And, just like that, autumn is upon us! With the cosy season officially starting this week, social media timelines are chock full of glowing candles, grinning pumpkins and steaming hot chocolates - all iconic emblems of this transformational time of year.
We’re so lucky here in North Wales that every season delivers something memorable to experience; that’s why we pride ourselves on being an all year round destination. Autumn is no different. So dig out your scarf and wellies, your big coat and your woolly hat, and let’s run through our favourite things to do around our hotel this autumn.
1. Go for a walk
You don’t need to be a hardened hiker to access stunning vistas and tranquil landscapes when staying at the Royal Victoria. There are several fantastic walks within a stone’s throw of the hotel that can be enjoyed by walkers of all ages and abilities.
If the weather’s looking a bit iffy or you’re not keen on making an ascent, take the Lon Las Peris walk around Llyn Padarn. This meandering 8km flat route is suitable for wheelchairs, buggies and bicycles, and rewards with beautiful views of the village and surrounding slate landscape.
If you don’t fancy walking too far, take a stroll through the hotel grounds and visit the medieval Welsh castle of Dolbadarn. Once the seat of Welsh princes, the fortress served as the guardian of the Nant Peris valley against invaders. Learn more about Dolbadarn’s history here.
Feeling more adventurous? Explore some of the waymarked trails of the Padarn Country Park. There are a variety of routes to choose from, all taking in some interesting natural landmarks and relics of Llanberis’s slate mining past.
2. Take the train up Snowdon
We think a trip on the Snowdon Mountain Railway should be on every visitor's bucket list when visiting Llanberis!
Sadly, Covid restrictions have prevented the train from travelling all the way to the summit this year but there is still a daily service running to Clogwyn, the railway’s halfway station. From here you can enjoy the near 360 degree views of Snowdonia and Gwynedd or you can continue to the summit on foot via the Llanberis Path*.
Weather permitting, the train will run until the 31st of October when the railway will close until Spring 2022. As such, booking is strongly encouraged! You can book tickets here.
*Please note: you should be suitably prepared if you choose to make the ascent to the summit. We have some handy tips for winter walkers here.
3. Go stargazing in the Snowdonia National Park
The Snowdonia National Park was named an International Dark Sky reserve in 2015 - becoming just the tenth area in the world to be given this award. To date, there are only 13 Dark Sky Reserves in the world - proving what a prestigious honour this is and just how unique our national park is!
Stargazing requires no specialist training or equipment - as long as you can see the stars you can stargaze! What is important, however, is to view the cosmos in an area with minimal light pollution, making sparsely populated Snowdonia the perfect location to stargaze.
With the skies constantly changing throughout the year, it’s possible to stargaze all year round and always see something new. However, we think autumn is a particular good time of year to watch the night sky. Nightfall comes early, the sun and moon hang low in the sky and, unlike in deepest winter, it’s not too cold to be outside after dark.
If we’ve inspired you to reach for the stars this autumn, grab your binoculars and read our blog on the best spots for stargazing in Snowdonia.
4. Drive through the falling leaves
What’s autumn without falling leaves? Colour is synonymous with autumn, thanks to the myriad falling leaves that spiral and swirl all around us for a few short weeks. There are several iconic locations around the world that come to mind when we think of autumn leaves and colour - New England, Canada and Japan to name but a few.
But we’ve got autumn leaves by the barrowload right here too. On our doorstep and around Llanberis, ancient sessile oak woodland clothe the hillsides in a warming palette of toasty browns and burnished golds.
But for the real autumn show, you need to hop in the car and go a bit further afield. The Conwy Valley, with its mix of evergreen and deciduous forest, puts on a spectacular show each autumn and is just a short drive from the Royal Victoria Hotel. Stop off in the quaint alpine village of Betws-y-Coed for the ultimate in autumn feels; here the Gwydyr Forest rises steeply on all sides transforming the valley into a treasure chest of seasonal colour.
And remember, if you didn’t get a picture... it never happened! We’ve got some excellent advice for autumn photography right here on our blog so you can record your autumn memories to keep forever.
Stay with us this autumn
We think the Royal Victoria Hotel is the perfect base for exploring Snowdonia this autumn. Located at the edge of the Snowdonia National Park and at the heart of UNESCO’s slate heritage landscape, our hotel offers easy access to the best days out and experiences this autumn. Book your stay today.