Accommodation and Information - Snowdonia and North Wales
There are several good bases for our courses in North Wales.
1. Llanberis Area.
Llanberis is an important town on the outskirts of the Snowdonia National Park and its position at the head of the iconic Llanberis Pass at the foot of Snowdon has given it deep historic connections to climbing in North Wales.
Climbing is also central to the town's economy as climbers, scramblers and walkers use it as a base for their activities; the town has two of the best independent climbing shops in the country - Joe Browns and V12.
It is also the home of DMM, who are the last British manufacturers of climbing equipment, and along with Sheffield it probably has the most active climbing population in the UK.
The Gallt-y-Glyn pub and hotel is on the outskirts of town and is the climbers current pub of choice with the Pizza and a Pint nights being especially busy.
a. Llanberis Hotels + B+Bs.
There are a lot of accommodation options, but the town is perhaps not as tourist/customer service orientated as Betws-y-Coed. The town has a web site that lists all the local accommodation, but the information is pretty basic.
Hotelscombined and Laterooms can provide up to date information if you want to look at specific accommodation in more detail - the Beech Bank B+B and Llecyn B+B and the 4 * Plas Coch Hotel seem to get the best reviews.
Anita's B+B is not listed, but is also a good, friendly option and this is where DMM stash visitors
Pete's Eats has long been a institution in the town providing climbers with plentiful quantities of cafe food and it now also offers a variety of basic accommodation. There is also internet area upstairs.
The Royal Victoria is the biggest hotel in the town with a typical big hotel feel and with food that can be a bit hit or miss.
b. Llanberis Bunkhouses
The Snowdon House in Nant Peris has the oldest bunkhouse in the Snowdonia Park and has the luxury of central heating. It is based in Nant Peris, just outside Llanberis, and opposite the Vaynol Arms pub.
There is also the Llanberis Bunkhouse in the centre of town.
c. Llanberis Campsites
The Snowdon House in Nant Peris has camping as well as a bunkhouse. There are two other campsites in Nant Peris - Cae Gwyn (01286 870718) and Ty Isaf (01286 870494).
The Llyn Gwynant campsite is very good, but a little more remote on the other side of the Llanberis Pass at the head of Llyn Gwynant.
2. Capel Curig Area
Capel Curig is central to both the Llanberis and Ogwen Valleys and is a natural base if you want fast access to most of Snowdonia; there are not a lot of amenities here apart from the hotels and B+B's which can be good or bad depending on your perspective. There is a single shop - Pinnacle Stores - at the Llanberis / Bethesda end of the village that supplies all the staples plus there is a branch of Joe Browns hidden just behind the store for those forgotten essentials such as DEET and chalk.
a. Capel Curig Hotels + B+B's
The town has a web site that outlines all the accommodation options and attractions. The Bryn Trych Hotel tends to get pretty positive reviews from most people that stay and so does the Tyn-y-Coed Inn.
St Curig's Church is also interesting and has had good reviews from both the Guardian and the Sunday Times.
b. Capel Curig + Ogwen Valley Campsites.
The Dolgam campsite is just on the outskirts of Capel Curig, but all of the hotels and pubs are within 10 - 15 minutes walk. Lots of space and flat, but it will get busy on sunny summer weekends.
Tthe Gwern Gof Uchaf campsite lies in Ogwen Valley at the base of Tryfan and the Glyders. Gwern Gof Uchaf also has a bunkhouse. Remote, but lovely location. The very similarly named Gwern Isaf campsite also lies in the valley and is a little closer to Capel Curig, but Gwern Gof Uchaf tends to get better reviews.
All North Wales campsites can suffer from midges in summer so bring some midge repellant - DEET is still best, although some people don't like using it.
3. Betws-y-Coed Area
Betws-y-Coed is central to a lot of the climbing and is very tourist orientated, so there are loads of places to stay and lots of info on local attractions. The town web site is very good and has a great search facility for accommodation that can be fine tuned using the Advanced Search option.
ByC is also popular with those traveling by train as it is one of the few central Snowdonia towns with a rail link from the main line at Llandudno Junction on the coast.
Our village of Trefriw is also lovely and only 5 miles from Betws-y-Coed. The Trefriw village site is useful and lists accommodation options plus activities to to in the area. One of the advantages of Trefriw is that it lies in the Conwy Valley with easy access to both the sea and the mountains plus we tend to get the drier coastal weather.
a. Betws-y-Coed Hotels and B+B's
Lots and lots of hotels - check out the town web site above as well as the the normal review sites such as Trip Advisor and Late Rooms.
The 3 star Ty Gwyn gets good comments from those who have used it and is well positioned in the village.
The Tan-y-Foel is a highly commended 5 star hotel which is widely praised for the quality of it's food, though some find service on the formal side.
Larger parties may also find Bodlondeb interesting; only recently renovated and available, but with strong recommendations.
The Waterloo hotel on the edge of town is the safe choice as it is part of the Best Western chain and has a sauna, pool and gym for those not wiped out by a day on the hill.
b. Betws-y-Coed Bunkhouse.
The Vagabond is a 3 start rated bunkhouse that has self-catering facilities. The rooms cater for groups of various sizes and there is a bar with decent ale.
c. Betws-y-Coed Campsite.
Swallow Falls campsite just above Betws-y-Coed is probably the most popular site - outside the village, but next to a pub.
Hafod Farm is just outside Betws-y-Coed on the way to Llanwrst and has a variety of accommodation options. It gets good reviews.
There is also a lot of information at www.snowdoniaguide.com - it is a fairly comprehensive guide to Snowdonia, its landscape, mountains and lakes, towns and villages, historic buildings, visitor attractions and much more.