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How to get to Snowdonia

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Snowdonia is one of the best National Parks in the UK and has the highest mountains outside of the Scottish Highlands. It is a popular location for walking, climbing and mountain biking. It has a stunning coastline and castles which are popular for day trips.


You can get to Snowdonia by car or train. Aim for the transport hubs of Bangor, Caernarfon, Porthmadog or Betwys y coed, especially if you are using public transport, as they are well connected to the rest of the National Park including Snowdon mountain.


At Walk Snowdonia, we run guided walks on the six different paths up Snowdon - ranging from easiest to hardest.


The lonely tree, lake, Llanberis
Llyn Padarn

Are you travelling to Snowdonia or Snowdon?


Snowdonia is a National Park in Wales, UK, covering 823 square miles of mountains, lakes and rivers.


Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales (and England), UK. It is also called "Yr Wyddfa, Mount Snowdon and Mt Snowdon".


This article will first discuss how to get to Snowdonia, then the best ways to access Snowdon.






Getting to Snowdonia National Park


Snowdonia is accessible by road and public transport. The A55 and A5 are the main roads in. Train services go to Bangor, Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Betwys y coed which are the major transport hubs and are well connected for onward travel to the popular tourist destinations.


Is it easy to travel to Snowdonia?


Transport to and around the Snowdonia National Park has never been easier. The major attractions including Snowdon, are all very accessible by road and public transport.


Sheep on railway track
Snowdon Mountain Rail

What transport options are available to Snowdonia?


There are various methods of transport to get to Snowdonia. The main ways are...


Snowdonia by Car


Many people visit Snowdonia by car. The A55 and the A5 are the main access routes to the biggest mountains in Snowdonia including Snowdon.


The A55 follows the north coast and the A5 cuts through the National Park. The advantages of cars are well known and don't need to be explained here.


The issues of driving in Snowdonia are that the roads can be quite narrow and parking can be difficult, especially in the popular valleys.


This problem is at its worst at peak times. For this reason a well connected public transport network has been developed.


Snowdonia by public transport


The best thing about Snowdonia National Park is it's spectacular views and one of the best ways to enjoy these is on public transport. In addition you don't have to worry about parking.


Most people who use public transport get the train to one of the major transport hubs in Snowdonia (Bangor, Porthmadog and Betwys y coed) and then use the Snowdon Sherpa Bus to get around the National Park, including to Snowdon.


Snowdonia by Train


Snowdonia is accessed by two scenic railway lines. Along the top is The North Wales Coast Line which stops at the transport hubs of Bangor and Caernarfon.


From these transport hubs you will be able to use the Snowdon Sherpa Bus to explore further. This line also stops at the popular seaside destinations of Llandudno and Conwy and has amazing views of Conwy castle as you arrive into the town.


Sweeping along it's southern edge then the western edge to Porthmadog is The Cambrian Line. Porthmadog is a transport hub for onward travel.


Sprouting off The North Wales Coast Line in a southerly direction is The Conwy Valley Line which connects Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog. The Conwy Valley is spectacular and is best enjoyed by train.


Conwy Castle, Wales, UK
Conwy Castle

Trains from London to Snowdonia

Aim for the transport hubs of Bangor, Caernarfon and Betwys y coed, especially for Snowdon. There is a direct service from London to Bangor.


Bristol to Snowdonia trains

There is currently no direct line to Snowdonia from Bristol but you can access Bangor and Caernarfon with one stop at either Birmingham or Newport.


Wrexham to Snowdonia trains

This could not be easier. There is a direct line from Wrexham to Bangor and Caernarfon.


Conwy to Snowdonia trains

The simplest way to get to Snowdonia from Conwy is by train to Bangor or Caernarfon then catch the Sherpa Bus.


Bangor to Snowdonia

Bangor is well positioned at the end of the Nant Ffracon valley so is a perfect base to access Snowdonia National Park. Many of the Sherpa Buses start here including the S2 which goes directly to Snowdon.


Llandudno to Snowdonia

From Llandudno The Conwy Valley Line connects Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog in the heart of the National Park.



Snowdonia by bus


Whilst the train is the best public transport option to get to Snowdonia National Park, once here the simplest way to get around is by bus.


Snowdon Sherpa Bus Service


The Snowdon Sherpa Bus service connects the major transport hubs of Bangor, Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Betwys y coed with the most popular attractions in Snowdonia including Snowdon. If you are travelling here by train or bus then aim for one of these transport hubs for easy onward travel.


