On Countryfile this Sunday: Snowdonia

Julia Bradbury and John Craven visit Snowdonia, where she tries her hand at scrambling and he explores a Celtic rainforest.

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There’s so much to do in Snowdonia, it’s been difficult to choose what to include this week. An 832-square mile National Park that takes in high peaks and rugged coastline, it’s a truly beautiful way to experience the outdoors. Here’s our guide to some of the best activities, places and attractions to enjoy there. 

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ACTIVITIES
 
1.  National White Water Centre, Bala, North Wales
 
Try your hand at canoeing and kayaking along a 7.5km stretch of the river Tryweryn. Its steep chutes and boulder-strewn rapids, set in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park, are perfect for experienced white-knuckled water-goers or for first timers ready to take on the challenge in a guided course session.
 
 
Take a leap of faith and absorb the stunning mountainous views from a different angle. Snowdon Gliders offer courses and experiences, along with equipment and contacts to other gliding fanatics. 
 
 
Saddle up and enjoy the dramatic scenery, from mountainsides to coastal views, on horseback. Everyone is welcome, from total beginners to confident riders, with a choice of everything from introductory sessions to full day treks deep into the mountains.
 
 
GARDENS AND NATURE RESERVES
 
 
Follow in John Craven’s footsteps and walk the award-winning Lake Vyrnwy Sculpture Trail, which sees works of art dotted along the route. The sculpture trail will display artwork by invited international artists, alongside the work of local sculptors and temporary pieces by visitors, to the tens of thousands people who visit the lake each year. It includes a 30ft pecking order pole of birds found on and around the reserve, plus otters, freshwater dolphins and traditional pole lathes. 
 
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A working farm, National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Hafod y Llan is “a living, breathing piece of Wales’s rural upland heritage.” There’s plenty to explore in the area, from the remains of Victorian tramlines that would have transported quarry workers, to archaeological sites and even a population of feral goats. 
 
 
Ty Mawr is a 16th century stone upland farmhouse nestled in the heart of the beautiful Conwy Valley, and is surrounded by fascinating walks through woodland and traditionally managed landscape. It was the birthplace of Bishop William Morgan, the first translator of the bible into Welsh, and it houses an impressive collection of bibles in almost 100 languages.
 
ATTRACTIONS
 
 
For a fantastic family-friendly day out, take a boat journey through mysterious ancient caves, passing sound and light shows and tableaux that bring Celtic Britain – and Arthurian legend – to life. There’s also plenty to do above ground, with storytelling workshops, shops and a craft centre.  
 
 
Apparently the inspiration for the Thomas the Tank Engine stories, Talyllyn is the world’s first preserved railway. It runs for over seven miles from Cardigan Bay and cuts through the beautiful Snowdonian mountains. There is a museum and even a driver experience for enthusiasts and cafes and tearooms along the route for those who want to simply enjoy the views. 
 
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A beautifully preserved mine, abandoned in 1903, that will prove fascinating, and not just to geology and history buffs. Marvel at the stalagmites and stalactites and trace the copper ore veins running through the rocks, and find out about the lives of the Victorian miners who would have worked at the site. The site is surrounded by great walks – a great combination of natural beauty and industrial heritage. 
 
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