Snowdonia National Park is a spectacularly beautiful part of the country, home to stunning scenery and the destination of choice for many who choose to spend their holiday in Wales. Whether you choose to venture up the mountain itself or make use of the plethora of things to see and do in the surrounding area, a holiday to this part of Wales will not disappoint. Our Snowdonia holiday cottages provide the perfect base for all your adventures in the area, giving you a comfortable abode to retreat to after a full day’s exploring! Here are 10 facts about Snowdonia National Park:
1. Snowdonia National Parks is home to the highest mountain in England and Wales
Mount Snowdon stands at an impressive 1,085 metres or 3,560 feet. This makes it the highest mountain in England and Wales but not Britain; Ben Nevis in Scotland is slightly larger, at 1,385 metres high. Snowdon is not alone in reaching great heights within the National Park. 90 peaks exceed 2,000 feet while 15 reach a stature exceeding 3,000 feet.
2. The National Park boasts 1497 miles of public footpaths
Snowdonia boasts a varied network of public footpaths that cater for a wide range of walking abilities. For a more leisurely stroll, you can head to the coastline to make the most of the spectacular views out to sea and stop off at secluded coves en route. For a more adrenaline-fuelled challenge, Mount Snowdon has six different paths to take you up and down the mountain, all varying in terrain, difficulty and length. For more information on each path, you can check out our guide to climbing Snowdon.
3. It is the third largest National Park in the UK
The National Park covers 823 square miles of diverse landscapes, making it the third biggest across the whole of the UK. The area is also home to the largest natural lake in Wales and a population of around 26,000, half of which speak fluent Welsh. The region is steeped in history and culture and home to a plethora of enchanting villages including Betws Y Coed and Beddgelert. With so much to explore, you’ll never be bored on holiday to this part of the country and will undoubtedly be back for more!
4. 350,000 people climb Mount Snowdon each year
You might not be the first to come up with the idea of climbing Snowdon during your time away. Paths and trails may get particularly busy on clearer days, where expansive views are guaranteed, as is a safer ascent and descent. The first to climb to the summit was Thomas Johnson in 1639, and since then hundreds of well-known figures have reached the top. Many attempt the challenge to train for larger expeditions or to test themselves and raise money for charity.
5. Home to a wealth of rare wildlife and plants
The National Park is home to an array of interesting wildlife that you would often struggle to see elsewhere. Binoculars and a camera should be carried at all times, keeping a keen eye out for any rare birds or animals. Feral goats, otters, polecats, ravens, peregrines, ospreys, merlins and red kites are known to call this region home and can be spotted throughout the year. The National Park even has its own beetle – known elsewhere as the rainbow beetle – and is the habitat for over 1000 Snowdon beetles.
6. It can be rather wet!
You may need to bring your wellies! Snowdonia’s Crib Goch has an average rainfall of 4,473mm a year, making it one of the wettest spots in the UK. Not to worry if the rain comes during your holiday, there’s plenty of indoor activities for such an occasion, or take the excuse to curl up in front of the fire in the comfort of your cottage for a day of board games with the family.
7. 500 million years ago Snowdon looked very different…
Snowdon was on the seabed all those years ago, as shown by fragments of shell fossils that have been found at the summit. Further to this, some of the mountain’s distinctive features were produced by volcanic rocks, and many of the nearby valleys were gouged out by glaciers. This is telling of the physical and geological changes the region has experienced over the years.
8. The region is plagued with myth and legend
The entire Snowdon region is often associated with ancient myths and legends – often relating to Arthur, the ‘once and future king’. This is indicated via the meaning of the name Snowdonia in Welsh, translating to ‘Great Tomb’ and ‘The Cairn of the Giant’ in English. One story tells of Arthur killing a giant to keep hold of his beard.
9. The area has a lily named after it
The Snowdon Lily is an elegant, arctic-alpine plant which has beautiful white flowers and grass-like leaves. It is regularly recorded as growing high in the mountains of Snowdonia but has not been recorded anywhere else in the UK. Whilst many might be tempted to pick such a pretty-looking flower, refrain, as it is protected by law and could land you in a spot of bother!
10. To summit all up
If you decide to embark upon the journey up Mount Snowdon, be sure to make the most of the views from the summit. On a clear day, you may be able to see 18 lakes, 14 summits, Ireland, the Isle of Man and even the Lake District. Journeying up and down the mountain is a fantastic day out for all the family, and be sure to reward yourselves with a well-deserved meal out at one of the delightful eateries in the vicinity, many of which offer only the finest of local produce.