5 Family Friendly Walks In Snowdonia
It's the school holidays next week and you need to find something to entertain the kids. Attractions can be costly, especially if you have a big family, and you know the grandparents would like to join in so why not head outdoors? An easy walk that the whole family can get involved in will cost you little more than fuel and parking, and gets everyone some fresh air and light exercise.
Finding a suitable route for all can be difficult, so we have put together a short list of easy walks in Snowdonia to give you some ideas. They each have varied but not difficult terrain to keep kids interested and engaged along the way without being too challenging for those who have mobility issues. These routes are also perfect for spotting wildlife, learning about the history of the area as well as local legends so everyone will have something to take away from the day.
Start/End: Aber Falls Car Park (LL33 0LP)
Starting at the car park there are two paths to the falls: a lightly challenging path through the woodlands and a more accessible path by the river more suited to younger children. Whichever route you decide on for entertaining the kids, there'll be a plethora of trees and plants to discover as well as wildlife to spot. When you reach the falls for an epic display of 37m of tumbling water there are a few picnic spots for a bite to eat before you head back but bear in mind it can be a popular place.
Start/End: Carneddau & Glyderau National Trust Car Park (LL57 3LX)
While perhaps on the slightly more challenging side, Cwm Idwal offers great rewards to those who manage it. There are a couple of bridges to tackle before meandering up the well-laid stone path towards the lake and then you can choose whether to go clockwise or anti-clockwise around the lake. Either way, you'll get spectacular views of the towering cliffs that form a natural amphitheatre as well as views out over the lake.
Although you'll likely spot plenty of wildlife, legend has it that the birds do not fly over the water in respect to the memory of its 12th-century namesake, who drowned after being pushed in by a jealous Uncle.
Start/End: Dolgellau (LL40 1UU) or Barmouth (LL42 1NF)
The Mawddach Trail is a disused railway line that has been well maintained to offer a 15km (one way) walking and cycling route for people of all abilities to use. There is plenty of parking at different spots along the way and you can choose to do the whole thing at once or smaller sections at a time thanks to the shuttle bus service.
Although there are a few gates along the route you can manoeuvre prams and pushbikes around them, a small inconvenience to deal with when rewarded with views up and down the estuary as well as over the water when you get to Barmouth Bridge.
Craig y Fron, Y Bala
Start/End: Llyn Tegid Car Park (LL23 7NG)
This route offers a huge variety of things to look out for and stays pretty close to the town but can feel at times considerably more remote. Keep an eye out for 'The Caves' and you'll also pass by the house of Betsi Cadwaladr who worked alongside Florence Nightingale. During Autumn, at the weir, you may be lucky enough to see salmon jumping upstream to spawn.
The sheer variety of things to see on this walk is ideal for families looking to inspire kids, especially if they have to do a show and tell of their activities in school.
Start/End: Colwyn Bank Car Park, Beddgelert (LL55 4UY)
This riverside walk is bursting with legends of years gone by, perhaps most notably and most tragic, the tale of Gelert the dog, from which the village supposedly takes its name. You'll learn about this story at Gelert's Grave, which sits a little further along than the Church of St Mary. From here you'll head on towards the river bank where you can watch the herons and the dippers searching and waiting for food opportunities.
Once you cross the old railway bridge you can either head for a picnic by the scenic gorge of Aberglaslyn Pass or head back towards Beddgelert where you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for the copper steam train to reflect the copper mining heritage of the area. A great day out for all.
About the Author:
Charlotte Fish - Outdoor Expert
Charlotte discovered her passion for the outdoors in her early teens and has never looked back since. Her pursuit of outdoor activities has taken her all over the world but she truly believes there is no place like home.