Public Bus Service


There are also other public bus services to less visited attractions such as Aber Falls. You can buy a 1 bws (bus) ticket for unlimited daily bus travel.


How to get to Snowdon


Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, is well connected by road. Aim for one of the car parks around the mountain such as in Llanberis or Pen y pass to start your walk.


Rail is the best form of public transport to get to Snowdonia National Park. The towns of Bangor, Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Betwys y coed are transport hubs and are connected to the rest of the UK by regular train services so aim for one of these.


You can then easily reach the rest of the Snowdonia and Snowdon using the Snowdon Sherpa Bus connection from these transport hubs.




Infographic map showing public transport options to Snowdon including train and bus

How do I get to Snowdon by public transport?


The easiest way of getting to Snowdon from is on the Sherpa Bus which has a regular service from the main transport hubs of Bangor, Caernarfon, and Betwys y Coed.


Due to limited parking this is often better than driving. Porthmadog, Bangor, Caernarfon, and Betwys y Coed are all connected to Pen y pass where the PYG & Miners Track start.


How do I get to Snowdon by bus?


The Sherpa Bus connects all of the walking routes up Snowdon. The main footpaths up Snowdon are the Llanberis Path and the PYG & Miners Track. The former starts in the village of Llanberis and is connected by the S1, S2 & S5 bus. The latter starts at Pen y pass and is connected by the S1, S2, S4 and S5.


How do I get to Snowdon by train?


Unfortunately, travelling to Snowdon by train is impractical. This is because there is no train service to or around Snowdon that is connected to the National Rail Network so you can't travel directly by train.


Snowdon Train

The West Highland Railway, connecting Caernarfon to Porthmadog stops in the village of Rhyd-Ddu. This is where the Rhyd-Ddu route up Snowdon starts.


Other than the Snowdon Mountain Railway in Llanberis, this is the only railway station at the foot of Snowdon.


However, this is a leisure line and is not part of the National Rail Network so can't be accessed directly. There are National Rail stations in both Caernarfon and Porthmadog where this line starts and ends.


Tickets for the West Highland Railway need to be purchased separately on their website. This train is infrequent and doesn't stop at Rhyd-Ddu on a daily basis so check first.


Snowdon summit by Train

It is possible to get to Snowdon summit by train from the village of Llanberis on the Snowdon Mountain Railway, however this is a leisure line and is not connected to the National Rail Network.


As it is a private company you will need to purchase tickets on their website.



Where do I park for Snowdon?


There are multiple car pars around the mountain. The one you want depends on which of the routes you plan to walk.


Most of the car parks are pay & display. The only car park you have to pre-book is Pen y pass car park.


Best parking for Snowdon


The car parks fill up quickly, especially at peak times so be sure to get there early. The best place to park to walk up Snowdon is in the village of Llanberis as there are multiple car parks.


Where do I park for the Llanberis Path?


There are multiple car parks in the village of Llanberis which is the start of the Llanberis path walk. You can usually find a space even at busier times. Here are some of them...


Snowdon Mountain Railway Pay & Display Car Park, Victoria Terrace, Llanberis, Caernarfon LL55 4TT


Parking for Snowdon, Llanberis, Caernarfon LL55 4TU


Where do I park for the PYG & Miners Track?


Pen y pass car park is the car park for these routes but it is expensive, currently £18 for 8 hours, and needs to be booked in advance.


The Snowdon Sherpa bus runs here regularly and is cheaper. It might be your only option if the car park is full.

Pen y pass car park, LL55 4NY

We recommend you pre-book your parking via the Just Park app.


Parking for the other main routes:

  • Rhyd Ddu Path - LL54 6TN

  • Ranger Path - LL54 7YS

  • Watkin Path - LL55 4NR

  • Crib Goch - LL55 4NY

Peak travel times


Snowdonia sees 10 million visitors every year and of these around 500- 700 thousand walk up Snowdon. Most of these are during the summer months.


Therefore, both the mountain and and the National Park get extremely busy. School holidays and sunny weekends are particularly busy with Saturday being the busiest single day. Sunny bank holidays from Easter until the end of August see the most visitors.



Conclusion

If you are driving, remember that car parks fill up quickly so get there early. You need to pre-book for Pen y pass car park.


If you are using public transport take the train to one of the major transport hubs and then use the Sherpa Bus for onward travel.


Now that you are well informed about how you'll arrive at Snowdonia, contact us to find out more about our guided walks or book now for your ultimate day out!

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