What’s coming up in and around Llanberis in July?

Llanberis in JulyThe Llanberis summer season really gets into its stride in July, with a packed schedule of sightseeing, historical events, family days and sports to join in with – here’s some fun-filled dates for your diary describing what to do in Llanberis in July.

GreenWood Forest Park – all month

We know the kids are hard to keep entertained and that’s why Many venues have scheduled events for every day throughout the month/ Family-friendly theme park GreenWood Forest Park, near Caernarfon, is one of these.

Every day there is at least one show in the park’s theatre, making for a welcome undercover break either from the heat of the afternoon sun, or from the rain if the weather is poor.

Hopefully conditions will stay fine though, and if so there are donkey rides on the first three weekends of July, for a small extra charge. Greenwood is just 15 minutes’ drive from Royal Victoria Hotel.

For Freedom and For Empire – National Slate Museum, all month

The National Slate Museum is on the shores of beautiful Llyn Padarn and is within level walking distance of the hotel. This 18-month exhibition marks its one-year anniversary on 20 July 2016, but can be enjoyed by visitors throughout the month of July.

It’s an honest look at the military recruitment campaigns of the early First World War, including the difficulties that were encountered in encouraging the slate-quarrying communities of Wales to sign up.

Entry is free and the exhibition is classed as suitable for all – although younger children may need help understanding the overall theme. Visit the National Slate Museum website to find out more.

Art at Electric Mountain, all month (except 5-6 July)

Visit Electric Mountain at the very start of July and catch the end of Aur Glas, which translates as ‘Blue Gold’ and refers to the valuable local slate – around 50 artworks in different techniques are on show until 4 July.

After a two-day break a new show gets underway on 7 July, with art and photography by Amanda Ward and Sally Ellis, combining images from the local landscape with cities further afield, including Rome. Again, Electric Mountain is within easy, level walking distance of The Royal Victoria Hotel.

Running and Races – 16, 24, 30 July

Three athletic competitions take place in or near Llanberis in July if you want to pit your physique against other runners and riders:

The 16 July is the International Snowdon Race 2016, a 15 km mountain run with a 1 km climb and roughly equal uphill and downhill sections, a true challenge open only to experienced mountain runners.

The 24 July is the Snowdonia Trail Marathon, a massive 26 miles with a 1,685 m climb that circles and then ascends Snowdon itself.

The 30 July is the Legend Half Triathlon, combining a 1.2-mile swim with a 56-mile cycle section and a half marathon run home, and scoring an unsurprising 5/5 on the challenge rating.

Penrhyn Castle – 16, 21, 23-24, 31 July

There are four main dates to visit the National Trust property of Penhryn Castle:

On Saturday 16 July head to Penrhyn for Strawberries in the Park, a tennis-themed event with players from Bangor Tennis Club available to help visitors hone their racquet skills.

Thursday 21 July is the first of three Castle Fun Days (the other two are in August) and a great midweek option if the weekends of your holiday are already looking very busy.

On Saturday 23 July petrolheads can enjoy a display of classic Lotus cars – there’s no additional entry charge for this, just the normal cost of admission to the castle.

And the following day, Sunday 24 July, there’s the first of six weekly Falconry Fun days, with bird of prey displays and a chance to try your hand at archery – there’s another on Sunday 31 July and on Sundays throughout August too.

The castle is just 30 minutes’ drive from the hotel.

Super Hero Week – Llanberis Lake Railway, 24-28 July

This one is for the kids, although there’s nothing to stop mum and dad from dressing up too!

Children who arrive in costume as their favourite superhero, cartoon or Disney character get to travel free of charge throughout the week!

Staff will be in costume too, so look out for superheroes at the stations, and one child each day will be chosen as the ‘best dressed’ to receive an extra prize.

Yes, there are plenty of reasons to visit Llanberis in July and stay at The Royal Victoria Hotel. Why not book your stay with us by clicking here?

Image: © Copyright Betty Longbottom and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Snowdonia from the saddle – our pick of cycle trails

LakeVrynwyAsk someone what the Snowdonia National Park means to them and they’ll probably say mountains – most notably Snowdon. North Wales’s national park is renowned as a centre for high-adrenalin mountain sports, with climbing, hiking, skiing and scrambling high on the agenda. However, the park has plenty to offer those who prefer to take things a little slower.

