Discover Majestic Mountains in Wales

Your guide to the powerful peaks & tempting trails of the Welsh landscape

Posted on 28-05-24, updated on 05-07-24By: Sarah R. | 11 minute read

Llyn Llydaw lake, Snowdonia National Park, Wales, UK

Llyn Llydaw on the flanks of Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park, North Wales

Embrace the Beauty of Welsh Mountains

Wales is a country known for its breathtaking landscapes, charming villages and rich history. One of the most awe-inspiring features of this beautiful country is its majestic mountains, of which there are close to 200, carved out around 10,000 years ago in the Ice Age. From the highest peaks to the most scenic trails, Wales offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Whether you're an experienced hiker looking for a new challenge or a beginner eager to explore the great outdoors, the Welsh mountains have something for everyone. Join us on a virtual journey as we explore the highest mountains in Wales and discover the top mountains to climb in this stunning region. Get ready to be inspired and start planning your next mountain adventure in Wales!

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Hiker in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, UK

Hiker in the Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales

Exploring Wales's Incredible Mountain Ranges

Wales boasts an impressive array of mountain ranges that are a sight to behold. From the iconic Snowdonia with its rugged beauty to the serene Brecon Beacons offering a blend of landscapes, each range has its own unique charm waiting to be explored. The Cambrian Mountains provide a peaceful retreat for those seeking solitude in nature, while the Black Mountains offer panoramic views that will take your breath away. Whether you seek adventure or tranquillity, Wales mountain ranges have it all. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into some of the country's incredible mountain ranges, uncovering hidden gems and sharing tips for an unforgettable mountain experience in Wales. Prepare to be amazed!

Snowdon Range

World-renowned Snowdonia, known as Eyri in the Welsh language, is the country's largest national park. Encompassing an impressive area of around 823 square miles, it's home to numerous mountain ranges, including the Snowdon Range (or Snowdon Massif), which is where you'll find the distinctive peak of Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. The park itself is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, diverse landscapes and rich biodiversity, and is one of the UK's adventure capitals for outdoor enthusiasts, with a network of well-marked trails that cater to all levels of ability offering a variety of activities such as hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking. The area is also steeped in history and folklore, with numerous ancient ruins and legends adding to its allure. The rugged terrain and picturesque landscapes make Snowdonia a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of the UK.

Glyderau Range

The Glyderau Range is a mountain range located in Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. It is known for its rugged and rocky terrain, with several peaks over 3,000 feet in elevation, including Glyder Fawr, the highest in the range, and Tryfan, a triangular peak with exceptional scrambling opportunities. The range is popular among hikers and climbers due to its challenging routes and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The area is also home to unique geological formations, such as the Cantilever Stone and the Adam and Eve twin rocks.

Carneddau Range

The Carneddau Range is a wilder area in Snowdonia, boasting a diverse landscape of steep cliffs, rocky outcrops and glacial valleys. The highest peak in this range is Carnedd Llewelyn, which stands at 1,064 metres (3,491 feet). The range offers a variety of hiking and climbing opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, as well as great views of the Conwy Valley.

Cambrian Mountains

Known for their rugged beauty and remote, untouched landscapes, the Cambrian Mountains are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife enthusiasts alike. Situated in central Wales, the range spans across the three counties of Powys, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. The highest peak in the range is Plynlimon (Pumlumon) standing at 752 meters above sea level. On a clear day, you can see the peaks of Snowdonia to the north, the Brecon Beacons to the east and the Preseli Mountains to the west. The mountains are largely uninhabited, with small villages and farms scattered throughout the region. They are well loved among hikers, mountain bikers and birdwatchers, offering a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

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Brecon Beacons

Nestled in South Wales, the Brecon Beacons is renowned for its lush valleys, rolling Welsh hills and rugged terrain. The highest peak in the range is Pen y Fan, standing at 886 meters (2,907 ft) tall. The Brecon Beacons National Park was established in 1957, and has since become a must-visit destination for hiking, cycling and outdoor adventures in South Wales. The area is also rich in biodiversity, with a variety of plant and animal species thriving in this unique habitat.

Black Mountains

The Black Mountains are a mountain range in the Brecon Beacons National Park, which extend across the border into Herefordshire in England. The highest peak in the range is Waun Fach, standing at 811 metres tall. The area is known for its fantastic views and breathtaking scenery, including rolling hills, deep valleys and rocky outcrops. The Black Mountain range is are a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of walking trails and amazing views of the surrounding countryside.

