Not only is Snowdonia famous for its beauty it's perfect for adventurous couples – here's how to experience it on camping trips, hiking routes and adrenaline-fuelled days
Snowdonia's mountains offer innumerable opportunities to get out
there with your loved one and gulp down some fresh air. And, with
careful preparation, there are endless means to discover the
landscape in every season.
Spring and autumn provide the best conditions for exploring on foot. The region has a footpath to suit everyone, whether you're looking for challenging ascents, rocky terrain, or a leisurely walk.
Mountain view from the Snowdon summit, Snowdonia (Shutterstock)
Walkers can follow six main routes up Snowdon itself (1,085m), and those seeking a more personal exploration can forge their own - but take care, and prepare well beforehand. For a less crowded climb, try one of the three paths to the summit of Cader Idris to the south (893m). Scramblers can head up the ridges of Crib Goch (923m) or Tryfan (918m), and enjoy views of undulating hills, grey lakes and barren peaks. For an easy walk in picturesque surroundings, head to Beddgelert or the lakes of Llanberis.
During recent winters, local winter sports enthusiasts have flocked to the snow-clad slopes - skis and snowboards in tow - for some cross-country action. But again, take precaution if you're not fully familiar with the terrain.
With the opening of Caernarfon's new Beacon
Climbing Centre, it's clear that the region is finally
harnessing its reputation as one of the UK's most diverse climbing
If you make your way up the Pen-y-Pass road to the Pen-y-Gwryd hotel, you'll soon see that the region has hosted some of the most celebrated climbers in the world. In front of the fireplace, look up to the ceiling and you'll find the signature of Sir Edmund Hillary, dating back to 1953 when the hotel was used as the training headquarters for the first successful summit of Everest.
Rock climbing in Snowdonia National Park (Shutterstock)
The crags at Pen-y-Pass near Llanberis - where Mallory himself trained - are the most popular in the region, and the most frequently-climbed is Clogwyn Du'r Arddu (or 'Cloggy' as it's sometimes referred to). With several routes, it provides a wide range of challenging climbs. The rock-face freezes solid over the winter months, carving the way for experienced ice-climbers.
Snowdonia has plenty to offer both the aspirational beginner and the ambitious professional. For those wanting to go off the beaten track, there are several routes waiting to be explored - such as those of Cwm Silyn on the Nantlle ridge. For more information, check out the logbooks on UKClimbing.com.
Many of Snowdonia's unused slate quarries are being reclaimed by
nature, sinking further into the undergrowth, but others have been
transformed into adrenaline and adventure parks.
Zip World Velocity opened at Bethesda's Penrhyn Quarry in 2013 - it's the northern hemisphere's longest zip wire and the fastest in the world, with speeds of up to 100mph. Zip World Titan followed in 2014 at Blaenau Ffestiniog's Llechwedd Slate Caverns. To experience the region's subterranean world as well, Llechwedd is also home to Bounce Below - a network of illuminated bouncy nets suspended in the disused cavern beneath the ground.
Or, if you're both camping nuts, why not take it to the next level (quite literally) with a bit of cliff camping? Companies such as Gaia Adventures now offer the chance to climb down over the crags at Betws-y-Coed, and enjoy an evening on the cliff face in one of their portaledges. A good head for heights is essential, and it's always advisable to go the loo beforehand….
For world-class whitewater rafting, head south to the National White
Water Centre. Down the road on the shores of Bala
Lake, you'll find the Bala
Adventure and Watersports Centre, offering courses in
kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing and sailing, as well as mountain
biking and gorge walking.
Kayaking on Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) (Shutterstock)
North Wales might not sound like a likely destination for
wine-loving couples, but a number of young vineyards are now
starting to take root in the region. One of these is located on the
south-facing slopes of the Nantlle Valley, with views of the
Snowdonia mountain range at one end and the sea at the other.
Nantlle Valley, Snowdonia (Shutterstock)
After it was established in 2007, Pant Du harvested its first crop of Rondo grapes in 2010 with a helping hand from the local community, and has since produced award-winning red, white and rose wines. Vineyard tours are available year-round.
Snowdonia is a place where history and myths co-exist, and where
learning about one can only enrich your knowledge of the other.
Castles are dotted around the surrounding towns and countrysides -
Conwy, Harlech, Criccieth and Caernarfon are the region's
Conwy Castle in Wales (Shutterstock)
Main image: Summer sunlight in Snowdonia (Shutterstock)
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