Snowdonia is a region in north Wales
and a national
park of 838 square miles (2,170 km2) in area,
designated as such in 1951.
The English name
for the area derives from Snowdon,
which is the highest mountain in Wales at 3,560 ft (1,085 m). In Welsh, the area is named Eryri. One assumption is that the name is derived from eryr ("eagle"),
but others state that it means quite simply
In the Middle
title Prince of Wales and
Lord of Snowdonia
(Tywysog Cymru ac Arglwydd Eryri) was used by Llwelyn
ap Gruffudd; his grandfather Llwelyn
the title Prince of north
Wales and Lord of Snowdonia.
Prior to the designation of the boundaries of the National Park, the
term "Snowdonia" was generally used to refer to a much smaller area.
The traditional Snowdonia thus includes the ranges of Snowdon and
its satellites, the Glyderau, the
The Park is governed by the Snowdonia
National Park Authority, which is made up of local government and Welsh
representatives, and its main offices are at Penrhyndeudraeth. More
than 26,000 people live within the Park, of whom about 62% can speak at least
some Welsh. The Park attracts over 6
million visitors annually, split almost equally between day and staying
visitors, making it the third most visited National Park in England and Wales.
Whilst most of the land is either open or mountainous land, there is a
significant amount of agricultural activity within
be divided into four areas:
northernmost area is the most popular with tourists, and includes (from west
Moel Hebog, Mynydd Mawrand
the Nantlle Ridge;
the Snowdon Massif; the Glyderau;
and the Carneddau.
These last three groups are the highest mountains in Wales,
and include all Wales' 3000-foor mountains and are as such included in a
list of what are known as the Welsh 3000s.
area includes peaks such as Moel Siabod, Cnicht,
the Moelwynion, and the mountains around Blaenau Ffestiniog.
area includes the Rhinogydd in
the west as well as the Arenig
and the Migneint (this
last being an area of bog), and Rhobell Fawr.
This area is not as popular with tourists as the other areas, due to its
southernmost area includes Cadair Idris,
the Tarren range, the Dyfi hills, and the Aran group, including Aran Fawddwy,
the highest mountain in the United Kingdom south of Snowdon.
Many of the hikers in the area concentrate on Snowdon itself. It is regarded as a fine mountain, but can become quite
with the Snowdon
Mountain Railway running to the