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Getting to Snowdon and Snowdonia

By Dave Roberts   

Published – July 25, 2011

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Getting to Snowdon and Snowdonia


There are railway stations at Bangor and Betws-y-coed that are the best options for anyone wanting to climb Snowdon. Bangor has a direct service from London Euston and a bus connection to Llanberis, though we’d personally splurge out on a taxi. Betws-y-coed can reached by taking one of the many trains from London Euston to Llandudno Junction and changing trains to Betws-y-coed. The trains rarely coincide and you’ll then need to catch one of the Sherpa buses from Betws-y-coed to Pen-y-pass which will need some good timing. Those looking to walk the Rhyd Ddu / Watkin Paths from Bangor Station would be best basing themselves in Caernarfon which has a bus service via Rhyd Ddu and Nant Gwynant to Pen-y-pass as well as the Welsh Highland Railway (one of the Great Little Trains of Wales) between Caernarfon and Porthmadog that can be used for walks starting at Waunfawr, Snowdon Ranger, Rhyd Ddu Beddgelert.

If based in Llanberis or Betws-y-coed then you can reach the Pen-y-pass routes up Snowdon easily (we recommend walking back the Llanberis path for convenience if based in Llanberis and the buses are busy) while the Watkin Path and Rhyd Ddu paths may need a couple of changes in Pen-y-pass and Beddgelert (there are direct buses, but you need to check the timetables).

There is also a railway station in Porthmadog which is a good option for those setting off from the midlands with direct trains from Birmingham New Street (ensure you don’t have to change trains at Dyfi Junction!!) There are buses then to Beddgelert from Porthmadog which is the best base to walk the Watkin Path and the Rhyd Ddu / Ranger Approaches.  The Welsh Highland Railway also serves Porthmadog, with the option of using it to Rhyd Ddu and the Snowdon Ranger paths.

We recommend allowing a day to travel to and another from Snowdonia if using the train.

Public transport once you get here.

Snowdon boasts the Sherpa network, which is frequent between Llanberis, Nant Peris and Pen y Pass but less often around the other locations. With a little planning, you can base yourself anywhere along their route and ascend any route and descend another of your choice. You’re advised to check our Snowdon Sherpa page for more details.

One must not forget the Welsh Highland Railway which provides the classiest mode of transportation to the Ranger and Rhyd Ddu paths from Caernarfon.


There’s parking available at all the starting points to these walks. However, you’ll need to be warned that during busy periods that you may need to be at some of the car parks by 8am to get a space. This is particularly true of Pen y Pass which is the most popular car park, and the most expensive at an eye watering £10 to park.

You’ll need to pay at all the starting points unless you can find a free space in Llanberis. Cromlech is also free, but extremely limited. The best strategy is to park at Nant Peris park and ride and use the Sherpa bus to get to the start. These can be crowded at busy periods, so the best strategy is to catch em early and walk back to the car rather than the other way round.

More information  here – Snowdon Car Parks.

Driving Instructions.

Click here in order to open our route planner. Get directions from anywhere in the UK to the start of all the walks.


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Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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