Llanberis

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The town of Llanberis sits at the foot of Mount Snowdon. The town is very popular because of its proximity to Snowdon and as a base to explore the Snowdonia heartlands.

The Snowdon Mountain Railway takes visitors from the town centre to the summit of the mountain on a journey offering spectacular views of the town and lake below. Llanberis is also home to Electric Mountain, a vast underground power station that visitors can tour.

Llanberis was the centre of the world’s greatest slate quarrying enterprise, the great and spectacular quarries and mines last worked 40 years ago are a unique element of the landscape, an evocative piece of industrial archaeology. These places are now the playground for climbers and other adventure sports.

This village, where 97% of people speak Welsh as their first language, stands in a landscape on which the history of Wales is engraved. On a hill a mile from the village are the remains of an iron age hill fort dating back to 500 BC. On a rocky knoll behind the Victoria Hotel, where we stay, is the Dolbadarn Castle built before 1230 AD by the Welsh prince, Llewellyn the Great. Facing the castle across the lake we have the ‘Electric mountain’ in which is the largest underground chamber ever excavated by man but only part of the Dinorwig Power Station the largest pumped storage hydro electric scheme in Europe. It took 10 years to build and was opened in 1984.

Over the last 100 years Llanberis and the Llanberis Pass has become a mountaineering centre of international significance. The Pen y Gwryd hotel was a training base for the Everest expedition of 1953 which made the first ascent of the worlds highest mountain. All expedition members signed their signatures on the bar ceiling (now covered by glass). The Vaynol hotel features photographs and displays commemorating the enthusiasts who made Llanberis and the ‘Pass’ famous as a cradle of hard rock climbing and climbers who have made their mark world wide.

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