Day Walks Near Snowdon for Beginners – Top 5

Day Walks Near Snowdon for Beginners

Snowdonia National Park is one of the best hiking spots in the British Isles. Many venture to this nature area to shimmy along its knife-edge crags or to summit its imposing peaks. One popular trek is to climb Snowdon (1,085 metres), the highest mountain in Wales. However, many of these day walks near Snowdon can be intimidating for beginners.

Fortunately, Snowdonia is a very accessible National Park with routes to suit all abilities. Rather than scaling up mountains or scrambling across boulder fields, you can choose to walk around the placid lakes or stroll along the scenic valleys instead. This still allows you to admire the stunning glacial landscapes of Snowdonia even as a beginner hiker. Here are some of the best day walks near Snowdon for newbie hikers.

1 . Lake Ogwen Circular

Lake Ogwen Circular - day hike

Length: 4.7 km

Elevation Gain: 122 metres

Route Type: Loop

Difficulty: Easy

Driving Distance from Pen-y-Pass (Snowdon): 15 minutes

The Ogwen Valley is one of the most famous examples of a glacially-formed U-shaped valley in the UK. A highlight of this picturesque valley is the ribbon lake known as Llyn Ogwen. Aside from being beautiful, the lake also has a mythical tale surrounding it. The story states that following King Arthur’s death at the Battle of Camlann, Sir Bedivere took Arthur’s sword Excalibur and threw it into Llyn Ogwen where it lies today!

There is a relatively flat trail you can follow around the edge of this fabled lake. Starting from the Ogwen Partnership Centre, it’s a short walk along the A5 to join the trail on the north side of the lake. Following a rocky section, the route follows a muddy path along the lakeside before looping around the eastern edge to trace the A5 back again. This is a perfect example of the many rewarding day walks near Snowdon.

2 . Capel Curig Circular

Capel Curig Circular - Day Hike

Length: 6.4 km

Elevation Gain: 211 metres

Route Type: Loop

Difficulty: Easy

Driving Distance from Pen-y-Pass (Snowdon): 10 minutes

The Capel Curig Circular is another one of the top day walks near Snowdon. The trailhead is located in the Capel Curig town centre where you can find multiple parking spots. Initially, the route proceeds across Afon Llugwy and climbs up a hillock to the east of the town. Following this scenic section, the path turns south to Pont Cyfyng where you will cross the A5 and Afon Llugwy for the second time.

The route traces the banks of this tranquil river before passing through pleasant farmland to culminate at the Llynnau Mymbyr. The terrain on this trail benefits from being varied which gives beginner walkers a great introduction to the mountains. The trail is well-marked but hiking boots may be required for some of the rutted and muddy sections.

3 . Llyn Gwnant Circular

Llyn Gwnant Circular - Day Hike

Length: 4.3 km

Elevation Gain: 214 metres

Route Type: Loop

Difficulty: Easy

Driving Distance from Pen-y-Pass (Snowdon): 9 minutes

Llyn Gwnant sits in the shadow of Snowdon near the Watkin Path, to the southeast. It was carved out by glacial action and is now fed by the River Glaslyn in the Nant Gwynant valley. The Llyn Gwnant Circular is one of the best day walks near Snowdon for those who also want to go camping as the trailhead begins at the popular Llyn Gwnant campsite.

The path is far from any main roads and follows a peaceful track along the northwestern edge of the lake. The trail is fairly short but is made more challenging by the ups and downs of the terrain. It’s the ideal trail for a morning hike when the lake waters are smooth, and the atmosphere is calm.

4 . Coed Dinorwig and Rhaeadr Llanberis

Coed Dinorwig and Rhaeadr Llanberisr - Day Hike in Snowden

Length: 8.7 km

Elevation Gain: 423 metres

Route Type: Loop

Difficulty: Moderate

Driving Distance from Llanberis (Snowdon): 1 minute

This is an excellent trail for anyone wanting a hike from the rambler’s hub of Llanberis. Most hikers opt to climb the Snowdon Llanberis trail from this town, but this is a great alternative as one of the best day walks near Snowdon. The route is reasonably challenging due to its length and elevation gain but it is still within the scope of beginner hikers.

After leaving Llanberis there is a steep section up to Coed Dinorwig where you will get fantastic views of Llyn Padarn and up towards the summit of Snowdon. This trail passes through the UNESCO World Heritage Slate Mines before dropping down along the banks of Llyn Peris and past Dolbadarn Castle. The trail steepens once again through the Coed Victoria woodland before looping back via Rhaeadr Llanberis towards the town centre.

5 . Llyn Idwal Circular

Llyn Idwal Circular - Day Hike in Snowden

Length: 4.8 km

Elevation Gain: 254 metres

Route Type: Loop

Difficulty: Moderate

Driving Distance from Pen-y-Pass (Snowdon): 20 minutes

Llyn Idwal is another famous glacial feature in the National Park. It is known for its perfectly sculpted cwm (an “armchair” shaped mountain bowl where glaciers are formed). Hikers can park at Idwal Cottage, alongside Llyn Ogwen to begin the trail.

The path follows a steady incline up to the lip of the lake before crossing open marshland around Llyn Idwal. There is a steep section towards the middle of the hike where you climb up the wall of Cwm Idwal for fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. Before you loop back to the car park, you may wish to go wild swimming in the brisk waters of the lake as some hikers occasionally do! This is also an ideal area for wild campers to pitch a tent.

Final Tips

Many of the day walks near Snowdon sample different features of the Welsh landscape. From forests and lakes to hills and stone settlements. These trails make a great romping ground for budding hikers. You can familiarise yourself with the terrain and gradually build your confidence.

Then, when you’re ready, you can attempt the mountain trails that soar above you. For now, don’t hesitate to lace up your boots and sink your teeth into these brilliant day walks near Snowdon.