Despite the unseasonably wintry weather we are experiencing just now, spring is just around the corner. We think it is the one of the best times of the year for exploring Snowdonia. There's none of the hustle and bustle of high season, but longer days and better weather than winter help you get the most out of your short break in North Wales.
To help you plan your spring break to Snowdonia we've compiled a list of eight unmissable things to do. How many will you tick off?
8 Amazing Things To Do Around Llanberis This Spring
1. Take a walk around the lake
Llanberis is unique in that it is bound by not one, but two, lakes: Llyn Padarn and Llyn Peris. These glacial lakes were formed millions of years ago by run-off from the newly formed mountains of Snowdonia.
Just a short walk from our hotel, Llyn Padarn is the larger of the two and attracts visitors all year round. Its safe waters are a Mecca for water sports enthusiasts; you can try your hand at everything from open water swimming to stand-up paddle boarding. If you prefer keeping your toes dry, there's a lovely circular walk around the lake that takes in many of its landmarks, including the National Slate Museum, the lake railway and the Blade of the Giants (more on that later).
If you fancy the walk, click here for route details.
2. Travel on the Snowdonia Mountain Railway
We're on countdown! It's almost time for the Snowdonia Mountain Railway to begin rail services for 2023 and this year is really special because the train will, once again, be running to the summit, something it hasn't done since before Covid struck.
With remedial works on the upper track now fully complete, passengers can look forward to the full Mountain Railway experience. Setting out from Llanberis Station (just across the road from the hotel) passengers will enjoy a scenic ascent with far-reaching views across Snowdonia and towards the North Wales coast. You will alight at the summit where you can enjoy a panad (a cuppa in Welsh) and snack at the Summit Visitor Centre.
Don't forget to touch the Trig Point - you are at the top of the highest mountain in England and Wales after all!
3. Get a sword selfie
On the shores of Llyn Padarn is a stunning monument commemorating the ancient Welsh Princes of Gwynedd. This astonishing sculpture of a medieval sword stands at over 6 metres high, dominating the Snowdonia skyline and offering a truly unique photo opportunity.
Originally commissioned to mark Wales's Year of Legends in 2017, the sculpture is the work of local blacksmith Gerallt Evans. Like every heroic weapon, this sword has a name but we'll let you find out for yourself when you visit!
To visit the sword, follow signs for the Village Car Park (LL55 4BY), just outside Llanberis centre on the shore of the lake.
4. LEARN JUST HOW GREAT SLATE IS
Love it or hate it, the stark landscape surrounding Llanberis is a constant reminder of our industrial past. North Wales was the capital of the slate mining industry for hundreds of years, with Welsh slate roofing buildings from Liverpool to Australia. Along with Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda, Llanberis's Dinorwig Quarry was the largest slate quarry in the world, employing over 3,000 people at its peak.A short walk from the hotel, the National Slate Museum explores this slate heritage. Visit the museum and experience what is was like to live and work in the quarries for the men, women and children of Snowdonia.
5. SEE SPRING FLOWERS AT PENRHYN CASTLE
Is there any better indicator that spring has arrived than a carpet of golden daffodils? Called cennin pedr in Welsh, this bloom is synonymous with Wales and is, in fact, our national flower. And, boy, does Penrhyn put on a show! At this time of year, the grounds surrounding this National Trust gothic mansion near Bangor are awash with daffodils and other cheerful spring flowers. The Trust run a full schedule of events all year round so be sure to check out the website to see what's on at Penrhyn Castle before you go.
6. Conquer the castle at Caernarfon
Did you know, Wales is the castle capital of Europe? There are over 400 castles in Wales, with more castles per square mile than any other country in Europe! What's more, the majority of Welsh castles aren't Welsh in the true sense of the word. Most were built by invading forces, first the Normans and then the English.
Caernarfon is one such castle. This thirteenth-century fortress was constructed for King Edward I of England during his conquest of Wales. To the native Welsh people the castle was a symbol of subjugation and slavery and was universally hated. Caernarfon formed part of Edward's so-called Ring Of Iron, a string of castles - from Flint in the north to Harlech in the south - intended to control and cow the Welsh people.
While Caernarfon Castle's origins point to a dark time in our history, today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Recognised as a ground-breaking example of medieval defensive construction, Caernarfon is also lauded for its subtle beauty, reminiscent of Byzantine architecture.
Why not visit for yourself and see how this castle became the seat of the English Princes of Wales?
7. VISIT FARMYARD BABIES AT FOEL FARM
Cute and cuddly lambs cavorting in the fields is another sure sign of spring and you can get up close and personal with these cuties and many more at Foel Farm Park on Anglesey. This popular family attraction is a great day out for all ages. There's lots to see and do but the babies are definitely the main attraction at this time of year! Visit the barn and meet the new arrivals, including lambs, calves, kids and baby bunnies too. Take a tractor ride, meet 'gentle giants' the shire horses, or just have fun on the giant bouncy pillow and play area. It's a great place to while away a sunny spring day.
8. Shop at North Wales's most historic fair
On the 27 March, one of North Wales's most historic markets takes over the medieval town of Conwy. The Conwy Seed Fair is a 700-year old Royal Charter Fair selling unusual plants, seeds, handmade crafts and local produce.
Organised by the Conwy Beekeepers Society, the Seed Fair is one of three historic fairs which take place in the medieval walled town every year - the Honey Fair and the Wool Fair being the other two.
We particularly love the Seed Fair with its promise of spring and summer beyond. Start planning your garden now!
Enjoy an Easter break at the Royal Victoria Hotel
You've got the to-do list, now you just need to make a stay of it! Click here to book a short break at the Royal Victoria and explore North Wales this springtime at your leisure. We are perfectly placed for all of the attractions mentioned above, being just a short walk or drive away.