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, the free encyclopediaSee also Snowdonia National ParkSnowdonia
is a region of north Wales and a National Park, of 838 square miles (2170 square kilometres) in area. It was the first to be designated of the three National Parks in Wales, in 1951.
Today the word "Snowdonia" is largely synonymous with the Snowdonia National Park, although prior to the designation of the boundaries of the National Park, the term "Snowdonia" was generally used to refer to a smaller area, namely the more mountainous and northern areas closer to Snowdon itself. This is apparent in books published prior to 1951 such as "Wild Wales" by George Borrow (published by Collins, London in 1862) and "The Mountains of Snowdonia" by H.Carr & G.Lister (published by Lockwood, London in 1925). F.J. North, as editor of the book "Snowdonia" (published by Collins, London in 1949) states "When the Committee delineated provisional boundaries, they included areas some distance beyond Snowdonia proper."
The English name for the area derives from Snowdon, which is the highest mountain in Wales at 1085 metres (3560 feet). In Welsh, the area is named Eryri
The area is renowned for its spectacular mountainous scenery and is popular with tourists.
Mountain ranges in Snowdonia
Snowdonia may be divided into four areas. The northernmost area is the most popular with tourists, and includes (west to east): Moel Hebog, Mynydd Mawr and 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-foot mountains.
The second area includes peaks such as Moel Siabod, Cnicht the Moelwynion, and the mountains around Blaenau Ffestiniog (a slate-quarrying town deemed unsuitable for inclusion in the National Park).
The third area includes the Rhinogydd in the west as well as the Arenigs and the Migneint (this last being an area of bog, not a mountain). This area is not so popular with tourists, due to its remoteness.
The southernmost area includes Cadair Idris, the Tarren range, and the Aran group, including Aran Fawddwy, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom south of Snowdon.
Mountain walking in Snowdonia
Many of the hikers in the area concentrate on Snowdon itself. It is widely regarded as a fine mountain, but it can become quite crowded, particularly with the tourist railway running to the summit. Some hikers find some of the other high mountains slightly disappointing, with their flat boulder-strewn summits. However, there are some spectacular walks in Snowdonia on the lower mountains, and they tend to be relatively unfrequented.
Among hikers' favourites are Y Garn (east of Llanberis) along the ridge to Elidir Fawr; Mynydd Tal-y-Mignedd (west of Snowdon) along the Nantlle Ridge to Mynydd Drws-y-Coed; Moelwyn Mawr (west of Blaenau Ffestiniog); and Pen Llithrig y Wrach north of Capel Curig. Further south are Y Llethr in the Rhinogydd, and Cadair Idris near Dolgellau.
Over the years much has been written about Snowdonia and North Wales, inluding the following quotes -
- "Views. Snowdonia has them in such spectacular abundance that you quickly run out of superlatives to describe them. At the top of every peak a glorious vista unfolds. Each bend in the road unfurls to reveal a new perspective of gasp-inducing splendour."
- Francis Hardy, Daily Mail reporter, 14.12.2002
- "Perhaps in the whole world there is no region more picturesquely beautiful than Snowdonia, a region of mountains, lakes, cateracts and groves, in which Nature shows herself in her most grand and beautiful forms."
- George Borrow, "Wild Wales", 1862
- "Snowdonia is superbly beautiful country ...."
- John Wyatt, "The National Parks of England & Wales", 1988
- "It (Snowdonia) comprises, within a comparatively small area, some of the loveliest and most varied country that our island has to offer."
- Penguin Guide to North Wales, 1949
- "... collected into a small space, more that is graceful, beautiful and romantic, may be found in North Wales than in any other spot in Europe."
- Louisea Costello, "The Falls, Lakes and Mountains of North Wales", 1839
This article was copied on 11 July 2006. The current version
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