So this past weekend I went back to Wales, but this time with a group for a hiking trip. A little bit different than my urban walkabout in Cardiff a couple weeks ago. It was nice to get out of the city and back into the mountains. I will say Wales is very underrated for outdoor activities and scenery. It’s also cheaper than most places with similar attributes, and much closer.
We stayed in Llanberis, which is in the middle of a few mountains. It’s situated on a lake, has many lodging options, and a lot of places to eat, drink, and hangout. We stayed at the Royal Victoria Hotel, just south of town. Solid place, although we tried for a cottage, but all were booked. I think that would have been the best option, gives everyone personal space, but more communal. Although the hotel was nice, and breakfast included, which was great.
We hiked up Snowdon, which had many options for routes, which is always a good thing. We started from Rhyd-Ddu and did a loop. It was a great hike, that went through several different types of ground: gradual grades, steep grades, rocky path, grass, and even some jagged rocks. We kept a decent pace, and took a nice break at the top. My friend had a Garmin watch, which tracked the whole thing.
As I said the scenery was incredible. Seemed like every break we had the views got better. Even when there was fog and mist, they never lasted long. At a certain height you could see the Irish Sea and damn near all the way to Ireland itself. Also, see all the way to the north and some to the south. Although Snowdon is not a large mountain, about 1,000m, but the temperature changes were fairly sharp, especially with the wind.
The driving was a bit much for a weekend trip, roughly 15 hours round trip. However, the train is a quicker option and not that expensive to get close. You can rent a car from Bangor, or even take the bus. Snowdon is not the only hike in the region either and there are many options. I highly recommend it.