Best Snowdonia Driving Roads for Scenic Trips

Best Snowdonia Driving Roads for Scenic Trips
Photo by Neil Mark Thomas / Unsplash

Start an amazing journey as you explore Snowdonia's top driving routes. These roads are famous for their beauty and unique sights. You'll drive through stunning forests, narrow lanes, and amazing mountain passes. Highlights include the challenging Llanberis Pass, the peaceful Nant Ffrancon Valley, and the scenic Sychnant Pass near Conwy.

Snowdonia's scenic routes are not just for getting somewhere. They are about enjoying the trip. So, slow down and admire the rugged landscapes. Make your visit truly memorable. These routes are perfect whether you're taking a scenic drive or looking for the best road trips in Wales. They will leave you with incredible memories and views.

Key Takeaways

  • Llanberis Pass: Known for its rugged landscapes and limited parking, perfect for early or late-day drives.
  • Nant Ffrancon Valley: A favourite of Sir Anthony Hopkins, featuring stunning waterfalls and scenic drives from Bethesda to Ogwen Cottage.
  • Sychnant Pass: A hidden gem near Conwy with dramatic vistas and wildlife opportunities.
  • Crimea Pass: An A470 route offering sights like Roman Bridge and Dolwyddelan Castle.
  • Capel Curig to Beddgelert: One of Britain's most beautiful mountain drives with iconic views of Snowdon's peaks.

Llanberis Pass/Pen-y-Pass

Llanberis Pass is very famous for its breathtaking views and tough roads. It starts in Llanberis village, goes through Nant Peris, and up to Pen-y-Pass peaks. Luxury car adverts love filming here because of the unique, moon-like scenery and high cliffs.

Scenic Highlights

Set out on a thrilling drive through Snowdonia and prepare to be amazed. You'll see the famous Crib Goch, known for great climbing. The road to Pen-y-Pass is full of wild landscapes where you might see climbers, too. This journey offers both adventure and stunning views.

Driving Tips

Start your drive early or late to avoid crowded parking. It lets you enjoy the road with fewer cars. Even if it's cloudy, the mist can make the mountains look even more epic.

Drive carefully to manage the challenging road and enjoy Llanberis Pass's natural beauty.

Nant Ffrancon Valley

The Nant Ffrancon Valley is loved by Sir Anthony Hopkins. It has both natural beauty and history. This beautiful Snowdonia route runs from Ogwen Cottage to Bethesda. It's between the Glyderau and Carneddau mountains.

If you're planning a visit to Snowdonia, add this valley to your list. You'll drive the A5 road, designed by Thomas Telford. This route shows you Snowdonia's wild side. You'll see Tryfan's huge rocks and Cwm Idwal's beauty.

Start your drive from Bethesda towards Ogwen Cottage. This way, you'll see the valley's beauty and stop for great views. Make sure to check out the waterfalls at Ogwen Cottage. They show the valley's wild charm.

Highlights Details
Extend of Valley Ogwen Cottage to Bethesda
Notable Features Tryfan Rock, Cwm Idwal
Historical Road A5, carved by Thomas Telford
Anthony Hopkins' Favourite Spot Nant Ffrancon Valley

The Nant Ffrancon Valley is in Snowdonia National Park. Thousands visit here each year. It's a great place for a scenic drive. It offers a mix of adventure and natural beauty.

Sychnant Pass near Conwy

Sychnant Pass sits between Conwy Mountain and Tal y Fan, a must-visit in Snowdonia. Drivers first pass it without knowing, but then it opens up to stunning views. It's perfect for adventurers eager to explore hidden mountain paths in Snowdonia.

To enjoy the most beautiful drives, head from Conwy to Capelulo via Sychnant Pass. You'll see amazing coastal views as you go. The road offers scenes of North Wales and Anglesey, getting more picturesque as you climb higher.

Nature Spots Along Sychnant Pass

Stop by the Pensychnant Nature Reserve, covering 120 acres. Part of a Victorian Estate, it's rich in natural beauty. Here, get up close with wildlife and enjoy the peace, making your journey more fulfilling.

Remember, there's limited parking at Sychnant Pass’s top, and it's quite popular. If the A55 is busy, it's better to choose another way to avoid adding to the traffic. Yet, the pass's beauty and experience are definitely worth some extra thought.

