Imagine a village in the UK that is so unspoiled, it doesn’t even have an ATM. Visitors have to go to the local Post Office to withdraw money and even then, not all cards are accepted. If that’s your idea of heaven, Beddgelert is your place.
Nestled in the Snowdonia National Park the village is full of adorable stone cottages which are surrounded by some of the UK’s most spectacular scenery.
The village dates back to the 8th century and it’s named after the legend of Gelert, the faithful hound. The story goes, that Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great had a palace built in the area which he used as a hunting lodge.
One day, the Prince left his dog Gelert behind to look over his son. When he returned his son’s crib was overturned and Gelert had blood on his snout.
In a fit of rage, the Prince plunged a sword into Gelert. But in a tragic twist of fate, it transpired that his son was alive under the crib and a dead wolf lay nearby.
Gelert had killed it in order to protect the Prince’s son. The Prince was so struck with grief, that he buried the hound nearby and named the town Beddgelert.
Many people make the pilgrimage to the town, purely to see Gelert’s grave which lies beside the River Glaslyn, lined with adorable little stone cottages.
Just beyond it is a small stone farmhouse which is home to a bronze statue of Gelert and from here is a picturesque stroll along the river. For something a little more challenging, there are six routes within three miles of Beddgelert that take you up Snowdon.
It doesn’t matter how high you walk, you’ll be rewarded with scenery like nowhere else. Adrenaline junkies will be on fire with options such as the world’s fastest zipline, which is a mile-long line taking you over a lake and a rocky valley.
Bedggelert’s incredible scenery has attracted the great Hollywood producers and the town has appeared in Tomb Raider 2 and the classic 1858 film, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness in which the area doubled up as China’s rural landscape.
Take in the phenomenal landscape from a vintage steam train. The Welsh Highland Railway takes you back in time as you trundle along one of Europe’s most spectacular railways.
The line goes from Caernarfon to Porthmadog. You’ll travel along the water’s edge next the Medieval Castle in Caernarfon, and along the foothills of Snowdon, past lakes and raging rivers.
Put your bike on the train and you can freewheel back from a great height.
Alternatively, head underground at The disused Sygun Copper Mine which offers a different adventure.
There are winding tunnels, colourful chambers and impressive stalactites and stalagmites as you explore what life was like for the Victorian miners.
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