"A good tourist base......." Top 5 Page for this destination Llanberis by leics

Llanberis Travel Guide: 78 reviews and 304 photos

Llanberis, placed at the foot of Eryri (Snowdon), has inevitably become a placed geared towards visitors of all types, from coach tours to climbers. In fact, the first refreshment hut was built at the top of Snowdon in 1837 by an enterprising local miner! And there is no doubt that it's a beautiful area, and a pleasant enough place to stay.

I have to be honest; I've never really explored the village itself. Although I lived nearby for 5 years, I wasn't interested in gift shops and cafes and I'm not now. There are plenty of both, though, and the Snowdon railway for those who don't have the time and/or energy for the climb. Llanberis tourist information will give you lots of detail.

The main photo was taken from Dinorwig slate quarry, high above the village. Quarrying was once the main industry locally, and the mountains are scarred with evidence of this. Dinorwig quarry finally closed in 1969 and, fortunately, its history has been gathered together into the slate Museum in Llanberis (see my tips). Do try to visit; few enough people know about the industry, the hardships and the culture it promulgated. When I lived in the area the old men would tell me about their lives in the quarries; it's good that all this will not be lost.

Exploring the quarry itself is still entirely feasible, although there are attempts to fence off dangerous areas and create marked paths. The best place to start is from Dinorwig itself (car, or bus from Bangor/Caernarfon). Do take care, especially if it's wet; slate is extremely slippery stuff, and there are plenty of overgrown and hidden holes/gaps to break your ankles in.

Whilst I was living in Deiniolen (near Dinorwig) work began on creating a massive, hidden hydroelectric scheme. This involved draining water from a lake at the top of Elidir Fawr (Marchlyn Mawr) , piping it through the mountain to underground hydroelectric turbines and then pumping it back up again. The old men were sure it would never work ('the mountain's riven with cracks from the blasting......') but it did, and you can visit the workings should you so wish.

The lakeside railway which took slate on its journey to the docks at Port Penrhyn (Y Felinheli) has been partially restored, and now you can take a steam-driven trip along the lake.

And there are, of course, boats and walks and other attractions. There's even a 'park and ride' bus (in the season) which will take you to Pen-y-Pass, so you can't start your walk up Snowdon more easily. So it's worth spending some time in Llanberis, and possibly using it as a base to explore Snowdonia.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lake, slate museum, Snowdon, walks and views
  • Cons:Can get very busy indeed
  • In a nutshell:Excellent base for exploring Snowdonia
  • Last visit to Llanberis: Aug 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (4)

Comments (2)

  • Balam's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2009 at 12:04 AM

    Great tips, I'm off to Bangor on Monday to visit Evan at Uni and we are going to Llanberis on Tuesday.

  • Basaic's Profile Photo
    May 23, 2009 at 11:49 AM

    Great page on an interesting little place. People too often ignore the dangers here in the Arizona desert, too.

leics Used To Live Here!


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