Pleasure bikers might not know that Snowdonia has many cycle routes that don’t include steep climbs or white-knuckle descents and that the majestic peaks and foothills that surround Snowdon are home to some of the most exhilarating cycle trails found anywhere in the UK.

To prove you don’t have to be a thrillseeker to enjoy Snowdonia from the saddle we’ve chosen four of the best cycle routes in the area. Suitable for all ages and abilities, sweeping trails and stunning scenery are guaranteed!

1. Bangor to Ogwen Cottage

Length: 12 miles (24-mile circular route back to Bangor)

Terrain: Mostly flat with some short climbs

Start: Bangor to Lon Ogwen cycleway at Porth Penrhyn

End: Ogwen Bank to Ogwen Cottage

Take a Breather: The mountain pursuits centre at Ogwen Cottage is a good place for a break if you’re planning to cycle the return route back to Bangor.

This circular route offers a mix of terrain, and is ideal if you want a mostly easy ride with a few challenges along the way.

It also has several options to shorten the route – start from Porth Penrhyn to get directly on to the Lon Ogwen cycleway, or cut out the final stretch from Ogwen Bank to Ogwen Cottage and back to save a few miles.

The shorter version, from Porth Penrhyn along the Lon Ogwen cycleway to Ogwen Bank, and back via Bethesda on the A5, makes a great medium-length alternative if you don’t want to push your stamina so much.

2. Conwy Castle to Bodnant Gardens

Length: 7.5 miles each way

Terrain: Mostly flat with some short, steep climbs

Start: Conwy (long-stay car park)

End: Bodnant Gardens car park, or back to Conwy along same route

Take a Breather: The village of Henryd after the first third of the route, or hold on until Ty’n y Groes at about two thirds of the way – or take stops at both, if you need to!

Linking two of the area’s best-loved landmarks, this road route ends at Bodnant Gardens, with a return journey along the same route, or via the busier A470 for careful riders who want a shorter second leg.

National Trust members enjoy free admission to Bodnant Garden, a nice opportunity for sightseeing while taking a break from the saddle.

The Conwy valley provides the scenery along the way, with views of Snowdonia’s Carneddau hills, bringing plenty of variety to a route whose most challenging sections are quite short.

3. Mawddach Trail

Length: 10 miles

Terrain: Flat

Start: Dolgellau

End: Barmouth

Take a Breather: At the Penmaenpool signal box, now an RSPB observatory, or at any of the picnic spots along the route.

The Mawddach Trail takes you from the entrance to Dolgellau, alongside the unspoilt Mawddach Estuary, past Penmaenpool and along to Barmouth.

It’s a flat route, as it’s on an old railway line, and was resurfaced only a few years ago, so the ground conditions are quite good too – no steep climbs to navigate here!

Look out for the Cadair Idris massif and the Rhinog Hills along the way and enjoy the unique experience of cycling the 3/4-mile railway bridge into the pretty harbour town of Barmouth at the end.

4. Bala to Lake Vyrnwy

Length: 17 miles (34-mile circular route to return to Bala)

Terrain: Long climbs (2000 feet total), steep in places

Start: Bala

End: Lake Vyrnway, or return to Bala

Take a Breather: Seek refreshments at Lake Vyrnwy if you’re riding the full circular route, or at any of the small villages along the way.

The Lake Vyrnway circular route from Bala is not for the faint-hearted, with a 2,000-foot climb to negotiate along the way, and while only a few sections of this are steep, the upward gradient will challenge your fitness and endurance.

With that in mind – and the prospect of a (mostly) downhill return trip to Bala if you’re completing the full circle – it’s not a difficult route to navigate, with only a few turns.

It also takes in Lake Bala and a nearly full lap of Lake Vyrnwy and its dam, as well as views of the Aran mountains, so there’s plenty to make it worth the effort.

Many visitors to Snowdonia head for the hills but, hopefully, we’ve given you four good reasons to keep your wheels firmly on the ground. There’s so much of our stunning region that can only be fully appreciated from down below, not on high, and we want you to appreciate it too. Happy trails!

Image: © Copyright Chris Fox and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence