The Highest Mountain in Wales
The National Three Peaks challenge is made up of three of the highest and most iconic mountains in Wales; Snowdon, Cader Idris and Pen y Fan. The challenge is to scale all three mountains within 24 hours, but if you’re not up to the task you can visit each mountain individually and enjoy a stay at one of our Rare Hideaways.
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres above sea level. It’s also the highest point in the British Isles outside of the Scottish Highlands. Located in Snowdonia National Park, it’s the busiest mountain in the United Kingdom and the third most visited attraction in Wales.
There are 6 main walking routes to the summit which all take a challenging 4-5 hours of hiking, with little shelter from the elements. There’s also the Snowdon Mountain Railway, taking you from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon in approximately 2 and a half hours and provides you with breathtaking views the entire journey.
To visit Snowdon, we recommend staying at Portmeirion Cottages; A unique choice of 13 cottages, all different, scattered across the village, so you might find yourself next to the gateway, or on a cliff, or close to the concrete boat. In just under 40 minutes, you’ll find yourself at the foot of Snowdon, ready for your conquest!
This mountain is a spectacular peak at the southerly edge of Snowdonia National Park. There are 3 paths that take you to the 893-metre summit, all branded as ‘hard’ or ‘strenuous. Once you’ve conquered the peak, you’ll be graced with the view of Llyn Cau, a dramatic glacial lake in the crater of Cadair Idris, set beneath 400m high mountain walls.
If you fancy tackling Cadair Idris, we recommend staying at Llanfendigaid Estate in Tywyn, just 30 minutes away. This Grade II listed, self-catering estate can sleep up to 31 adventurous, perfect if you’re thinking of tackling the mountain in a group. Surrounded by Snowdonia scenery, a beautiful one-acre wooded garden and just half a mile from the sea, it’s the ideal place to put your feet up after your mountainous achievement. Oh, and did I mention it has a heated indoor swimming pool?
Pen y Fan
Pen y Fan is the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons. Sitting at 886 above sea level, it’s also the highest British peak south of Cadair Idris. The easiest climb to the summit is very manageable, so much so that even small children can tackle the 4-mile circular route. There are three other routes to the summit, varying in difficulty. The Horseshoe Ridge Walk will take you on a demanding nine mile circuit leading from the Taf Fechan Forest up to Corn Du (873m), Pen y Fan (886m), Cribyn (795m) and Fan y Big (719m), returning via the eastern Neuadd Valley. With the sky feeling close enough to touch, this route is not for the faint-hearted. Whatever route you take, don’t forget to take a selfie with the Pen y Fan National Trust sign!
To explore Pen y Fan and the surrounding Brecon Beacons, we recommend staying at the Tŷ Mawr Collection in Brecon. A suite of five fabulous properties in the grounds of a manorial estate dating back to medieval times, located in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park.