“Visit Snowdonia in the winter? Isn’t everything closed?” Actually – no, it’s not; it turns out that plenty of Snowdonia’s attractions are open throughout the winter, so don’t let a bit of inclement weather stop you visiting the UK’s number one activities centre!
While many tourist attractions and activity providers across the UK close down for the winter – many of these for a long time, from October to March – if you’re looking for things to do in Snowdonia this winter you’ll be glad to learn there’s still plenty open throughout the winter months.
From horrible histories to mine exploration, from painting pottery to white water rafting, here are ten Snowdonia attractions that you can visit all year round.
1. Inigo Jones Slate Works
Open throughout the winter for self-guided tours of the slate workshops, Inigo Jones Slate Works is a great place to learn about the history of Snowdonia’s slate and to discover how it’s been used over the centuries. Inigo Jones Slate Works is open 9am to 5pm every day including weekends, but not 25 and 26 December or 1 January. The last self-guided tour admission is 4pm, and the cafe is open daily from 10am to 5pm.
2. Snowdonia’s castles
With the inclusion of seven castles here, you could say this is actually a list of 16 attractions rather than 10! Conwy Castle, Caernarfon Castle, Harlech Castle, Criccieth Castle, Castell y Bere, Dolbadarn Castle and Dolwyddelan Castle are all open daily throughout the winter, with the exception of 24-26 December and 1 January. As an added bonus, there’s also free entry at Criccieth Castle Monday to Thursday during the winter months, and all the time at Castell y Bere and Dolbadarn.
3. National White Water Centre
You might question why anyone would want to go white water rafting in mid-winter in Snowdonia, but it takes all sorts to fill the world! The National White Water Centre, near Bala, is open throughout the winter but it’s advisable to call in advance to check water levels and weather conditions, because these can affect activities at this attraction from time to time.
4. Corris Mine Explorers
With everything at Corris Mine Explorers taking place underground, high winds and heavy rain aren’t going to stop the fun. As the name suggests, with Corris Mine Explorers you’ll have the opportunity to explore old mine workings, where tools and personal possessions left behind by the last miners to work there are still lying around as if waiting for their owners to reclaim them.
5. Go Below Underground Adventures
At Go Below Underground Adventures, again your activities take place below ground – but as well as exploring you’ll also be ziplining over water, climbing vertical shafts, boating across an underground lake, scaling a waterfall or abseiling down to the deepest point in Snowdonia… phew! That’s one way to work off any festive over-indulgence!
6. Glasfryn Parc
If underground adventures aren’t quite your thing, you can have plenty of less energetic fun at Glasfryn Parc, which is between Caernarfon and Pwllheli. Top up your adrenaline levels without getting out of breath, by having a good old-fashioned go-kart race. Or try your hand at archery, or ten pin bowling. During winter months there’s even a skating rink, which is open every day except Christmas day. These are just some of the activities available at Glasfryn Parc – see their website for even more!
7. Coed y Brenin Forest Park
Coed y Brenin Forest Park is open throughout the winter for mountain biking and walking – and it’s ideal for all the family, too. The visitor centre and cafe are also open seven days a week throughout the year (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day), from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 5pm at weekends. The on-site bike hire shop, Beics Brenin, is also open daily throughout the winter months from 10am to 4.30pm.
8. Portmeirion Village
Portmeirion Village is open throughout the winter but is closed on Christmas day. With nice long opening hours (9.30am to 7.30pm for the village, 5.30pm closing for the shops) and a special downloadable winter entry ticket entitling you to half price entry throughout the winter months, come rain or shine Portmeirion Village is one of those Snowdonia attractions you simply must visit!
9. Plas Tan y Bwlch Gardens
Plas Tan y Bwlch Gardens are a delight all year round – just being there to watch the changing seasons is a real pleasure. Different parts of Plas Tan y Bwlch are open at varying times throughout the winter – for example, while the gardens are open from 10am to dusk, the conservatory closes over the Christmas period and the opening hours for the house vary – so it’s worth getting in touch before your visit, to find out exactly what’s open.
10. Piggery Pottery
Something purely for the little ones now – Piggery Pottery, a lovely family attraction close to Caernarfon which is open all year round for artistic fun. Your little ones can decorate their very own pottery pigs at Piggery Pottery, and since creative activities like painting encourage children’s imagination to run wild instead of encouraging the children themselves to run wild, we think this is an attraction most parents will approve of!