Walking Holidays in Wales - UK - Wales - Snowdonia Slate Trail - Mynyddoedd & Mor


Holiday Highlights
  • Beyond the ancient Snowdonian mountains, lies a land of contrasts, showcasing verdant valleys, steep river gorges, fast flowing waterfalls, and moorland wildernesses.
  • Marvel at the incredible surroundings, as you walk through the heart of this slate landscape.
  • Enjoy impressive views of mountains and coast as you pass through all the major mountain ranges.


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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays          

 
  • Overview
  • Walking
  • Pricing
  • Map
  • Accommodation
  • Info

Situated in the heart of North-west Wales is an area of unique natural beauty. Snowdonia, or Eryri, as it is known in Welsh, is Wales’ oldest and largest National Park. Featuring the highest mountain in England and Wales at 1085m (3560ft), Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) stands tall over this magnificent landscape. Beyond the ancient Snowdonian mountains, lies a land of contrasts, showcasing verdant valleys, steep river gorges, fast flowing waterfalls, and moorland wildernesses.

The cultural heritage of Snowdonia has played an integral role in shaping the landscape we see today. During the 19th century, north west Wales was the leading producer of slate in the world. While many of the quarries are now disused, remnants of the slate quarry industry remain visible throughout Snowdonia. As you walk through this distinct and outstanding environment, you will discover the role of this rich quarrying industry in shaping not only the landscape but the communities, language, and culture of Snowdonia. 

Following the 83-mile (134km) Snowdonia Slate Trail, this circular trek explores the industrial slate heritage of Snowdonia National Park. Starting from the sea, on the outskirts of Bangor, the route journeys inland towards the rugged mountains of Snowdonia. Marvel at the incredible surroundings, as you walk through the heart of this slate landscape. Discover some of the overlooked areas of Snowdonia, featuring spectacular remote valleys and abandoned villages. Enjoy impressive views of mountains and coast as you pass through all the major mountain ranges. From the former sleepy slate villages of Bethesda and Blaenau Ffestiniog to bustling Llanberis and Betws Y Coed, a warm welsh welcome or ‘croeso’ awaits.

Extended Stay:

Enjoy the stunning Snowdonia scenery as you embark on a journey on The Welsh Highland Railway. Starting in Beddgelert, this historic steam engine takes you through the remarkable Aberglaslyn Pass to the harbour in Porthmadog.

Surrounded by the Gwydr Forest and set in the beautiful Conwy valley, Betws Y Coed has been drawing visitors since Victorian times. Spend an extra day exploring one of the many local walking trails or browsing the many independent shops and cafes.


Day 1:
Arrive in the coastal city of Bangor.

Overnight Bangor

 

Day 2: Bangor to Llanberis

This section of the Snowdonia Slate Trail gives an introduction to Snowdonia and its slate heritage. Passing through the heart of the Welsh slate industry, via Bethesda with the Penrhyn "super-quarry" which is still operational. After following the River Ogwen, the Trail climbs to Mynydd Llandegai then crosses Gwaun Gynfi moor, from where good paths take you through Padarn Country Park to the National Slate Museum of Wales (housed in the former Dinorwig quarry) and then to Llanberis.

Ascent: 587m Descent: 366m Distance: 13 ½ miles

Overnight Llanberis

 

Day 3: Snowdon

Complete the famous ascent of Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), we provide route notes up the Pyg Track to the north ridge of Snowdon along the ridge to the summit. Returning via the Miner’s Track, taking you down along the shores of Glaslyn and Llyn Llydaw.

Alternatively, you can visit the National Slate Museum at the Site of the former Dinorwig slate quarry which brings to life the story of the slate industry and its people or take the Llanberis lake railway along the shores of Llyn Padarn.

Ascent: 716m Descent: 716m Distance: 8 miles

Overnight Llanberis

 

Day 4: Llanberis to Rhyd Ddu

Leaving Llanberis, you ascend a lane above the village offering views of the Dinorwig quarry and the Snowdon range. Continue on a track between forest and high slate tips, you are now following the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way, which runs from Holywell to Bardsey Island. For most of the day you will share this route. Following country lanes, you will eventually reach high moorland with views of the towering Mynydd Mawr and the rugged Nantlle Ridge ahead. Following a narrow path through the heart of the Nantlle Valley, you pass beneath the base of a slate tip, remains of the once flourishing Natlle slate quarry. Following a good track along the valley passing Llyn Nantlle Uchaf and Llyn Y Dywarchen before descending to Rhyd Ddu. There will be an organised transfer at the end of your walk to your accommodation in Beddgelert. Uncover the tragic tale of Gelert, the faithful hound that gave the village (Gelert's grave) its name.

Ascent: 684m Descent: 569m Distance: 15 miles

Overnight Beddgelert

 

Day 5: Beddgelert via Cwm Bychan

Todays walk takes you up towards Llyn Dinas before climbing to Bwlch y Sygun and then following the line of a former copper mine’s ropeway down Cwm Bychan to reach the Aberglaslyn River. From there a beautiful path takes you above the river through the scenic Aberglaslyn Gorge and back to Beddgelert.

Ascent: 313m Descent: 323m Distance: 6 miles

 

Or

 

Nantmor to Beddgelert via Cnicht

Please note that a transfer from Nantmor to Beddgelert is required for this walk which we can book in advance and payable locally. 

The mountain of Cnicht is often described as the Matterhorn of Wales, and this splendid route takes you up and along its ridge with views in all directions. Starting at Nantmor Halt on the Welsh Highland Railway, you will walk along country lanes before striking out across open moorland to reach the south ridge of Cnicht. The final ascent to Cnicht's summit is challenging but rewarding with spectacular views across Snowdonia, including Cader Idris and the quarried Moelwyn hills. After an exhilarating ridge walk, the route takes you past Llyn yr Adar and Llyn Llagi before descending along faint paths to reach Llyn Dinas, where you turn to make your way back to Beddgelert via the Sygun Copper Mine. 