Clwydian Range

The Clwydian Range is a series of hills and mountains located in North East Wales. The Range is known for its stunning panoramic views and diverse landscapes, including open moorland and deep wooded valleys. It is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) due to its rich biodiversity and cultural heritage. Visitors to the Clwydian Range can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking and birdwatching. The Range is also home to several historic sites, including ancient hillforts and medieval castles, making it a popular destination for those interested in Welsh history.

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Berwyn Range

The Berwyn Range runs along the border between Powys and Denbighshire, and is known for its varied and scenic landscape. The highest peak in the range is Cadair Berwyn, which stands at 832 metres (2,730 feet) tall.

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Plynlimon Range

The Plynlimon Range is a mountain range located in mid Wales, near the town of Aberystwyth. It encompasses the highest point in mid Wales, Plynlimon, which reaches an elevation of 752 metres (2,467 feet). It is a great destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts seeking to explore the natural beauty of Wales.

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Preseli Hills

The Preseli Hills, located in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in West Wales, are a range of rugged hills and moors known for their striking beauty and historical significance. The hills are renowned for being the source of the bluestones used to construct Stonehenge, a Neolithic monument in England. The landscape of the Preseli Hills is characterised by heather-covered moors, rocky outcrops and ancient burial chambers, making it a prime destination for hikers, archaeologists and nature enthusiasts alike.

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Dawn over Castell y Gwynt on top of Glyder Fach, Snowdonia National Park, Wales, UK

Dawn over Castell y Gwynt on top of Glyder Fach, Snowdonia National Park, North Wales

10 Highest Mountains in Wales

Embark on a thrilling journey as we reveal the top 10 highest mountains Wales has to offer. From the majestic splendour of Snowdon to the awe-inspiring heights of Carnedd Dafydd, these peaks will leave you spellbound. Explore the rugged beauty of Carnedd Llewelyn and the challenging slopes of Glyder Fawr. Each mountain holds its own allure, waiting to be conquered by the adventurous souls seeking a taste of nature's grandeur. Get ready to set new heights and create unforgettable memories as you scale these magnificent peaks in Wales. Let the adventure begin!

Here is a list of the 10 highest mountains in Wales:

1. Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon - 1,085 meters (3,560 feet)

2. Garnedd Ugain / Crib y Ddysgl - 1,064 meters (3,491 feet)

3. Carnedd Llewelyn - 1,064 meters (3,491 feet)

4. Carnedd Dafydd - 1,044 meters (3,425 feet)

5. Glyder Fawr - 1,001 meters (3,284 feet)

6. Glyder Fach - 994 meters (3,261 feet)

7. Pen yr Ole Wen - 978 meters (3,209 feet)

8. Foel Grach - 976 meters (3,202 feet)

9. Yr Elen - 962 meters (3,156 feet)

10. Y Garn - 947 meters (3,107 feet)

View from the summit of Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park, Wales, UK

View from the summit of Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park, North Wales

Spotlight on Snowdon

Rising proudly as the tallest peak in Wales, Snowdon, or Yr Wyddfa for those who want to use its Welsh name, stands as a beacon of natural beauty and a symbol of adventure. Its mystical aura and panoramic views are nothing short of breathtaking, offering an unforgettable experience for those seeking to conquer its summit. The challenge of scaling Snowdon is not just physical but a test of one's spirit and determination. As you ascend towards the clouds, each step reveals a new vista that leaves you in awe of the world below. Snowdon is a crown jewel among the Welsh mountains, a place where dreams are realised and memories are etched in the heart forever. Explore its wonders and let its magic inspire your next great adventure.

Tip: If you don't fancy the challenging walk to the summit but still want to admire those incredible views, you can take the Snowdon Mountain Railway and enjoy a ride to the top on the scenic heritage train.

Here is a list of the main walking routes up Snowdon, together with their difficulty level:

1. Llanberis Path - Easy

The Llanberis Path is undoubtedly the most popular route to walk up Snowdon, due to its relatively easy terrain and straightforward climb. This steady, well-maintained path offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and provides a relatively gradual ascent for hikers of all abilities to enjoy. Keep in mind that, due to its popularity, it can get very busy on this path. Also be aware that, whilst the path is considered the easiest route to the summit of Snowdon, you should still prepare for a strenuous and challenging hike.

2. Snowdon Ranger Path - Easy to Moderate

The Snowdon Ranger Path is one of the less challenging options to summit Snowdon, making it popular among hikers of all abilities, although there are some steep sections that make it more difficult than the Llanberis Path. It is historically significant as it was originally built in the 19th century by a local guide named John Morton to lead clients to the top of the mountain. Its rich history and scenic views make it an inspiring and unique choice for those looking to conquer Snowdon.

