Best Things to do in Llanberis in 2020
So you’ve come over to Snowdonia to climb Snowdon, or just on holiday, and you’re looking for the best things to do if you’re based in Llanberis – be it rain or shine. In fact, there’s plenty to do – the biggest problem you’ll have is choosing. These Llanberis tourist attractions and activities are suitable for families (mostly!) and all travellers.
There are also loads of walks from Llanberis that you can complete. From the Llanberis Path up Snowdon, Walks in Padarn Country Park, Moel Eilio and the Walk around Llyn Padarn (not Llanberis Lake – sheesh).
Places to Eat and Drink in Llanberis
Pete’s Eats is without a doubt the best known eatery in Llanberis, and for good reason. Providing food and shelter for the outdoor community for decades, you’ll find most of them in here on a wet Saturday, contemplating whether it’s worth going out on the hill or not. The pint of tea/coffee is obligatory.
There are also a number of pubs in Llanberis, with The Heights being one of the best over time but with a tendency to change management meaning it was a different experience each time! The Penyceunant Isaf Tea Rooms are worth a visit, though are a bit of a yomp if you’re not walking up Snowdon. The other pubs in Llanberis are the Prince of Wales, Padarn Lake, Dolbadarn Hotel, Y Gwynedd Inn and the Royal Victoria.
Go gear shopping in Llanberis.
There may not be as many shops in Llanberis as there are in Betws y Coed, but there are more than enough quality stores to get you tempted; Joe Brown Shops, V12 Outdoor and Crib Goch. These cater for the whole gamut of walkers and climbers who might be contemplating a climb up Snowdon.
If you’re looking for something on a a rainy day in Llanberis, then why not go scuba diving in a disused quarry? For £55 an instructor will take you scuba diving into the 22m deep flooded quarry, much more exciting than a swimming pool!
You’ve already seen the scars of slate quarrying on the hillsides above Llanberis, so why not visit the National Slate Museum in order to learn more about the importance of the industry. Best of all, the entry is free!
You’ll need to be in Llanberis on the 20th July 2019 to catch this one, but it’s worth it if you’re about. We recommend against actually walking the Llanberis Path on this day to see the race as walkers invariably tend to get in the way of the runners – though it is known for people to set themselves up on the hillside to watch the race. Others will watch from the finish line. Llanberis has been known to be rather lively during Snowdon Race night!
Normally – we’d suggest the Llanberis Mountain Film Festival as being worth a visit, but sadly hasn’t been held for a few years as the organisers haven’t been able to secure the required funding. Lets hope it’s business as usual in 2021.
You’re here to do some outdoor pursuits right? Why not visit this world class climbing wall in Caernarfon, a few minutes down the road. Even if you’ve never done any sort of climbing, there are sessions available as well as a Crazy Climb area that is more suitable for beginners.
View a Giant Sword – Llafn y Cewri
This sculpture of a 6 metre high sword- Llafn y Cewri (Blade of the Giants) is located next to Llyn Padarn, which is worth a quick visit and a quick stroll along the lakeside. The sculpture commemorates the village’s links to the welsh princes of Gwynedd, and it’s quite apt that you can see Castell Dolbadarn from here.
According to CADW, Dolbadarn Castle was “probably built by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth (‘the Great’) early in the thirteenth century, the castle is dominated by a massive round-towered keep, still standing up to 50 feet (15.2m) high”. Unlike the nearby Caernarfon Castle that was built to subjegate the locals, Dolbadarn Castle is one of the numerous native castles of Wales.
Dolbadarn Castle is free to enter and ideal if you’ve only got a quick half hour, with excellent views from the top of the tower. There’s nothing else, and you’ll need sturdy shoes as the grounds are grassy rather than manicured.
Where better to get away from the rain falling on the mountains than actually going inside a mountain? This is a tour of the pump storage power station deep inside Elidir Fawr. The tour is reasonably priced and will be restarting by Easter 2019 as the current visitor centre is being rebuilt. We can’t wait to see the new building!
If you don’t want a strenuous walk, or just want something to unwind after climbing Snowdon, then this little walk is ideal. Well hidden down a country lane near the Llanberis Path, but very well known to all the locals.
If you fancy painting a pot – then this is the place for you. Not just for kids and all you need to do is buy the un-painted item and then you can paint to your heart’s content. Located a few minutes down the road to Caernarfon between Cwm y Glo and Llanrug, you can get there by bus from Llanberis.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
This tourist railway is one of two of the Great Little Trains of Wales heritage railways in Llanberis and is the perfect way to idle a day away and take in the spectacular scenery that this area is famous for. Starting in Llanberis, the Snowdon Mountain Railway includes five stations in total, ending with the Summit station which is actually 21 metres below the summit. For more information on this rainy day attraction visit the Snowdon Mountain Railway website.
Ideal for families, is this pint sized railway which takes you along the shores of Llyn Padarn. It’s around an hour’s journey out and back as the train takes you through the woodland of the Padarn Country Park, with a couple of stops at Gilfach Ddu where you can visit the Slate Museum and Cei Lydan which is a great spot for families to get off to stretch their legs and enjoy a picnic.
Just up the road is the village of Betws-y-coed, well worth a visit if you want to go gear shopping or spend the afternoon wondering about. There are also a load of other tourist attractions near Betws-y-coed, but that’s a whole new story!
The nearby town of Caernarfon has plenty to see, especially Caernarfon Castle which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Welsh Highland Railway. There are a number of independent shops in the town but not a single outdoor shop (we were based in Caernarfon for years and couldn’t even source a reasonably priced gas canister for camping!)