Snowdon Top 5 Summer Walks - Snowdon Walks & Views - Snowdon Mountain Railway
02nd September 2015
There aren't many places which are as blessed with spectacular sights as Snowdonia. On and around the mountain itself, there's a wealth of amazing scenery to savour - and because there's so much to discover, lots of visitors to the region find themselves coming back. If you're new to Snowdonia you're probably wondering where to begin when it comes to finding the most stunning views it has to offer.
From craggy cliffs to lush lakes, Snowdonia has something for every visitor to enjoy. What's more, it's a photographer's paradise - as you can see from our own photo gallery
. To help you make the very most of your trip to the region, we've picked out five of our very favourite stunning summer walks in the area. Every Snowdonia buff will have their own favourites, of course, but we reckon these choices are among the very finest Snowdonia walks there are.
5. Snowdon's summit as viewed from the Pyg Track
Walking through the basin of the Snowdon Horseshoe with the perilous, knife-edge Crib Goch (as you may have guessed, strictly for accomplished mountaineers only) off to your right, you'll soon see towering before you Snowdon's distinctive pyramid summit. Although its route is fairly straightforward, the Pyg track requires some determination and you'll need to be in reasonably good physical condition to get the better of it. Still, it really is worth the effort for this view alone. It's the sort of view that's sure to spur you on all the way to the summit itself.
4. Cwm Orddin
Any Snowdon photography enthusiast should make an effort to stop off at Cwm Orddin while they're in the area. While Snowdonia is of course renowned for its dramatic mountain scenery, what's less well known is that it also has a strong industrial heritage stretching back centuries. Cwm Orddin - near Tanygrisiau, just south of Blaenau Ffestiniog - was once home to a hardy slate mining community, but the long-abandoned settlement is slowly being taken back by nature. The combination of the striking natural surroundings and the ruined cottages offer photographers ample opportunities to take some fantastic shots.
(photo credit: dioni.co.uk)
3. Ogwen Valley
The northernmost main valley in Snowdonia, the Ogwen Valley is a firm favourite among visitors to Snowdonia - and it's not difficult to see why. The valley derives its name from that of the river which runs through it, bounded by the Carneddau mountains on one side and the Glyderau mountains on the other. In the Ogwen Valley, you'll find Tryfan - well known as one of Snowdonia's most spectacular photography vantage points. From there you should be able to take a spectacular shot of Adam and Eve, the two towering monoliths.
2. Llyn Padarn
The Padarn Country Park - close to the charming village of Llanberis - offers some fantastic walks which any visitor to Snowdonia should check out. At the heart of the park is Llyn Padarn, a glacially-formed natural
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lake stretching over approximately two miles in length. The lake is the sixth deepest in Wales and it's overlooked by the ruined Dolbadarn Castle, a dramatic fortification and now a scheduled monument built by the prince Llewellyn the Great in the early 13th century. Nature buffs might also like to know that the lake itself is of particular interest for being the home of the Arctic Char, a species of fish which survived the last Ice Age. But more to the point, even relatively inexperienced photographers can end up with some stunning snaps here.
(photo credit: walkiees.co.uk)
1. The Snowdon Horseshoe from the summit
A trek up Mount Snowdon can be a challenging affair - how challenging will of course depend on the route you take - but when you see the views from the summit, you'll know that it was well worth it. Particularly striking from the top of the mountain is the view of the Snowdon Horseshoe, famous for providing one of the most challenging ridge walks in Britain. This is a view that's been treasured by generations of photographers, and it's a genuine must-see for anyone paying a visit to Snowdonia. It also makes for great personal or group selfies, with the Horseshoe looming in the background (do take care if you're going to take selfies up there, though). We wouldn't recommend you attempt the Snowdon Horseshoe walk itself unless you're a very accomplished and experienced ridge walker with a real head for heights, by the way.
Top tips for taking stunning Snowdon snaps
The diversity of the Snowdonia landscape and its powerful peaks means that this region offers lots of opportunities for truly otherworldly photography. Here are our tips to help you get the very best Snowdonia photographs.
- Snowdonia weather can change very quickly. This can scupper your efforts to take that perfect photo. Keep in touch with the weather forecast, but be prepared for a change of plan when the weather puts paid to your original one. Consider visiting for a few days at a time instead of taking Snowdon day trips. That way, you aren't banking on one day being absolutely perfect weather-wise.
- Some cloud cover can make for a more dramatic photograph by adding a touch of visual drama - particularly at sunset. Consider how you can use the mountain fog to provide a frame for the shot.
- Use the companions on your trip as photographic props. Including people in your shots can put things into powerful visual perspective - it provides a striking sense of scale. It's a very effective way of demonstrating just how vast the landscape and mountains are.
- Mountains can look dramatically different depending on the angle from which they're photographed. Take a number of different shots from different positions, then evaluate which ones you're happiest with and what you like about them.
There are various ways to make the most of Snowdonia. If you want to see the sights of the mountain itself in comfort, then you can always book
leisurely steam train trips on the Snowdon Mountain Railway instead of trekking to the summit on foot. If you feel like a challenge and you want to hike, we've already provided a handy guide which you can find here
But the great thing about taking photos in Snowdonia is that you're surrounded by stunning natural beauty wherever you look - so you don't have to be an expert to get impressive end results. Hopefully these tips will set you well on your way, whether you're a budding master photographer or you just want to have some fun with family and friends. Good luck, and let us know how you get on!