Days on Trails

The Snowdonia Way

7 Day trek along the Snowdonia Way, a trail that takes you through the most spectacular scenery in Wales. The mountains of North Wales are steeped in myth and legend, with stories about King Arthur, fairies and giants told alongside the real-life ruins of ancient settlements, ruined castles and the giant mines of the modern slate industry. Your guide on this trip is the author of the similarly named Cicerone guidebook.

Quick overview

What?
  • Trek for 7 days along the Snowdonia Way, a trail that takes you through the most spectacular scenery in Wales.
  • Enjoy the fantastic views over the mountains as we head through valleys and woodlands and cross passes, with support from a small group and our UIMLA International Mountain Leaders.
  • Discover what makes Wales unique, with its castles, pre-historic sites, myths and legends. You’ll hear stories about everything from mythical creatures to the medieval wars of the Welsh Princes.
  • Have your luggage transferred, stay in cosy guesthouses, and enjoy local food ‘out on the town’ each night, with all evening meals provided.
  • One of our lead guides wrote the guidebook to this trail, so you really are in good hands!

The mountains of North Wales are steeped in myth and legend, with stories about King Arthur, fairies and giants told alongside the real-life ruins of ancient settlements, ruined castles and the giant mines of the modern slate industry. Alongside these great stories are opportunities to walk through a stunning mountain range, rugged and filled with interest. Though the signature mountain, Snowdon, stands over it all, there are hundreds of other peaks we can gaze up at while making our way through this landscape.

The Snowdonia Way is a 97-mile long distance trail that was created 3 years ago and which is becoming increasingly popular, while remaining a connoisseur’s trail. It is unmarked, snaking its way over passes and through woods and slowly leading north from the southern end of the Snowdonia National Park to the northern tip, where it meets the sea. Each of the 7 days we spend walking the trail has a very different character to the others, and by walking through this mountain range you’ll get to know it intimately.

Our trips will have one walking guide and one support guide, who will be able to transport our luggage day-to-day, making the trip nice and luxurious! You’ll be staying in local guesthouses on the trail itself, and most of the time when we arrive in a village we can walk straight into your accommodation, so close is it to the trail.

When?

2020: May 2 – 10

Date doesn’t work for you? Just contact us!

Departure is guaranteed at 7 participants. To keep the group small enough to ensure a quality experience, we have a maximum number of 12 participants. 

Don’t wait too long to sign up! 7 Participants is easily reached and as soon as departure is guaranteed, we’ll let you know so you can still book cheap tickets well before departure! Last minute flights/trains are always more expensive.

Pricing

EUR 1500 / CAD 2200 / USD 1700

Book your trip!

To book, simply email us your interest (info@daysontrails.com) and we will respond with detailed information.

Feel free to mail/call us with any questions you might have!

What’s Included
  • Guiding by a UIMLA International Mountain Leader
  • Support guide and van to provide logistics and transport baggage
  • Guesthouse accommodation for the duration of the trip
  • All evening meals, which will be in a mix of pubs, restaurants and hotels (three courses)
  • All breakfasts
  • Support and guidance from the Days on Trails team in the run up to the trek
What’s not Included
  • Lunch and snacks during the walk (we’ll take you each morning to where you can buy these)
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Personal walking equipment
  • Transport to Machynlleth and from Conwy (please ask us for advice or see the travel arrangements section below)

Note: Ground conditions, weather & group factors may lead to changes in the program by the guide(s). The goal is always to offer the best possible experience, but safety & wellbeing are always the priority and basis of all decisions made.

Day 1 – Arrival

We’ll meet you in Machynlleth in-between 4-6pm and escort you to your accommodation. Machynlleth is a town in Wales that has good connections by train to several airports. Please see the details below!

We’ll eat dinner together at 7pm where we’ll run through the details for the week to come.

Day 2 – Machynlleth to Dolgellau (15.5 miles and 650m of ascent)

Crossing the River Dyfi, we enter the Snowdonia National Park and follow valley trails past the old slate mining villages of Corris and Abergynolwyn. Crossing the pass with a great view of Cadair Idris, we descend towards Dolgellau through woodland and open hillside, on good trails and the chance to look up the valley at the Aran mountains, the highest peaks in south Snowdonia.

Day 3 – Dolgellau to Trawsfynydd (14 miles and 790m of ascent)

Following the River Mawddach, we enter Coed y Brenin (the forest of the king) and enjoy easy trails with views into gorges and over the Rhynogydd, the oldest rocks in Snowdonia. Passing a high point and following a Roman Road, we descend to Trawsfynydd Lake, perched high in the hills.

Day 4 – Trawsfynydd to Beddgelert (18.5 miles and 890m of ascent)

The longest individual section of the trail, we have a day of constant drama as we descend from Trawsfynydd to cross the Glaslyn estuary, moving from the south to the north of Snowdonia. From this important old slate route we now pass alongside the Moelwynion hills, finishing the day by following the path alongside the rapids of the Pass of Aberglaslyn, famous as a Victorian beauty spot.

Day 5 – Beddgelert to Dolwyddelan (12.5 miles and 800m of ascent)

A visit to the Grave of Gelert begins our day, following the River Glaslyn along the valley of Nantgwynant, with views up the slopes of Snowdon itself. Passing the lakes of Llyn Dinas and Llyn Gwynant, we head up and over the Bwlch y Rhediad, descending to the much quieter and wilder Lledr valley, where we finish by passing under the shadow of the medieval Dolwyddelan castle.

Day 6 – Dolwyddelan to Bethesda (15.5 miles and 660m of ascent)

We leave the Lledr Valley with a traverse of the slopes of Moel Siabod, an iconic hill that stands apart from the higher mountains further north. Heading through the village of Capel Curig, we now enter the terrain of the high mountains, passing through the spectacular Ogwen Valley and Nant Ffrancon before entering Bethesda.

Day 7 – Bethesda to Llanfairfechen (11 miles and 800m of ascent)

Now on the northern slopes of the Carneddau Mountains, the highest area of land in England and Wales, we turn east with views over the sea. Traversing these slopes, we’ll encounter some of the roughly 1000 ancient sites, dating back over 4000 years to when people first settled in the area. After seeing one of the most impressive waterfalls in North Wales at Aber Falls, we descend to the seaside town of Llanfairfechan.

Day 8 – Llanfairfechan to Conwy (10 miles and 680m of ascent)

Our final day of walking, we ascend back into the Carneddau and make our way up to the Druid’s Circle, actually several stone circles perched high on in the hills. With views north over Anglesey, our final few miles are spent approaching Conwy, with its massive castle and boasting the most intact medieval town walls in Europe. With the Conwy estuary in front of us, we finish the trail by the water in front of the castle itself.

Day 9 – Depart

Conwy has main railway line connections to major English cities and airports, and after breakfast and check-out you’ll need to make your onward plans. We’re always there for advice though, so please let us know before the trip if you have an unusual connection and we’ll do our best to provide advice.

Although the trail is low-level, we’ll be out for the whole day each day and there is significant ascent and descent included. However, the terrain is often paths and tracks and there is no scrambling or technical sections.

If you have had enough during the day then we’ll be able to organise transport for you to the end of that day’s accommodation from wherever the next road crossing is on the route. We usually encounter roads two or three times per day. If you want to skip a whole day then this is possible (it’s your holiday after all!) and we can help organise this.

For a full kit list please see our equipment section. For this trek you’ll want a main bag to be transported between guesthouses, and a day-bag (20-30 litres) to carry with you for your waterproofs, food and water.

We’ll be staying in guesthouses (or ‘bed-and-breakfasts’) on a shared twin/triple room basis. These guesthouses are often traditional Welsh stone buildings with all the luxuries of a home away from home. If you are a couple who wish to book a double room, or would like a single room, then please get in touch when booking. Each morning breakfast will be served in your accommodation.

On day 1 of the trip you should aim to arrive in Machynlleth station by 18:00.

On day 9 you will be departing from Conwy and need to organise your travel from there onwards.

Both locations have train stations and we suggest looking at www.thetrainline.com for up to date train times and prices. The closest airport is Birmingham, followed by Manchester. However, with fast trains, London airports are not that far away.

As with any product or service, you will find seemingly similar offers at different price ranges. Offering something “cheap” usually means selling something in high volumes or compromising on quality. As a small dedicated team, we do neither. We are not a large operator that (re)sells bulk trips, to which we assign volunteers as leaders. Instead we do nearly all trip development “in-house” and assign only experienced and qualified leaders. This comes at a cost both for us and our guests. Compromise often comes at the expense of the guest. Remember, this might be your main holiday this year!

Going into remote and mountainous areas – just as any other activity in life – contains an element of risk. The biggest factor we are always dealing with is weather. As guides, the core of our job is risk reduction and risk management. We do this by careful planning and constantly re-evaluating everything while we are out on the trip. On the average day, you’re safer than you are in traffic back home. In order to deal with hazards caused by environmental conditions, we ask you to follow our gear & clothing advice as well as possible, to trust our decisions in the field and to accept there’s always a small amount of risk left. Still not convinced? Look at it like this… We make our living providing experiences. We wouldn’t have been doing it for this long if we were traumatizing and hurting people! In rare cases, extreme weather conditions can be reason for cancellation. Due to the realities of weather prediction, we can only make big decisions like this last minute. 

A real British mix of mild temperatures and variable weather. Maybe is the driest month of the year. Temperatures can range from 15 – 25°C.

As much as we intend to avoid setbacks, they can be expensive. It is compulsory to prove that you have travel insurance covering search & rescue and repatriation. We strongly advise you to get cancellation insurance so you don’t lose any non-refundable deposits in case you can’t make it to a trip because of circumstances or due to unsafe weather conditions or natural disasters. For Canadians, travel insurance may be purchased through Georgia Hardy Tours Inc. at the time of registration. GHT and its insurance partner, T.I.P.S, offer a wide range of travel insurance plans, including but not limited to: Ultimate, All-Inclusive, Emergency Medical, Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption. People from Europe have multiple options available from insurance providers and can be purchased online. Feel free to contact us for advice.

American, Canadian or EU citizens travelling to Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland do notrequire a visa, but will need a valid passport.

It is important that you let us know about any pre-existing medical conditions you have so that we can make sure we can support you fully throughout the trip. If you are concerned that a medical condition will prevent you from completing the activity, it is essential that you see your doctor and show them the itinerary. Please remember that failing to declare a medical condition could invalidate your insurance, and if there is an incident, put yourself, our guides and other members of the group at risk.