Ascent: 641m Descent: 646m Distance: 10 miles

Overnight Beddgelert

Day 6: Llan Ffestiniog to Penmachno

Today’s walk is challenging but well worth the effort. Following a path into the Cwm Cynfal Nature Reserve, discover the majestic Cwm Cynfal Gorge and waterfall. Crossing the open moorland of the Migneint, a descent to the remote quarry workings of Rhiwbach and Cwm Penmachno eventually bring you to the village of Penmachno. St Tudclud’s church in Penmachno dates from 1859, but there has been a church there since the 6th Century: it is well worth a visit and has fine stained glass windows and a 12th century font. There will be an organised transfer at the end of your walk to your accommodation in Betws-Y-Coed.

Ascent: 722m Descent: 745m Distance: 14 miles

Overnight Betws-Y-Coed

Day 7: Betws-Y-Coed to Capel Curig

Leaving Betws-Y-Coed, the trail follows the river, passing the spectacular Swallow Falls before reaching Ty Hyll (Ugly House). The route then takes you off the Slate Trail and along an old Roman Road to the two lakes of Llyn Geirionydd (reputedly the home of the 6th century poet Taliesin) and Llyn Crafnant, nestled in the mountains north of Betws-y-Coed in the Gwydir Forest Park. Take in the forested slopes of Mynydd Deulyn and enjoy stunning views across the water of Llyn Crafnant up to the Carneddau range. Continue through varied scenery, from forest walks to paths over high moorland before returning - once again to the Slate Trail and to your accommodation in Capel Curig.

Ascent: 571m Descent: 440m Distance: 10 miles

Overnight Capel Curig

Day 8: Capel Curig to Bethesda

An easy walk to Llyn Ogwen brings you to the impressive U-shaped valley of Nant Ffrancon. Boasting magnificent views, this deep glaciated valley takes you to blue slate tips of the Penrhyn Quarry. Once the world’s largest slate quarry, it now features the fastest zip line in the world and longest in Europe. A short walk brings you back to Bethesda and the end of the Snowdonia Slate Trail. There will be an organised transfer to bring you back to your accommodation in Bangor.

Ascent: 295m Descent: 273m Distance: 13 miles

Overnight Bangor

 

Day 9: Departure

Walk Grading

Our Snowdonia Slate Trail Trek is graded moderate to challenging. One day offers a choice of walks, ranging from moderate to challenging to challenging.

Total for standard week ignoring variations: - Ascent: 3888m Descent: 3432m Distance: 79.5 miles.

Self-Guided

Our Snowdonia Slate Trail Trek is offered on a self-guided basis. We provide full walking notes, history portfolio, and all the relevant maps and backup support you may need.


Baggage Transfers

Throughout this trek your luggage (1 bag per person) is transported from hotel to hotel so it will not be necessary to carry more than a light pack containing items you will need during the day. 

Nights 1 & 8: Bangor

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This former coach house opened in 2017 following a complete refurbishment.  All 11 rooms are named after a slate quarry/mine in North Wales, with tasteful decor and offering comfort as well as functionality. The onsite restaurant provides quality local produce with plentiful choice.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, tea/coffee making facilities and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath.


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Nights 2 & 3: Llanberis

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Fiona and Rob offer you a very warm welcome to their B&B in the heart of Snowdonia. This spacious and elegant Victorian House situated in its own grounds offers a comfortable and friendly place to stay surrounded by beautiful and dramatic scenery. The cosy guest lounge is equipped with a television, maps and guidebooks and a boot and drying room is also available. A hearty breakfast includes a wide selection of organic and locally sourced high-quality ingredients.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, tea/coffee making facilities and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer. Most rooms also feature a seating area with two comfortable easy chairs.

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Nights 4 & 5: Beddgelert

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This family run B&B located in the centre of Beddgelert is the perfect base for exploring Snowdonia with stunning views over the Afon Colwyn, Moel Hebog and Aberglaslyn. Experience warm hospitality and high-quality service during your stay. Rooms are tastefully decorated, as is the very comfortable guest lounge. There is also a pleasant guest garden overlooking the river. Start the day with a delicious cooked or continental breakfast with plenty of choice to suit all tastes and appetites.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and complimentary toiletries.


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Night 6: Betws Y Coed

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Set on the banks of the River Conwy, this beautiful country house hotel is surrounded by uninterrupted and breath-taking views of the Conwy Valley. Offering a combination of modern facilities and period character, rooms are individually designed and decorated in keeping with the Victorian period of the house. Relax in the conservatory bar which overlooks extensive grounds. The onsite restaurant offers an abundance of quality produce all of which is locally sourced or grown in the kitchen gardens.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.


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Night 7: Capel Curig

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Set amidst the beautiful Snowdonia mountains, this family owned and run historic coaching Inn offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Enjoy an evening meal with the choice of a traditional pub atmosphere or a more contemporary bar feel.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, tea/coffee making facilities and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath, handmade toiletries and hairdryer. 

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Availability Information

The Snowdonia Slate Trail is best experienced ‘out of season’ although it is a year-round destination. 

Late autumn and early spring offer the walker the stunning beauty of this remarkable landscape with empty paths, quiet places to stay and of course, the variable Welsh weather. The rest of the year whilst generally offering a more stable climate, is busier with visitors.

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit.

When to book your walking holiday in Wales - UK - Wales - Snowdonia Slate Trail - Mynyddoedd & Mor

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