Virtual Tour of Wales - Anglesey and Snowdonia
Prehistoric man and Celtic chiefs left their mark here. The Romans built roads and forts. Pilgrims visited. The Welsh Princes of Gwynedd reigned from mountain strongholds-armies disappeared into the vastness of the remote countryside, eluding their enemies. The English came to conquer and marked the landscape by building castles. Industry destroyed mountains.
Today's visitor can experience the culture of the past while enjoying the beauty of today. Snowdonia National Park's 840 square miles (1351 sq. km) stretches from the Conwy river in the north to Machynlleth in the south and eastwards to Bala. It includes the mountain ranges of Tryfan, the Glyderau, the Moelwynion, Aran and Arennig, Cader Idris and the most well known mountain, Snowdon, the highest peak south of the Scottish border at 3560 ft. (1113m.)
Encircled by Caernarfon, the Roman fort of Segontium - once the most western in the Empire-was occupied from 77 AD to c394 AD. The foundations are all that remain today.
Llanberis is a popular mountain centre in the National Park. It is flanked by two lakes, Llyn Padarn and Llyn Peris. The beautiful Llanberis Pass is a not-to-be-missed driving adventure. From Llanberis, take the rack and pinion railroad to the summit of Mt Snowdon. It's a scenic wonder on a clear day.
The Snowdonia National Park Visitor Centre is located at the Old Stables in Betws-y-Coed, a popular resort. There are many interesting bridges in the area. The iron Waterloo Bridge, built in 1815 by Thomas Telford, is inscribed "This arch was constructed in the same year the battle of Waterloo was fought". The famous Swallow Falls and its chasm are nearby. To the south of the village is the Fairy Glen, a narrow gorge of the River Conwy.
Blaenau Ffestiniog, once the centre of the slate quarrying industry, is now a tourist attraction. At the Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Victorian mining conditions can be observed, and you can learn how slate was mined on the Miner's Tramway tour or the Deep Underground tour.
Bala Lake, the longest lake in Wales, is a popular watersports centre. A narrow-gauge railway skirts the southern shore. This town was, at one time, the centre of the Methodist Church movement.
The Cardigan Coast and Bay area is known for its sandy beaches and holiday resorts. Barmouth is an old harbour town made popular by the Victorians. Look for the bridge built in 1866, with its 113 trestles and enjoy the famous Panorama Walk.
Porthmadog was a 19th century terminus for shipping slate. Nearby Black Rock Sands provide a beach playground. Portmeirion is a famous Italianate village near Porthmadog.
Harlech Castle was made internationally famous by the song "Men of Harlech". It is now a World Heritage site. Part of its appeal is the viewpoint it commands from its 200ft high crag over Cardigan Bay, the Lleyn peninsula and the mountains of Snowdonia.
The Lleyn Peninsula is an area of remote bays and cliffs, wildlife- inhabited islands and coastal resorts. The largest coastal town is Pwlleheli with a long sandy beach and marina. It's a popular holiday resort. The old town still hosts a market, and the harbour is filled with pleasure craft. Nearby, in Aberech, is a large medieval church.
Aberdaron is the most westerly village on the Peninsula. It, too, has a sandy beach. Bardsey Island, two miles (3km) off the end of the peninsula, is an ancient place of pilgrimage.
The Island of AngleseyThe island of Anglesey is separated from the mainland by the fifteen-mile long Menai Strait, carved by glaciation during the Ice Age. The strait's tidal currents can reach up to 8 knots (15 km/h) in the narrow region between the island and mainland. Many ferry and boat accidents occurred before the bridges were built.
Anglesey's 125 miles (201 km) of coastline are a mix of rocky headlands, sandy bays and resort towns. The varied habitats of Anglesey mean that it abounds with birds, plants and other wildlife. Apart from the coastline, most of the island is agricultural or marshland. The entire island has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Anglesey was the last stronghold of the Druids, who were finally eradicated here by the Roman conquerors around AD 63, and the island has been home to strange legends and myths ever since. It is riddled with standing stones and burial chambers. Cadw is the best source for the location of these ancient sites, with 14 on the Island under its care. One of particular note is Barclodiad y Gawres Burial Chamber.
The town of Holyhead, located on Holy Island, eight miles (13km) long and four miles (6km) wide, is separated from Anglesey by a sandy strait. It is the largest town on Anglesey and is a popular destination for sports and beach activities. Ferries go from here to Dublin, Ireland. Ancient hut circles are found on Holyhead Mountain.
At the town of Llangefni, the Oriel Ynys Mon Museum contains displays on Anglesey's history, culture and environment.
For more in depth information about Anglesey, Snowdonia and area:
North Wales Attractions
Tourist Information Centres
Hotels - Self Catering