Mankind has always been driven to experience what it feels like to be on top of the world. First recorded ascents of Snowdon were on foot and subsequently our forebears experienced the upper mountain on horseback or mule. Our unique railway, built for intrepid tourists in 1896, has been allowing everybody that same experience uninterrupted since that time.
We don’t really know when the first building was erected on the peak but by 1820 there definitely was one and by 1847 there was a small community of wooden huts clustered around the Summit cairn.
By 1930 these had deteriorated to such an extent that the decision was taken to build one multi-purpose building instead. This was designed by Sir Clough Williams –Ellis better known as the creator of Portmeirion. By the early years of the new millennium this building too had succumbed to the ravages of time and the fierce weather of Snowdon and a decision to demolish and rebuild was taken.
Designed by Ray Hole and funded by Welsh Assembly Government, Snowdonia National Park, The Welsh Tourist Board, The European Union, Snowdon Mountain Railway and Public Subscription, Hafod Eryri rose like a phoenix from the ashes of the old building and was opened to the public in June 2009. Today guests of the railway are welcomed in to a modern contemporary environment clad in welsh oak and granite with wonderful views from our panoramic windows to the valleys below. With large screen information points, an engraved floor and “whispering windows” the designers are keen for visitors to experience a true sense of place. The building houses both catering and retail outlets and also serves the walking community after their climb to the summit of the principality. With a good range of hand held cakes and hot savouries and a full range of hot and cold drinks, Hafod Eryri is the highest re-fuelling station in England and Wales!
Come with us today and see exactly why Snowdon Mountain Railway has been described as one of the most unique and wonderful railway journeys in the world.
The summit building on Snowdon, Hafod Eryri, first opened in June 2009. It receives on average half a million visitors a year and it’s not hard to see why. On a clear day you can see Ireland, England, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
Hafod Eryri is operated by Snowdon Mountain Railway and opens daily from late Spring to the end of October. The visitor centre opens from 10am and will close 20 minutes before the last train leaves the Summit. On bad weather days and when access to the Summit via train is not possible, Hafod Eryri will remain closed. Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest Summit updates.
The café sells a selection of hot and cold drinks and handheld snacks. From warming Welsh oggies to fresh cream cakes, we have the perfect medley of bites for a picnic on the mountainside. Want a souvenir of your visit to the highest mountain in Wales? Not a problem, browse our gift shop for an assortment of clothing, merchandise and the tastiest Welsh confectionery. The Visitor Centre is a commercial food outlet and customers are kindly asked to only eat food that has been purchased on the premises in the summit café. For food hygiene reasons, only registered support dogs can enter the building, tethering rings are provided on the walls outside the building. Please note the café does not give out tap water due to limited availability, water is either harvested from rain water or a restricted amount is brought up by train.