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The GO Outdoors Guide to Snowdonia - 60 Reasons to visit

Calling all outdoors enthusiasts – are you ready for a new challenge? Make Snowdonia your next trip for endless fun in the great outdoors. From cycling and walking to climbing and camping, there’s something for everyone.

We’ve put together this series of guides to exploring Snowdonia so you can make the most of your time there – and let’s face it, with so much to discover, you’ll probably have to make a few trips!

Whether you’re enjoying the view, cycling off the beaten track, or climbing your way to the top of the mountain, Eryri (Snowdonia) is the perfect place to fall in love with the outdoors.

Want to introduce your little ones to the delights of the Snowdonia National Park? We’ve rounded up our top picks of the best family fun days out. Perhaps you’re looking for a pulse racing thrill to conclude your adventure? Head to our ‘try something new’ guide – we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

So what are you waiting for? Dust off your boots, pack up your tent and set off on your next big adventure! We promise it’s going to be unforgettable.

Remember to browse GO Outdoors for any last-minute protective gear for you and your family. From specialist footwear to cycle clothing, walking equipment and tents, we’ve got everything you need.

Quick Links:

- Snowdonia Walks
- Snowdonia Cycle Routes
- Snowdonia Climbing Routes
- Snowdonia Campsites
- Snowdonia Family Activities
- Snowdonia Try Something New

10 Snowdonia Walks

From gentle strolls to challenging hikes, there’s a walk to suit all abilities in Snowdonia.

  1. Barmouth Full Tour Circular Walk – (moderate to difficult)

    With so much to see along the way, many people prefer to split this route into two. Heading along sections of the famous Panorama Walk, you’ll be rewarded with views of Barmouth Bridge. Discover the rich history of the area with several monuments and sculptures, and buildings of interest en-route.

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  2. The Welsh Three-Thousanders – (for experienced walkers)

    If you’re feeling brave, why not tackle the Welsh Three-Thousanders, a challenging walk stretching across 51km. With a total of 15 summits and 3606m ascent, it’s a chance for experienced walkers to test themselves. It’s well worth it though, just to take on Carneddau, Crib Goch, the Glyders, Snowdon and Tryfan all on the same day.

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  3. Snowdon Horseshoe – (for experienced walkers)

    With a combination of steep slopes and exposure to the elements, the Snowdon Horseshoe is sure to get your pulse racing. Dubbed ‘the best ridge walk in Wales’, this 11km route is not suitable if you have a fear of heights. It takes up to six hours to complete so you might want to pack some refreshments for the journey.

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  4. Penmaenmawr – (moderate to difficult)

    AStarting from Llanfairfechan promenade, this 10km walk offers a mixture of firm, grassy paths and steep ascents and descents. Step back in time as you pass ancient enclosures and stone circles that pre-date the Roman invasion. If it’s a clear day, be sure to look out for the Lake District mountains in the distance. Allow three hours to complete this route.

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  5. Cwm Trwsgl And The Tramway From Cwm Pennant – ( easy to moderate)

    Snowdonia still has a few secrets tucked away, and Cwm Pennant is certainly one of them. This short walking route takes in the old Cwm Trwsgl quarries, and gives you the opportunity to explore the disused quarry barracks. Note that there are open quarry workings here that require care. Head back along the old tramway that contours along the valley sides, before an easy return on a country lane.

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  6. Crib Goch – (for experienced walkers)

    If you’re one for a challenge, then Crib Goch may be just the route for you. Not one for novice walkers, it’s a thrilling combination of grade one scrambling, steep slopes and slippery rock. Tackle three summits in one day: Crib Goch, Garnedd and Snowdon. It is not recommended to attempt this route in wet weather conditions or during the winter unless very experienced and equipped with crampons and ice axes.

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  7. Snowdon Ranger Youth Hostel to Snowdon Summit – (moderately difficult)

    Quieter than most routes up Snowdon, be prepared to gain height quickly as you zig-zag your way up the mountain from the Snowdon Ranger Youth Hostel. With stunning views from the top, be sure to reward yourself after all that upward climbing with a pint of ale from the pub in Rhyd Ddu.

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  8. The Pyg and Miners Tracks – (easy to moderate)

    Keep to the Pyg track and you’ll find this route up Snowdon fairly straightforward. Take care where the top of the track joins Llanberis path – lingering ice can be treacherous. Descend the steep slope of the Miners track, passing old houses where the miners used to live. This 11km route should take around five hours to complete so it’s recommended to take some food and plenty of water to keep you sustained.

