Llanberis is a an old slate mining community based in the foothills of Snowdonia national park, North Wales. It’s decorated with wall to wall with panoramic views that are simply breath taking. With mountains, castles and tree lined lake sides, theres no denying that the town of Llanberis has some special appeal. With some of the best hiking and climbing here on its door step also, its the top visited location in the UK for adventure sport.
The community of Llanberis is strong and colourful like in most places in Snowdonia. Full of creative and active types working to carve a lifestyle more in balance with nature for themselves and their families. There is a mountain rescue base in the valley which a lot of the local mountain men are part of. Its had an amazing uplift in colour over the past few years, which even in the greyest of Welsh winters, brings a fabulous dash of colour to your day. With Zipword in the neighbouring Ogwen valley and Surf snowdonia down the road at Conwy Valley, you can see how Snowdonia is vastly becoming “the” hub for all adventure mountain sport in the UK.
Llanberis is adorned with enough natural attractions to keep visiting guests occupied for quite a while. In any case, to start with, there’s the nature and the lakeside views to explore at the foot of Snowdonia national park. That and all the walks in the old slate quarries to visit will keep you busy for a while. When you have had our fill of walking and maybe hiking – take a ride on two very old metal lines using some steam power… the Llanberis Lake Railway and Snowdon Mountain Railway are two great day out options for steam enthusiasts alike. The Snowdon railway is an amazing spectacle in its own right. A steam train that runs to the top of the second highest peak in the UK and the highest in Wales. The incline is steep and the views are amazing.
Adjacent, the twin lakes of Llyn Padarn and Llyn Peris slice through the mountain foothills in the Llanberis Pass, in a region noted for its rough magnificence and scarred with various slate mines. Scores of guests meet in Llanberis; it is genuinely a remarkable place saturated with history yet as yet holding a demeanour of serenity. Rivers run from Llyn Padarn in Llanberis down thorough the mountains to Caernarfon where they meet the sea. Llanberis has an active fly fishing community also which target specimen sized Salmon and sea trout at certain tines of the year. Why not bring rod, pick up a permit and head out fly fishing in snowdonia national park for the day? There is a great guide to fly fishing in snowdonia and north Wales here
Back in the day:
Llanberis was at the end of a 13km branch line from Caernarfon, opened on 1 July 1869 by the London and North Western Railway. The line was mainly to move slate, and different minerals mined locally on Britain’s rail arrange. The Padarn Railway, on the contrary shore of Llyn Padarn, kept on conveying slate yet was designed primarily for the fair exchange of goods.
Traveller movement on the Llanberis line was helped by the opening in 1896 of the Snowdon Mountain Railway. British travellers trains finished their connections to Llanberis in 1930. However, the station was utilised by intermittent vacationer outing trains into the 1950s. The last cargo prepared train left Llanberis on 3 September 1964. The Llanberis high street now takes the course of the old railroad.
Climbing Culture :
Climbing culture is no deeper with its roots than this town of Llanberis, it literally is the heart of Welsh and in most cases British Climbing. Back since the days of Hillary and Tenzig with their preparation for the Everest expedition all the way through to modern day- these peaks and climbing crags are at forefront of choice for alpinist trying to get in shape for harsher conditions. Snowdonia national park has such a concentration of peaks in a very short foot print that multiple days climbing can be achieved in one day. Llanberis is in the heart of this landscape. Llanberis is a climbers paradise. With Llanberis slate and the Llanberis Pass to choose from you will be climbing into your 70s before you ticked everything off- a serious abundance of climbing! There so many climbing guides to choose from here – I’ve dropped two links below of my favourites here Phill George Mountaineering (who I did my SPA / ML training with) and Ibex Guides- who I know Owen Samuel – who is an exceptional mountaineer.
Railways, Castle and Parks :
Fancy a train ride to the top of Snowdon ? Pushed by a unique steam train from 1896, the carriages on Snowdonia mountain railway steam train are exact re-developments of the wagons of 1896. Today’s guest can appreciate the first Victorian experience as they voyage to the Summit of Snowdon. We have three takeoffs day by day from May to the finish of September and pre-booking is prompted. The arrival travel takes more than two hours including a 30-minute stop-over at the Summit. The Llanberis lake railroad keeps running along the northerly shore of Llyn Padarn with the primary station situated in the Padarn Country Park, over the valley from the town of in the midst of pristine forest and a scope of vacation spots identified with the slate business. The excursion can be broken at Cei Llydan to catch the staggering vistas.
