If you are based in London it can be very tempting to fly around the European continent on your weekends with airfares being so competitive. One of my favourite trips from London however was much closer to home! Wales is arguably the UK’s most underrated destination and a brilliant escape from the bustle of city life. While Cardiff is probably the most popular Welsh destination I highly suggest exploring some of the regions gorgeous landscapes and in particular, Snowdonia National Park.
How to get to Snowdonia
Snowdonia is a convenient 4 hour drive from London making it the perfect weekend getaway. I used Enterprise Rent-A-Car from St Pancras London because this was the cheapest option at the date of booking. A small 4 door car was sufficient for the road and weather conditions.
If you are flying into Wales you will probably be arrive in the capital. Snowdonia is only a 2.5 hour drive from Cardiff.
What to do in Snowdonia
One of the best things about Snowdonia is being able to take in the scenery without necessarily needing to drive to specific sites. There are however some convenient pit stops along the A5 that you might want to consider adding to your itinerary.
We picked up our car at 8AM on Saturday from St Pancras Station and starting from London made a lunch stop in Birmingham (on the way back made our lunch stop in Oxford).
After lunch we drove straight to our first Welsh stop, Betws-y-Coed Waterfall. There was a 1 pound entry fee per person to get into the area but it was a nice place to stretch our legs!
After this we made a quick stop at Ty Hyll, better known as ‘The Ugly House’. This is a really strange Welsh tourist attraction along the A5. Legends say it was built by robbers and thieves taking advantage of travellers as they journeyed through Snowdonia – hence the name as “ugly people” gave the house a fearsome reputation.
Driving to Llynnau Mymbyr was absolutely stunning as we had finally made it into Snowdonia National Park. For those of you from New Zealand, Snowdonia reminded me so much of NZ!
Lyn Idwal was my favourite stop of the weekend as we got a chance to stretch our legs again and walk up to the lake.
Where to Stay
While in Snowdonia I stayed at the YHA Llanberis. This accommodation was very cheap, had free parking and was ideally located to drive to nearby viewpoints. It was also only a two-minute drive to the town centre where you can find restaurants and grocery stores.
Where to eat
Because it is small town there isn’t a vast array of restaurant options but Petes Eats was definitely a winner. They served cheap hearty food with friendly service and the servings were huge! It was a great place to grab dinner after a long day of driving.
Snowdonia National Park is a stunning region that is a perfect destination if you are looking for a laid back weekend trip. I loved Snowdonia so much that made it into my top 20 favourite travel experiences. It is a simple (and affordable!) road trip from London and unlike most places in the UK is not inundated with tourists.
If you have any questions feel free to comment below 🙂
Suitcase And I was not commissioned to write this article and as always, the opinions in this review are my own.