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If you are yet to reach Snowdon’s peak why not add it to your 2018 bucket list? Whether it’s by foot or rail, we’re sure you’ll never forget your experience!

However you reach the summit, you never quite know what you’re going to find at the top of Wales’ highest mountain. The towering peaks of most countries are remote places reached only by relatively small numbers of determined walkers, or even climbers. But thanks to enterprising (and tourism-savvy) Victorians, Snowdon can be ascended by the United Kingdom’s only public rack and pinion railway.

Opened in 1896, the original Swiss steam locomotives still carry visitors to the summit along the 4.7 miles of track winding its way up from Llanberis. So you’re as likely to meet a hardy local who has ‘jogged’ up for lunch (no, some really do) as you are tourists from around the globe who have just stepped off the train. Katherine Jenkins OBE, Sir Bryn Terfel CBE and Sir David Brailsford CBE have all visited in recent years, and each have had a Diesel carriage named in their honour.

At 1085m, Snowdon dominates the landscape of the Snowdonia National Park. From the first views of the waterfall plunging into the gorge below at the start of the journey, to the breath-taking sights over the sheer edge of Rocky Valley, every moment is memorable. On a clear day, the final few steps up to the cairn reward you with heart-stopping panoramic views.

Five things you might not have known about Snowdon & the Snowdon Mountain Railway

    1. Victorians living in Llanberis never had to buy new hats. The railway carriages used to be open to the elements, with gusts of wind regularly removing the passengers’ hats. So common was this, the valley into which they blew became known as Cwm Hetiau (Valley of the Hats).
    2. Before the railway opened, the only other way to get to the top other than walking, was by donkey-ride.
    3. You can post letters and cards from the top of Snowdon, from the summit post box, the highest in Wales and England.
    4. On a clear day – in addition to the panorama of mountain tops that you would expect, you can even get a glimpse of Ireland, Scotland, England and the Isle of Man.
    5. It’s been calculated that No.2 locomotive, ENID, has covered a distance equal to four journeys to the moon and back since entering service in 1896

This article was taken from The Handbook Volume 2, to find out more about this amazing publication or pick up your own copy – click here.

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