I've previously written about one of my favourite mountain walks in the UK, Mount Snowdon, and the entire valley that surrounds these cold and misty mountains is, in a word, stunning. These are the wild and savage landscapes that not many tourists ever get to see, and it's such a shame. The Snowdonian Mountains (and much of Wales for that matter) are hidden and somewhat secretive. But that doesn't mean that they are not worth visiting, and there are few places in the UK that can compete with their natural beauty or with their peacefulness and quiet.
Walking in the mountains, especially if it's cold and wet, is truly hungry work. And so before you set off for a wander into the hills and mountains in northern Wales, I think you should go and have a gigantic breakfast at a cafe/restaurant that has reached mythological status among mountaineers and climbers in the area.
The 'Full English Breakfast' is one of the finest additions to British cuisine (I'm not joking) that I know of, and although it is definitely not the fanciest or finest of dining, there is something incredibly satisfying and fulfilling about it. This giant breakfast dish normally includes fried eggs, bacon, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and toast and the best of all - black pudding (blood sausage). The cafe I would recommend is called Pete's Eats, in the little mountain village of Llanberis.
It's been in the same location since 1978 and doesn't seem to have changed at all. You can tell that this is truly a climber's cafe, as all over the walls are photos of epic routes, fun adventures and all given or taken by local and visiting climbers. Food here comes in massive quantities, is incredibly tasty and is also pretty cheap. There's no better way to prepare yourself for a day in the wind and cold Welsh mountains - just make sure you rest for enough time after the meal, as it really is heavy!
Whilst the food is incredibly good, probably you will go into this area to walk in the beautiful nature that is all around there. Mount Snowdon is the highest and best-known in the area, but it also one of the tamest and easiest. There is an easy walking path up, a road you can drive and even a little train you can hop on. Mount Tryfan in comparison, is wilder and more challenging. Some good evidence for this is that when we arrived (during the Christmas holiday) there was a rescue helicopter hovering above the peak attempting to help some climbers who had fallen and were badly injured and stuck.
This type of sight is always a good warning that walking in mountains far from roads always carries some risk. But we didn't let that put us off, and went up into the fog to enjoy the natural splendor all around. Tryfan is only around 920 metres high, and so is not a particularly large mountain, but it is one of the wildest and most fun to ascend.
It doesn't matter what time of year you visit the mountain, the colours and views will always be spectacular. Even though at time you are surrounded by fog and mist and rain, there are few places that can compete with northern Wales.
Cover picture @ Credits to Joe Thorpe
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