3. Miners Track - Moderate

The Miners Track is a popular path up Snowdon that begins at Pen-y-Pass and follows a gentle ascent along the southern slopes of the mountain. What sets the Miners Track apart from other paths up Snowdon is its historical significance, as it was originally used by miners to access the copper mines on the mountain.

4. Pyg Track - Moderate to Hard

Whilst the Pyg Track is one of the shortest routes you can take up Snowdon, it is also one of the most difficult! One of two routes that begin at Pen-y-Pass, the trail offers stunning views of Llyn Llydaw, a natural lake, and the Snowdon horseshoe.

5. Watkin Path - Hard

The Watkin Path is well known for its steep and rugged terrain. Despite its difficulty, it is a popular choice among hikers seeking a more remote and scenic experience. The path was created by Sir Edward Watkin, a Victorian railway entrepreneur, and offers stunning views of waterfalls, lakes and the surrounding landscapes on the way to the summit.

6. Rhyd Ddu Path - Hard

The Rhyd Ddu Path is considered one of the toughest routes up Snowdon. One unique feature of the Rhyd Ddu Path is the ancient stone wall that runs alongside the trail, adding a sense of history and tradition to the walk. This path is less crowded than some of the other routes, providing a more peaceful and authentic mountain experience.

7. Crib Goch - Very Hard

Warning: if you're not an experienced mountain climber, then skip ahead! The Crib Goch path is a demanding climb, even for the most accomplished hikers, and is certainly not a walk for the faint hearted! It's one of the most exposed routes to the Snowdon summit, with a narrow, knife-edge ridge that requires both mental and physical strength to navigate. If you can brave the steep drops and difficult path to the top, you'll earn some truly incredible views, making it a rewarding and inspiring climb for those up to the challenge!

Hiking gear

Planning a Mountain Adventure in Wales

Now that you have a glimpse of the majestic Welsh Mountains and are brimming with excitement for your upcoming adventure, it's essential to consider a few key things for a smooth and unforgettable experience. With these considerations in mind, you'll be all set to summit your own Welsh mountain!

1. Safety

Ensure that you have the right equipment, clothing and training for the type of mountain adventure you are planning. Check weather forecasts, trail conditions and any potential hazards before setting out.

2. Navigation

Familiarise yourself with the route and take a map, compass and GPS device with you. Make sure you know how to use these tools effectively.

3. Physical fitness

Be realistic about your own fitness levels and abilities. Choose a route that matches your fitness level and experience.

4. Timing

Plan your trip to make the most of daylight hours. Be aware of sunset times and allow plenty of time to complete your hike.

5. Group size

Consider hiking with a partner or in a group for added safety. Make sure that everyone in your group is adequately prepared and equipped for the adventure.

6. Wildlife

Research the wildlife in the area you will be visiting and know how to safely interact with any animals you may encounter.

7. Leave no trace

Practice "Leave No Trace" principles by properly disposing of waste, staying on designated trails and respecting the environment.

8. Permits & regulations

Check if any permits or permissions are required for your chosen route and make sure to adhere to all regulations while on the mountain.

9. Emergency preparedness

Have a plan in place in case of an emergency, including knowing the local emergency services contact information and carrying a first aid kit.

10. Respect local communities

Be respectful of local residents, other hikers and businesses in the area. Follow any posted rules or guidelines and leave the area as you found it.

Let the Welsh Mountains Inspire your Next Adventure

As you embark on your journey to explore the majestic Welsh Mountains, let the sweeping landscapes and natural beauty ignite your adventurous spirit and appreciation for nature. Embrace the challenges and triumphs that come with conquering these ancient peaks, knowing that each moment is a stepping stone towards personal growth and unforgettable memories. So set forth with courage and curiosity, for the Welsh Mountains hold a beauty that is bound to leave you breathless and inspired. Adventure awaits – let the mountains be your guide!

When it comes to holidays in Wales, we cater to a variety of different interests, budgets and group types! If you fancy bringing your canine companion along for a mountain hike, check out our dog-friendly stays in Wales. If you're looking to reach new heights with your partner by your side, discover our romantic getaways in Wales. Or, if you fancy treating yourself to somewhere special after scaling the summit, look no further than our luxury lodges in Wales.

Mount Tryfan, Glyderau Range, Snowdonia National Park, Wales, UK

Mount Tryfan, Glyderau Range, Snowdonia National Park, North Wales

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