21 Dec 2023
Did you know that Snowdonia’s local bus service, Sherpa’r Wyddfa links the towns of the Eryri National Park with some of its best trails and attractions? It’s a regular service ideal for exploring all that Eryri and the surrounding area has to offer, whether you live locally or you’ve come from further afield to experience this magnificent part of Wales.
Climate change is one of the biggest threats to Wales’ national parks. Travelling more sustainably by public transport, walking and cycling helps to reduce pollution, protect native wildlife and ecosystems and reduce our carbon emissions.
Still in doubt that you can do it easily by bus? We’ve put together a list of ten adventures, all linked by Sherpa’r Wyddfa.
Black Rock Sands
Despite its name, Black Rock Sands is a sandy stretch of beach located to the south of Eryri National Park in Porthmadog. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a picnic or explore the craggy caves and rockpools of the headland, which are rich with marine life. It’s accessible by the Sherpa S4 service, which runs from Pen y Pass.
National Slate Museum
Discover the famed slate-mining history of North Wales with a stop at the National Slate Museum in Llanberris. It’s located in the Victorian workshops on the vast site of Dinorwig quarry, which was in use up until 1969. You can get to the museum on the Sherpa S1 and S2 services.
One of Wales’ most visited attractions, Swallow Falls is located just outside Betws-y-Coed. It’s a picturesque waterfall along the Afon Llugwy, known by locals as Rhaedr Ewynol – The Foaming Waterfall. Its spectacular cascades can easily be viewed from the south bank of the Llugwy or, for a more dramatic view, along the footpath leading up to the falls. You can easily reach them on the Sherpa S1 bus.
Bangor in Gwynedd is thought to be Wales’ oldest city. With numerous family-friendly activities, it’s a great place to visit. Take a stroll along the pier, visit Puffin Island or explore Penrhyn Castle, home of the wealthy Pennant family who owned the slate quarries of nearby Bethesda. Bangor is a stop on the Sherpa S2 and S3 services.
Ospreys are large birds of prey considered rare in the UK. Visit Glaslyn Ospreys in Llanfrothen for a chance to view these magnificent raptors up close. Visitors can watch the birds feed and see ospreys soaring high above the valley. Volunteers at the centre are on hand to answer questions and tell you the story of these fascinating birds. The centre is easily reached by the Sherpa S4 service.
Pen y Pass
Pen y Pass is the access point for two paths up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). Built to serve the Britannia Copper Mine, the Miners’ track will take you past three lakes - Llyn Teyrn, Llyn Llydaw and Llyn Glaslyn. After a challenge? Pyg trail is the most rugged and rocky path to the top of Yr Wyddfa, winding its way up the foothills to Bwlch y Moch. Pen y Pass can be easily reached by the Sherpa S1, S2 and S4 services.
The harbour town of Porthmadog has plenty to see and do, filled with marine history and stunning seaside views. Take a ride on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway, the oldest surviving railway company in the world. Or visit Gelert’s Grave, the legendary resting place of the faithful hound of medieval Welsh Prince, Llewelyn the Great. You can travel to this charming seaside town on the Sherpa S4 bus.
Plas Brondanw in Llanfrothen was the home of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect who built the famed village of Portmeirion in its Baroque style. The Grade I-listed gardens are not to be missed. Inspired by the gardens of Renaissance Italy, Plas Brondanw’s landscapes are laid out as a series of enclosed rooms, linked by views of the nearby mountains. You can get here on the Sherpa S4 service.
A picture-perfect stone village, Beddgelert is the starting point for many walking trails. It’s known for being the site of two Welsh myths – the vanishing mountain and the Castle of Dinas Emrys, where Merlin is said to have given his first prophecy. Stroll through the town and discover all its wonders. The village is on the Sherpa S3 and S4 routes.
Located in the walled city of Caernarfon, the castle is known as one of the greatest buildings of the Middle Ages. Steeped in history and legend, the fortress-palace rises from the banks of Afon Seiont. Taking over 47 years to build, it inspired many TV and film sets and is one of Wales’ most recognisable castles. Caernarfon is reached by the Sherpa S1 and S3 services.
Plan your adventure now
The Sherpa buses are a great way to reduce the footprint you’ll leave when you visit Eryri National Park and the surrounding area, helping to protect this wonder of Wales for everyone to enjoy. Going by bus also means you don’t have to worry about hunting for those hard-to-find parking spaces.
Don’t delay, check the bus timetables and plan your adventure on Sherpa'r Wyddfa today.
Pen y Pass: Pic Alan Dop Photography | www.alandop.com
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