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  9. Snowdon from Pen-y-pass – (moderate to difficult)

    If you’re happy about heights and you have a good level of fitness, you’ll love this popular route up Snowdon. Once you reach the base of the mountain, there are two ascents available: take the Pyg track for an easier climb or if you’re feeling up to the challenge, Crib Goch boasts nail-biting ridge walking and tough scrambling – the choice is yours.

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  10. Dôl Idris – (for all abilities)

    Follow this flat circular path donated to the National Park Authority in the early 1980s by Mr Ivor Idris. Suitable for everyone, this short route gives you the chance to sample the stunning scenery of Snowdonia. Pop in to the tea room and visitor centre or bring a packed lunch and take advantage of the picnic tables dotted along the path.

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10 Snowdonia Cycle Routes

Mountain bikes at the ready, get set for our favourite Snowdonia cycle rides – there’s even a 364km challenge for the really keen among you.

  1. Beddgelert Village and Forest

    For a short but rewarding mountain bike route, head over to Beddgelert Forest. A full circular route is around 20km but don’t let that put you off – once you’ve experienced the thrill of riding at full speed from the top all the way to the bottom, you’ll understand why it’s a must.

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  2. Lôn Las Menai – (easy)

    If you have a spare half hour on your Snowdonia trip then grab your kids and their bikes and complete the Lôn Las Menai route. It starts from Victoria Dock at Caernarfon, making it ideal to combine with a visit to Caernarfon Castle.

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  3. Lôn Eifion – (for all abilities)

    For those of you looking for a family cycling route, or as part of a more challenging round, the Lôn Eifion from Caernarfon to Bryncir is ideal. Following the route of the dismantled Caernarfon to Afon Wen railway, the first five kilomentres are surprisingly narrow before opening out into a wider track with far reaching views of the mountains of Snowdonia to one side and Caernarfon bay to the other. There are no facilities at the far end in Bryncir, so you’ll need to turn back or cross country lanes to re-join the route in Llanwnda.

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  4. The Snowdonia Cycle Sportive – the Etape Eryri – (for all abilities)

    With a choice of four routes (plus a family-friendly route) starting and finishing at Caernarfon Castle, are you up for the challenge of the Etape Eryri? From the moderately difficult 75km Bach route to the insane 364km Xtrem, there’s something to whet all appetites.

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  5. Bwlch-y-Groes - Dinas – (for experienced mountain bikers)

    It may only be three kilometres long but the 376m climb makes Bwlch-y-Groes a real tough one. Don’t let that put you off; for mountain bike enthusiasts, this challenge is a must and will earn you serious credibility among your friends.

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  6. Penmachno – (difficult)

    This red grade mountain bike trail is not for the faint hearted. Boasting 30km of fast descents and technical riding – not to mention spectacular views – be prepared for the 766m climb. Depending on your experience, expect this trail to take up to five hours to complete.t

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  7. Gwydyr Forest – The Marin Trail – (difficult)

    If you’re itching to get out on your bike and experience ‘proper’ mountain biking then try out the Marin Trail. The climbs may be steep but the views from the top and the exhilarating descents make it all the worthwhile. A remote trail like this requires plenty of refreshments and bike repair tools in case of any eventuality. Set aside up to four hours for completion.

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  8. 3-Valley Bike Ride – Nant Gwynant, Nant Peris, Nant y Betws

    Sample the stunning views across Snowdonia on the 50km cycle ride. Starting and finishing in Beddgelert village, this route passes through Snowdon’s three surrounding valleys. Take the route clockwise for a thrilling descent down Pen-y-pass back to Beddgelert.

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  9. The Mawddach Trail – (for all abilities)

    Starting from Dolgellau and finishing at Barmouth, this 15km route winds its way along the southern edge of the Mawddach estuary. For the most part, the path is flat and around three metres wide, making it suitable for cyclists, walkers and wheelchair users. For a longer route, complete the Mawddach Trail as the final section of the South Snowdonia Gateway - a 43km stretch through forests and moorlands.

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  10. Snowdon, Llanberis Path, Rangers Path and Telegraph Valley – (moderately difficult)

    For a mixture of mountain biking, link Llanberis Path and Rangers Path with Telegraph Valley and climb to the summit of Snowdon. Take the clockwise route up Llanberis Path then leave the crowds behind as you head down Rangers Path where you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular trail. It’s one last uphill push to Telegraph Valley and from there, it’s descent all the way.

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10 Snowdonia Campsites to try

Get up close and personal with nature when you stay at one of the following campsites…

  1. Cwmlanerch Wales

    There’s no need to book your stay at Cwmlanerch Caravan Park and Campsite – simply turn up, pitch your tent anywhere you like on the camping field and pay the following morning. With a wide range of facilities, including toilet block, hot showers, dishwashing, washing machine and tumble dryer, plus the use of a freezer, you’ll want for nothing.

