The Snowdonia Slate Trail is an 83 mile circular walking route which leads you through the awe-inspiring landscape of Snowdonia National Park. The route has a choice of independent hostels and bunkhouses offering great value self catering accommodation that’s just perfect for walkers.
The Snowdonia Slate Trail is an 83 mile circular walking route which leads you through the awe-inspiring landscape of Snowdonia National Park. As the name implies it takes you through a number of Snowdonia’s slate villages and allows you to explore the rich industrial heritage of the area. The trail leads you through some of the less visited parts of Snowdonia and offers you a variety of experiences. Passing though all the main mountains ranges, you will also walk through forests and valleys, past rivers and lakes. En route you pass through tiny slumbering hamlets as well as the bustling towns of Llanberis and Betws Coed. The Slate Trail is a walk of contradictions, with plenty to keep you interested.
Industrial heritage on the Snowdonia Slate Trail
The Snowdonia Slate Trail is also a joy for narrow gauge railway enthusiasts, as it visits the Penrhyn Quarry Railway, Llanberis Lake Railway, Snowdon Mountain Railway, the Welsh Highland Light Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway. What better way to break up your day’s walking with a ride on steam train?
The good news is that there is a great choice of Independent Hostels to stay in when you plan to walk the Slate Trail. See a full list of them below.
The official route starts at Porth Penrhyn near Bangor and ends at Bethesda and takes you through or near the villages of Llanllechid, Bethesda, Dinorwig, Llanberis, Waunfawr, Nantlle, Rhyd Ddu, Beddgelert, Croesor, Ffestiniog and Penmachno. Great for stocking up on provisions and stopping for a well deserved rest, a cup of tea (or something stronger) and a large slice of cake! Covering 83 miles with a total ascent of 4159m it should take between 5 and 13 days. Its well worth visiting
Mud and Routes and the Snowdonia Slate Trail website for a wealth of information. There is also a detailed book and map of the route.
Snowdonia Slate Trail Hostel and Bunkhouse Accommodation
Vicarage Road, Betws-y-Coed, Conwy, LL24 0AD
This large Victorian property has been specially adapted to provide self-catering accommodation for groups of up to 33. The eight dormitories vary in size from one to ten beds, complete with duvets and linen. The Centre is centrally heated and has a common room, games room, large kitchen, drying room and hot showers. Located in Betws-y-Coed, Woodlands Centre is an ideal base for outdoor activities in Snowdonia.
Dinorwig, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 3EY
On the edge of Snowdonia National Park, Lodge Dinorwig, a former school, has a 14 bed bunkroom. Breakfast is included and evening meals can be booked but there is no self-catering. Perfectly located for all the high adrenaline activities Snowdonia has to offer and with easy access to attractions such as Bounce Below as well as Snowdon and Llanberis. The on-site café will provide tea and cake after a day in the mountains.
Pentre Bach, Waunfawr, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL54 7AJ
Situated between Waunfawr and Betws Garmon, Pentre Bach Bunkhouse provides dog friendly accommodation, outdoor activities and a campsite. The ground floor of the bunkhouse has a dining/cooking area while upstairs there are alpine sleeping platforms with mattresses for 16. Showers, toilets and washing/drying facilities, shared with the campsite, are just across the yard.
Capel Saron, Tyn Y Maes, Bethesda, Gwynedd LL57 3LX
Situated in Snowdonia National Park, just 1.5 miles from the small town of Bethesda, Ogwen Valley Bunkhouse provides spacious, eco friendly accommodation for individuals, couples, families and groups. The large open plan communal area has a well equipped kitchen, a large dining table and plenty of comfy chairs. With a log burning stove, underfloor heating, comfortable beds and a drying room guests invariably return. Popular with cyclists and walkers, it's on the Snowdonia Slate Trail and the Lon Las Cymru cycling route.
National Trust Ysbyty Estate Office, Dinas, Betws-y-Coed, Conwy, LL24 0HF
This converted Grade 2 stone farm building is the perfect base for enjoying the Snowdonia National Park. Part of the 8,000 hectare Ysbyty Estate, it offers spacious, well appointed group accommodation. Local attractions include the Tree Top Adventure Course at Betws-y-Coed, Zip World at Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda, Zip World and Bounce Below at Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog and the Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre.
