From hidden pools to dramatic mountain summits, Snowdonia National park is a treasure trove of beautiful places. With this list of hidden gems, we barely scratch the surface of incredible places that are just waiting to be explored. And not far from each hidden gem is an equally amazing and affordable hostel.
1. Llanberis Pass
Nestled in a secret location near to Llanberis Pass lies Llanberis infinity pool. Spend the afternoon using your detective skills to locate the pool (youtube videos, pictures and google maps will help you) and once you succeed, take a dip in it’s crystal clear waters and admire the stunning views of Snowdonia. The Infinity pool was built by local farmer Wyn Mostyn Jones in 2016 as part of a green energy project and was never intended to be a tourist hot spot. So please remember to respect his land, stay safe and take home any litter.
Nearby Accommodation: White Peris Lodge
White Peris Lodge is part of Blue Peris Mountain Centre. Perfectly situated in the heart of Snowdonia, it has magnificent mountains, tranquil lakes and a stunning coastline on the doorstep. The Lodge is a modern, self-contained building which sleeps up to 13 across 4 rooms. There are discounts for larger groups so enquire for the best deal.
Known as the gateway to Snowdonia, it is no wonder that Betws-Y-Coed is a special tourist attraction. The village itself is an amazing location to explore the nearby beauty of Snowdonia such as Swallow Falls and Fairy Glens, and the village itself is full of surprises and history. The Victorian era houses and the much-photographed bridge seem untouched by the passing of time. Though you will be sure to find many tantilising places to eat and drink within the village.
Nearby accommodation: Vagabond Bunkhouse
The Vagabond Bunkhouse is an independent bunkhouse/hostel, situated in the centre of the village of Betws y Coed, within the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. Created and designed for individuals, families or groups, this unique bunkhouse is extremely well equipped, sleeping a total of 36 in spacious comfortable rooms of 4, 6, and 8, all with clean fresh linen, duvets and personal reading lamps. There is a pizza restaurant on site which is perfect after a big day exploring!
3. Glyder Fawr Summit
Glyder Fawr is the 5th highest mountain in Wales, with several walking and scrambling route leading to the summit. The word “Glyder” derives from the Welsh word “Gludair” which means “a heap of stones.” This is an understatement for what greets you at the summit. The sharp, jagged stones bursting from the ground have a fantasy story quality to them/ They are excellent for a photo opportunity or perhaps re-enacting a battle scene!
Nearby accommodation: Ogwen Valley Bunkhouse
Situated at the base of the spectacular glacial Ogwen Valley, with stunning views from the doorstep, Ogwen Valley Bunkhouse provides spacious, well-appointed, eco-friendly bunkhouse accommodation for 16 across 3 rooms. The former stone chapel, dating back to 1860, has been sympathetically converted to provide quality, warm, practical, value-for-money accommodation for individuals, couples, families and groups. And at the unbeatable price of £17 a night, what’s not to love?
4. Dolwyddelan Castle
Sitting between dramatic Welsh valleys lies Dolwyddelan Castle, it was built in the early 13th century as one of a group of fortresses built to command the mountain passes. Today, it stands in ruin, a reminder of Wales’ turbulent past. Today, the mysterious ruins are under the guardianship of Cadw, formerly known as Heritage in Wales and can be viewed exteriorly by tourists.
Nearby Accommodation: Lledr House
Lledr House nestles in the heart of Snowdonia National Park. A former YHA, this newly refurbished hostel is delightfully situated in its own woodlands in the beautiful Lledr Valley just outside the picturesque village of Dolwyddelan. Guests come back year after year, probably because Lledr House is clean, cheap and comfortable.
5. Llyn Padarne
Llyn Padarne is one of the largest lakes in Snowdonia. It is known by locals as “the local swimming pool” as it is such a popular swimming destination for tourists and locals alike. And unsurprisingly so, the water is beautiful and clear, there are wetsuits to hire nearby alongside canoes and kayaks. There is a free public toilet and plenty of parking available.
Nearby accommodation: Lodge Dinorwig
With North Wales being the Adventure Capital of Europe, Lodge Dinorwig is conveniently located for many adventures. A short drive will get you to the fastest Zip Line in Europe. Many activities like mountain biking, coasteering, surfing, climbing and trampolining are just waiting right outside the front door. It used to be a school so the building itself is rich with history and well equipt for large groups.