Posted in Touring on May 11, 2017
Circling Snowdon: Great UK Road Tours
Looking for a way to experience the beautiful and often dramatic landscape of the UK? Road tours can give you that and much more, including a visceral driving experience unavailable anywhere else. You’ll find that the loop around Snowdon, the highest peak south of Scotland, is a great way to find enjoyment behind the wheel.
This tour starts and ends at Caernarfon. If you’ve never visited the castle, take the time to do so before starting the tour. It’s a beautiful edifice and remarkably intact. It’s also an excellent example of English history and heritage. Whether you’ve got the kids with you or not, a stop here is a great start to the day.
After you’ve wrapped up your castle tour, it’s time to get on the road. You’ll head out of town and across the Seiont on Constantine Road, which eventually becomes the A4085. Take in the view around you – the vibrant green hills and glittering rivers. That’s all about to change. The landscape becomes increasingly rugged and climbs up and down the Snowdonian foothills. The road also narrows considerably at many points. There is also the fact that you’ll need to keep an eye out for coaches carrying hikers and walkers.
Snowdonia National Park
The A4085 crosses the River Gwyrfai, and then enters Snowdownia National Park. Here, you’ll enjoy views of waterfalls, rolling moorlands, and lovely lakes, as well as steep cliffs and ancient boulders. Be prepared for the way the road changes throughout the park. It’s narrow, and you’ll find quite a few tight curves that challenge your ability to handle a car.
The most scenic part of the park is coming up fast – the heart of Snowdonia. You’ll go right past the head of Ranger Path, and from that point you’ll have no end to the stunning vistas until you reach Beddgelert. At this point, the A4085 joins the A498, and you turn toward the east. You’ll drive past Lake Dinas and other sights and through lush forest. Again, the road is narrow and twisting along this route, so keep your wits about you.
Rounding Out the Tour
Eventually, you’ll take the A4998 up to the top of Pen-Y-Pass. This is a prime spot to enjoy a panoramic view, before beginning your descent back down into the valley. It starts to climb again shortly after, though, as you go through Llanberis Pass. The road is very steep here, so use caution, particularly if the weather is less than perfect.
This section of the tour is dotted with lake after lake, as well as slate mines and other interesting sights. Don’t take your eyes off the road for too long, though. There are quite a few hairpin turns and blind corners that you’ll encounter, and your driving skills will definitely be put to the test. There’s also the opportunity to reach the top of Snowdon if you’re of a mind, but that’s optional.
You end your trip where you started – back at Caernarfon.