Snowdonia Live Cam

A mountainous region and national park in northwestern Wales

Hosted by:
  • Aberdunant Hall Holiday Park
  • Prenteg, Porthmadog - Gwynedd
  • Wales, LL49 9SR - United Kingdom
  • 01766 512001


Snowdonia is a region in North Wales known for its breathtaking landscapes, rugged mountains, and rich history. Here's an overview of the history of Snowdonia:

Early Settlements: The history of Snowdonia dates back thousands of years. The area was initially inhabited by Celtic tribes, notably the Ordovices, who established hillforts and settlements in the region. These ancient tribes were eventually conquered by the Romans in the 1st century AD, and the area became part of the Roman province of Britannia.

Medieval Period: During the medieval period, Snowdonia was primarily under the control of various Welsh princes. The most famous of these was Llywelyn the Great (1173-1240), who united many of the Welsh kingdoms and established Gwynedd as a powerful principality. Llywelyn's grandson, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, also known as Llywelyn the Last, led the final Welsh uprising against English rule.

English Conquest: In the late 13th century, Edward I of England launched a military campaign to conquer Wales and bring it under English control. Edward built a series of impressive castles in Snowdonia, including Caernarfon, Conwy, and Harlech, to solidify English dominance. The castles still stand today as reminders of this turbulent period.

Industrial Revolution: The Industrial Revolution had a significant impact on Snowdonia. The region's natural resources, such as slate and copper, were exploited for industrial purposes. Slate mining became a major industry in the area, with quarries producing high-quality slate that was exported around the world. This period of industrialization brought both economic prosperity and social challenges to the communities in Snowdonia.

Mountaineering and Tourism: During the 19th century, Snowdonia's stunning landscapes and rugged mountains attracted explorers and mountaineers. The highest peak in Wales, Mount Snowdon, became a popular destination for climbers. Tourism also flourished, with visitors drawn to the region's natural beauty and the picturesque villages scattered throughout the valleys.

National Park: In 1951, Snowdonia was designated as the Snowdonia National Park, becoming the first national park in Wales. The park covers an area of approximately 823 square miles (2,130 square kilometers) and attracts millions of visitors each year. It is renowned for its diverse wildlife, stunning scenery, and outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, and water sports.

Modern Times: Today, Snowdonia continues to be a popular tourist destination and a place of outstanding natural beauty. It is home to numerous conservation efforts aimed at preserving its unique ecosystems and cultural heritage. The region has also witnessed a resurgence in the Welsh language and cultural identity, with efforts made to promote and preserve the Welsh heritage.

Snowdonia's history is a tapestry of ancient Celtic tribes, medieval conquests, industrialization, and the preservation of its natural wonders. The region's rich historical heritage, combined with its breathtaking landscapes, makes it a captivating place to explore and experience.


The toponymy of Snowdonia refers to the origin and meaning of the names associated with the region. Many of the place names in Snowdonia have deep historical and linguistic roots, reflecting the area's Celtic heritage and interactions with other cultures over the centuries. Here are some notable examples:

  • Snowdon: The name "Snowdon" is derived from the Welsh name "Yr Wyddfa," meaning "the tomb" or "the monument." This name is associated with the legend of Rhitta Gawr, a giant who was said to be buried beneath the mountain. Over time, the name evolved to "Snowdon," reflecting the mountain's perpetual snowy appearance.
  • Eryri: "Eryri" is the Welsh name for Snowdonia as a whole. Its precise meaning is debated, but it is commonly interpreted as "the place of eagles" or "highlands." This name reflects the mountainous nature of the region and the presence of eagles in the past.
  • Carneddau: The Carneddau mountain range in Snowdonia takes its name from the Welsh word "carnedd," meaning "cairn" or "heap of stones." This name refers to the many stone cairns found on the peaks, which were traditionally used as markers or memorials.
  • Glyderau: The Glyderau range derives its name from the Welsh word "gludair," meaning "heaps" or "boulders." This name reflects the distinctive rocky landscape of the area, characterized by large boulders and scree slopes.
  • Llyn: The word "Llyn" is Welsh for "lake." Snowdonia is dotted with numerous lakes, and many of them are named with the prefix "Llyn." For example, Llyn Padarn, Llyn Cwellyn, and Llyn Ogwen are well-known lakes within the region.
  • Beddgelert: The village of Beddgelert in Snowdonia has a name rooted in Welsh folklore. It is believed to be named after the legendary hound Gelert, who was supposedly buried there. "Bedd" means "grave" in Welsh, and "Gelert" refers to the faithful dog of Prince Llywelyn the Great.
  • Conwy: The town of Conwy in Snowdonia is named after the River Conwy that flows through it. The river's name is thought to have Celtic origins, with various suggested meanings, including "holy water" or "meeting place."

