Britain 09 - Day 34
Today we intended to reach the top of Mt Snowdon before returning to our accommodationin central Snowdon. The day was cloudy, no rain, but the cloud was high and we thought it might just clear the top of Snowdon. It didn't, sitting over the summit like a woolly hat. And there is stayed, all day. We took the 11.00am train to the summit, then returned to Llanberis. From there we headed south, through small towns and villages in central Snowdon, finally arriving back at our accommodation. Dinner that night was at the local pub, the Red Lion. (We noticed as we drove through Snowdon that nearly all villages had a Red Lion.....)
The train up Mt Snowdon
The Snowdon Mountain Railway trains to the summit run half-hourly. You can book in advance or wait to see how the weather is fairing before committing to the fare. We had arrived the previous evening just as the booking office closed, so I headed off there before breakfast in order to get on an early train. But I was too late, they were booked up until 11.00am. So we had a leisurely breakfast, paid our bills and drove back to Llanberis. A stop at the Post Office for stamps took a long time as the one person who sold stamps had a long queue by the time they opened, then talked at length to each customer before moving on to the next. We then headed for the slate mine and visitor's centre. We should have known - the centre did not open until 10.30, so there was not sufficient time before our train trip. We had coffee at the train station and watched the tour parties instead.
Our time came and we were herded onto the train. We had tickets for compartments but not actual seats, so eight of us crowded in, with no room to turn and no room for bags or cameras. Then the train was off, up the hill climbing steeply all the way. We stopped at various sidings to wait for trains coming down, then just as we approached the top we entered the cloud. The top terminus is new and has good facilities for visitors. Outside lies a small knoll that marks the real summit, and here everybody headed, standing on the top amongst the swirling mist for photos. Then we were on board again and heading down, past the lakes, stoney fields, stations and the upcoming steam train. Before long we were back over the slate roofs of Llanberis and off the train. It was an interesting trip, and was well worth the time and cost especially on a fine, clear day.
After 30 minutes at the top, tine for a few photos and a coffee, our train was loaded up again ready to depart. We had a little more space on our seat, as one of the passengers decided to walk down....... On the way down, we soon dropped below the cloud, then we met a steam engine coming up. Shortly we were looking out over the roofs of Llanberis, all covered in slate of course.....
And back to Cwm Chwefru Cottages
From the train, we recovered our car from the expensive and over-crowded car park opposite and headed south again on the A4086, back through the Pass of Llanberis to the old climbing inn at Pen-y-Gwyd. Then we took the A470 through Betws-y-Coed, Blaenau Flestiniog, Dolgellau, Mallwyd, Llanidloes, Rhayader to Newbridge on Wye and finally our cottage at Cwm Chwefru. Then it was off to the Red Lion Pub for dinner.
Last updated: 16/06/2017