Continuing our trip around Wales, we travelled from Porthmadog to Caernarfon, and then took the ‘scenic route’ through Beddgelert and the Llanberis Pass to the town of Llanberis, at the base of Snowdon.
We had three nights at the Royal Victoria Hotel which is situated just a short walk away from the Snowdon Mountain Railway.
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales. The summit, at 1,085 metres above sea level, is the highest point in the British Isles, outside the Scottish Highlands. It is also the only mountain in the UK with a railway to within metres of the summit. The rack railway to the summit opened in 1896 and carries passengers 7.6 km from the town of Llanberis, beside Llyn Padarn (Padarn Lake) to Summit station.
The summit is prone to high winds and heavy cloud that can move in, and out, quite suddenly. We were fortunate to make it to the summit, as the wind was blowing hard, and the closer we got to the top, the thicker the cloud became. Many trains did not get all the way, that day, but thankfully we did, as can be seen from the photos. Nevertheless, we had some great views of the surrounding country once we descended through the cloud layer.
Literally on the edge of Llanberis are the Llanberis Falls and they are within easy walking distance from the Royal Victoria Hotel. There are three main drops, and a number of cascades between then.
Within the 30 acre grounds of the Royal Victoria Hotel. are the ruins of Dolbadarn Castle. The Castle is a fortification built by the Welsh Prince, Llywelyn the Great, during the early 13th century. What is left today is the tower and quite a few excavated low walls.
There is a small narrow gauge railway which runs around the edge of Lake Padarn, and part of the route was a slate railway built around 170 years ago. There is also an extensive National Slate Museum which is situated in the 19th-century workshops of the now closed Dinorwic slate quarry.
We had a great time in Llanberis, and I hope you the photos. To visit the gallery click here.
Until next time – Peter.