Just over an hour drive from Manchester, Snowdonia National Park in Wales has just scored 4.9 stars, from 18,522 reviews, officially making it the Best National Park in Europe.
With the highest peak in the country and the largest lake, it’s easy to see why. Mountains meet the sea in a dramatic display, and with a plethora of activities for all walks of life, Snowdonia is fast becoming an international tourist destination.
Things to Do
It goes without saying that the view from the summit of Mount Snowdon is breath-taking and thankfully with a steam locomotive available to whisk you up there, it’s also accessible to all levels of fitness. Fondly referred to by the locals as The Land of the Eagle, there are six different paths, all with varying degrees of difficulty, to take more adventurous sightseers to the peak.
For families that enjoy cycling, Snowdonia has cycling routesavailable for all abilities. But if it’s history you’re after then look no further, Snowdonia is literally brimming with ancient ruins, castles, medieval abbeys and even a Neolithic burial chamber.
For the more adventurous, there is Europe’s fastest and longest Zipwire, Velocity 2, an exhilarating experience or why not visit Bounce Below, where disused mines have been transformed into an underground playground for visitors to bounce and slide their way through an enormous net adventure.
Places to Stay
Log cabins, hotels, and cottages. Snowdonia offers a variety of accommodation to suit every budget. Ffynnon, in Dolgellau, a particularly attractive market town with Welsh slate topped cottages and a pretty market square comes highly recommended for more luxurious lodgings. Or why not consider renting an RV from a company like Outdoorsy and give yourself the flexibility to see all of Snowdonia in one trip. Reasonably priced caravan parks are dotted all over the National Park and often boast spectacular views, as is the case with Barmouth Bay Holiday Park.
Restaurants Worth a Visit
Few people know that Snowdonia National Park is also a destination for food lovers. Tyddyn Llan is one of the finest restaurants in Wales and considered totally worthy of its Michelin stars. If it’s more pub grub you’re after, then historic Pen-y-Gwryd serves excellent food as well as being the training base for Edmund Hilary and the first successful Everest Team in 1958. Visitors should also take the time to seek out local farm shops and delis to sample delightful lamb and local fish.
The Perfect Staycation Destination
Snowdonia really is one of Britain’s most stunning natural landscapes and a holiday here offers a cheaper alternative to places like Cornwall while still offering visitors access to beautiful scenic beaches along its 200-mile-long coastline. It’s worth stopping at places like Llyn Peninsula’s Porth Oer, also known as Whistling Sands due to a geological oddity where the beach audibly squeaks beneath your feet, a spectacle that occurs in only a handful of places worldwide.