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Snowdonia National Park (Wales)
Member Name: nicola21
Snowdonia National Park (Wales)
Date: 26/03/01, updated on 01/04/01 (171 review reads)
Advantages: Magnificent views and extraordinary surroundings...
Disadvantages: ...but not for those who prefer busy places and lots of commercial things to do.
Whether you are just driving through or climbing to the top of Snowdon, you cannot deny the fact that this is one of the most breathtaking areas of natural beauty in Britain on par with the Scottish Highlands.
It is really something you have to experience for yourself as it is difficult to find words to describe such a place. Photographs cannot even do justice to the spectacular panoramic views of undamaged wilderness in this secluded area of North Wales.
Even the air is different here. There is a real sense of what Britain's green and pleasant lands used to look like before urbanisation. Obviously, not mountains, but rolling fields, woodlands, animals and birds in a natural environment.
Snowdonia is perfect for escaping chaos and recovering the soul. If you enjoy hustle, bustle and plenty of action though, you are bound to be disappointed as peace and traquility are the only things on the menu here.
Visitors are encouraged to climb Mount Snowdon and the information centre and gift shop at the base provide maps of different trails with average times for ascent and descent, and the effort required to climb at different inclinations around the mountain. At the summit, although only open in season, is a cafe, shop and other necessary facilities such as toilets. If you go out of season, I'm afraid that you'll have to pop behind some rocks to relieve yourself! But the effort whenever you go in the year is definitely worth it.
For those who do not want to walk, or are not able to walk, there is the Snowdon Mountain railway which for a small charge, will take you up and down the mountain in their old-fashioned steam train, along the track used by miners and when thay built the facilities at the summit. For my grandmother's 80th birthday, we took her to the summit by train, so anyone can enjoy Snowdon at any age. There is the option to take the train up and walk back down or vice versa if
you choose, although there is much more satisfaction in having climbed up yourself!
If you choose to stay in the area there is a lovely little village a few miles east of Snowdon called Betws-y-coed just off of the A5. There are quite a few pleasant guest-houses there with friendly owners. From my own experience, I would recommend a B&B called Bod Hyfred in Betws-y-coed. The owners are a lovely, warm and friendly couple, the rooms are comfortable and the food is excellent.
There is a large river running through this small country village, and if you follow this river a mile up the road, you come to a small attraction called Swallow Falls. It is a breathtaking, natural waterfall set amongst woodland. For a charge of £1 (which pays for the upkeep of the area), you can go right in and see the falls at close range. Steps and a viewing area have been cut into the bank of the river right next to the fall and you can sit and dream for as long as you want. Natural features are always the most stunning, and this is the perfect place to say goodbye to the area if you are leaving.
Snowdonia and its' surroundings is an incredible place that really has to be seen to be appreciated to the full extent of its beauty. I wouldn't recommend this place to families with very young children unless the little ones are docile and somewhat interested in looking at scenery and mountains. It will leave you with the most incredible memories, and to most people I have met who have been there, it is a little piece of perfection that you'll hold in the sentimental side of you, and definitely want to visit again.
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