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  2. Rynys Camping Site

    If you’re new to camping and you prefer a little more comfort while you sleep, there are plenty of glamping opportunities on offer at Rynys Farm campsite where you can book a stay in a Shepherd’s Hut or even a yurt!

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  3. Cwellyn Arms

    Overlooking Cwellyn Lake, this welcoming campsite also offers uninterrupted views of Mount Snowdon and Mynydd Mawr. Boasting under floor heating in the shower block, as well as kiln dried logs for easy camp fires, this campsite is ideal for camping novices.

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  4. Cae Du Campsite

    Set among 30 acres of land, this campsite is ideal for those wanting a bit of peace and tranquillity during their stay in Snowdonia. Suitable for tents, touring caravans and dormobiles, it’s a great base from which to discover the delights of the surrounding area. With many tourist attractions on its doorstep, including Caernarfon and Criccieth castles, Snowdon Mountain Railway and Ffestiniog Railway, there’s plenty  on offer.

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  5. Barcdy Caravan Park and Campsite

    A family-run campsite with stunning views of the Dwyryd estuary, the owners of Barcdy pride themselves on offering camping at the highest standard of comfort and cleanliness. Facilities include Wi-Fi, launderette, hot water, dishwashing, hairdryers, shavers, gas, and electric hook-up points for tents.

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  6. Pant-Yr-Onnen

    This lakeside campsite offers a wealth of outdoor opportunities to be explored from sailing, kayaking, canoeing and fishing to countryside cycle routes and walks. The small town of Bala is a mere three miles from the campsite, boasting restaurants, pubs, shops and water sports centres.

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  7. Pen y Bont Caravan and Campsite

    Whether you want to camp in the great outdoors or try glamping in a Gypsy caravan, the choice is yours at Pen y Bont Caravan and Campsite. Situated near Bala Lake, there are plenty of water sports on offer, from canoeing and kayaking to sailing.

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  8. Gwern Gôf Isaf Campsite

    You’ll be ideally situated to explore the Glyders and the Carneddau peaks when you book a stay at Gwern Gôf Isaf Campsite. Whether you’re a lone traveller or you’ve brought the whole family along, there are some great tourist attractions to visit in the local area, including Snowdon Mountain Railway, Zip World and Tree Top Adventures.

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  9. Llyn Gwynant

    Located at the base of Snowdon, Llyn Gwynant visitors have direct access up the mountain - not to mention stunning lakeside views. As well as walking, the site is an ideal base for swimming and other adventure activities such as kayaking on the lake. Alternatively you can simply enjoy natural beauty and quiet beside the lake or river, relaxing by your own camp fire.

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  10. Gwern Gof Uchaf

    At the foot of Tryfan, you’ll find Gwern Gof Uchaf – a campsite with direct access to the mountains of Snowdonia. Hoping to try your hand at something new? Just two miles away is the Plas y Brenin Centre, where you can book a short course in climbing, canoeing – any activity that takes your fancy.

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10 Peak Snowdownia Climbing Routes

Snowdonia offers some of the best climbing in the UK. For those who prefer bouldering, there’s plenty of that up for grabs too. Here are some of our favourite climbs.

  1. Plas y Brenin – (for all abilities)

    The National Mountain Sports Centre is unmatched in its wide offering of courses and holidays for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re new to climbing and bouldering or you’re looking for some expert tips to help you reach the next grade, there’s something for everyone.

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  2. Great Gully – Craig yr Ysfa – (difficult)

    Great Gully is one of Craig yr Ysfa’s classic climbs. With a difficulty rating of grade three, it’s not advisable for inexperienced climbers. For those up to the challenge though, it’s a varied route with breath taking views from the top.

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  3. Gashed Crag, First Pinnacle Rib, Grooved Arete – Tryfan (very difficult)

    Boasting challenging yet popular climbs, you’ll be in great company on Gashed Crag, First Pinnacle Rib and Grooved Arete. Finding the routes can be complex, but no experienced climber should go home from Snowdonia without completing them. If bouldering is more your cup of tea however, there’s plenty on offer in Ogwen Valley.

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  4. Milestone Direct Route – Milestone Buttress – (hard very severe - HVS)

    Positioned close to the main road (A5) this route is easy to access. It can be difficult to find your foothold though due to the many climbers who’ve taken this approach over the years. Some bouldering is available nearby if you don’t have enough equipment for this hard very severe (HVS) climb.

