Llanberis is a lakeside village based in north west Wales and is often the starting point for many hikers to climb Snowden (The highest mountain in Wales). Due to a number of restrictions still in place around the United Kindgom from the pandemic, we decided to explore more of the British Isles.
We had a number of things planned for this trip. But mother nature had other ideas and a storm rolled in. There were a number of warnings to stay off the water as this rolled in, stop some of the activities we had planned and to avoid the peaks. In fact there was devestating news that two women were struck by lightning on the summit of Mount Snowden during our last day (Thankfully they survived, but just demonstrated how unpredictable our British weather can be and how dangerous hiking could potentially be).
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There is so much to do in and around this beautiful area. I’m going to share some of the best parts of it along with some of the activities we were hoping to do, so you can plan your own amazing adventure to Llanberis and Snowdonia. The area is well known for hiking, rock climbing and as an adventure destination; where you can spend anywhere from a day to a month packing activities and experiences in the surrounding national park, villages and heritage sites.
On our first day the weather held out, we had lots of sun, with some cloud and light winds but the temperature was just right. So we decided to head up to Dolbadarn Castle which we could see from our accomodation. And it was just stunning, we sat there for a while in the sun just in awe of the castle and surroundings.
- Cost: Free
- Opening: Between 10am and 4pm
Dolbadarn Castle was built during the 13th Century as a symbol of power (estimated between 1220’s to 1230’s). The castle was taken by Edward 1 in 1284 who removed some of the materials when collecting resources for his new castles in the north. It has since fell into ruin and is a grade 1 listed building.
The ruins of the castle stand proud with the backdrop of the stunning scenery surrounding it. From lakes to woodland and mountains. It is a photographers dream. We obviously took our Camera with us to capture this and just sat at the castle for a while. We took our small drone with us but set it up and flew around the surrounding fells, to make sure we weren’t close to the castle boundaries and walls.
Please note: You are not allowed to fly a drone over the castle or within the site boundaries unless you are commissioned for a specific reason by the local government agencies. We set our drone off from the car park and then again when walking round the town just outside the boundaires. There was quite a bit of wind, and we had to switch some of the auto features like quickshot off a few times to stop our drone getting too close, but love the shots that came out. The distance of these shots set back gave even more perspective to the surrounding landscape than if it were close up.
Walking Around Llanberis
Walking around Llanberis itself is really relaxing and stunning. There were a lot of other people like us visiting the area, wandeirng round looking out for things to do that were permitted between the breaks in the weather. There are lots of smaller trails around the village and surrounding woodland or fells.
We decided to walk around the lakeshore and saw a trail sign for a waterfall which was really nice. We checked to make sure the time would fit in before the weather changed for each of our new plans, which luckily it did.
The Village is really picturesque as most of the buildings are older and made from local stone like the local slate. You will also see across the lake there is an old quarry which as of last week was awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO
You can rent paddleboards and kayaks to take on the lake. We saw quite a few people when we first arrived doing this and it looked like a nice place to do this. We even brought our paddleboards with us but the changeable weather and witnessing people being called off the lake at random points made us realise, this isn’t the time.
Ceunant Mawr Waterfall
Ceunant Mawr is a lovely waterfall that is hidden away behind the village. You will see signs directing you from the main street where you will follow a quant road around to the left and look out for the signs for the falls. You will then need to head around the back of a work yard where you will see a stone archway railway bridge. If you have arrived here and can see a path going off to the right like above you are in the right place.
The rest of the walk is gentle and short. Although the waterfall is relatively small compared to some others in Snowdonia and around the U.K it is still very charming and peaceful. The maintained path to the watefall now follows the right hand side of a beck surrounded by magnificent trees which shade the area just letting little glimpses of light in.
Please note you are not allowed to swim in the water at the bottom of the falls. There has been a number of deaths here and it is in an awkward place for mountain rescue to get to should anything happen. So stay safen and enjoy the outdoors.
Hike Up Snowdon
Hiking up Snowdon is a must for any keen hikers and walkers. It has some challenge and areas that are steep or have some lose scree, but its generally quite a safe climb. But make sure you are wearing walking boots and have extra layers. Have a GPS for navigation or be competent in using maps. I’d also reccomend a dry bag for your valuables or a backpack that is waterproof.
The weather up at the peak is generally harsher than down in the villages. I have only done this trail once, when I was younger and I remember it being tough and foggy. We had the odd break in the fog at different points where the views were stunning. I definitely aim to come back and enjoy the hike again with hopefuly clearer weather so I can stop from time to time to just enjoy the views. I’ll write an informative post and share pictures when I do.
If you are not experienced with hiking in the United Kindgom or confident in navigation I would definitely reccomend a guided trip up. Fog and mist can roll in and out quickly, reception of phones can also be limited. You can find local guided trips from as little as £30 where you will go within a small group – Click Here.
Take One Of The Scenic Trains Up Snowdon Or Round the Lake
We hoped to do this and the train round the lake or up Snowdon on our final day if the weather permitted but the storm got progressively worse to the point it was like buckets being poored down from the sky with regular thunder and lightning.
During our planning for this trip we wanted to do some fun and silly adventures but due to the storms these were cancelled. However we want to praise one of the companies we booked experiences with called Zipworld. They were so friendly and accomodating, when the storm hit they tried to wait it ot and gave people the option of waiting the storm to see if it would clear (we knew the forcast was bad). Or giving vouchers that could be used in future. For those out of the area they even made a note of allowing extensions on the vouchers or changes of names so that people could give them to friends who may be closer or likely to visit.
We Had The Following Experiences Booked With Zipworld
- Bounce Below – Ever considered trampolines in a cave? Well zipworld have and this unique experience is absolutely worth it. This one we still managed to fit in and I have created a review post including all the information you need to know here..
- Velocity 2 – The worlds fastest zipline
- Quarry Karts – This a new experience offered at zipworld quarry and we were so excited to do this. Be prepared to get muddy.
- Fforest Coaster – this is a small 2 man roller coaster that goes through the forrest with views of the wilderness and mountains.
We bought our tickets about 6 weeks in advance and booked our slots for each. It is advised that you do this. My cousin tried to arriving on site and getting on an activity but couldn’t nor could he for the following days of that week. When we were chosing our dates and times, there were only a few odd slots available which meant our experiences were spread over a few days. The more in advance the more you can get the times and locations you want.
I have prepared a guide to booking Zipworld with all the information you need including, cost, duration, location and driving times between the activity centres so you can plan your awesome trip. Keep an eye out for this post or subscribe to stay up to date.
Where Did We Stay?
We booked our stay a bit last minute and stayed at Alpine Lodge in Llanberis. I don’t generally like to review or mention accomodation because it’s so subjective and down to budget, comfort etc. But I wanted to praise the accomodation on how they managed to efficiently handle contactless check in, check out and breakfasts that are delivered to the room each morning and included in the price. The view from our room was also something we loved and the location was just next to the main central street.