Dotted across North Wales’s National Park, these towns and villages in and around Snowdonia offer everything from picturesque mountain and river walks to epic coastal castles and cycle paths.
Harlech | Towns and villages in Snowdonia
Harlech rests on the western edge of Snowdonia and is dominated by an impressive hilltop castle. The sandy shores of Harlech beach sweep around Cardigan Bay with beautiful mountain views to the north. There’s a golf course and several holiday parks around Harlech, such as Min-y-Don where you can book a pitch for your caravan or motorhome and walk onto the beach through the sand dunes.
Beddgelert | Towns and villages in Snowdonia
The pretty village of Beddgelert gets its name from a local legend about a 12th century hound called Gelert. Gelert’s grave lies on the edge of Beddgelert which today is an ideal base for hikers wanting to ascend Snowdon (with 6 nearby routes), or embark on scenic river walks from the doorstep of your hotel or holiday cottage.
Along the way in Barmouth’s harbour you’ll find fish and chip shops and seafood restaurants for the catch of the day, and around the coast is a vast stretch of sandy beach overlooked by amusement rides and an indoor arcade.
Edward I’s magnificent castle is bound to impress as you approach the seaside town of Conwy. Only around 10 minutes by road from Snowdonia National Park, you can enjoy spectacular mountain and river views from one of the many castle turrets, or along the fortress walls that surround the historic town centre.
There’s plenty of pretty holiday homes to stay in and around Conwy, including ones near the Marina where you can watch visitors set off on sightseeing cruises, or be first in line to peak inside Great Britain’s Smallest House.
The town’s proximity to the North Wales Expressway means you can travel from the border of England to Conwy in around 45 minutes, or arrive by train on an epic coastal route that passes right alongside the castle walls – book your train tickets to North Wales.
Just a few miles further north from Conwy you’ll find the picturesque promenade of Llandudno town, lined with grand sea view hotels and tall townhouses turned B&Bs. If you choose to holiday in Llandudno you will be following in the footsteps of the Victorian’s who used to flock here each summer to enjoy its impressive coastline, pier and later the tramway that started taking visitors up and down the Great Orme in 1902!
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The Italian-style village of Portmeirion is Wales’s Mediterranean jewel situated on the Dwyryd Estuary near Porthmadog. Designed by Architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the colourful buildings, delightful gardens and acres of nature trails makes it a popular day trip when visiting the Snowdonia region.
You can also stay in Portmeirion Village by booking a self catering holiday cottage or checking in to one of the two on-site hotels. Staying guests also benefit from an outdoor heated pool and tranquil morning and evenings in the village before the day visitors arrive.
Related: A photo tour of Portmeirion Village
Betws-y-Coed | Towns and villages in Snowdonia
Built out of grey stone amongst soaring pine trees, the leafy village of Betws-y-Coed is one of Wales’s unspoilt wonders with a tonne of outdoor activities on its doorstep. Visitors can retire in the Royal Oak Hotel after hiking the local river trails, or rest in a riverside cottage after an adrenalin-fuelled day at Zip World.
This is not an exhaustive list, there’s plenty of other beautiful towns and villages in and around Snowdonia National Park to explore, such as Porthmadog and Caernarfon where you can set off for Snowdonia on a stream train via the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway.