Hiking & Camping in Snowdonia Wales with MINI Countryman

Hiking & Camping in Snowdonia Wales with MINI Cooper Countryman

My husband and I are huge fans of Hiking and Camping, especially in Snowdonia Wales. We love nothing more than being outdoors on the mountains. So when I was asked if I wanted to test the MINI Countryman while camping, we jumped at the chance. It was going to be a win-win situation for us, one we got to do something that we love and two we got to play with a new toy!

 

Mini Cooper amongst the hills of Wales

Taking the MINI Countryman for a drive through the Welsh Mountains

Snowdonia

When most people think of Snowdonia Wales they think of Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, with a height of 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level.  Mount Snowdon is considered to be one of the busiest mountains in the United Kingdom and one of the most visited places in Wales.


Snowdonia National Park is a region in northern Wales concentrated around the mountains and glacial landforms. There is so much to do and see in Snowdonia, from hiking and camping to kayaking and surfing. If you don’t fancy hiking to the summit of Mount Snowdon you can take the Snowdon Mountain Railway, which offers some of the most amazing views all the way to the sea on a clear day.

The Snowdon Mountain Railway train on it's way back down the mountain

Snowdon Mountain Railway – Mount Snowdon Wales

Top Tip

  • There is a cafe called Hafod Eryris and toilets at the Summit and is a great spot for lunch or a snack. However, beware that these facilities are only open when the train is running.
Overlooking Snowdonia's many lakes from Snowdon

On the Summit of Mount Snowdon with the Cafe below – Snowdonia Wales

Hiking in Snowdonia

Even though there are numerous hiking routes to the summit of Mount Snowdon Wales. Snowdonia National Park is also home to an extensive network of trails, over 100 lakes and craggy peaks like Tryfan (one of my favourites). In fact, there are so many places to hike that I believe you could spend months there and not do the same route twice.

Top Tip:

  • To have more of a chance of making it to the summit, please make sure you are prepared and choose the right route that suits your health and fitness abilities.
Mel on the cannon while hiking in Snowdonia

Sitting on the Cannon on my way up Tryfan – Snowdonia Wales

Camping in Snowdonia

Accommodation in Snowdonia can be limited, as there are no major hotel chains. But there are B&B’s, guest houses and boutique hotels and I think that keeps with the charm and the nature of the area.

Do you know that there are lots of Castles in Wales like Pembroke Castle

However, there are a number of camping areas scattered at various sites around the base of the mountains. Depending on the rules and what you want there is something for everyone. I mean why would you not want to wake up with the beautiful mountains as your backdrop, especially while you are having breakfast over a campfire getting excited about your day of hiking.

Mini and tent in our campsite

MINI Countryman and our tent set up at Tyisaf Campsite

Top Tip

  • The campsites are spread out and can be hard to get to. Look at what hiking routes you want to do and then choose a campsite around the area and then you don’t have to drive.

Campsite

Where we stayed – Tyisaf Campsite

We tend to stay at Tyisaf Campsite which is in a great location, across from the pub and car park for Mount Snowdon. Also, the bus stop is 2 minutes away and goes straight to the start of two of the most popular routes up Mount Snowdon, The Pyg Track and Miners’ Track.

The campsite has basic facilities with a washing up area, toilets and a shower block. The showers costing either £1 or 50p. You also have to bring your own toilet paper, as it is not provided.

The Mini cooper in the campsite with mountains in the background

MINI Countryman at the campsite with Welsh mountains in the background

Top Tip

  • There are no power outlets at the campsite, so either bring a spare battery or charge everything in the car.

Mini Countryman

Description of the Mini

Rightly called ‘The SUV for Mini’, the Mini Countryman is a highly adaptable and stylish car that showcases smart exterior and roomy interiors. I couldn’t believe how much camping gear we were able to fit into the car. I think we packed everything but the kitchen sink!

Stopping for a coffee break with the Mini Cooper

Stopping for a coffee while testing the MINI Countryman

Whether you’re driving around the city, running errands or venturing into the rugged countryside for a weekend adventure expedition(like we did), this immensely versatile vehicle available as a 4-wheel or 2-wheel drive will prove to be your perfect ride.

 Looking for a tent for your trip – How to Choose the Best Tent to take Backpacking

Being the biggest MINI yet, there’s extra storage space, more legroom and a bigger boot to fit everything and everyone. So pack up, load up and get ready to explore!  My husband was impressed that we could fit in the tent, sleeping bags, camping chairs, hiking gear etc all in the boot.

Mini Cooper Countryman in Snowdonia

The back of the MINI Countryman

Features of the Mini

The MINI Countryman is a flexible and good looking ride that is high on performance, courtesy of its 2.0 litre diesel engine, and economical to run. Available in various colours, we had the white MINI Countryman, the car comes with optional 19” Edge Spoke Light Alloy Wheels that offer a smooth and comfortable ride, both, on smooth city streets as well as the rugged country roads.

On the road in Wales driving the Mini Cooper Countryman

Driving  in the MINI Countryman to Snowdonia Wales

Generously spacious, the MINI Countryman is equipped with a bigger boot that’s large enough to store all your essentials plus extras when you’re setting out on fun hiking or fishing trips with the entire family, so more the merrier! The car has a striking Head up Display that showcases essential car settings, all in one place. Especially notable is the MINI Country Timer that lets you keep a track of the time you’re on tough terrains and also provides updates about off-road conditions.

The MINI Connected (optional) feature is great for syncing your MINI with in-car apps, your social feeds, and online music, etc. The All4 badge on the exterior of the car is sure to bring envious looks from passersby.

Mini Cooper Countryman in the campgrounds in Snowdonia

MINI Countryman in the camping grounds Snowdonia Wales

And for those who love their MINI, the MINI Logo Projection (optional) is a great attraction too. Simply unlock your car and your MINI will give you a warm welcome by projecting a glowing MINI logo on the ground, next to the driver’s door. Isn’t that cute? My favourite part of the Mini was the heated seats to warm you up especially, as it was raining and it was cold when we were camping and I looked forward to sitting in the car.

Travel Bloggers Share their favourite Hikes around the world Pt1

Top Tip

  • With the Apple CarPlay Preparation feature, you can keep both hands on the steering wheel. The iPhone’s interface on your display and easily receive calls, send text messages, and navigate as you drive. To activate this feature, go to MINI Connected and select Apple CarPlay® (The availability of this feature may vary, from country to country).
Mini Cooper Countryman display panel

The dashboard inside the MINI Countryman

 

Location

The best way to get to Snowdonia Wales is via car, train or bus from any major city in the United Kingdom.

If you are coming from central London, I would go via car, as it is a 4-6hr drive depending on traffic. If you don’t have a car, I would suggest hiring one as London has a wide range to choose from.


 Tips for Camping and Mini

  • Check the rules of the camping site, as mine you could bring your dog but it must stay on a leash.
  • There is a pub across the road from the campsite where we stayed. Great spot when it was raining and cold.
  • 5 minutes walk from the campsite is the Maes Parcio car park, where you can get a bus to the mountain to hike.
  • A great place to look for accommodation is Betws-y-Coed
Stone house on the river bank in Betws-y-Coed

The river running through Betws-y-Coed Snowdonia Wales

  • There is no internet service or WIFI at the campsite and there is only pockets of service on Snowdon
  • Bring coins for the showers in the campsites
  • If the weather is good definitely hike up Mount Snowdon
Mel hiking in Snowdonia

Hiking up to the summit of Mt Snowdon

Thank you for reading my article ‘Hiking & Camping in Snowdonia Wales with MINI Countryman‘, I hope it helped you to decide on an adventure to Wales. It is such a beautiful area and definitely worth going there for a weekend adventure.

Mountain views while hiking to the summit of Snowdon Wales

The view up to the summit of Mount Snowdon Wales

 

If you are interested in discovering more about Wales or hiking adventuresthen please feel free to check out my other articles on Pembroke Castle Wales and  Travel Bloggers Share their favourite Hikes Around the World.

Have you been to Snowdonia Wales?

