Snowdonia Slate Trail

Snowdonia Slate Trail

Bangor to Bethesda through the heart of the slate mining industry in Snowdonia.

3 to 8 nights
24-84 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding / Strenuous

From £460 per person

Find your holiday

About the trail

Walk back in time and explore the slate mining heritage of Snowdonia National Park. The Snowdonia Slate Trail dips into stunning valleys and clambers along drovers’ roads across wild moorland, where the mountainside spills blue slate and the long low buildings of abandoned mining operations preside over the lakes that have long since filled the quarries.

From Bangor and the Menai Strait, the Snowdonia Slate Trail wanders south to Bethesda, one of many towns to sprout from the slate quarrying industry, where it begins its circuit around the heart of Snowdonia National Park. Boasting some steep climbs affording mountain views unlike any you’ll see south of Scotland, this wending trail grants access to some of the most striking landscapes in Wales.

We have partnered with the Snowdonia Slate Trail Trust so that when you book a Contours Holiday along the Snowdonia Slate Trail, 50% of the cost of your guidebook is given back to fund the maintenance of this spectacular route.

Choose your route

  • Snowdonia Slate Trail
  • Snowdonia Slate Trail Short Break

About this route

6 to 8 nights
84 miles
Moderate / Demanding to Demanding / Strenuous
1st April to 31st October

From £930 per person

Snowdonia Slate Trail

From Bangor and the Menai Strait, head south into the mountains of Snowdonia on the Snowdonia Slate Trail. This ruggedly beautiful route starts its circuit in Bethesda and links together a series of towns built by the region’s slate mining heritage and transformed by Snowdonia’s beauty into brilliant hubs for the outdoors.

The trail enjoys diverse scenery, from wild moorland and high lanes to sheltered forest tracks and riverside pathways. It follows a leg of the North Wales Pilgrim’s Path and winds its way up into mountainous views coloured by the slate-grey cuts of the slate industry. The route tours between towering slate tips and the deep blue quarries that excavated them, with dramatic mountain backdrops above. Expect tracts of wilderness and a series of settlements intrinsically linked to the ground beneath your boots.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
SST1 From Bangor to Bethesda(T) 6 nights, 5 days walking Demanding / Strenuous £930
SST2 From Bangor to Bethesda(T) 7 nights, 6 days walking Demanding £1075
SST3 From Bangor to Bethesda(T) 8 nights, 7 days walking Moderate / Demanding £1220

Short breaks

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
SSTSB1 From Betws-y-Coed to Llanberis 3 nights, 2 days walking Moderate £460
SSTSB2 From Betws-y-Coed to Llanberis 4 nights, 3 days walking Easy / Moderate £610

Snowdonia Slate Trail 6 nights, 5 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights

Travel to Bangor where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Bangor to Llanberis. 14 miles (22km) / 2024 ft (617 m) ascent

Day 2

Llanberis to Beddgelert. 20 miles (32km) / 2825 ft (861 m) ascent

Day 3

Beddgelert to Llan Ffestiniog. 14.5 miles (23.5km) / 3074 ft (937 m) ascent

Day 4

Llan Ffestiniog to Betws-y-Coed. 18.5 miles (29.5km) / 2946 ft (898 m) ascent

Day 5

Betws-y-Coed to Bethesda(T). 17 miles (27km) / 2093 ft (638 m) ascent


Depart from Bethesda(T) after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
(please ring for prices)
Single Supplement
£55.00 per person / per night

Due to the high costs incurred by booking a Solo Traveller on this trail, we can only provide prices on application. Please contact us for further details.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Beddgelert)
£70.00 per person / per night
© Contours Walking Holidays Snowdonia Slate Trail map
84 miles (134 km)
1st April to 31st October

Holiday highlights

Looking out across the quarried slate landscape to outstanding views of the Snowdon Massif.

Wandering through wild scenery and down to the windworn remains of old mining structures.

Giving your walk context with a visit to the National Slate Museum of Wales, where the informative exhibits fill in the history that shaped the region.

What's included?

  • 6 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

The towns and villages of Snowdonia are filled with so many delightful attractions that it is worth taking a little extra time to explore the area more thoroughly. Below you will find some great locations in which to spend an extra night or two.

The lively university city of Bangor has plenty to occupy visitors, should you choose to spend a day or two here. Arguably the most famous landmark in the town is Bangor Cathedral, which can be dated back to the 6th century. There is also the former Bishop’s Palace, which houses the Storiel museum and gallery, and the dramatic Penrhyn Castle, the National Trust mansion set in beautiful grounds on the outskirts of town. Bangor has lots of leisure facilities including a pool and a pier, as well as what is reputed to be Wales’s longest High Street, meaning there is no shortage of shopping and dining choices to keep you entertained.

The scenic town of Llanberis, by contrast, is a central hub for outdoor activities such as scuba diving, pony trekking and mountain biking, and is renowned for its famous international fell race. There are plenty of cafés, pubs and restaurants in which to sample traditional Welsh dishes, and for those interested in the local history, Llanberis is home to Dolbadarn Castle, with its impressive round towered keep. You could also explore Snowdon’s industrial heritage within the informative National Slate Museum; here you will find workshops constructed just as if the workmen had put down their tools for their last shift and gone home.

The unspoilt village of Beddgelert is another perfect place to spend an extra night. Beddgelert is most famous for its folktale fable of Gelert the faithful dog, whose grave can be found a short walk from the village. Beddgelert has all the usual amenities found within a small village, and those interested in handmade wares will find that Beddgelert is known for its arts and crafts production, in particular Beddgelert Woodcraft. The surrounding countryside is also worth taking the time to explore, and there is a bike hire shop for those wanting to head out on two wheels for the day. The town is also on the Welsh Mountain Railway route, should you wish to take a trip to Caernarfon, Porthmadog or anywhere in between for the day.

Another excellent location to enjoy an extra night’s stay is in Capel Curig, the small mountain village with a big reputation. The village is surrounded by such epic ranges as the Glyders, Carneddau and Snowdon itself, making this a fantastic base for exploring the surrounding landscapes. Capel Curig is home to a well-stocked shop selling outdoor gear, as well as the Plas-y-Brenin National Mountaineering Centre, the UK’s leading outdoor pursuits centre. Those looking for a less rugged scene can still enjoy strolling along the twin lakes of Llynnau Mymbyr and wandering through the village itself, so there is plenty to occupy visitors for a day or two.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Beddgelert)
£70.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 84 miles (134 km)
Duration: 6 nights, 5 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 14 miles (22 km)
Maximum daily distance: 20 miles (32 km)
Code: SST1 Grade: Demanding / Strenuous
Season: 1st April - 31st October
Start of holiday: Bangor
End of holiday: Bethesda(T)

Route Profile

Snowdonia Slate Trail Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff.

By Rail - There is a train station at the start of the walk (Bangor). The nearest station to the end of the trail (Bethesda) is also at Bangor (approximately 6 miles).

By Bus - Various bus services from nearby towns run to Bangor. A bus runs to Bangor from Bethesda.

From London - Trains run from London Euston station to Bangor.

To return to the start of the trail, take a bus or taxi from Bethesda to Bangor.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.