5 of the Best Hikes in Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park in North Wales is one of the largest national parks in the whole of the UK, covering around 2000 square kilometres. It was one of the first national parks to be made in Wales in 1951 and the third to be created in Britain and is a popular location to visit, no doubt due to all the available hikes in Snowdonia.
The park is most famous for being the home to the highest peak in Wales, which is also the namesake of the park, Snowdon at 1085m, it is also the second-highest mountain in the UK. This is the attraction most tourists come to the park to see, as it truly is a marvellous sight, and trying to climb up it is a true accomplishment. However, Snowdonia National Park offers many other incredible hikes around the area of which there are plenty of locations to explore.
This is our list of some of the best hikes in Snowdonia you have to go on when you are nearby, however, do keep in mind they range in difficulty so do your research before attempting them.
Best Hikes in Snowdonia National Park
1. The Snowdon Horseshoe
Starting with one of the most classic hikes you can do in Snowdonia National Park and perhaps even in the UK, the Snowdon Horseshoe is the best way for you to get a taste of the famous Welsh peak. Do be warned, if you are someone who really hates heights this one is not for you. This could be surprising as this route does not have as much height gain in it, especially when compared to other Snowdon routes.
However, there is a lot of areas of exposure on this hike, most notably along the knife-edge ridge, and it should definitely be avoided on days with high wind and winter seasons if you do not have the appropriate experience and equipment. There is also quite a lot of scrambling to be done with this route, so if this is not something you are comfortable with again this probably isn’t the best option for you. It can provide a fun day out and of course, offers some excellent views of the national park.
2. Cadair Idris
One of the easiest options out of the hikes in Snowdonia, this hike may be quite short, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. For a start, the mountain of Cadair Idris is one surrounded by numerous local legends, the name itself shows this as Cadair Idris translates to the Chair of Idris, who was said to be a welsh Welshgiant. There is also the legend of how the lake in the centre of the horseshoe, Llyn Cau is said to be bottomless.
Perhaps the most superstitious one is that if you spend a night on the summit when you return in the morning you will either have become mad or a poet so there’s some debate there for which is worse to you. The hike is typically completed in a clockwise direction, and it is recommended that the best route for climbing is via the Minfford Path.
4. Aber Falls
Another one of our more easy selections on our list of hikes in Snowdonia is the Aber Falls hiking route. This family-friendly circular walk gives you incredible views of Aber Falls and its 40m drop, following an easy gradient for the most part except for the steeper descent towards the end of the route, which you need to be especially careful for on wetter days.
Besides the excitement of the falls, along the footpath, you can also come across some wonderful Bronze Age settlements such as a roundhouse and several standing stones which provide an excellent opportunity to familiarise yourself with the history of the area.
4. Snowdonia Slate Trail
The Snowdonia Slate Trail is a route that takes you through and around the main mountain ranges of the area. Full of history, the Slate Trail was created as a celebration of local heritage as in the 1800s these quarries were used to produced tonnes of slate roof tiles. These Welsh quarries played an essential role in helping to roof the industrial revolution, making them a key part in Britain’s history. The slate landscapes of North Wales have even been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status due to their historical and cultural importance to Wales and the UK.
For those who are wanting to discover and visit some of the more historic sights in Snowdonia, the Slate Trail is an excellent choice. On the trail, you can see quarries, mine works and ruined buildings within the area, making it one of the most iconic and history-filled hikes in Snowdonia.
5. The Glyders
Included in our list of the best day hikes in the UK, this hike is a chance to visit mountains other than Snowdon. The Glyderau, or the Glyders is the name of the line of mountains that are over the valley from Snowdon. This hike can be challenging due to the ascent and complications of getting back down the ridge, but for hikers that enjoy a day hike surrounded by rocks this option of hikes in Snowdonia is perfect for you!
The ridge up the mountains can be started from two locations, Capel Curig or Nant Peris, the starting point you chose will affect the hike for you so do your research as to which works best for you. The weather will also factor into your hike, it can make the ascent more challenging, but if there is a clear day the views you can get of Snowdon and the surrounding area can not be beaten.