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Head for the hills: Holiday cottages with routes to the top of Snowdon

582,000 people walk the slopes of Snowdon, or Y Wyddfa as it’s called in Welsh, each year. The mountain draws a constant stream to its summit, drawn by an irresistible urge to meet the challenge of reaching its peak.

Here you’ll find four holiday cottages from whose doors you can start your ascent.

1. Dinas Noddfa

You can quite literally walk out the door, along the road for 5 minutes, and begin the Watkin Path route up to the top of Snowdon from Dinas Noddfa. Although this fact is by no means its main draw. Formerly a gentleman’s residence, with views from every window across Llyn Dinas, there is so much to love about this holiday cottage.

However, if you hear the peak calling, then the Watkin Path is a stunning route taking you past turquoise pools and ruined mine buildings. The views are spectacular, but it is considered the toughest route up Snowdon. It is 8 miles long and starts from virtually sea level and ascends the full 3300ft. The route is well marked all the way to just before the summit where there is a steep scree slope that requires good walking boots and some nerve!

2. Pantlleni

Equally charming, and as perfectly placed, is Pantlleni. A picturesque quintessential Snowdonia stone built cottage at the head of Llyn Gwynant, with idyllic views from its windows down the lake. You can do exactly the same route up the Watkin path to the top of Snowdon. Or you can vary the route if you are an experienced walker, by taking the south ridge and veering left off the Watkin path the Bwlch Cwm Llan, crossing Clogwen Du and picking up the Bwlch Main path to the summit.

3. Betws Inn

For a different approach, you can stay at the Betws Inn. This holiday cottage is brilliantly placed to ascend the Snowdon Ranger Path. The top of Snowdon is just over a mile from the start of the path so definitely doable from the door.

Betws Inn is a charming holiday cottage that has been lovingly refurbished. With a huge inglenook fireplace, feature stone walls, and a mountain backdrop behind, it is perfectly placed for exploring. The village of Betws Garmon is enchanting and gives stunning views all around of the Snowdonia wilderness.

The Snowdon Ranger path follows a zig-zag route to begin and then brings you to Llyn Ffynnon y Gwas. Here the path becomes more challenging as you ascend the rocky shoulder to Clogwyn Du’r Addu. However, your efforts are rewarded when you emerge, with views over Cwm Clogwyn, Llechog and Bwlch Main Ridge. The final ascent to the summit of Snowdon is made on the Llanberis path which the Snowdon Ranger path joins.

4. Cwm Glas Bach

Last, but by no means least, is the wonderful Cwm Glas Bach in Nant Peris. Another stunning welsh stone cottage, with spectacular views from every window of the mountainous surroundings in which the holiday cottage is embedded. The outside is brought inside, with slate floors and wonderful stone fireplaces. It even has a crystal clear mountain stream 10 yards away.

There are two routes to the top of Snowdon from here, and both ways involve a walk to the starting point. You can either walk, or take the Sherpa bus, to Pen y Pass car park and begin the Pyg Track up and the Miners Track down. Or you can walk, or take the Sherpa, into Llanberis and take the Snowdon Mountain Railway up and walk down the Llanberis Path. Or walk down the Pyg or Miners Track to Pen y Pass and take the bus back. There are plenty of combinations. Whatever way you decide, you’ll return to the holiday cottage with a newfound admiration, respect and connection to the mountains surrounding you.

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