On our first full day in Snowdonia, we slept in a little longer than we wanted so instead of climbing Mount Snowdon, like the original plan, we decided to explore the immediate surrounding area a little more instead. After eating our breakfast of delicious pastries that we ordered the previous night from the campsite office, we set off into the village to explore. The weather was quite overcast and foggy, however it was lovely seeing the mountains shrouded in mist, casting a gothic atmosphere over the landscape.
The village of Beddgelert is absolutely adorable and I would definitely recommend visiting if you are in the National Park for a couple of days, whether to stay of just visit for a meal one evening. There are colourful terraced houses with spectacular mountain backdrops, quaint pubs and cafés and a large ice cream parlour. You can visit the gift shop to buy big chunks of fudge in a million different flavours. There are meticulously designed, bright flowerbeds dotted everywhere, and old stone churches.
After walking around the village for a while we explored the Aberglaslyn Pass, which travels along down the river we passed on the way from Porthmadog. The river was broken up by rocks and bordered with trees, with a few open spots to skim pebbles along the water. The railway track follows parallel to the track, giving us close-up views of the cute red and black steam trains of the Welsh Highland Railway. We managed the route quite easily; the path got more rocky and narrow near the end but it was nothing we couldn’t handle. After a while, we came across a grassy clearing with some benches so we stopped for lunch, having a picnic of a large cheese baguette with some jaffa cakes. We continued along the path for short while after lunch, until we came to a main-road and a bridge crossing the river. Standing on the bridge, we could get a great view overlooking the whole river back the way we had come, with the mountains proudly elevated behind.
On the way back from the village to the campsite, knowing the route properly now we took our time to explore the surroundings a lot more, taking some snaps of the steam trains passing by. The area was covered in fern and the mountains stood in the distance in misty blue layers. Despite the clouds we were able to get a few beautiful glowing sunset pictures, orange gossamer floating across the darkening blue sky and the bare pine trees striking black silhouettes in the foreground.
After another dinner of cold couscous and chickpeas that we ate in the campsite ‘forest cabin’ to hide from the midges, we researched the map to plan which routes we wanted to take the following day up Mount Snowdon.
Read my next post to read about the big climb up the tallest mountain in Wales!
Much love <3