At the foot of Snowdon, the bustling village of Llanberis is a popular starting point for one of the easiest hiking routes up the highest mountain in Wales. It’s also here that you can board the renowned Snowdon Mountain Railway that chugs its way to the top. As a result, Llanberis, and the surrounding area of Snowdonia National Park, is a hugely popular spot for camping and there's a wealth of choice of places to pitch. As always, only the very best make it onto our shortlist.
The appeal of Llanberis is largely in its proximity to Snowdonia National Park’s highest peak, Snowdon itself. The town is a fantastic base for anyone who wants to reach the summit - whether on foot or via the scenic mountain railway which sets off from here. Situated close to the banks of the twin glacial lakes of Llyn Padarn and Llyn Peris, and with views of the mountains, it’s a scenic setting for a camping or glamping holiday in North Wales. This is the northern edge of Snowdonia National Park, and not far from the coast at Caernarfon, so finding a camping or glamping site near Llanberis is a great idea if you want to discover all that this part of Wales has to offer. You can head up into the mountains one day and over to the coast the next. There’s also plenty to do in Llanberis too. Like the rest of Snowdonia National Park, camping is a popular way to stay and there are sites to suit all tastes from family-friendly holiday parks to back-to-basics climbers’ campsites. There’s a growing number of glamping sites too with bell tents, yurts and shepherds’ huts among the list of options. We’ve sought out the best of both worlds for the Hipcamp collection of campsites in Llanberis and the surrounding area.
Did we mention that Llanberis is near Wales’ highest mountain? The town is the classic mountain base camp for Snowdon - and it’s ideal for those who want to take things slow and steady on their way up and down. The Llanberis Path is the easiest route up the mountain - which is not to say it’s actually easy. You’ll still be making your way up to a height of 1,085 metres and covering nine miles - but, as that distance is the longest of any of the main routes, it means the ascent is slower and less severe. But, of course, staying in Llanberis means you can always sit back and take the easy way up - on the scenic Snowdon Mountain Railway. There are plenty of other places to walk, cycle, climb and kayak - and lots of adventure companies to guide you if you want a little instruction in your chosen sport. The Padarn Country Park, around Lake Padarn is a good place to start. The mountain railway is not the only one in the area - this is Wales after all - and for a scenic route along Llanberis’ Lake Padarn, you can jump aboard the Lake Railway. It’s not only a nice way to see some views and keep any kids with a train obsession happy, but it also shows you some of the Llanberis’ other tourist attractions. It passes the 13th century ruins of Dolbadarn Castle and makes a stop close to The National Slate Museum at the disused Dinorwig Quarry, which closed in 1969. Since 1984 another industry, the electricity industry, has hidden itself away underground here too. A visitor centre explaining how hydroelectric power is generated is, at the time of writing, closed for refurbishment but visit the Electric Mountain website for the latest information. The closest place to visit both an intact castle and the coast is just eight miles north of Llanberis at Caernarfon.
At the foot of Snowdon, Llanberis is a popular starting point for hikers heading up Wales' highest peak (or taking the easy route on the Snowdon Mountain Railway) and there are plenty of good campsites nearby.