If you're looking for a unique and adventurous way to experience the stunning natural beauty of Eryri National Park (Previously known as Snowdonia National Park), wild camping might be just the ticket.
Nestled in the heart of North Wales, Eryri is home to breathtaking mountains, sparkling lakes, and lush forests, making it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. While there are plenty of official campsites to choose from, wild camping offers a more immersive and authentic experience, allowing you to truly connect with nature and escape the crowds.
It's worth noting that wild camping is not technically legal in Eryri, or anywhere else in England and Wales for that matter, but it is tolerated in some areas. If you choose to wild camp, it's important to respect the environment and follow the Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact.
This means packing out all your trash, avoiding damaging vegetation, and camping at least 100 meters away from any water sources. With a bit of planning and preparation, wild camping in Eryri can be a safe and rewarding experience that you'll never forget.
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Why did Snowdonia's name change to Eryri?
In 2022, the National Park Authority voted to change the Official name of Snowdonia National Park and Mount Snowdon to their Welsh counterparts which are Eryri National Park and Yr Wyddfa.
This change was done for cultural reasons. The aim is to give people the chance to engage with the Welsh Language and its rich culture. It also helps show respect for Welsh heritage.
If you do visit Eryri or Yr Wyddfa and find it hard to remember the new names, don't worry. It's a decent change so most of the locals will be understanding.
How are the Welsh names for Snowdonia and Snowdon pronounced?
Eryri is pronounced as Eh-ruh-re.
Yr Wyddfa is pronounced as Er with-ya.
You can hear these in the videos below. These videos are made by Galés con Marian • Welsh with Marian whose YouTube channel has dozens of videos on the Welsh language.
Why should I visit Eryri National Park?
Eryri National Park is a stunning and unique landscape located in North Wales. It is home to Wales' highest mountain, Mount Snowdon, and offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, climbing, and wild camping.
When planning a wild camping trip in Eryri, it's important to understand the rules and regulations that apply. Wild camping is not officially permitted without the landowner's permission. However, the Eryri National Park Authority accepts that wild camping on un-enclosed fell land, away from roads, is accepted if undertaken responsibly by small numbers of people. So, make sure you are away from roads, not hopping any fences, and not camping as part of a large group.
Eryri/Snowdonia is a protected area, and visitors are expected to respect the natural environment. Leave no trace is a key principle of responsible wild camping. This means that you should leave your campsite exactly as you found it, taking all your rubbish with you. You should also avoid lighting fires, as this can damage the landscape and pose a risk to wildlife.
It's also important to be aware of the weather conditions in Eryri. The weather can change quickly, and it's not uncommon to experience rain, wind, and even snow, even in the summer months. Make sure you are prepared for all eventualities, and bring appropriate clothing and equipment, including a waterproof tent and sleeping bag.
Understanding the rules and regulations, respecting the natural environment, and being prepared for the weather are all essential when planning a wild camping trip in Eryri National Park.
Wild Camping Basics
Wild camping in Eryri can be a thrilling experience, but it requires some preparation and knowledge. Here are some basics to keep in mind:
1. Choose the Right Spot
When choosing a spot to set up your tent, make sure it's legal to camp there. In Eryri, wild camping is allowed, but there are some restrictions. You can't camp in enclosed fields, near buildings, or on farmland without the owner's permission. Always check the local regulations before you go.
2. Leave No Trace
When you're camping in the wild, it's essential to leave no trace. That means you should pack out everything you pack in, including all your trash. Don't use soap or shampoo in streams or lakes, and don't leave any food scraps behind. Try to minimize your impact on the environment as much as possible.
3. Be Prepared
Wild camping can be unpredictable, so it's essential to be prepared for anything. Make sure you have the right gear, including a good quality tent, warm sleeping bag, and sturdy hiking boots. Bring enough food and water for your trip, and make sure you have a map and compass in case you get lost.
4. Respect Wildlife
When you're camping in the wild, you're sharing the environment with wildlife. Respect their space and don't disturb them. Don't feed the animals or leave any food out that might attract them. Keep a safe distance from any wildlife you encounter and never approach them.
5. Follow the Leave No Trace Principles
The Leave No Trace principles are essential when wild camping. They include:
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impact
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
Following these principles will help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable wild camping experience in Eryri.
Essential Gear for Wild Camping in Eryri (Snowdonia)
Wild camping in Eryri can be an incredible experience, but it's important to have the right gear to ensure your safety and comfort. Here are some essential items to consider before embarking on your adventure.
Choosing the right tent is crucial for a successful wild camping trip in Eryri. You'll need a tent that is lightweight, durable, and able to withstand unpredictable weather conditions.
One of the best tents if you're traveling as a couple is this ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2-Person Tent, or for a 1-person tent, you could get the MSR Hubba Hubba 1-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
When wild camping in Eryri, it's important to dress in layers. Temperatures can drop significantly at night, so you'll need warm clothing to keep you comfortable. A waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers are also essential to protect you from the rain.
Food and Water
When wild camping in Eryri, you'll need to bring all of your own food and water. It's important to pack enough food to keep you energized throughout your trip. Non-perishable foods such as trail mix, energy bars, and dried fruits are great options. Don't forget to bring a water filter or purification tablets to ensure that your water is safe to drink.
Wild camping in Eryri can be an unforgettable experience if you have the right gear. Make sure to choose a suitable tent, dress in layers, and pack enough food and water to keep you comfortable and energized throughout your trip.
Choosing the Right Campsite
When it comes to wild camping in Eryri, choosing the right campsite is crucial. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect spot:
- Research campsites in advance: Before you head out, do some research on the campsites in Eryri. Check out their locations, facilities, and reviews to get an idea of what to expect. This will help you narrow down your options and find a campsite that suits your needs.
- Consider the terrain: The terrain can have a big impact on your camping experience. Look for campsites that are relatively flat, dry, and sheltered from the wind. Avoid campsites that are too close to water sources or in areas prone to flooding.
- Check the rules: While wild camping is tolerated in Eryri, there are still rules you need to follow. Make sure you know the rules before you set up camp. For example, you should avoid camping within 100m of a road or building, and you should pack out all your rubbish.
- Think about safety: Safety should always be a top priority when camping. Look for campsites that are away from steep drops, loose rocks, and other hazards. Make sure you have a good quality tent and sleeping bag, and bring warm clothing and plenty of food and water.
- Consider the views: One of the best things about camping in Eryri is the stunning scenery. Look for campsites that offer great views of the mountains, lakes, and forests. Just remember that the best views often come with the most exposed and windy locations.
By following these tips, you can find the perfect campsite for your wild camping adventure in Eryri . Remember to always respect the environment and follow the rules to help preserve this beautiful national park for future generations.
Wild camping is a thrilling and adventurous experience, but it is important to ensure your safety while exploring Eryri National Park. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
Research the Area
Before embarking on your camping trip, research the area and familiarize yourself with the terrain, weather conditions, and any potential hazards. Check the weather forecast and be prepared for changes in weather conditions. Eryri is known for its unpredictable weather, so it's essential to bring appropriate clothing and gear.
Notify Someone of Your Plans
It's always a good idea to let someone know your camping plans, including where you will be camping and when you plan to return. This way, if you encounter any issues, someone will know where to look for you.
Bring a Map and Compass
While smartphones and GPS devices are helpful, they can run out of battery or lose signal. Bring a map and compass to ensure you can navigate your way through the park.
Pack Adequate Supplies
Make sure you have enough food, water, and clothing for the duration of your trip. Bring a first aid kit and any necessary medications. It's also essential to bring a reliable source of light, such as a flashlight or headlamp.
