Padarn is a glorious 800 park packed with beautiful trails and activities that provide hours of family fun. The expansive landscape snakes through oak woodland and lakeside path are a firm kid’s favourite. The centrepiece of the park is the beautiful Llyn Padarn, famous for various activities and water sports.
The Park is not short of activities and hiking places. It is considered the gateway to Snowdon and is one of the most visited places in the area.
How to get to Padarn Country Park
Padarn Country Park is located about eight miles to the South East of Caernarfon in Llanberis and to the North East off the A4086 onto the A4085. Entry to the park is free, and most areas of the park allow dogs.
There are various parking options depending on the part of the park you would like to visit. There’s disabled access, and the park offers facilities for groups and coach parties.
Things To Do in Padarn Country Park
There’s plenty to do and see in Padarn. Making the most out of your visit requires proper planning beforehand so you can maximise your experience within the short time you will be here.
Treat yourself to views from the summit of the tallest mountain in the UK. You can choose to climb to the peak of Mount Snowdon by foot or with a little help from the train. Both options provide scenic views as you ascend to the top.
From the summit, you can see various parts of the British Isles and a glimpse of Ireland and England. On a clear day, you might also catch a glimpse of Scotland from a distance. Check out the Hafod Eryri, view the exhibits and get to learn about some of the mountain’s history as well as the first people to climb the mountain. When planning to walk to the top, get prior information on the state of the paths.
Llyn Padarn is a glacially formed lake tucked in the midst of some of Snowdonia’s magnificent scenery. It is bordered to the south by the Llanberis village with the Padarn Country Park on the south-eastern end. The lake is home to a hive of activities that include boating, rowing, scuba diving, sailing and canoeing.
The lake is approximately 3.2km long and 94 feet at its deepest point. It’s one of the largest natural lakes in Wales. Common fish species here include the Brown Trout. You can also find the Torgoch/Char in the deeper waters.
Swallow Falls are a magnificent feature in the heart of Padarn Country Park. They are located where River Llugwy splits into multiple waterfalls. Watching the water tumble to the bottom of a natural pool at the bottom is not the only thing you can enjoy here.
The area is also rich with wildlife, among them herons that fish in the river. Swallow falls have been a tourist attraction since 1913. The path to the falls is astoundingly scenic, and the falls remain a leading tourist attraction.
Castle lovers will be spoilt by the selection of castles within Padarn Country Park. These include the Dolbadurn Castle that houses the history of Llanberis with exceptional mountain views and lively bars, the Caernarfon Castle where you get to patrol the battlements of the medieval fortress which was built by King Edward I during this campaign against the Welsh, and the Beaumaris Castle which is an unfinished 13th-century masterpiece.
Roll back the hands of time with a little help from the Old Quarry Hospital Museum and the Welsh Slate Museum.
The Quarry Hospital Museum was built in 1860 to cater to the injured workers in rockfalls and other mishaps that were common with slate mining. The museum provides you with a vivid picture of the quality of healthcare provided during Victorian times and paints a picture of the kind of injuries miners had to deal with.
To better understand the slate mining industry, you can pay a visit to the National Slate Museum. The wagons and forging rails used in the old mines tell a story of the Welsh slate industry. The museum is carefully choreographed to look as if the quarrymen and engineers have just put their tools down and left the courtyard for the day. There is an array of talks and demonstrations that can help you get a real insight into the quarry life.
When looking to take a break from all the action and grab a bite, there are plenty of lakeside picnic areas that you can choose from to enjoy the lakeside views and the greenery within the areas.
Places to Eat
In an 800 acre establishment, it would be impossible not to find a place you can eat. One of the most common areas to get refreshments is the visitor centre atop Mount Snowdon. If you’re after sit-in dining, there’s The Rotal Victoria Hotel, which is less than a mile, The Heights, and The Peak Restaurant. For an ice cream treat, there’s Georgio’s Ice Cream. You can also try out the Spice of Llanberis.
These areas are less than a mile from Padarn Country Park, making them perfect for a quick stop to refuel your body before continuing with the visit.
It’s impossible to experience the whole of Padarn Park in a day. A sleepover is highly recommended so you can have more time to take in the scenery and the opportunity to visit all the unique features the park has to offer. There are various types of accommodation within striking distance that you can consider depending on your preference.
For a comfortable night’s sleep, there’s The Royal Victorian Hotel, while the Erw Fair Guest House offers more affordable accommodation, and the Boulder Adventures and Llanberis Touring Park offer more of an outdoor experience.
Your visit to Wales is not complete without visiting Padarn Park. If you’re looking for a one-stop location that offers everything for the family, this has to be it. You can do everything from adventurous rock climbing to orienteering and sailing. The vast space and unlimited features and activities make Padarn Country Park one of the most exciting places in Wales.