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Bradshaw’s Guide

Llanberis. Taken between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900. Original: Library of Congress


Here is a pretty later English church, enclosing the original timber structure dedicated of St. Peris. It stands near Llyn Peris, in the very heart of the mountains, which appear here in all their native majesty. From Llanberis to the top of Snowdon is 3½ miles. Two miles further, between Lake Peris and Lake Padarn, there is an old ruined castle with which the Britons used to guard the pass, behind which the Ceunant Mawr Fall rolls down from Moel Aeliau. On the opposite side under the Glyder Fawr are the Dinorwic Slate Quarries, taking name from the Roman fort of Dinas Dinorwig lower down.

From the hotels to the top of Snowdon is five to six miles, or a two hours’ walk. Ponies and guides may be hired conveniently, but a stout pair of legs is the best help for those who choose to dispense with such assistants. Start early in the morning when the air is cool. For those who wish to see the sun rise a few huts, accommodated with beds, are built on the top; but it is frequently obscured by clouds. Snowdon is composed of four great ridges of slate and porphyry, viz: Moel Aeliau on the west, 2,371 feet, Clawdd-Cóch or the Red Dyke on the south, 2,473 feet, Y-Lliwed on the east and Grib-y-Dystul or the Dripping Point on the north, 3,420 feet. These are separated by vast precipitous cwms (sounded coombes) or hollows, 1,000 feet deep in some parts; and they unite in one peak marked by an ordnance signal pole, called Moel-y-Wyddfa, the Conspicuous Head, 3,570 feet above the sea; the highest point in Wales or England. This is Snowdon proper. Snowdon is a fanciful English name for the whole ridge of the Carnarvonshire mountains. The Welsh call it Eryrinor or Eagle Top. It is 800 or 1,000 feet below the line of peretual snow, which in reality lies here only from November to April.

The path from Dolbadarn is along Crib-y-Dystul ridge, past Cwm Brwynog, and Clogwyn-Dû-r-Arddu rock, over a lake and near the cliffs where the lamented Rev. Mr. Starr fell over in 1856. Then comes a steep part called Llechwedd-y-Rŷ, overlooking the Llanberis pass, and 1½ mile from the top. If the weather is clear you may see the Wicklow mountains, the Isle of Man, the Yorkshire hills, &c.; with above 20 lakes in North Wales, all spread out like a map.

Other starting points for Snowdon are from Beddgelert, over Clawdd-Côch, six miles; Llyn Cwellyn on the Carnarvon Road, four miles; and from Capel Curig, by Gwm Dyli and Llyn Llydiaw, about 14 miles. The last, though the longest and most fatiguing, is said to be the finest, route. Rare mountain plants are found on Snowdon.

The tourist is referred to a series of tables at the end of this section, showing various excursions which may be advantageously taken.

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