micbinks - UK holiday, leisure & tourist attraction images

Snowdonia, North Wales

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

Snowdon Mountain & Llanberis Slate Museum: Holiday June 2018 - page 1

Snowdon is Britain's second highest peak and at some 1,085m (or 3,560 ft) a walk up any of its various trails is not to be taken lightly!  The mountain is located within the magnificent 2,132 square km (823 sq ml) Snowdonia National Park (Eryri), a National Park since 1951.  This area in North Wales attracts oodles of outdoor lovers to enjoy its stupendous mountain scenery - including us this year!  We've not visited Snowdonia for some 17 years, so before we get too old to climb Snowdon we returned to ascend the mountain by way of the very scenic Pyg Track and back down the Miners' Track.  The start point for many of Snowdon's popular trails is at the busy Pen-y-Pass (on the A4086) so that's where we headed for our Snowdon ascent...
This is page one of three.
Snowdonia | Snowdonia mines | Snowdonia Railways
 

Snowdonia: Snowdon view from Pen-y-Pass
Forewarned that the car park at Pen-y-Pass fills quickly, we used the efficient Sherpa bus service to travel there.  Yes, this is North Wales, and yes, that is a clear blue sky!  We first headed...

Pen-y-Pass visitor centre Warden Area
...to the small Pen-y-Pass visitor centre and studied the informative displays on the mountain where we learned that peak (previous photo) is not the Snowdon summit but the scary Crib Goch.  After refreshment...

Starting ascent of Snowdon along the Pyg Track
...in the large café at Pen-y-Pass it was time to begin our Snowdon ascent.  The Pyg Track is the shortest route up Snowdon and involves the least amount of ascent as it already starts at 359m (1,177 ft)...

Snowdon: taking a pihoto along the Pyg Track
...so that should be, erm, easy then...  Well, the initial bit was and shortly after commencing our climb we stopped to admire the fantastic view through this gap in the mountain landscape...

Llanberis Pass view from the Pyg Track
...towards Llanberis and its huge Lake Padarn glistening in the distance in the sunshine.  There were plenty of others on the Pyg Track and many were descending Snowdon already!  Soon...

In Snowdonia: the breathtaking mountain views along the Pyg Track
...we encountered the first of many steep 'step and boulder' bits to scramble over but then arrived at this ledge; time once again to take in the breathtaking mountain views and more photos.  After...

Snowdon: At Bwlch y Moch where the route to Crib Goch peels off the Pyg Track
...taking on water and a breather the Pyg Track continued to where the route to the knife-edged Crib Goch peeled off to the right at Bwlch y Moch.  Yes, up there was the peak we saw back at Pen-y-Pass...

Snowdon: Llyn Llydaw as seen from the Pyg Track
...while to the left we enjoyed a splendid view of Llyn Llydaw.  Taking a look at our trusty tracking app we saw we'd done almost 2km of the 5.6km route, well on the way up Snowdon!  The Pyg Track...

Llyn Glaslyn view from Snowdon's Pyg Track
...ran fairly level at this point for a good while, although often loose underfoot so we were thankful for our sturdy mountain footwear.  That's Llyn Glaslyn down there, and after rounding the bend we got...

Pignic along the Pyg Track with Snowdon's summit in distance
...our first view of Snowdon's summit.  Hmmm, still some way to go then, so at this point we consumed our picnic while observing the people negotiating the Crib Goch ridgeline on their hands and knees high...

Snowdon: walking along a level part of the Pyg Track
...above.  After applying more sunscreen on this gloriously sunny day in Snowdonia we continued along another level part of the Pyg Track, but presently the route became...

Snowdon: rocky scramble on the Pyg Track
...pretty steep and rocky at the point where the Miners' Track merged.  This rocky part of Snowdon continued for a good while until we got to the viewpoint and another well-deserved breather...

Snowdon's famous zig zags
...just before the start of the famous zig zags.  Now on the final leg, the various Snowdon tracks merge just after the zig zags for the final haul to the...

Snowdon summit, nearly there
...top.   Now, Snowdon is an extremely popular mountain to ascend but it was still a shock to see the summit trig point literally crawling with...

The Snowdon summit
...oodles of people!  At the 1,085m summit the Hafod Eryri Visitor Centre houses a Snowdon exhibition and has café, bar, toilets and the obligatory gift shop.  The famous rack and pinion Snowdon Mountain Railway runs to the summit, which we rode one-way in a previous Snowdon visit.  Now...

Sunny day on Snowdon for a selfie
...the panoramic views across Snowdonia are simply awesome, they literally took our breath away (did we have any left?) as you can see in our selfie above.  We fortunately enjoyed fine sunny weather on Snowdon, but as a mountain in North Wales it can often be in heavy cloud, wet and windy.  Having...

Snowdon: descending by the Miners' Track towards Llyn Glaslyn
...ascended the mountain by the Pyg Track, we descended by the Miners' Track, around 6km (3.7ml) in length.  The route took us right down to the shores of Llyn Glaslyn...

Snowdon: old mine workings along the Miners' Track
...and Llyn Llydaw, passing many old mine working ruins of the Britannia Copper Mines that gives the Miners' Track its name.  Although the terrain was a bit easier than the Pyg it was still hardgoing...

Snowdon Sherpa bus at Pen-y-Pass
...phew!  So back at Pen-y-Pass exhausted, aching and knackered after our day on Snowdon, we boarded the Sherpa bus looking forward to a well-earned pint which we can report definitely didn't touch the sides!

Snowdon Mountain Railway and Visitor Centre in Llanberis
So another day of our Snowdonia holiday and a look around Llanberis, a mecca for the Snowdon tourist industry.  Here's the base of the Snowdon Mountain Railway and Visitor Centre.  A short walk...

Snowdon Mountain Railway train ascending
...away is the scenic Llanberis waterfall at Ceunant Mawr; along the way we spotted the steam train starting its mountain ascent.  After following a...

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

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 so we went to...

National Slate Museum Llanberis: slate splitting demonstration
...see the slate splitting demonstration.  The craftsman here expertly demonstrated how slate is neatly split, sized and dressed for use as roofing and...

The foundry at the National Slate Museum
...other applications such as cosmetics.  Next up was the vast iron and brass foundry where figurines were hard at work.  Moving on through the fascinating National Slate Museum to the...

Workshops at National Slate Museum, Llanberis
...spacious workshops where the slate was worked.  Notice the large wheels on the shaft running at roof level, this powered the machinery throughout the slate works at Dinorwig quarry.  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 back yard to view.  Now...

National Slate Museum, Llanberis: huge waterwheel
...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.

 

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 on our visit.

If attempting an ascent of Snowdon be warned it's a very popular mountain!  Go equipped for all weathers as it can change rapidly as we found out on a previous 2001 Snowdon ascent.  In fact, Crib Goch is the wettest spot in the UK!  There's a number of different trails apart from the Pyg and Miners' tracks we used, or take a ride up on the Snowdon Mountain Railway.  The Snowdon Sherpa bus service cost us £2 per journey and connects Pen-y-Pass to many popular Snowdonia towns.

To find out more about the above places check out our UK tourism resources.

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

 

We've been up Snowdon Pyg and Snowdon previously and also in North Wales visited Betws-y-coed and Llangollen.