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  5. Glyder Fach – (moderate to difficult)

    Depending on your ability, there are 97 climbs to choose from. From the moderate Main Gully Ridge on the east buttress to the extreme Slim Chance on the Hawks nest buttress, you’ll find plenty here to get stuck into.

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  6. Carreg Wastad – Crackstone Rib & Wrinkle – (severe)

    A busy route for competent climbers, Crackstone Rib takes you right up the middle of Carreg Wastad. Good rope work is required as you make your way up this well-trodden climb. There are some bouldering problems of various grades at Carreg Wastad and Llanberis Pass.

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  7. Flying Buttress – Dinas Cromlech – (very difficult)

    This classic steep route boasts six pitches of full on climbing. Take care on the main wall on the third pitch as this is the most exposed. For those climbing at the very difficult grade, this route is sheer enjoyment from start to finish. There are lots of bouldering problems on the roadside below Dinas Cromlech.

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  8. Llywydd – Avalanche/ Red Wall & Longlands Continuation – (hard very difficult - HVD)

    Routes steeped in history, Avalanche, Red Wall and Longlands Continuation were used as training for the Mount Everest team of 1953. Although not as challenging as some of Snowdonia’s climbs, they’re classic routes which can be completed as part of Snowdonia Adventures’ rock climbing and coasteering courses.

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  9. Tremadog – Craig Ddu Wall – (very severe)

    Pack your abseiling equipment and start climbing the big buttress of Tremadog. Made up of two pitches, Craig Ddu Wall is ideal for climbers used to grades very severe and above. There is limited bouldering nearby for those interested

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  10. Tryfan Snowdonia – (moderate to hard very severe)

    For scrambling, mountaineering and classic rock climbing, there’s nowhere better than Tryfan. Its clean rock makes it accessible regardless of the weather. A total of 79 climbs (of varying grades) up the east face of Tryfan will leave you spoiled for choice. There are plenty of bouldering problems at the foot of Milestone Buttress and further up the mountain.

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10 Family Friendly Activities in Snowdonia

If you’re visiting Snowdonia with your children in tow, you’re in for a real treat – because there are so many exciting opportunities to get involved in…

  1. King Arthur’s Labyrinth

    Get set for an underground journey through a magical waterfall, travelling far back in time into the Dark Ages; where magic, myth and King Arthur ruled. Enjoy learning about ancient Welsh legends as you explore the caverns and tunnels of the underground labyrinth.

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  2. Corris Mine Explorers

    Explore this land that time forgot – an old Welsh slate mine abandoned and forgotten. Discover miner’s tools, machinery, discarded candles, cigarette packets and actual stories of the hardship and grit endured. This is 100 per cent authentic adventure and fun for all. Minimum age 8 and over.

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  3. Electric Mountain

    With around 225,000 visitors each year, Electric Mountain is home to one of the biggest man-made caverns in Europe and houses a pumped storage generator, converting water power into electricity. Discover how it all works in the Centre, let off some steam in the Den and head over to Genius Corner to test your knowledge with fun puzzles and games.

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  4. Pili Pilas Nature World

    Regarded as the top family attraction in Anglesey, a day out at Pili Pilas is not to be missed. With butterflies, birds, lizards and snakes to see – and handle – you can get up close and personal with every species on offer. Do you dare visit the scorpions, tarantulas and fire-bellied toads? Then head over to the bug-zone. Prefer soft and fluffy animals? Then you’ll have fun cuddling the guinea pigs and rabbits in pets’ corner.

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  5. Snowdon Mountain Railway

    Travel by steam locomotive to the top of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. Sit back and enjoy the view as you complete the hour journey to the summit – don’t forget to take your camera as there’ll be plenty of photo opportunities when you reach the top.

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  6. Greenwood Forest Park

    Enjoy a fun day out whatever the weather at Greenwood Forest Park. Wherever you turn there’s action and adventure, from the unique people-powered coaster to the magical indoor play area in the Enchanted WoodBarn. Climb your way to the top of the six metre tall WildWEB and get lost in the Crocodile Maze. Learn how to construct a shelter from logs and fallen tree branches in the Den Building area and try your hand at long bow archery under the watchful eye of the experts. With so much to do, you’ll be spoiled for choice!

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  7. Yr Hwylfan – The Fun Centre

    The adventure never stops at The Fun Centre! From the giant play area with tumble towers, ball pools, 25ft high drop slide and dark maze to go-karting and laser space sport, your little ones can let off steam to their heart’s content. For the under-fives, there’s a separate play area filled with plenty of soft play to keep your little ones busy.

