Snowdonia is Oh So Very Accommodating
When you think about Snowdonia National Park and the surrounding area, you think about outdoor pursuits; at least I do anyway. Walking, climbing, sailing, kayaking and cycling leap first to mind, but what if you're not the outdoorsy type? Despite the stunning and unquestionable beauty of the mountains, there are some of us who do not long to conquer them and simply prefer to drive past them or gaze respectfully at them from the comfort of a train, for arguments sake. Snowdonia is a place that affords infinite possibilities, despite its obvious attractions for the active amongst us.
If you are a railway enthusiast, then Snowdonia will have you tickled pink. There are several locations that offer railway journeys with scenery second to none, including the pretty harbour town of Porthmadog which is home to stations for no less than three narrow-guage railways, the Welsh Highland to Caernarfon, the Welsh Highland Heritage and the Ffestiniog. The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways take you on a breathtaking journey through the mountains and between them cover a distance of 40 miles. The Welsh Highland line runs at the foot of Snowdon passing the lovely village of Beddgelert, before travelling the length of the Aberglaslyn Pass. National Trust members even voted this area as the most beautiful spot in the UK. Beddgelert offers accommodation fit for a walker or a relaxer in the form of such gems as Colwyn Guesthouse in the heart of Snowdonia.
Shoppers are not left high and dry either. If retail therapy on a regular basis is of paramount importance, then shopping centres like Portmeirion won't let you down. Whether you having a nostalgic hankering to see the location for the filming of The Prisoner or you can't get enough of Portmeirion Pottery, this captivating Italianate village with its coastal situation will live up to any romantic expectations you may have had. You might even want to stay a little longer and rent one of 17 self-catering cottages in Portmeirion sleeping from 3 to 18 people.
History and culture abound in Snowdonia. As if the railways weren't sign enough of the importance placed on heritage conservation in the area, the ancient county town of Gwynedd, Caernarfon, with its mighty 13th century castle reinforces this love of all things stately and antique. The Roman fort of Segontium in Caernarfon sits on the hill above the castle, testament to the perfect strategic location of these coastal citadels. After a day of historical meanderings, rest your head at the Celtic Royal Hotel in Caernarfon or take the 45 minute drive down to Plas Bodegroes in Pwllheli, the Welsh culinary institution where chef Chris Chown has been cooking up a storm using Welsh ingredients for the past 20 years.
So there really is no need to worry that you haven't got any waterproofs or that there is no way you are getting to the top of a mountain on foot. Snowdonia, the Llyn Peninsula and Cambrian Coastline will keep you busy exploring the shops, restaurants and historic attractions that are more suited to the less active amongst us. Send off for the Snowdonia Mountains & Coast brochure now and get started on your planning.