The Go Wild Go West blog

Snowdonia: Mountains vs Beaches. Our top 5 places to visit

The Perfect Staycation

If you’re like us and want a bit of adventure on your family holiday then this amazing part of the country genuinely has it all; beautiful beaches, mountains, ruins to explore, great food, no crowds… no other people really! I am truly smitten with Snowdonia.

swimming in Snowdonia
some of the best wild swimming in the UK

We stayed in a fantastic eco-campsite called Gyrn Ddu at the top of the Llyn Peninsular. It’s a fantastic location in between the sandy beaches and beautiful coastline of the Llyn, and the towering peaks of Snowdonia just to the East. There are only 12 pitches and a really friendly atmosphere. The owners Germaine and Mark are the most welcoming and helpful hosts I’ve ever met! You can wonder down to the little beach or look up at the mountains above. There’s a little road noise by day but when it quietens down at night you can lie in your tent and listen to the waves.

Not knowing the area, we arrived armed with OS maps and the fantastic Wild Guide to Wales by Daniel Start and Tania Pascoe. This book is full of ideas for great places to go. The weather was a mixture of beautiful sunshine and cloudy days so we could choose beach or mountain hike dependent on what was to come the next day..

Some of our favourite Snowdonia spots were;

1. Rock pooling at Borth Wen Beach followed by a pint at the brilliant Ty Coch Inn

taking a walk on the beach in Snowdonia

2. Rock diving into the sea at high tide from sandy Porth Ysgo beach. On our way home we found a local fisherman who sold us some freshly caught lobster for our BBQ that night… living the dream!

3. Staying in a local Bothy. This was a brilliant adventure for all of us staying in a small, remote hut with only the mountains and the cows (oh, and each other!) for company. The type of thing you occasionally stumble across on a walk and think ‘wouldn’t it be cool to stay there’ – well sometimes you can!!

4. The stunning Cwm Llan and Merch falls – ideal for a hike rewarded by multiple swim spots along the way

5. The numerous quarry lakes and old mining ruins scattered all over the place. A reminder of Snowdonia’s industrial past and brilliant opportunity to explore and swim.

There were so many cool places that every day was a different adventure and we can’t wait to go back. Wales is still ‘off-limits’ due to the Covid lockdown but we hope that it will be welcoming visitors again this summer. So if you’re looking for a staycation idea filled with adventure – Snowdonia might be the place for you! You definitely can’t guarantee sunny weather but who needs that when there’s so much stuff to explore?

If you like the look of Snowdonia, have you heard about an amazing place called Lundy? Find out more here….