Hard to reach, far away from anywhere, and occasionally hosting brutally cold and wild weather, the Snowdonia mountain range in northern Wales is one of the very best places in the UK to walk, climb and explore the outdoors. This is an area where I spent a lot of time when I was younger, and my grandparents still live in the region, making it a place very close to my heart.
One of my favourite things about the Snowdonia area is its remoteness. Even in the middle of 'Summer' in Wales, where it only rains once every three days (Summer is a relative term), there will never be crowds of people. These mountains extend across much of northern Wales, joining the Brecon Beacons ranges closer to the border with England.
If you can find it in you to risk the rain (and even the occasional snow storm), then you can discover one of the most important advantages that hiking in the UK has over France, Italy or Spain - free camping.
As long as you take care of the surroundings, don't set fire to anything (a lot harder to do in Wales than in Spain), and take your rubbish with you when you leave, you can camp more or less wherever you want in these national parks. That means that experiencing the wide open, lush and wild mountains here is open to every and anyone. Getting up the mountain means a long and tiring walk (well worth it) or you can speed up the process by taking the mountain railway. There is also the UK's highest cafe (Hafod Eyri) on the top of the mountain, which is a spectacular place to enjoy a coffee and take in the unbeatable views.
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