North Wales is well connected by rail from most parts of Britain. Trains run as far as Bangor, on the north-western edge of Snowdonia. From the mainline station in the resort town of Llandudno, the Conwy Valley line provides connections down into Snowdonia National Park, stopping at various places, including the tourist hub of Betws y Coed en route to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Additionally, rail services via the Midlands to Shrewsbury and Machynlleth connect on to Porthmadog and the Llŷn Peninsula with the
Cambrian Lines. Both these mainline railways offer wonderful views of the coast and the stunning Snowdonia mountains on routes inaccessible to cars.
By Coach or Bus: National Express run buses to Llandudno, Bangor, Caernarfon and Porthmadog, from London, Manchester, Chester and other destinations. From South Wales, Arriva operates buses to Dolgellau, Porthmadog, Caernarfon and Bangor.
By Train: The Conwy line offers a viable option for destinations along the Conwy valley from Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog, however train services do not connect up the whole National Park. The train is, however, an option for those wanting to scale the heights of Snowdon without destroying their leg muscles: Snowdon Mountain Railway links Llanberis to the summit – Llanberis is accessible by bus from Bangor, thus linking into the national rail network.
In addition, there are seven heritage railways in and around Snowdonia National Park: each offers access to the countryside and could be incorporated with a walking or cycling visit.
By Bus: There is a dedicated visitor bus network in the National Park, known as the Snowdon Sherpa. Eight different services (on five principal routes) link key destinations within Snowdonia, with single fares from only £1 and combined hop-on, hop-off day tickets available. A more regular service runs in the summer months than in the winter, so it's advisable to have a look at the route timetables on the following links:
- S2: Llanberis – Pen y Pass – Betws y Coed - Llanrwst
- S1: Llanberis – Nant Peris – Pen y Pass(Summer timetable here)
- S4: Caernarfon – Waunfawr – Beddgelert
- S6: Bangor – Bethesda – Betws y Coed
- S97: Porthmadog – Beddgelert – Pen y Pass
For other bus services in the area, check out local bus operators' timetables on the Gwynedd county council bus site.
Cycling : Snowdonia is popular for avid off-road mountain bikers, however its varied and dramatic terrain is criss-crossed by valleys and skirted by gorgeous coasts, along which you can find relatively flat, well-maintained roads and paths for cyclists who aren't ready to push their limits on mountain slopes.
Mainline train services usually offer space to keep your bikes, however these spaces are limited and should always be reserved in advance to avoid disappointment, by calling up the train operator, or heading to your local railway station ticket office. Whilst most local bus services do not have space to carry bikes, the Snowdon Sherpa S2 has been equipped for two bikes along the route from Llanberis to Llanrwst via Pen-y-Pass and Betws y Coed.
Should you want to hire a bike once you get to Snowdonia, or pick up more information, maps and advice, there are several cycle providers in and around the National Park, including:
- Beddgelert Bikes
- Beics Brenin
- Beics Menai
- Bird Rock Cycle Hire
- Dolgellau Cycles
- Dysynni Valley Cycles
- Gro Cycles
Visit Snowdonia has a great selection of cycle routes in Snowdonia with downloadable maps, plus easier recreational routes for those looking for a gentler cycle. For more information about cycling and sustainable travel in Snowdonia and the rest of Wales, check out the Sustrans Cymru website. For more maps, information and useful links, head to one of the visitor centres listed below.
Maps and further information : There are maps on the websites of Snowdonia National Park and Visit Snowdonia. Or to pick up maps, guides, and get more information and expert local advice head to one of the National Park Tourist Information Centres at Betws y Coed, Dolgellau, Beddgelert, or Aberdyfi or at other information centres in north Wales. These can be found in: Barmouth, Porthmadog, Caernarfon, Llanberis, Pwllheli and Bala. There are also other visitor centres and various Gwynedd visitor information centres around the region.