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  8. Gypsy Wood

    Explore the magical Gypsy Wood Park, set in 20 acres of natural woodland; it’s the place to go for all outdoor, nature and fairy lovers. Tramp through the wetlands, make friends with the resident animals and see if you can spot the fairies – don’t forget to make a wish!

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  9. Shell Island

    Shell Island is home to three beaches, providing the ideal base for budding explorers. Whether you’re busy collecting shells, taking part in water sports or simply relaxing in the sun, there’s something to suit everyone.

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  10. Rabbit Farm

    If you’re an animal lover, you’ll feel right at home at Rabbit Farm and Animal Park. Feed and handle the animals before letting off steam in the adventure park. There’s a wide range of animals to see, from ducks and pigs, to cows and ponies – and of course rabbits.

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10 Alternative Activities to Try in Snowdonia

With so much on offer in Snowdonia, don’t limit your stay to walking and climbing. We’ve found 10 exciting activities for you to try. So go on, try something new!

  1. Bear Grylls Adventure Day

    Take part in a Bear Grylls survival day and learn how to stay alive in the great outdoors. You’ll be set various adventure challenges and learn essential survival techniques to help you out along the way. Designed for to put your team skills to the test, do you have what it takes to survive?

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  2. Up4Adventures

    Get up close and personal with the great outdoors and take part in one of the many outdoor activities on offer at Up4Adventures. Try gorge walking, canyoning, rock climbing, abseiling, bushcraft and underground slate mining - there’s plenty to keep you challenged.

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  3. The National White Water Centre

    Experience real welsh white water rafting and kayaking on the River Tryweryn at The National White Water Centre. For a thrilling day of water sports whatever the weather, you’re guaranteed a wild day out.

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  4. Zip World Caverns

    Zip World offers a diverse range of activities that you will have never tried before! Experience the longest zip line in Europe and the world’s fastest; Zip World Velocity will take you over Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda at speeds that exceed 100mph. Or head to Blaenau Ffestiniog to try the largest zip zone in Europe, Zip World Titan and the largest fully underground zip line course in the world with Zip World Caverns.

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  5. TT Adventure

    There’s fun for everyone at Tree Top Adventure. Wind your way through 30 obstacles on the adventure course and experience the 100ft drop from Tree Top Tower. Your little monkeys will love following in your footsteps on their very own junior version. Complete with zip line, hideaways and beams, they’ll be entertained for hours.

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  6. Bounce Below

    Bounce underground to your heart’s content with Bounce Below and Bounce Below Junior, the first underground playground in the world. Hidden deep underground in Llechwedd slate caverns, you’ll cross the narrow walkways and run through the tunnels to reach the bouncy nets. Whether you’re young or just a big kid at heart, there’s fun for everyone at Bounce Below.

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  7. Segway Adventures

    Located within 30 acres of woodland on North Wales’ Llyn Peninsula, Dragon Raiders Activity Park is a fun day out for the whole family. From paintballing to Segways, there’s an outdoor activity for every taste. Journey through the serene forest or challenge yourself to the rougher off-road rally treks

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  8. Black Rock Llamas

    Feed, handle and bond with the llamas on an organised llama trek in stunning Snowdonia. Ideal for children and adults of all ages, learn all about these fascinating animals when you book a llama experience with the experts at Black Rock Llamas.

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  9. Go Below

    Go Below Underground Adventures offers unique and personally guided adventures deep into the abandoned mines of Snowdonia. Enjoy an exhilarating exploration of this spectacular subterranean world where you’ll tackle a series of exciting underground activities all under the cover of darkness. Abseil through cavernous chambers and zip line over forgotten blue lakes; test your nerve climbing up vertical shafts or traversing over an abyss. All trips are guided by the most experienced, professional and passionate mine explorers in the business. They can bring your surroundings to life with their wealth of knowledge on the mining industry and its history. Choose from three different underground trips, catered for families, couples, individuals, team building, stag and hen, schools, youth groups and military. Are you brave enough to go below? Remember... adventure starts where daylight ends!

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  10. Gone Swimming

    Discover the delights of open water swimming on a holiday with Gone Swimming. Under the supervision and instruction of expert Gabby Dickinson, you can improve your swimming the fun way – outdoors. Available at various locations around North Wales, you can make it as challenging or as care-free as you like – after all, you’re on holiday.

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Snowdonia really does offer something for everyone, from the young to the old, the outdoor novice to the outdoor expert – and here at GO Outdoors, we can’t think of a better place for adventure. What do you love most about Snowdonia? Share your outdoor adventures with us today