Hi guys, my name is Ollie Holder from the Instagram @ollieholder_. Thanks for stopping by my article on Snowdonia National Park. Before I tell you all about this amazing destination, allow me to introduce myself.
I’m a landscape, portrait and travel photographer. I grew up in Surrey, Southeast England. I graduated from the University of Southampton with an upper second class honours (2.1) in Film Studies (BA) back in 2013. Since graduating, I have worked on a number of productions within the TV and film industry as a Floor Runner and Third Assistant Director.
I first discovered my passion for travel photography after spending several years overseas. I spent 14 months living and working in Queenstown, New Zealand between 2015-2016 and then 12 months in Australia between 2017-2018. Once I returned back to the UK, I continued to pursue my travel photography as there was still a lot of unexplored territory to me.
My Experiences at Snowdonia National Park
I first visited Snowdonia National Park back in 2018 with a couple of photography friends due to its close location to us all. I had wanted to visit this unexplored territory for some time and was inspired by a lot of the content I had seen on Instagram. We had enjoyed the trip to Snowdonia National Park so much that it naturally became an annual trip.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we couldn’t organise a trip in 2020 but we hope to make another trip happen later in 2021. On our most recent adventure to Snowdonia (2019) we rented out an Airbnb near Mount Snowdon as our base and explored some of the best local hikes.
One of the best hikes other than Snowdon is Llyn Idwal in the Ogwen Valley. I have been here both with and without snow. I prefer it with snow. In 2019, when visiting with snow, we made it to the summit of Snowdon – a challenge we were unable to complete in 2018 due to time constraints.
Llyn Idwal is my favourite place in Snowdonia because of the connection I have formed here. It was the first place I ever visited during my 2018 visit and we visited again in the snow the following year. There is no question that I will continue to visit every time I explore the national park.
In 2018, we visited Snowdonia without snowfall. Having driven through the valleys with heavy snowfall and minimal visibility, I will always try to visit Snowdonia during winter now. The way the mountains look, the frozen lakes and the pine trees covered in white snow are all so visually beautiful!
Top 5 Adventures in Snowdonia National Park
There is so much to experience in Snowdonia National Park and a lot of this destination still remains unexplored to me. From what I have experienced, here are the top adventures/things to do that I would highly recommend:
1. Take the Pyg Track up Mount Snowdon
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and the crowning jewel of the park. I would suggest taking the Pyg Track up – the shortest route up but certainly no walk in the park – and coming down via the Miner’s Track.
2. Explore the Beautiful Ogwen Valley of Snowdonia
Ogwen Valley in Snowdonia is surrounded by soaring mountains, pristine lakes and beautiful scenery. There is a lot to see around this area other than my favourite spot – Llyn Idwal. The views are incredible throughout and visitors can choose from a number of different hiking trails.
3. Stay with your Friends at a Cosy Airbnb
I have camped inside Snowdonia before but there is something about getting a cosy Airbnb (there are many in the area) with your travel companions that means the good times don’t stop once the hiking finishes! Camping is an option but with freedom camping unavailable, you need to be careful about where you pitch your tent for the night.
4. Hike to Llyn Llydaw for Sunrise and Coffee
Leading up to the summit of Mount Snowdon, you will pass a spot that overlooks lake Llyn Llydaw which is perfect for a morning coffee during sunrise. The reward for your hike is relaxing at this beautiful spot as the sun illuminates the surrounding landscape in majestic colours. You will love it!
5. Visit Snowdonia National Park with Snow
In my opinion, you haven’t really experienced Snowdonia National Park until you have visited in snow. Check the weather forecast and plan for a long weekend in winter. This will give you a taste of what Snowdonia has to offer. I guarantee once you return home you will be planning your next trip!
Need to Know Before you Go
Plan your hikes in Snowdonia but leave yourself plenty of time in between. You will stumble across so many hidden gems that you will find it difficult to stick to a schedule. For those looking to camp, freedom camping is not a thing in Wales and the sites get booked up quickly. If you are planning on taking a tent make sure you have booked a campsite before leaving.
Planning around the weather is difficult but if I haven’t stressed it enough visit during winter! Experiencing Snowdonia National Park in a layer of snow adds another dimension to your trip. Thanks for reading everyone 🙂