Follow Leave No Trace Principles
When camping in the wilderness, it's vital to leave the area as you found it. Follow Leave No Trace principles, which include packing out all trash, burying human waste, and avoiding disturbing wildlife or vegetation.
Respecting the Environment
When camping in Eryri, it is important to respect the environment and leave no trace. This means that you should leave the area as you found it and not leave any rubbish behind. Here are some ways to respect the environment while camping in Eryri.
Leave No Trace Principles
The Leave No Trace principles are a set of guidelines that help you minimize your impact on the environment. These principles include:
- Plan ahead and prepare: Before you go camping, research the area and plan your trip. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment and supplies.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Stick to established campsites and trails to avoid damaging the environment.
- Dispose of waste properly: Pack out all your rubbish, including food waste and toilet paper. Do not bury or burn rubbish.
- Leave what you find: Do not disturb plants, rocks, or wildlife.
- Minimize campfire impact: Use established fire rings and only burn small sticks and twigs. Do not cut down trees for firewood.
- Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance and do not feed them.
- Be considerate of other visitors: Keep noise levels down and respect other people's privacy.
Respect the Wildlife
While camping in Eryri, you may encounter wildlife such as birds, deer, and foxes. It is important to respect these animals and not disturb their natural habitat. Here are some ways to interact with wildlife responsibly:
- Observe from a distance: Use binoculars or a camera to observe wildlife from a safe distance.
- Do not feed wildlife: Feeding wildlife can lead to dependence on humans and disrupt their natural behavior.
- Store food properly: Keep food in sealed containers to prevent animals from getting into it.
- Respect nesting areas: Do not disturb bird nests or other animal homes.
By following these guidelines, you can enjoy camping in Eryri while minimizing your impact on the environment and wildlife.
Legal Aspects of Wild Camping in Eryri
Wild camping is a popular activity in Eryri, but there are legal aspects that you need to be aware of before you pitch your tent. So technically, wild camping is not permitted anywhere in Eryri (or Wales) without prior permission from the landowner or farmer. Camping in car parks or on roadside verges is not allowed at any time. The National Park owns little land, therefore, they cannot give consent for this activity on other people's land including agricultural land.
However, it is tolerated and commonplace in Eryri. Many people do wild camp within the national park without experiencing any issues. If you want to pitch your tent, you need to be comfortable with the fact that you are trespassing. It is important to be respectful of the environment and other campers and to leave no trace when you leave.
If you are caught wild camping without permission, you may be asked to move on, and in some cases, you may be fined. It is important to note that wild camping is not legal in England and Wales, except on Dartmoor and in Scotland, where it is allowed under certain conditions.
If you are looking for a legal camping option in Eryri, there are a number of campsites available throughout the national park. These campsites offer a range of facilities, including toilets, showers, and electric hookups. Some campsites also offer glamping options for those who want to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort.
In summary, wild camping in Eryri is not technically legal, but it is tolerated and commonplace. If you choose to wild camp, you need to be respectful of the environment and other campers and leave no trace when you leave. If you prefer a legal camping option, there are a number of campsites available throughout the national park.
Best Time for Wild Camping in Eryri
Eryri National Park is a beautiful place to go wild camping, but it is important to choose the right time of year to ensure the best experience. Here are some things to consider when deciding on the best time for wild camping in Eryri:
The weather in Eryri can be unpredictable, and it is important to be prepared for all conditions. The best time for wild camping in Eryri is usually during the summer months, from June to September when the weather is generally warmer and drier. However, even in the summer, it is important to be prepared for rain and wind, which can be common in the mountains.
The summer months are also the busiest time in Eryri, and campsites and popular wild camping spots can get crowded. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider going in the shoulder seasons of spring or autumn, when the crowds are thinner and the scenery is still beautiful.
If you are interested in wildlife, consider going wild camping in Eryri during the spring or early summer months, when the birds are nesting and the flowers are blooming. You may also have the chance to see some of the park's larger mammals, such as otters and badgers.