Sychnant Pass stands as Snowdonia National Park's most northern pass, from Conwy to Penmaenmawr. Being part of such a large, stunning area, it attracts many exploring Conwy's surroundings. For more scenic drives, think about places like Marine Drive or Horseshoe Pass. Each route shows off its own unique and stunning views.

Route Highlights
Sychnant Pass Sweeping coastal views, Pensychnant Nature Reserve
Marine Drive Great Orme headland, five-mile toll road
Horseshoe Pass Run from Llandegla to Llangollen, stunning panoramas

Crimea Pass (Bwlch y Gorddinan)

Driving through Crimea Pass, or Bwlch y Gorddinan, is both beautiful and interesting. This road, found between Betws-y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog on the A470, is lovely. Drivers often want to go fast, but the stunning nature makes you want to slow down.

You'll pass by special places like Dolwyddelan Castle. It sits in a pretty area. Also, don't miss the Roman Bridge railway station. It shows you a bit of history right in the beautiful Snowdonia area.

The road takes you up a steep hill with a 12% incline for 3/4 of a mile. This part is tough, but if you push through, you're rewarded with amazing views. It's a great spot for people who love exploring by car in Snowdonia.

After the tough climb, the landscape stays interesting. You can see vast, wild areas and maybe some animals. The mix of peaceful views and history makes every part of the Crimea Pass special.

Remember these highlights as you drive through:

Highlight Description
Roman Bridge Railway Station A historical station surrounded by beautiful nature.
Dolwyddelan Castle Ancient castle with great views and stories.
Bwlch y Gorddinan Ascent A tough climb with incredible views for adventurers.
Scenic Views Endless beauty of Snowdonia's lands.

Visiting this famous pass in Snowdonia adds a lot to your trip. It makes you really see how amazing Wales' nature is. Don't forget your camera; Crimea Pass is full of chances for great photos.

Capel Curig to Beddgelert

The route from Capel Curig to Beddgelert is known for its stunning beauty. It shows off amazing scenes from Snowdonia National Park. You'll see views that will stay with you forever.

Must-See Stops

Your journey begins in Capel Curig, a perfect starting point. Enjoy the local attractions as you head along the Dyffryn Mymbyr. Don't miss the breathtaking views of Snowdon's peaks.

As you continue, you'll reach Nant Gwynant's pretty valley. At every corner, a new beautiful scene awaits you. Stop often to take photos and soak in the natural splendour.

Photographic Views

If you love taking pictures, this drive is a dream come true. You'll find many spots to pull over and capture the rugged mountains and the calm valleys. And all this leads to the charming Beddgelert village.

Beddgelert is a place where every photograph becomes a story. This experience is not just about the pictures. It's a journey into the heart of stunning Wales.

A4069 Black Mountain Pass

The A4069 Black Mountain Pass is famous as the 'Top Gear road'. It's loved by people who love cars, bikes, and magazine reviewers. This road is 23.81 km long (14.8 miles) and runs from Glanamman to Llangadog. It's well-known for its sweeping turns and stunning views, making it one of the best scenic drives in Wales.

This route challenges you with tight hairpin turns, like the famous Tro Gwcw. It highlights your skills as a driver and treats you to amazing sights. When you reach the Black Mountain Pass summit, 495 m high (1,624 ft), the views can seem surreal.

The southern approach showcases views over the Tywi Valley, ideal for those who love beautiful sights. Whether you're a seasoned driver or a beginner, the Black Mountain Pass provides both challenge and beauty. Remember to drive safely as this road is closely watched by the police.

Enhance your drive by visiting local attractions. Explore Carreg Cennen Castle's ruins or see the Carmarthen Fans' stunning cliffs. These sites add to the A4069's highlights and make your Welsh scenic drive more memorable.

Driving the Black Mountain Road end to end takes about 35 to 45 minutes without stops. But, it's not just about the drive. Take your time to enjoy the journey. It's a chance to create memories you'll always treasure.

The Abergwesyn Pass

The Abergwesyn Pass is a thrilling 20-mile route in Wales. It starts in Llanwrtyd Wells and takes you through Mid Wales. You get a unique driving experience through Snowdonia.

On this road, you'll climb the Devil's Staircase. It's a tough ascent that shows off the area's beauty. You might see sheep and streams, making it a peaceful break from busy life.

Attractions along the way include the remote Soar y Mynydd chapel and RSPB Gwenffrwd-Dinas reserve. This journey connects you with nature and history.

