Snowdonia

The west coast of Britain is home to the highest mountain in England and Wales, the largest lake in Wales, the largest national park in Wales and some superb walking landscapes. The poet RS Thomas said that people come “seeking something unnameable, a lost Eden, a lost childhood: for fulfilment, for escape, for refuge, for conquest for themselves, for peace, for adventure. The list is endless. The hills have all this to give and more.” Our needs have not changed today. Half a million of us visit yearly with the same quest for peace and adventure, making Snowdonia Britain’s busiest mountain. More than half the population here speak Welsh, adding to its rich culture.

The opportunity to climb Snowdon is the main draw for most but don’t overlook the delights of the valley that buttress the great mountain itself. The terrain here ranks as some of the best in Wales. And once that’s ticked off the to-do list, as well as a brisk charge up the great flower-strewn mountain itself, the stone villages, coastline and lakes are worth a look too. Hikers have a network of challenging mountain walks to try, which include six footpaths up Snowdon to feast on the stunning views from the summit. The paths can be testing and so more suited to experienced walkers. Those looking for something less tricky than a mountain climb are well served by the various treks through the hills of Snowdonia. And there are family friendly strolls and circular routes to ensure you too can experience the magic of the place but at a more leisurely pace. If you are looking for the ultimate panaromic view over Snowdonia head for Cnicht. On a clear day the incredible 360-degree view from Cnicht makes up for the climb up its southwest ridge from Croesor, an old mining village. You can also do a short circular walk from the car park in the village.