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Llanberis Attractions in Snowdonia

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

Llanberis Slate Museum & Lake Railway: Holiday June 2018/19 - page 2

Llanberis is a major tourist village at the foot of Snowdon and is considered to be the centre for outdoor activities in Snowdonia, North Wales.  Lying within the Snowdonia National Park with its breathtaking scenery, Llanberis has many tourist attractions of its own.  Let's take a look around the fascinating National Slate Museum at the historic Dinorwig slate quarry, enjoy a ride alongside scenic Lake Padarn on the quaint Llanberis Lake Railway and visit the stunning Ceunant Mawr Waterfall and Dolbadarn Castle ruins.
This is page two of five.
Snowdon | Llanberis | Snowdonia Mines | Snowdonia Railways | Aberglaslyn Pass Walk + Tramway

Snowdonia: National Slate Museum in Llanberis
Yes you saw that right, it is indeed free entry at the National Slate Museum in Llanberis!  The museum's in Padarn Country Park and is at the site of the...

At the entrance of the National Slate Museum in Llanberis
...former Dinorwig slate quarry.  Within are workshops and buildings set-up as if the quarrymen and engineers have just left for home...

Slate wagons in the courtyard at the National Slate Museum
...including the courtyard with wagons loaded with slate boulders.  Slate has been quarried and mined for hundreds of years in North Wales, at its peak producing some half-million tons a year - that's...

National Slate Museum Llanberis: slate splitting demonstration
...four fifths of the country's slate production.  Next up was the slate splitting demonstration.  The craftsman here expertly demonstrated how slate is neatly split, sized and dressed for use as roofing and in...

The Dinorwig foundry at the National Slate Museum
...other applications such as cosmetics.  Now to the vast iron and brass foundry where figurines were hard at work.  You can just see the drive shaft that powered Dinorwig; it runs for ⅛ mile through...

Workshops at National Slate Museum, Llanberis
...the spacious workshops where the quarry machinery was maintained.  The large wheels at roof level transferred power to the machinery at Dinorwig quarry slate works.  On next...

Quarrymen's cottages at National Slate Museum
...to the row of quarrymen's cottages, each furnished from different eras.  Mike showed his age when he related to many of the fixtures in the 1969...

Inside the 1861 quarrymen's cottage at slate museum
...one!  Our pic above shows the living quarters of a typical Snowdonia slate quarry worker of 1861; each cottage had an upstairs and backyard to view.  Now...

Large Victorian waterwheel at the National Slate Museum, Llanberis
...this is the massive Victorian waterwheel that powered the machinery to produce roof slates, the largest in Britain at 15.4 metres diameter.  Water was piped down cast iron pipes from Snowdon's slopes.
There's more slate facts and a trip down a slate mine on our Llechwedd Slate Caverns page.

Llanberis Lake Railway passing the National Slate Museum
The slate was transported from Dinorwig slate quarry by railway, and right next door to the slate museum is the Llanberis Lake Railway at Gilfach Ddu.

At its peak 3000 men worked at Dinorwig quarry, which closed in 1969.  We found Snowdonia's National Slate Museum in Llanberis a very worthwhile visit.  We haven't shown everything at the museum; be sure to view Una, the 1905 industrial steam engine, the works canteen and even the visitors café!  Entry is free but the adjacent car park was £4 a day on our 2018 visit.

Llanberis Station
The Llanberis Lake Railway, seen here at Llanberis Station, steams along a very scenic five-mile (return) route to Penllyn taking around an hour...

Inside the Llanberis Lake Railway carriage
...through Padarn Country Park and passing the ruins of Dolbadarn Castle along the way.  The lake railway then joins the 1845 slate railway route...

Views of Snowdon across Lake Padarn
...running along the shores of Lake Padarn from which we enjoyed some simply stunning views of Snowdon.  At Penllyn the Llanberis Lake Railway...

Llanberis: lakeside picnic area at Cei Llydan
...returns to stop at Cei Llydan alongside this lakeside picnic area at which we, er, ate our picnic.  It looks like there were some sidings here in past times.  We...

Llanberis: viewpoint by Llyn Padarn
...explored the area at Cei Llydan, further admired the wonderful Snowdonia views across Llyn Padarn and did a short woodland walk before...

Llanberis Lake Railway steam train waiting at Cei Llydan
...catching the next train back to Llanberis.  The Llanberis Lake Railway cost £9.  Please see our UK tourist resources for more on Llanberis.

Snowdon Mountain Railway and Visitor Centre in Llanberis
Back in Llanberis here's the base of the Snowdon Mountain Railway and Visitor Centre; nearby the most popular walking route up Snowdon, the Llanberis Path, begins.

Snowdon Mountain Railway train ascending
A short walk away is the scenic Llanberis waterfall at Ceunant Mawr so we took the short stroll there, spotting the steam train starting its mountain ascent along the way.  After...

Llanberis: Ceunant Mawr Waterfall
...following a mountain stream we arrived at the impressive Ceunant Mawr Waterfall cascading down 30m (100 ft) into a small dammed plunge pool.

Dolbadarn Castle, Llanberis
Our final visit in Llanberis was to the ruins of Dolbadarn Castle, standing high above the village.  The 13th century fortress was built by...

Ascending Dolbadarn Castle tower steps
...Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great) to guard the Llanberis Pass, a major Welsh route and the castle was important both militarily and as a symbol of Llywelyn's power and authority.  The mighty tower...

The Keep inside Dolbadarn Castle's mighty round tower
...is 15m tall with walls 2.5m thick and was used to imprison Owain ap Gruffydd (Llywelyn's grandson's brother) on the upper floor for 20 years during the family's power struggles; at least he had some...

Across Dolbadarn Castle keep
...wonderful views across the castle's courtyard towards Llyn Padarn.  It's easy to see why the landscape at Dolbadarn Castle has inspired writers and artists.

Currently owned by Cadw and managed as a tourist attraction, Dolbadarn Castle is protected as a grade I listed building and is free to visit.

View towards Llanberis from Dolbadarn Castle
So as you can see Llanberis has plenty of attractions; another to consider is the Electric Mountain with tours of Dinorwig Power Station and there's watersports activities on Lake Padarn.

Now please follow us to our next Snowdonia holiday page where we visit Snowdonia's rich slate and copper mining heritage >>>

Another industrial heritage museum visited is Dean Heritage Centre.