We’d heard a lot about the epic landscapes around Eryri (Snowdonia) in North Wales, and they definitely didn’t disappoint! The goal of our three-day Eryri glamping trip was to get out into some beautiful countryside and have a few adventures. As it turned out there was so much to do that we’re going to have to come back for more. In the meantime, here are our top tips to help you plan an amazing trip.
Where to stay
We opted for glamping instead of the four walls of a hotel so that we would feel closer to nature. If this trip was going to be all about the great outdoors, then what better way to experience the mountains than by sleeping and waking right there in the heart of it all?
To be close to the action in Eryri (Snowdonia), we recommend staying in or near the towns of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Betws-y-Coed or Llanberis. All three are small towns nestled among expansive mountain landscapes, so don’t worry about feeling hemmed in. The area is well set up for visitors, and there are plenty of small hotels, B&Bs, camping pods and options for glamping near Eryri.
Our glamping Eryri (Snowdonia) experience
We were lucky enough to stay at Llechwedd Glamping, just outside Blaenau Ffestiniog. Their luxury safari tent had everything we needed - comfy beds, a hot shower, a compact kitchen and a log burner for cosy evenings. But most importantly, that view!
Waking up to this every morning was such a treat. When we arrived, it was a stormy autumn day in Eryri and quite a wild night of weather. But despite being literally on the side of a mountain, we felt safe and snug in our safari tent with the fire stoked and mugs of hot chocolate warming our hands.
Llechwedd Glamping was amazing, but there are a few more campsites near by that we’d like to check out next time. For a summer camping trip, we love the look of Llyn Gwynant Campsite right at the base of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). And the camping pods at Llwyn Onn Glamping look super cute.
How to get here
The beauty of the landscape and its dramatic winding roads make Eryri perfect for a road trip. But that’s not to say that you can’t travel car-free too. We came by railway, arriving in Blaenau Ffestiniog from London in about four hours.
The area is pretty well-connected with public transport too, so with some planning, getting around would be super easy. Having said that, many campsites near Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) have hiking trails you can hit straight from the door without driving anywhere. There are also guided excursions you can join that offer pickup from your Eryri campsite or hotel.
Read more: Travelling around Wales
When to visit
Summer is the most popular season to explore Eryri (Snowdonia), but that also makes it the busiest. We travelled in autumn and loved the fiery colours, rushing waterfalls and quiet trails.
Spring would also be a great time to explore. Again, it’s a quieter time of year, so it's ideal for those who like to have a more peaceful wilderness experience.
Things to do
For outdoor enthusiasts, there is so much to do in the mountains of Eryri. With just three days to fit it all in we had to choose carefully. Here’s a glimpse of some of the great things you can get up to.
Summit Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)
Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) is, of course, the highest mountain in Wales, and at an elevation of 1085m above sea level, it’s a proper challenge to climb. You could choose to do so solo on one of several different routes to Yr Wyddfa's summit. If you're reasonably fit and healthy, a round trip should take about 6-8 hours. So with the shorter days outside of the summer season, it’s very important to set off early and check the weather forecast first.
If you’d prefer to leave the navigation to someone else, you could join a guided group hike with RAW Adventures. They also offer guided winter walking and mountain skills training.
The third option is hopping on the Snowdon Mountain Railway to take in the spectacular views without the achy legs (the train operates seasonally and is weather-dependent).
Do go chasing waterfalls
If the weather doesn’t go your way or that distant summit looks too far off, then there are so many more beautiful places to walk.
One of our favourites was the Rhaeadr Cymerau waterfall. A ten-minute stroll from the car park along a lush wooded trail brought us to this truly magical place. Moss-covered rocks and ancient-looking trees framed a thundering waterfall that we could hear well before we clapped our eyes on it.
Another lovely spot was the Rhaeadr Cynfal waterfall, an easy twenty-minute walk from the car park. If, like us, you have a few days of rain leading up to your trip, then all the better for waterfall watching.
Underground golf, anyone?
This was a new one for us, but it was so much fun. Underground Golf is just one of the experiences offered by Zip World Llechwedd in and around a network of disused mining caverns set 500 feet underground.
We started off by descending into these 200-year-old mines on Europe’s steepest railway of its kind. Once there, we found an 18-hole golf course laid out over 4 levels and illuminated in neon lights. There was even a death slide to link the levels.
Mountain biking like a pro
Just a short walk from our glamping site were the thrilling bike trails of Antur Stiniog. They have 14 zigzagging trails on which you can hurtle down the mountainside at speed, some of them dauntingly steep.
Being first-timers, we stuck to the green runs, which were so exhilarating that we forgot all about our initial fears in a few wind-blasted seconds. This might have been our favourite activity of the whole trip