The ultimate Snowdonia Mountains and Coast Family Road Trip
I know what you’re thinking: “There’s no way you can pack the kids into the vintage VW camper for a family road trip adventure without it ending in a disaster.” But surprisingly enough, a good Snowdonia Mountains and Coast family road trip can check off quite a few boxes — a cool camper that gets lots of smiles, sublime landscapes, a national park, trains, golden beaches, zip wires, and extreme adventure.
Before hitting the road on that ultimate bucket list road trip, take a look at this tour that has some great stops in Snowdonia Mountains and Coast. It will be fun for all and won’t require endless hours in the car, so you won’t have to answer the “are we there yet?” question more than five time a day – we hope!br>
Note: Time to the next destination is from the previous destination and excludes potential campsites.
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So, you’ve collected your camper, you’re all packed, and you’re ready for adventure…
For your 1st overnight stop we recommend you head east: just a couple of miles from Betws y Coed, is Rynys Farm campsite. Situated in Snowdonia National Park, Rynys Farm offers a peaceful and scenic setting for you to get to know your camper and take time out before your adrenaline fuelled day in the morning. It’s a family run site with spectacular views, and to keep the kids happy there is WIFI on the site!br>
Day 1. Zip World Fforest, Betws y Coed
Make sure you’re starting off on the right foot by beginning your trip at Zip World Fforest, just Located in a stunning woodland setting nestled in the Conwy Valley, close to the village of Betws y Coed, a host of forest adventure and foodie delights await. With adventures to keep the whole family busy all day, you can choose from the Fforest Coaster, the UK’s only alpine coaster of its kind, bouncing fun on Treetop Nets or zip line and adventure courses high in the trees on Tree Hoppers or Zip Safari – plus you could try Europe’s highest giant swing, Skyride, if you dare!
With a first day like this, the kids won’t be able to wait until the next stop. Time to next destination: just 40 minutes
Your 2nd night’s stay in your classic VW campervan: after your tree top adventures head north to the coast to a campsite with ‘views to die for’, with mountains to one side and a seascape to the other, Trywyn yr Wylfa takes some beating in the location leagues.
There’s complimentary wifi and good 3G / 4G coverage to keep the kids happy whilst the grown-ups relax and enjoy the uninterrupted views.br>
Day 2. The Welsh Mountain Zoo
High above the coastal town of Colwyn Bay, the Welsh Mountain Zoo is home to Sumatran tigers and snow leopards, as well as chimpanzees, brown bears, seas lions, penguins and birds of prey. Spend a lovely day with the family learning about these rare and endangered species from all around the world.
Enjoy the Penguin Parade, a chimp encounter, the lemur lookout, and the children's farm plus much more. Visit 'Sea Lions Rock' and watch Californian Sea Lions being trained. Enjoy the exciting and extensive Jungle Adventure land and Tarzan Trail playground suitable for all ages.
Make it a day you will remember with a ‘Zoo Encounter’, and step inside an animal enclosure to make mischief with a Meerkat, feed fish to a Penguin, or have lunch with a big cat!
Time to next destination: just 45 minutes
For your 3rd night in your classic VW campervan: after a fun packed day at the zoo then we would suggest heading back to Trywyn yr Wylfa, with its stunning views this campsite on the north coast of Wales takes some beating.br>
Day 3. Caernarfon Castle
Walk in the footsteps of the stars of Netflix’s hit series ‘The Crown’ and British royalty and visit the imposing medieval Caernarfon Castle. In episode 10 of the series, the investiture that took place at the castle in 1969 is recreated, when the heir to the throne was crowned Prince of Wales by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.This medieval castle is recognised around the world as one of the greatest buildings of the Middle Ages. This fortress-palace on the banks of the River Seiont dates from the 13th century and is grouped with King Edward I’s other castles at Conwy, Beaumaris and Harlech as a World Heritage Site. The ‘iron ring’ of castles was born out of a bitter war with Welsh princes but for sheer scale and architectural drama Caernarfon Castle stands alone.
Whilst the mighty Caernarfon Castle commands the lion’s share of attention when you visit Caernarfon, the town’s narrow streets, and stylishly redeveloped waterfront also merit a visit. The Welsh Highland Railway is also here, so indulge your train geek side with a trip on this heritage railway that runs coast to coast for 25 miles along the foothills of Snowdon to the coastal village of Porthmadog. Climb aboard vintage carriages pulled by Russell and Gertrude, a classic steam engine tag team, for an unforgettable ride racing through the spectacular countryside of Snowdonia.
Time to next destination: just 30 minutes
For your 4th night’s stay in your classic VW campervan: after the intimidating fortress of Caernarfon Castle escape to the tranquillity of Snowdonia National Park and camp by the shores of the beautiful Llyn Gwynant. Llyn Gwynant Campsite, at the foot of Snowdon is an ideal base for walking, swimming and other adventure activities to keep the kids occupied. In the summer they serve a pretty mean pizza too!br>
Day 4. Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park
You cannot visit Snowdonia National Park without summiting the highest peak in England and Wales, Snowdon. For those that conquer this peak the reward is well-worth the climb as the 360° views of the surrounding peaks, jagged ridges, stunning valleys and glistening lakes are truly breath-taking. On a clear day it is possible to see as far as Ireland and even the Isle of Man!
The journey to the top is pretty epic too, with plenty of opportunities for an Instagram worthy ‘photo stop’, so don’t forget your camera!
So, how long does it take to reach the summit of Snowdon? Well, if you take the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the top then just 1 hour, but if you intend to climb then it all depends which route of the 6 routes to the top you take but it should be around 5 to 7 hours to reach the summit and walk back down. Check out the routes on our Snowdon webpage to see how long each one will take and what you may see.
Time to next destination: just 30 minutes
For your 5th night in your classic VW campervan: stay put at Llyn Gwynant Campsite and enjoy the tranquil setting of Llyn Gwynant, after a hike up Snowdon the kids should be tired!br>
Day 5. Llyn Gwynant, Snowdonia National Park
Go on a wet and wild gorge walk adventure with Bob. This is not just a gorge walk, it’s one big adventure where the fun starts the moment you leave Llyn Gwynant campsite to paddle across the lake. From the lake you walk up to a world of wet adventure in a mountain gorge with plenty of slides, chutes and jumps into the crystal-clear waters. An adventure you won’t forget.
If this is a little too wild, then spend a day lakeside, chilling and messing about on the lake with a canoe hired from the campsite.
And your 6th night in your classic VW campervan: chill and stay lakeside at Llyn Gwynant Campsite.br>
Day 6. Harlech Beach
A holiday in Snowdonia isn’t complete without a day spent at the beach. If you love beaches, you must visit Harlech, a great expanse of golden sands backed by sand dunes and mountain views. What a perfect end to family road trip in a Classic VW Campervan.
Your final night’s stay in your classic VW campervan: for your last night should be special, watch the sun go down over Cardigan Bay and the Llyn Peninsula at a quiet family run campsite at Merthyr Farm situated in the hills above Harlech.
Day 7. Time to go home….
It’s just a 40 minute drive back to Pantglas to drop your camper off for 11am on your final morning, so have a lazy morning breakfast and enjoy the view!br>
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pre-booking your visit to an attraction is essential to avoid disappointment
Main photo ‘Poppy at Llyn Gwynant, Snowdonia National Park, credit ©VisitSnowdonia