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scenic lookouts/places to stop

Brisbane, Australia
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scenic lookouts/places to stop

We shall be driving through Snowdonia National Park in early May next year. The route I am considering is

Talybont-on-Usk - Rhayader - Devils Bridge (short walk) - Dolgellau (stop for lunch) - Pass of Aberglaslyn - Beddgelert (stop for icecream) - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - Conwy.

I have 2 questions.

Which route is better? - Pass of Aberglaslyn or should we head to Conwy through Gwydyr State Forest. I like the novelty value of visiting the town with the longest name but not if the scenery is not as good.

My other question is - are there clearly marked "lookouts" with car parks as we drive through the National Park or do people just stop along the roadside when they see a view that takes their breath away. If there are sign-posted stops - which are the "do not miss"?

As a background, the day before hand, we will have driven from Cornwall to Talybont-on-Usk where we have a B&B booked and the day after we intend to explore Conwy in the morning and Bodnant Garden in the afternoon and will be leaving Wales the day after.

Liverpool, United...
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for Liverpool
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1. Re: scenic lookouts/places to stop

When you get to Beddgelert head north east along the A498. It's a narrow (ish) road most of the way and passes Llyn Gwynant which I think is quite scenic.

Then when you get to the A4086 head north west through the amazing Pass of Llanberis.

Once you get past Llanberis, and if you have the time, carry on along the A4086 to Caeanarfon. It would be rude not to !

It's been a while since I've there but the scenery along the Menai Strait is rather special, as is the drive over the Britannia Bridge to Anglesey. There isn't a lot to see at Llanfair PG apart from the station name sign.

The other route to Conwy through Betws-y-Coed and Gwydyr State Forest is also very nice.

To be honest it's difficult to choose, but I would through the Pass of Llanberis.

Oh, and as far as I remember, there aren't any signposts saying "stop here and take a photo" - so keep your eyes peeled for places to pull over, and there will be lots of places you will want to stop to take photos!

Destination Expert
for North Wales
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2. Re: scenic lookouts/places to stop

I agree with Matt; apart from the sign of LPG there's nothing much there. You would do better turning right when you cross over the Britannia Bridge and take some pics of the Menai from the clearly defined pull ins on the right. If you can find it;go to Bangor Pier on the mainland just before you take the Britannia bridge.360 degree views,if you have a half decent camera you cannot go wrong here

Edited: 17 December 2011, 23:34
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3. Re: scenic lookouts/places to stop

There are a couple of decent pull-ins between Beddgelert and the Pen y Gwryd hotel with views of Snowdon to the left. There are also some on the shore of Llyn Gwynant. BTW, the ropes used on the 1953 Everest expedition are at the hotel, which was the base for final training before they went out to the Himalaya.

Personally, I would then go down the Llanberis pass, over the Britannia bridge, along the Menai Strait and back onto the mainland via the suspension bridge.

Llanfair PG has a long name- shall we leave it at that?!

I live near Bangor, so please drop me a line if you want more local knowledge.

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4. Re: scenic lookouts/places to stop

The Welsh roads seem to be better surfaced and maintained than those in nearby Shropshire. Certainly the drive through the Llanberis Pass along the A4086 proved to be a pleasure and remarkably free of heavy traffic when we drove it last week.

Views can be and often are incredible - awe-inspiring, grand, jaw-dropping are just some of the cliches that come to mind - but most of them are justified. You must take care though for the roads are not generously wide, parking places are few & far between, and stopping for photographs near bends could prove to be interesting!

Look out for Llyn Padarn and Llanberis itself, the Mountain Railway, the vast terraces of the Dinorwig slate quarries, Nant Peris, climbers, Pen y Pass, the Pen y Gwryd hotel, the Pass of Aberglaslyn and the pretty village of Beddgelert with its ached bridge and touristy shops & cafes.

A fantastic drive through inspirational mountains...you would be wise to take it slowly and appreciate just how inspiring this part of Wales really is.

February 2012.

The only real surprise is just how few pubs, cafes, restaurants and stopping points there are along this very scenic route.

United Kingdom
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5. Re: scenic lookouts/places to stop

Regarding your question about sign posted ‘lookout’ points.

I defiantly recommend obtaining at least one Ordnance survey map of Snowdonia.

Ordnance survey maps are superior and contain lots of features and useful information including a ‘viewpoint’ symbol which looks like a sunburst icon.

I have the OS Touring Map and Guide 10, (1 inch= 2.5 miles) which is in the first link below. That edition is out of date now, but would still be useful.

Newer OS maps can also be obtained.



6. Re: scenic lookouts/places to stop

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