Snowdonia

4th April 2008 at 01:00
Just in time for the summer holidays, Hafod Eryri, Mount Snowdon's summit cafe and visitor centre, will be opening in July. Its name means "dwelling place at the top of Snowdon" and, as well as refreshments, it will provide weather forecasts, advice on getting down safely and information about the iconic mountain, which, at 1,085 metres (3,560ft), is the highest in England and Wales.

If you want to get to the top but teaching has worn you out, take the mountain railway (0871 720 0033, www.snowdonrailway.co.uk, from mid-March to early November) from Llanberis.

Snowdonia national park covers more than 800 square miles of an area that once formed the ancient realm of Gwynedd and is also one of the wettest places in Britain, so don't forget your mac.

On a clear day you can see Ireland and the Isle of Man, but there is plenty more to do than stop and stare. Try the traffic-free cycling trail along the Mawddach Estuary, or visit the Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth (01654 705 950, www.cat.org.uk).

There's also white-water rafting, canoeing, kayaking, surfing and windsurfing.

For a treat, stay at the newly renovated Plas Tan-yr-Allt near Porthmadog, once home to the poet Shelley (01766 514 545, www.tanyrallt.co.uk, BB doubles from pound;120).

For more information, visit www.visitsnowdonia.info and www.eryri-npa.co.uk.

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