Park Square, Blaenau Ffestiniog LL41 3AD
After a long day of adventures, why not rest your weary head in an Edwardian police house hostel? Conveniently located in the centre of Blaenau Ffestiniog. There is a self-catering kitchen, a drying room and secure bike storage. Need a break from cooking? There's a restaurant upstairs, or just enjoy a cheeky drink in the bar. What's more there's a cinema too! CellB is the perfect place to recover, recuperate, and soak up the vibrant landscape.
Ffordd Gerlan, Gerlan, Bethesda, Bangor, LL57 3ST
Caban Cysgu, run by the community of Gerlan, offers purpose-built accommodation at the foot of the Carneddau. Perfect for walking in Snowdonia, it’s a great base for the ‘Fourteen 3000ft Peaks’ long-distance challenge & The Slate Trail. Just 5 mins from Zip World; the longest and fastest zip line in Europe. There are also plenty of mountain bike trails on the doorstep while road cyclists have the Sustrans route ‘Lôn Las Ogwen’ just a mile away. For climbers, Idwal is close by, while Afon Ogwen is popular with canoeists.
Craiglan, Betws-y-Coed, Conway, LL24 0AW
The Vagabond Bunkhouse/Hostel is in the village of Betws-y-Coed, in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. This unique bunkhouse has been specifically designed for individuals, families or groups. Very well appointed, it has ready made up beds, free hot drinks, seriously hot showers, a well equipped kitchen and a bar. Catering is available. Outside there’s a climbing wall, a power wash and heated dog kennels!
Deiniolen, Caernarfon LL55 3HH
In the small mountain village of Deiniolen, in the heart of Snowdonia, not far from Llanberis, The Old School Lodge is the perfect base for groups of all kinds wishing to explore the rugged splendour of North Wales. Perfect for groups of walkers or climbers, the Lodge provides high quality accommodation for those looking for a warm comfortable base to return to after a day on the Welsh Mountains. Facilities include a well equipped self-catering kitchen, lounge, games room & resources room.
Arete Outdoor Education Centre, Llanrug, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 4AP
The Arete Outdoor Centre, in Snowdonia National Park, offers excellent access to the stunning coastline, mountains & lakes of North Wales and Anglesey. With comfortable, affordable, bunkhouse accommodation and large kitchens this is a great base for groups of friends or family. The team can advise on how best to spend your stay and a range of exciting outdoor activities are available through the centre's well qualified staff.
Y Cefn, Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, LL41 4PS
Treks 4* Bunkhouse perches in the mountains on the outskirts of the village of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Ideal for those who enjoy the rugged beauty of Snowdonia, it is a former golf club recently converted to provide self-catering accommodation for individuals and groups. There are many attractions nearby including, Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Bounce Below, Zip World Titan, Antur Stiniog, Ffestiniog Railway, Go Below Adventures, Coed y Brenin Mountain Bike Centre, Portmeirion Italian Village, Bala White Water Rafting and Harlech Castle.
Rhyd Ddu, Snowdonia, Wales LL54 6TL
The Rhyd Ddu Bunkhouse provides group accommodation at the foot of Snowdon and the Nantlle Ridge. Sleeping 30 in 6 bedrooms, it has a fully equipped kitchen and a large communal dining room with a big screen - great for movie nights! Glorious views, central heating, fast WiFi, parking, secure bike storage, drying room and a large garden. Bring your own sleeping bag, pillow case and towel. A pub, café, and steam train station are all within 2 minutes’ walk.
Snowdonia Mountain Hostel, Tai Newyddion, Nant Ffrancon, Bangor LL57 3DQ
In the heart of the Ogwen Valley and surrounded by the Welsh 3000's, this hostel is the perfect base for walkers, climbers and cyclists with the best routes straight from the door. For adventure seekers Zip World is within walking distance and the Anglesey Beaches are a short drive. Newly refurbished, Snowdonia Mountain Hostel has comfy beds with linen and a superb kitchen diner. Sorry no stag or hen parties.