Like many, this year I’ve found myself searching for the best staycation spots to avoid getting caught up in the corona travel chaos. The UK isn’t exactly best known for its white-sand beaches and all-year-round warm weather, so we opted for a more adventurous route for our week-long holiday and headed by car to Snowdonia National Park, Wales. Although Snowdonia is mostly well known for its mountains, it’s full of hidden gems such as quaint villages, lakes, and waterfalls you wouldn’t believe we’re in the wet and rainy UK! Here are some of the best places to visit in Snowdonia that are my favorites:
Aber Falls is a waterfall located in the north of Snowdonia. It’s a long, but easy hike from the car park, and worth the journey! After just under three miles of walking along the stream, you’ll be greeted with a view like no other – this place is proof you don’t need to travel halfway around the world to see spectacular waterfalls. Aber Falls is magnificent, but be warned – the parking is £5 and you can only pay in coins!
We actually ended up visiting Pistyll Rhaeadr twice on this road trip. However, the first time we barely made it to the waterfall! The lane up to Pistyll Rhaeadr is a long, single-track road that can become heavily congested with traffic, so I recommend getting up early and arriving here before the crowds do. It’s truly beautiful and was well worth the second attempt to see it!
Beautiful yet eerie, Blue Lake is an abandoned quarry located on top of a large hill in southern Snowdonia. True to its name, Blue Lake is a stunning shade of turquoise like no other! The bottom of the pit, where the actual lake is located, is now blocked off from the public – but don’t let that put you off visiting! The view of the Lake from the top is just as stunning and on the other side is an equally beautiful view of the sea and some of the Welsh beaches. It’s a steep and relatively lengthy hike, but worth it!
Easily missed due to its size, Beddgelert is a quaint village situated on the river ‘Afon Glaslyn’. It’s full of stone buildings that have ivy climbing their sides, independent coffee and icecream shops, and a couple of hotels. Like most places in Snowdonia, I would assume that Beddgelert’s beauty is no secret and that it can get busy, so I recommend getting here early and wandering around its lanes whilst they’re still empty!
Llyn Idwal wasn’t originally on the plan for this trip, but I am so glad we took a last-minute detour here! From a map view, it looks just like any other lake, but the beauty of this place lies within its mountainous surroundings. The hike up to it is stunning in itself, but what I really loved about this location was its beach-like lake edges. Sitting here and taking in the views of Cwm Idwal is a perfect reward for the hike up here. A word of warning – the car park is incredibly small and this place is popular, so either get here early or park in the lay-by further down the road!
Tip: Make it dog-friendly!
A silver lining to holidaying within the UK for us was being able to bring our furry friend on this adventure. We stayed in the Fairy Falls hotel, just on Snowdonia’s outskirts, where pets are allowed at no additional cost and are welcome in the restaurant to join you for dinner!
Hopefully, you enjoyed the best places to visit in Snowdonia! Let me know your thought in the comments below!