Book unique holiday rentals, houses, and more on Airbnb
Guests agree: these stays are highly rated for location, cleanliness, and more.
With its lakeside location at the foot of Snowdon, Wales’ tallest mountain, Llanberis has one of the most spectacular settings in Wales. That’s even before you spot the magnificent medieval ruins of Dolbadarn Castle, built by one of the last Princes of Wales and captured by many Romantic artists, or take one of the two narrow-gauge rail lines that putter gently from here. One goes around the northern bank of the sparkling Lake Padarn, while the other travels 4.7 miles to the summit of Snowdon itself.
An unsurprisingly popular spot with hill walkers, rock climbers, mountain bikers, and pony trekkers, the town is full of bustling outdoor shops, but also lovely cafes in brightly painted buildings. Llanberis’ surrounding countryside is full of other lively sites, too, including the Vivian Dive Centre for budding scuba divers and the National Slate Museum, with its gorgeous courtyard and clock tower in the shadow of a quarry.
The nearest train station to Llanberis on the North Wales Coast Line is Bangor, a 15-minute journey by car or taxi, or 50 minutes by local bus (take the 85 or 86). From Bangor, trains go west to Holyhead (30 mins) for sea transport to Ireland, or east to Chester or Crewe, where you can change for Manchester Airport (MAN), South Wales, and London. You can also take a direct train from here to Birmingham International (BHX) if you aren’t in a hurry: services run approximately every two hours, and take 3.5 hours. The nearest airport by road is Liverpool John Airport (LPL), around 1.5 hours away. Once in Llanberis, the great network of Sherpa buses will take you around Snowdonia, while the local bike hire shop has full-suspension mountain and road models, as well as children’s bikes and trailers.
Llanberis is said to have less rainfall than other parts of Wales, perhaps on account of it being protected by the mountains. Nevertheless, always come here with your waterproofs, umbrella, and stout walking shoes: you never know when the weather might turn. Summers often bring glorious, warm days, perfect for lakeside walks and gentler hikes but also big events like the Slateman Triathlon, where competitors swim, cycle, and run in one of the world’s best locations. If you’re a committed outdoor type keen to avoid crowds, or you fancy less sun on your neck when you’re battling uphill, spring or autumn are still great times to travel. Be aware of weather conditions on the peaks if you come here in winter, or instead just enjoy the distant snowy sights of Wales’ greatest summits.
You don’t just have to get an old train around Lake Padarn. You can swim in it too. Lagoons on the edges of this gorgeous expanse of water are popular in the summer: the lake is quieter in its middle. Newcomers to open-water swimming can enrol in supported swimming groups who stay close to the shore, and canoes and kayaks can be hired for more splashy fun.
There are seven well-known routes up Wales’ highest peak, with the popular Llanberis Path being the “easiest.” Be prepared, though: it’s also one of the longest (9 miles). The Snowdon Ranger Path is more direct, if you can cope with the steep section in its middle, while the others involve rougher paths and scrambles. If you fancy an easier ride, the Snowdon Mountain Railway is there for a reason.
If the highest mountain in Wales isn’t enough, enjoy one of the most gorgeous, varied country parks in Britain. Here you’ll find picturesque woodlands and wildlife, a diving and watersports centre, and unusual historic buildings such as the eerie Quarry Hospital.