Dolbadarn Castle on the shores of Lly Padarn is a stunning reminder of the golden era of Welsh history gone past. The home to the last True Prince of Wales, Prince Llywelyn the great- Dolbadarn castle stands mystically at looking all the way up the Llanberis Pass and down toward Caernarfon. You can just image our Royal forefathers arriving across a draw bridge on horse back. See our video on youtube which shows it on the opening credits..
On the shore of Llyn Padarn, Llanberis, Electric Mountain denotes the beginning stage for visits to Dinorwig Power Station. Somewhere down in Elidir Mountain is one of Europe’s most significant man-made caves, home to a pumped stockpiling generator which changes over the energy of water into power.
Llanbersi is home from home for more pro athletes than I care to count. We have some of the worlds best climbers, Mountain guides, runners, cyclists, Kayakers all living and residing here during the summer months as it afford them the amazing options for outdoor recreation in their respective disciplines. You can go for Boulder adventures which is on a 10-minute walk from the village of Llanberis. There are a lot of exciting adventures, you can be a part of them.
Water sports in Llanberis can be a great activity for your stay
Climbing is amazing here get out with your climbing rack
Hikes here are abundant .. you can take your pick!
Food and Amenities :
Llanberis offers an assortment of food and drink for all, for a little town, there is a lot of options to fulfill a variety of tastes and pockets. From bistros, cafés, bars, bar suppers, feasting eatery, Sunday carvery. You can view the best restaurants over here.
Things to do when you stay here :
Llanberis has some of the most exquisite slate in the world. It is renowned by the experts a faultless and very pure free from defects. It is exported all over the world and commands a high price. The old workers and there home can be explored by foot using the Trails of Bro Peris Slate. The system of byways made to interface the little towns to the quarrie settlements, schools and houses of prayer and the encompassing field were similarly as imperative. A large number of the byways are still being used and give walkers a chance to investigate the valleys, showing that there is something else entirely to these regions than merely slate. If you would like to know more of the world of Llanberis slate, its museum and its past road here.
A little adventure :
Swim the Llanberis lake with Gone swimming
Do a night paddle board session on the Llanberis lake
Ok Llanberis is the outdoor enthusiasts paradise – so if your into outdoor apparel the this is the place for you. Most of the colourful town centre comprised of crafts, arts, clothing companies and small food outlets. There are one or two engineering companies still working in the village the main one being DMM climbing a extremely successful world wide known climbing brand.
Places to Stay :
You can check out the best hotels in Llanberis on Tripadvisor.
Hostels in Llanberis and surrounding area
Useful links :
Llanberis climbing guide
Llanberis Lake railway guide
Mountain biking north Wales book
OS map of Snowdonia
What we love to do there from a pure Locals perspective:
We thought we would need to include what we get upto when we go there, also where we like to stay, where we like to eat and what we do..
Well a day in Llanaberis for us could be a day hiking, climbing, scrambling or bouldering. It could also be a day cycling, paddle boarding or open water swimming.. Yes I know we do quite a lot of active stuff, that doesn’t mean you have to- ! there are plenty of touristy things to do, but as locals we have done all that and we are into the GOD (great out doors here).
We really like bouldering at cromlech up in the Llanberis pass – Oh my word if you have not driven that yet its one amazing drive. In summer we camp a lot there on the river banks. After bounding in the sun we may go and a do a multi pitch climb, which would take a few hours, maybe sit at the top and take in the views.. In the afternoon we may go to the Heights hotel for some food and maybe to Petes eats for a coffee after.
Walking through the picturesque town in the summer months is lovely, with picnics on the lake and cold water dips in the lake you can make what you want of it. There are oodles of walks for you and your dogs up in the slate quarry, around Dolbadarn castle. Hikes are just two a penny here- you struggle for choice, but a firm favourite is the Llanberis path to the top of Snowdon (well you are in the heart of the snowdonia national park!) Ps there is a wonderful tea house little find here thats off the beaten track its called Pen Y Caunant Isaf Its stunning and has THE most wonderful open log fire in there.
Shopping for me here is heaven. Im outdoor mad and there is enough shops to put you in considerable arrears with your credit card companies if your not careful. Joe Brown and V12 mentioned in the links above are two of my favourites and if your after some snazzy Paramo or Buffalo clothing the Crib Goch shop has that too.
Eveings could be spent having a wine at the Heights hotel or one of the other pubs in the eveing, there is a rich culture there and people are warm and friendly too.
Llanberis style Packing list:
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We hope this bite sized blog is useful for you if your heading to Llanberis on your hols or maybe just doing some research on north Wales and its gems overall.. If you think there is something to add drop us a comment below and tell us what your favourite things are to do in Llanberis on your stay!?