentwrog. Rhinog Fawr, used to the presence of man since Prehistoric times, still carries the ancient trading route over its pass along the (incorrectly named), “Roman Steps”! Wales
Further South, approaching the beautiful Mawddach Estuary, you come across the Clogau, where men have mined for gold since Roman times. A beautiful place of rock and woodland, it has provided the gold for the wedding rings of British Royalty. Across the Estuary lies the massive bulk of Cader Idris (Arthur’s Seat), dominating both the town of
Dolgellau, and Tal -y- . Llyn Lake
George Borrow, in his book ‘Travels in
’, published in the 19th century, said of Snowdonia “Perhaps, in all the world, there is no region more picturesquely beautiful”. Over 150 years later, inspite of man’s intervention, with his quarries and mines, this is still an apt quotation. Even with the influx of climbers, walkers, canoeists, mountain-bikers, and such like, there are still vast areas, where the only interruption of your peace and tranquillity will be the call of raven, buzzard and curlew; or the rush of water over pebble and rock. Wales
ABERDOVEY. A seaside town with beautiful beach, nature reserves and idyllic setting. Nearby TYWYN is home to the Talyllyn Light Railway.
BARMOUTH, at the mouth of the Mawddach is a town boasting not only the usual attractions of a small holiday resort, but also spectacular mountain and estuary walks, sailing, and other watersports. There is something here for everyone!
BALA is a small, busy market town at the northern end of
(Llyn Tegid). The lake, 4 miles long, provides an exciting inland base for watersports of all kinds. For those with an inclination towards the “hair-raising”, the National Whitewater Centre at Tryweryn, provides the stiffer challenge of whitewater rafting and kayaking. Bala Lake
BEDDGELERT. ‘Gelert’s Grave’, is named in memory of Prince Llewelyn’s faithful and fearless hound, whose grave you can visit. This is an attractive little town of stone and slate, made all the more attractive by its proud inhabitants, whose earnest endeavours have brought them a Gold Award in the prestigious European Entente Floral competition, in past years! It is situated, on one hand, at the entrance to the Gwynant Valley, which leads on up to the Llanberis Pass, and to the world famous Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel, with its collectionof autographed photographs, and other memorabilia of famous mountaineers, past and present; and, on the other hand, at the head of the Aberglaslyn Pass, where the river assumes the strange green hue, which gives it its name.
BETWS-Y-COED. A popular holiday village, much frequented since Victorian times, because of its fishing and charming river scenery. Nearby are the enchanting Fairy Glen and the
. Swallow Falls
BLAENAU FFESTINIOG. A slate quarrying town, now more famous for its two show caverns; and its “little train” that takes you down to the old slate
, some 12 miles away. port of Porthmadog
CAPEL CURIG. A small mountain village which is home to the National Mountain Centre at Plas-y-Brenin, and much favoured by climbers and walkers.
CORWEN. A small market town and fishing resort on the edge of the Berwyns.
DOLGELLAU, situated where the Wnion and Mawddach rivers meet, is a pleasant little town of stone houses, narrow streets, and hidden alleyways, and was once the centre of the woollen trade. Its association with gold still lingers on, as you can come away from its excellent ironmongers with all the equipment needed for gold panning! A six mile drive north takes you to the Coed Y Brenin Mountain Biking Centre, where a series of graded trails will take you over mountains and deep into the forest.
HARLECH. A famous historic Welsh town with a splendid castle, sited high up on a rock, overlooking a vast expanse of sand dunes. A good centre for walking, fishing, and sunbathing!
LLANBEDR, a lovely little village on the Cwm Nantcol River, which leads up to the Roman Steps, and down to the aptly-named Shell Island.
LLANBERIS at the foot of Snowdon and the awesome
, is a popular touring centre. Here you find the station for the spectacular Snowdon Mountain Railway, which wends its way up to the very summit! The lakes of Padarn and Peris are also to be found here. Padarn with its accompanying country park, slate museum, and facilities for sailing, canoeing, and walking: Peris, with its unique hydroelectricity plant, hidden away inside the very mountain itself! Llanberis Pass
LLANRWST is a market town in the
, which boasts a fifteenth century courthouse and a bridge dating from 1636. Conwy Valley
MACHYNLLETH. A pleasant market town, which was the scene for
’ very first Parliament under Owain Glyndwr in 1404. Now it houses “Celtica”, where you can experience the life of the ancient Celts in a unique museum. A few miles out along the road to CORRIS, you can visit Wales Europe’s leading “Green Eco-Centre” - the Centre For Alternative Technology.
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Posted by Nefyn Holidays
Holiday Cottages in North Wales