Sprawled along the west coast of Wales, Snowdonia National Park is home to some of Britain’s most jaw-dropping scenery, as well as encompassing the largest peaks in England and Wales. A rugged wonderland of grassy hills, medieval castles and glistening lakelands, it’s no surprise that Snowdonia is a hit among hikers and scaling the 1085-meter peak of Snowdon is on many climbers’ bucket lists. The towering peak isn’t Snowdonia’s only claim to fame – the 800 square mile park is the largest and oldest in Wales and encompasses Wale’s largest natural lake, Lake Bala; the highest waterfall, Pistyll Rhaeadr; and one of the longest and highest narrow gauge steam railways in Europe, which runs to the peak of Snowdon.
It’s the incredible variety of terrain that draws so many hikers and climbers to the park, from the swooping sea cliffs and sandy beaches along the Llyn Peninsula (a protected ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’) to the 90 peaks, 15 of which reach heights of over 900 meters. Mountain biking in the valleys and bird-watching along the estuaries are also popular activities, and many of the park’s pretty Welsh-speaking villages, including Barmouth and Betws-y-Coed, host annual walking festivals in the autumn.