I don’t know what the deal is, but I’ve been having the hardest time writing lately. Work has been insane the past few weeks, and I’ve been absolutely drained of energy. But, writing, whether it’s fiction or this very blog, is usually my solace. Maybe I’ll write about that soon. Anyways…
Today, I want to talk about Snowdonia National Park in the heart of Wales. Just a forewarning, this is absolutely not a comprehensive guide about what to do in Snowdonia. I have no idea what you should do there. This is just what we did there, after sleeping in every day and eating a hearty English breakfast while listening to the owner of our bed and breakfast tell us all about the tiny village we were staying in.
Our journey to Snowdonia began in Cardiff. We booked our bed and breakfast in the small village of Betws-y-Coed before we learned that there is no train service on Sunday. Before this point, trains had been our primary form of transportation through the UK. To be honest, the thought of having to learn to drive on the opposite side of the road was terrifying to me. Plus the idea of roundabouts going the opposite direction of the few we have back home. Plus the narrow, winding roads, and tiny streets through crowded villages. Apparently though, if it’s your first time driving in the UK, car rental companies have no problem renting you a car. I’m not sure how, but we survived.
Our first stop was actually a small town on the coast of Wales called Aberystwyth. I am normally all for long, meandering road trips with lots of stops in places we’ve never heard of, but I was almost completely against going here. It meant about two extra hours in a car I didn’t want to be in, traveling roads that were unfamiliar to us, while trying to remember that everything is opposite of what it is back home (we messed up a couple of times coming out parking lots). However stressful the drive was though, it was completely worth it.
The moss covered tidal pools, the crashing waves, the mountains and lighthouse in the distance, and the sun just barely peaking through the clouds made for a perfect break from driving. It looked exactly how I’d always pictured Wales looking.
From there it was on to our bed and breakfast in Betsw-y-Coed in the heart of Snowdonia. We spent the next morning exploring the the quaint village and ducking into shops to avoid the rain. After the weather cleared up a bit, it was on to hiking. We researched a few trails in the area, but ended up on what we think was an unmarked trail through the forest. We were on the search for a specific waterfall that we never found, but I love being in the forest and this one was absolutely beautiful.
We even crossed over an awkward bridge with an amazing view of the river.
The next morning we took a short, but slippery, hike to the Fairy Glen just outside of Betws-y-Coed. Fairy Glen proved every bit as beautiful as the pictures I’d seen before. It featured a gorge with a wide river, and boulders covered in moss and fallen leaves.
It was near the beginning of autumn and leaves were just beginning to change, making our trip here that much more special.
There was also moss on everything. Being from Texas, we don’t often see things covered in moss so, of course, I took a few shots of it.
After our trip to the Fairy Glen, we spent the rest of the afternoon driving around the northern part of Snowdonia. I wish we could have done a bit more hiking, but just driving around gave us a good idea of what Snowdonia has to offer. There are mountains everywhere, with little lakes dotting the landscape. Plus, with the onset of Autumn, everything was just starting to change colors.
We spent quite a bit of time at a lake called Llyn Oglen, just wandering around and snapping photos. There seemed to be several hiking trails in the area that we unfortunately didn’t have too much time to check out. But the lake itself, and the surrounding mountains were beautiful.
After that it was time to head back to the bed and breakfast in Betsw-y-Coed. There’s still so much of Snowdonia National Park that we haven’t gotten to explore, and perhaps one day we will return, but it was definitely worth the trip. It was a beautiful park filled with waterfalls, mountains, lakes and forests, and tons of hiking trails to help you take it all in.