Eryri can be difficult to access during the winter months, when the roads and trails can be covered in snow and ice. If you are planning to go wild camping in Eryri during the winter, be sure to check the weather and road conditions before you go, and be prepared for difficult hiking conditions.
The best time for wild camping in Eryri depends on your personal preferences and what you want to get out of your experience. Whether you go in the summer or the winter, be sure to be prepared for all conditions and follow the park's rules and guidelines for wild camping.
Wild camping in Eryri can be an unforgettable experience that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. However, it is important to remember that with this freedom comes responsibility. By following a few simple rules, you can ensure that you are camping in a way that is respectful to the environment and other campers.
Firstly, make sure to camp in designated areas or on unenclosed fell land away from roads. This will help to minimize the impact on the environment and ensure that you are not disturbing other people's camping experiences.
Secondly, be sure to pack out everything that you bring in. This includes all trash, food scraps, and any other items that you may have brought with you. Leave no trace behind and help preserve the natural beauty of Eryri for future generations.
Thirdly, be aware of the weather conditions and pack accordingly. Eryri is known for its unpredictable weather, so it is important to be prepared for all eventualities. Make sure to bring warm clothing, waterproof gear, and a sturdy tent to protect yourself from the elements.
Finally, always respect the local wildlife and follow the countryside code. This includes not disturbing animals, staying on designated paths, and avoiding any damage to the environment.
By following these simple steps, you can enjoy the freedom of wild camping in Eryri while also being a responsible and respectful camper. So pack your bags, grab your tent, and get ready to experience the beauty of Eryri like never before.
Guided Wild Camping Trip in Eryri National Park
A great way of wild camping in Eryri is by booking a guided wild camping trip, such as this one. You'll spend 3 days hiking through various parts of the Eryri National Park, and get to enjoy wild camping for 2 nights. You'll get to visit areas such as Capel Curig, and Bethesda.
The cost of the tour doesn't include camping gear but if needed, they'll help arrange equipment hire. Just make sure to let them know with plenty of time to arrange it.
Tours for Hiking Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon)
Yr Wyddfa is the highest mountain in Wales. If you'd like to hike up the mountain, I recommend booking a hiking tour. This will ensure you have experienced guides assisting you along the way, and keeping you safe. The mountains can get quite treacherous in parts so having a guide can ensure you're safe and have an enjoyable hike.
There are a few hiking tours available depending on what you're interested in seeing.
- Yr Wyddfa Sunrise Hiking Tour: If you want to see the sunrise from the summit of Yr Wyddfa I recommend booking onto this tour. The sunrise from the top of the mountain is spectacular and is really worth seeing.
- Hike Yr Wyddfa: On this tour you'll hike up Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) during the day time. You'll cover 14km, as you hike up the 900m ascent. The hike isn't easy but it's really worth doing if you're able to do so.
Ride the Mountain Railway up Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon)
Another great way to explore the Yr Wyddfa is to take the mountain railway to the top. This is a great alternative for those who cannot hike for any reason. Whether you're disabled, traveling with kids, or limited on time.
I personally am disabled so riding up the Mountain Railway makes Yr Wyddfa accessible and allowed me to enjoy views from the train, and at the summit. The train is accessible to wheelchair users but they do ask that you contact them first to discuss your accessibility requirements. You can find their number on their website here.
The ride to the summit takes about 1 hour, and when you're at the top you'll get 30 minutes to enjoy the views at Hafod Eryri. Then you'll enjoy a 1 hour journey back down. This gives you 2.5 hours to enjoy views over the area and experience the mountain.
The railway runs from April to October each year. I do highly recommend visiting during this time frame if you can do so. If you're on a budget, October to May tend to be cheaper months with prices increasing in June. Prices then decrease again starting in September after the children's summer holidays end.
You can find more information on riding the mountain train + ticket prices here.