For our #ThrowbackThursday article, we’ve picked this one about Snowdonia – a stunning landscape of mountains and coast found in the wilds of North Wales…
Stretching a vast 823 square miles across Wales, Snowdonia National Park combines mountainous peaks, pristine coastline, and ancient monuments dotted across luscious landscapes. Seekers of dizzy heights and wind chapped cheeks flock in their dozens to experience the eye-opening view from the slopes of Mount Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain. In the shadow of the summits lies a mysterious underground world, steeped in history and legends waiting to be uncovered.
The village of Corris holds the gateway to King Arthur’s Labyrinth – a sub terrain network of snaking waterways and immense caverns. Deep in the darkness a hooded boatman waits to guide you on a medieval journey and delight your mind with tales of magic, dragons, giants and Celtic glory. Myth-chasers not yet satiated can discover further folklore at the Lost Legends of the Stone Circle: an enchanted maze brimming with quirky characters. Make it to the heart of the maze and you will discover a mysterious circular monument fashioned from Druid-age stone.
Don your hardhat for another journey deep underground – this time into the mining past of Llechwedd Slate Caverns. Descend hundreds of feet on Britain’s steepest railway – not for the faint hearted! To re-live the life of a Victorian miner, grasp a hammer and get to grips with slate-splitting, a craft which all are welcome to try their hand at. Step blinking back into the light and feel the rush of wind on an adrenaline-fuelled zip line ride at Zip World – speeding across a quarry on wires of up to 1000 metres long, you can even ride parallel to your friends if you don’t fancy flying solo.
Back on earth, captivating Conwy is a walled medieval market town found on the north coast of Wales running alongside the banks of the river Conwy. Somewhat foreboding, Conwy Castle is as formidable as the rock on which it stands. When visiting, ensure to scale the battlements and take in the eye-opening view of where Snowdonia’s mountains meet the sea.
From this colossal hunk of military might, stroll down to Conwy’s harbour where Britain’s smallest house perches. Inhabited until 1900 by a 6ft 3 inch fisherman named Robert Jones, today the house is declared unfit for human habitation – with room for no more than a bed, a stove, a water tap and bedside cabinet it’s easy to see why. At just £1 entry this tiny bolt hole is well worth a peek. And from the past to the future, Conwy is set to be the location of a 300m wave garden opening in 2015. Surfers of all abilities will be able to rip through waves of up to 6m… or head for total wipeout!
Don’t miss the beaches of Black Rock and Borth-y-Gest, as well as Isle of Anglesey and Caernarfon Castle. South of Snowdonia you’ll find more beauty in the shape of a mountain called Moel Hebog, Porthamadog – a busy harbour town – and Portmeirion, a village with an Italian twist. You never quite know what you may find tucked in the wilds of Wales!
Stay at Cwm Pennant Hostel
by Sarah Griffiths