The Abergwesyn Pass is best during May to September. Weather is warmer, days are longer. This means better views and safer driving on Wales' remote roads.

Feature Details
Total Length 20 miles
Main Attraction Devil's Staircase
Peak Experience Soar y Mynydd chapel
Serenity Factor High, with minimal human encounters
Best Time to Visit May to September

Whether for the drive or the views, the Abergwesyn Pass is special. It offers a thrilling journey through stunning landscapes. It's perfect for anyone who loves a driving adventure in a remote setting.

A Lap of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)

The journey around Yr Wyddfa lets you see Snowdonia fully. It starts from Caernarfon on the A4085. Then, you go on the A498. These roads take you to amazing views of Yr Wyddfa, showing the best of Snowdonia.

Iconic Viewpoints

Rhyd-Ddu is first, where you see Snowdon's peak. Next, Pen-y-Pass marks the start of many top hikes. This drive is full of beautiful views and rugged land that make you stop and admire.

Historical Landmarks

Later on, you'll find the Snowdon Mountain Railway. It offers a different look as it goes up. Then, the National Slate Museum in Llanberis talks about the past with its exhibits.

This journey mixes natural beauty with history to create an unforgettable trip through Snowdonia.

Aberystwyth to Rhayader Route

The road from Aberystwyth to Rhayader offers a mix of coast and mountains. Covering 30 miles, it's a top pick for mid-Wales' scenic drives. It showcases the area's stunning natural beauty.

"Rhayader to Devil's Bridge described by the AA as 'one of the 10 best scenic drives in the world'."

You leave Aberystwyth and head inland along the River Rheidol. This stretch is gentle, introducing you to the trip. As you get near Elan Valley, you see Victorian reservoirs and dams. They contrast with the wild Cambrian Mountains.

The road takes you through open lands, showing peaceful valleys and faraway peaks. The Elan Valley isn't just for passing. It's a place to pause and take in the quiet. Don’t forget to visit the Elan Valley Visitor Centre. It tells the area's history and stories of great engineering.

  • Starting Point: Aberystwyth
  • Ending Point: Rhayader
  • Length: 30 miles
  • Key Attractions: Devil's Bridge, Elan Valley Reservoirs

Devil’s Bridge is a must for history buffs. Three bridges, one on top of the other, offer great views and Welsh folklore. This trip feels like you own mid-Wales, ideal for a relaxed drive.

On a visit to Cambrian Mountains or Elan Valley, this route ensures a great experience. Among eight noted routes, Aberystwyth to Rhayader stands out. It merges striking landscapes with historical gems beautifully.

Snowdonia driving roads

Driving in Snowdonia is special, with beautiful routes that wind through mountains and along the coast. Plan your trip well to enjoy these stunning drives all year round.

Best Times to Visit

Snowdonia can be rainy, especially in winter. For the best weather and fewer people, visit in spring or autumn. These months make for great photos with the landscapes almost to yourself. You'll really see the beauty of places like the Abergwesyn Pass with few others around.

Car-Friendly Facilities

The area has lots for drivers, like car parks and viewpoints on routes such as the A4069 Black Mountain Pass and A5's 'EVO triangle.' You can stay in trendy rooms or old cottages too, but book early to get what you like.

Important routes like Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) circle Snowdonia, offering great views. Make sure your car is ready for all weather, as Snowdonia can be unpredictable. Even in the best seasons, snow in the hills is possible.

Prepared well, driving in Snowdonia is thrilling. You'll see Wales' stunning scenery up close, making memories that last a lifetime.


Starting a driving tour in Snowdonia lets you see some amazing sights in the UK. You'll come across high mountain paths, peaceful valleys, and quiet lakes. Make sure to include famous roads in your trip, like the A4069 Black Mountain Pass and the Snowdonia scenic route, known for both its beauty and difficulty.

The best time to go to Snowdonia is between May and September due to the good weather. But, it can quickly change, especially in the mountains. Renting a car in Wales makes it easy to see the stunning places. Make sure your car is ready for narrow, winding, and sometimes slippery roads, especially in winter.

When planning your trip to Snowdonia, think about the weather and give yourself enough time. A good route should cover both well-known and hidden spots. Consider going on the Coastal Way, the North Wales Way, or along the Pembrokeshire coast. These roads offer stunning views and a chance to visit some of the UK's finest beaches and sites. Proper planning and being ready for different weather will make your trip through Snowdonia unforgettable.