Travel writer Tom Leaman writes about some of Exeter's lesser-known treasures.Written by Tom Leaman on 6th April 2018
Best of Britain | Snowdonia National Park
Travel writer Laura Botia writes about Snowdonia National Park and the diverse range of activities and landscapes this corner of Wales has to offer.
When looking for a scenic holiday in Britain, most people think of the Lake District as their first option, however, Snowdonia National Park (situated in North Wales) is a stunning destination that is often overlooked.
Covering such a large expanse, Snowdonia offers a diverse range of activities, from exploring the mines inland to wakeboarding on the coast. Snowdonia also brags the longest and fastest zip line in Europe, offering amazing picturesque views as you fly through the air. For the adrenaline seekers, there is also cliff jumping and Olympic-grade whitewater rapids on offer, along with many other activities to choose from.
For many people, the main attraction of Snowdonia is to climb Mount Snowdon (the highest mountain in Wales and England). Although Mount Snowdon boasts some immense views, if hiking a mountain is simply not on the top of your priorities, Snowdonia’s beauty can be just as easily explored from the comfort of the surroundings of your hotel or lodge, as there are many walking trails for differing abilities. The majority of these trails have different scenic routes, therefore you can decide what you would like to do most: walk to a stunning lake or up a mountain to witness the spectacular views. With so much on its doorstep, the biggest mistake is to visit and stay in the hotel the whole time, so make sure you go out and explore the area. To see the full range of activities available in the area, visit the website.
In my opinion, one of the biggest attractions of Snowdonia is the secluded villages and towns that are encompassed by the National Park. Aside from the tourist areas, most villages and towns in the area are mainly inhabited by the locals. As a result, you become fully immersed in the picturesque landscape of Snowdonia rather than battling crowds, creating a stark contrast to the bustle of city life here in Birmingham. I would highly recommend a town on the outskirts of Snowdonia National Park, called Machynlleth. This rural town is situated in the mountains of Snowdonia itself but is also perfect driving distance from the coast. If you didn’t think Snowdonia had enough to offer already, it also has amazing coastlines and beaches which, during the summer, become a hotspot for those from all over Wales. These provide the opportunity for a cheap and relaxing beach holiday here in England – when the temperature increases that is!
The one downside to Snowdonia National Park is that being such a secluded area there are limited train stations to the smaller towns. Due to this driving is possibly the best option to fully explore it. However, if you do not own a car or do not fancy the 3-hour drive from Birmingham to the, there are trains that will take you to the main towns and tourist areas for relatively decent prices – just make sure to book in advance and plan your trip so you have transport to your hotel once there!
Overall, Snowdonia is one of the most versatile holiday destinations in Britain, catering for those who want a beach holiday, a more adventurous holiday or simply those wanting to climb Mount Snowdon. The picturesque views that encompass the National Park truly are the area’s lure and desirability. With so much to choose from, what else could you really need from a holiday destination?