The draw of Snowdonia holiday cottages is easy to see. Quaint and charming, they pepper one of Wales's wildest corners. Snowdon itself – Britain's highest mountain south of the Scottish border – looms overhead, while adventure outfitters offer trips into the wild Dyfi Valley Forest and haunting castles from the Norman era command the coast. This guide will help you find the perfect place to stay in these inviting parts.
Some of the features you can get from Snowdonia cottages
A quaint exterior built of stone, and a cosy lounge where you can snuggle, might be what you've been dreaming of from that cottage in the depths of Snowdonia, but there are also other features that might take your fancy.
Consider a dog-friendly cottage
With so many marked hiking trails to get stuck into, it's likely the pooch will love a jaunt to the Welsh mountains just as much as you. Thankfully, there are plenty of cottages in these parts that welcome tail-wagging family members, though they may charge a small extra fee in addition to the regular cleaning charge.
A Snowdonia cottage with a hot tub
Soak away the strain from your hike up Snowdon, or Tryfan, with a bout of bubbling waters set to 40 degrees, all thanks to a cottage with a hot tub handy. There are a few in this region, with many placing the tub outside, so as to make the most of the wooded vales and rolling vistas of cloud-topped mountains.
Self-catering Snowdonia cottages
It's unusual to find a Snowdonia cottage that doesn't have self-catering facilities. Most of these stays are centuries old, which means that the kitchen is very much the heart of the home, although it's often compact and cosy. Other rentals might have something smaller, particularly if they are aimed at couples or solo travellers.
Some amazing places to find Snowdonia cottages
If you're not sure exactly where to drop the pin in the map of Snowdonia, consider the 3 different places listed below. Each brings its own unique character and array of charming Snowdonia cottages.
Beddgelert enchants with legend
Plugged into the valleys at the top of the handsome Aberglaslyn Pass, which babbles through wide gorges amid some of Snowdonia's most rugged sections, Beddgelert is a great place for those interested in being immersed in Welsh legend and myth. After long walks, you can drop by the grave of Gelert the dog, a heroic hound who's not only a towering figure of local folklore but also the namesake of the town.
Betws-y-Coed has homely stays
You'll find Betws-y-Coed cradled in a steep-sided valley on the eastern edge of the Snowdonia National Park. The cottages here are every inch the stone-faced, Welsh bolthole you were expecting, with dark slate roofs and farmhouse interiors. They'll put exciting adventures up the Afon Llugwy river into the mix, along with glimpses of the ribbon-like Swallow Falls and heritage trips to the Conwy Valley Railway Museum, which is located in the town itself.
By the sea in Porthmadog
Porthmadog has one foot in the Irish Sea and another in the high hills of Snowdonia. It's a bustling little place as mountain villages go, packing in hearty Celtic pubs and tearooms. Just steps from a cottage here, you could hop on the Welsh Highland Railway, which wiggles through the peaks to Caernarfon and its grand castle, offering jaw-dropping views along the way.
Getting a great deal on Snowdonia cottages
This section is dedicated to helping you score great deals on Snowdonia cottages, with ideas for the cheapest times of year to visit and tips during the booking process.
Come in autumn or winter
You might need to pack the crampons and the ice axe to conquer Snowdon when the snows douse the wild peaks of this Welsh national park, but the brilliant white valleys that unfold from the top will offer an altogether different spectacle. What's more, the prices of cottages in the region will tend to dip as you come into autumn and winter, when fewer trekkers overall are weekending in the mountains.
Book well in advance
Although Snowdon's a hugely popular spot for discovering hearty country cottages, there's not an unlimited supply of homes. The selection will become even more limited the closer you get to your travel date, with the best deals and most coveted properties being snapped up by others, especially in areas around the base of Snowdon mountain and during the summer.
Head outside the Snowdonia National Park
You're not limited to seeking out Snowdonia cottages inside the national park's borders. In fact, some of the most enchanting little villages and towns, from castle-topped Caernarfon and Conwy to elegant Portmeirion, aren't in the reserve at all. They could offer cheaper stays, precisely for that reason.