These are just a few examples of the toponymy within Snowdonia. Each place name carries its own unique history and linguistic significance, often reflecting the region's ancient roots and the cultural influences that have shaped it over time.


Snowdonia is a region located in northwestern Wales, encompassing a diverse and expansive area. The exact extent of Snowdonia can vary depending on the context in which it is defined. Here are a few ways in which the extent of Snowdonia can be understood:

  • Snowdonia National Park: The Snowdonia National Park is the most commonly recognized boundary of Snowdonia. Established in 1951, it covers an area of approximately 823 square miles (2,130 square kilometers) and includes the principal mountain ranges of Snowdonia, such as the Snowdon Massif, Glyderau, Carneddau, and others. The national park also encompasses numerous lakes, rivers, forests, and valleys within its boundaries.
  • Snowdon: Snowdon, also known as Yr Wyddfa in Welsh, is the highest mountain in Wales and a focal point of Snowdonia. While the mountain itself is often used as a landmark to define the region, the extent of Snowdonia is more extensive than just the immediate surroundings of Snowdon. The national park expands beyond the mountain and includes a broader area of scenic landscapes and cultural sites.
  • Traditional Regions: Historically, Snowdonia referred to a larger region that extended beyond the boundaries of the national park. It included surrounding counties such as Gwynedd, Conwy, and parts of Denbighshire and Anglesey. This broader Snowdonia region encompasses a larger geographical area and incorporates towns, villages, and historical sites that are culturally and economically connected to the national park.
  • Geographical Features: Snowdonia is characterized by its mountainous terrain, and its extent can be defined by the presence of significant peaks, valleys, and bodies of water within the region. The mountain ranges, lakes (such as Llyn Tegid and Llyn Cwellyn), and rivers (including the Conwy, Dee, and Dwyryd) that are part of Snowdonia contribute to its natural beauty and serve as geographical markers.

Overall, Snowdonia's extent can be understood as the area covered by the Snowdonia National Park, the surrounding counties, and the geographical features that define the region. It is a dynamic and diverse area that offers a wide range of landscapes, cultural heritage, and outdoor recreational opportunities to visitors and residents alike.

National park

Snowdonia National Park is a renowned national park in Wales, covering an area of approximately 823 square miles (2,130 square kilometers). Established in 1951, it was the first national park in Wales and is known for its exceptional natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. Here are some key features and aspects of Snowdonia National Park:

  • Location and Geography: Snowdonia National Park is located in northwestern Wales. It spans parts of the counties of Gwynedd and Conwy, with Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, serving as a prominent landmark within the park. The park encompasses a range of diverse landscapes, including majestic mountains, rolling hills, picturesque valleys, cascading waterfalls, serene lakes, and coastal areas.
  • Mountainous Terrain: Snowdonia is renowned for its rugged mountains and is home to several mountain ranges, including the Snowdon Massif, Glyderau, Carneddau, and Moelwynion. Mount Snowdon, standing at an elevation of 1,085 meters (3,560 feet), attracts climbers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world.
  • Lakes and Rivers: The national park features numerous stunning lakes and rivers. Llynnau Mymbyr, Llyn Padarn, and Llyn Gwynant are among the notable lakes, offering beautiful settings for boating, fishing, and other water activities. The rivers, such as the Conwy, Dee, and Dwyryd, carve their way through the valleys, adding to the scenic beauty of the park.
  • Flora and Fauna: Snowdonia National Park supports a rich variety of plant and animal life. Its diverse habitats, including woodlands, heathlands, and wetlands, provide homes for numerous species. The park is home to rare plants like the Snowdon lily and the twisted lichen. Wildlife in the park includes birds of prey, such as peregrine falcons and golden eagles, as well as mammals like otters, badgers, and red squirrels.
  • Outdoor Activities: The park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, making it a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers. Activities include hiking and climbing, with several trails and paths catering to different skill levels. The park also provides opportunities for mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and wildlife spotting.
  • Cultural Heritage: Snowdonia National Park has a rich cultural heritage shaped by its history and the communities that have lived in the area for centuries. It has strong connections to Welsh language and culture, with many traditional Welsh-speaking communities within its boundaries. The park is also home to historic sites, including castles such as Conwy Castle and Caernarfon Castle, which reflect the region's medieval past.
  • Visitor Centers and Facilities: Snowdonia National Park has visitor centers and facilities that provide information, maps, and services for visitors. These centers offer insights into the park's natural and cultural features, as well as guidance for exploring the area safely and responsibly. There are also accommodations, camping sites, and visitor attractions situated in and around the park.
  • Conservation and Stewardship: As a national park, Snowdonia is committed to the conservation and sustainable management of its natural and cultural resources. Efforts are made to protect and preserve the park's landscapes, biodiversity, and cultural heritage for future generations to enjoy.

Snowdonia National Park is a cherished destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those seeking tranquility amid stunning scenery. Its combination of majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and rich cultural heritage make it a captivating and rewarding place to visit.


The geology of Snowdonia is diverse and fascinating, shaped by millions of years of geological processes. The region's geological history has resulted in the creation of its iconic landscapes, including majestic mountains, deep valleys, and rugged rock formations. Here are some key aspects of the geology of Snowdonia:

  • Ancient Rocks: The foundation of Snowdonia's geology consists of ancient rocks that formed during the Precambrian and Paleozoic eras. These rocks are predominantly volcanic and sedimentary in nature, resulting from volcanic activity, tectonic movements, and the deposition of sediments in ancient seas.
  • Igneous Intrusions: Snowdonia is famous for its igneous intrusions, particularly granitic rocks. These intrusions, known as batholiths, were formed as molten magma rose from deep within the Earth's crust and solidified underground. The most notable example is the Snowdon Granite, which forms the core of Mount Snowdon and other nearby peaks.
  • Mountain Building: The mountain ranges in Snowdonia, including the Snowdon Massif, Glyderau, and Carneddau, were formed through tectonic movements and mountain-building processes. These processes involved the collision of tectonic plates and subsequent folding, faulting, and uplift of the Earth's crust.
  • Glacial Activity: Glaciers played a significant role in shaping Snowdonia's landscape during the last Ice Age. The movement of glaciers across the region carved deep U-shaped valleys, such as Nant Ffrancon and Llanberis Pass, and created features like cirques, arĂȘtes, and moraines. Glacial erosion and deposition left behind distinctive landforms, including lakes and dramatic cliffs.
  • Sedimentary Formations: Snowdonia also contains sedimentary rock formations, including sandstones, mudstones, and limestone. These sedimentary rocks formed in ancient marine environments and can be found in various parts of the region. For example, the Nant Ffrancon Valley features thick sequences of sedimentary rocks, while the Great Orme in nearby Llandudno is composed mainly of limestone.
  • Mineral Resources: Snowdonia's geology has also been exploited for its mineral resources. The region was known for its slate industry, with vast slate quarries providing roofing material that was highly valued worldwide. Other minerals found in Snowdonia include copper, lead, zinc, and gold, although mining activities have declined over time.

The geology of Snowdonia provides a fascinating backdrop to its stunning landscapes and offers insight into the region's geological history. The interplay of ancient rocks, igneous intrusions, tectonic forces, glacial activity, and sedimentary formations has resulted in the diverse and picturesque terrain that attracts visitors and outdoor enthusiasts to Snowdonia National Park.

Use of Eryri in English

In English, the term "Eryri" is often used as an alternative name for Snowdonia, referring to the same region in northwestern Wales. While Snowdonia is the commonly used English name for the area, Eryri is the Welsh name for the region and is also widely recognized and used. Eryri carries cultural and historical significance and is often employed to evoke the Welsh heritage and the unique character of the landscape.

In various contexts, you may come across the use of "Eryri" in English:
  • Tourism and Marketing: Travel brochures, websites, and promotional materials may include the term Eryri alongside Snowdonia to cater to both English-speaking and Welsh-speaking audiences. This helps to celebrate the Welsh identity and emphasize the distinctive nature of the region.
  • Literature and Poetry: Writers and poets, especially those inspired by the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the area, may opt to use Eryri in their works to evoke a sense of place and connect with the Welsh literary tradition.
  • Informal and Conversational Use: Locals and enthusiasts of the region may casually use Eryri when referring to Snowdonia, particularly in informal conversations or among those with an affinity for the Welsh language and culture.
  • Academic and Scholarly Discourse: In academic studies, geographical discussions, or scholarly articles about the region, Eryri may be utilized to acknowledge the Welsh name and cultural context of Snowdonia.

The use of Eryri in English allows for a broader appreciation of the region's cultural heritage and reinforces its connection to Wales. It serves as a reminder of the linguistic and historical complexities that enrich the understanding and portrayal of Snowdonia.