SNOWDONIA

ABOUT SNOWDONIA

Situated on the west coast of Britain covering 823 square miles of diverse landscapes, Snowdonia National Park is a living working area, home to over 26,000 people.

 

As well as being the largest National Park in Wales, Snowdonia boasts the highest mountain in England and Wales, and the largest natural lake in Wales, as well as a wealth of picturesque villages like Betws y Coed and Beddgelert.

 

Snowdonia is an area steeped in culture and local history, where more than half its population speak Welsh.

The National Park Authority’s aims are to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area, promote opportunities to understand and enjoy its special qualities; and to foster the economic and social well-being of its communities.

HISTORY

Snowdonia National Park was established in 1951 as the third national park in Britain.

 

It covers 823 square miles (2,140 km2), and has 37 miles (60 km) of coastline.

 

The Snowdonia National Park covers parts of the counties of Gwynedd and Conwy.

The English name for the area derives from Snowdon, which (at 1,085m) is the highest mountain in Wales.

In Welsh, the area is named Eryri. A commonly held belief is that the name is derived from eryr ("eagle"), and thus means 'the abode/land of eagles', but recent evidence is that it means Highlands, and is related to the Latin oriri (to rise).

MOUNTAINS

Many hikers concentrate on Snowdon itself. It is regarded as a fine mountain, but at times gets very crowded; in addition the Snowdon Mountain Railway runs to the summit.

The other high mountains with their boulder-strewn summits—as well as Tryfan, one of the few mountains in the UK south of Scotland whose ascent needs hands as well as feet—are also very popular.

The park has 1,479 miles (2,380 km) of public footpaths, 164 miles (264 km) of public bridleways, and 46 miles (74 km) of other public rights of way.  A large part of the park is also covered by Right to Roam laws.

There are also some spectacular walks in Snowdonia on the lower mountains, and they tend to be relatively unfrequented.

 

GEOLOGY

 

The geology of Wales is complex and varied; its study has been of considerable historical significance in the development of geology as a science.

 

All geological periods from the late Precambrian to the Jurassic are represented at outcrops throughout Snowdonia and the effects of two mountain-building episodes have left their mark in the faulting and folding of much of the rock structures.

NATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT

 

The park's entire coastline is a Special Area of Conservation, which runs from the Llŷn Peninsula down the mid-Wales coast, the latter containing valuable sand dune systems.

Snowdonia's importance in the conservation of habitat and wildlife in the region reflects in the fact that nearly 20% of its total area is protected by UK and European law.

 

Half of that area was set aside by the government under the European Habitats Directive as a Special Area of Conservation.

CITY MOUNTAINEERING

LONDON - UK

enquiries@citymountaineering.com

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