I would love to hear it 🙂 Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below

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Disclaimer: Even though I was loaned the MINI Countryman for the weekend camping. All views are my own and based on my own experience.

Remember that you can never have enough camping and Hiking Gear for your next adventure.

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62 Comments

  1. Wow, this is a lovely article, especially because me and my husband, just like you, love hiking and outdoors activities. Thanks for saying what to look for while hiking and which trail to choose according to our health and fitness level. We’ve never heard of these hiking opportunities so thank you for introducing something new to us. A perfect weekend getaway!

  2. I climbed Snowdon, on a rather more challenging route than the path I did the first time, in August. It was great because I went on a organised trip and met a bunch of great people. I did not know that there were so many routes there though. Love the idea of the Mini projection

  3. The view from the top of Mount Snowdon looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing these hiking tips and also including the railway information for those of us who are sometimes short on time for hiking trips!

    1. It is pretty amazing at the top but trust me I have been up there plenty of time and not seen anything 🙂 I always hike or scramble up but I like to take the train at least once 🙂

  4. I’ve been to Snowdonia when I was a kid but not been back since, I remember it’s very scenic though! Must have been a fun trip with the Mini

  5. First off your pictures are seriously stunning! I love how vibrant they are, I can’t even image how beautiful this place is in person. The mini sounds like it did well on the trip! They are such neat cars.

    1. Thank you very much, I appreciate it. Most of them are taken on my phone while hiking. It is to hard to carry a big SLR camera. I loved using the MINI it was such a fun little car to use, I loved the heated seats.

  6. Bloody hell, that’s what Snowdon looks like! We climbed mid summer this year and could barely see 5 m in front of us because of bad weather! Cracking snaps there!

    1. The first time I ever went to the summit it was pouring with rain and I could barely see in front of me. I thought for sec, why on earth do people do things like this. Now I love hiking and climbing especially when I do get views like this. I hope that you get to go back and see the views from the top one day.

  7. Snowdonia is a gorgeous part of Wales. We visited to tackle the Mt. Snowdon as part of the Three Peaks Trek – and I was blown away by the area. Great tips on camping in the area. Car looks great as well. 🙂

    1. It is definitely super green there but I think it is because of all the rain 😉 The 3 peaks is definitely a challenge and I remember thinking halfway through it that I wanted to give up but I didn’t. I reckon I would do it again.

  8. What a coincidence I stayed at the same campsite in Snowdonia a few years back. And, I totally loved my time there. Unlike you, I didn’t have the comfort of Mini Cooper. lOve your hiking tips. I need to go back.

  9. This brought back many memories of my childhood and cant wait to get back out there and do some hiking. I remember doing the train ride up Snowdonia when I was a child. One day I will return, and its only a 5 hour drive from my house!

    1. I have never caught the train, I have always hiked up or scrambled on the side. I would like to do it at least once though, maybe hike up and then catch it down 🙂 Then I get the best of both worlds. You definitely should do the running challenges up that way.

  10. You know, being from Ireland i think the only times i have been to Wales has been to get the ferry from Holyhead across to England. I love hiking so I really should get across sometime to explore Snowdonia some time. You said that the Mini is surprisingly big. Would I be able to fit? I am 6 foot 2!

  11. I wanna go to Wales badly and this makes me wanna go even more. The landscapes in this country are so incredible! Thanks for the inspiration and btw I love your NY hat! 🙂

  12. I live in montaneous Swiss but Snowdonia…wow! Love love it! I would definitely camp as I belive camping is the real 5 star hotel one ever can get…with less comfort though. I am glad I stumble on your post because Snowdonia is now on my list! And the MINI cooper countryman, adorable but unfortunately to small for us now.
    A few years ago the car would have been perfect!

    1. I will be in Switzerland within the next two weeks, I love the alps there too. You should definitely go to Snowdonia for a weekend it is beautiful and I agree I love camping too especially with an open fire

  13. The Mini Cooper Countryman looks like the perfect car to drive out to a campsite in. Mini’s are so spacious now, long gone are the Mr Bean version of the mini! Snowdonia looks like the perfect place to escape the city. With so many trails every time will be different and I’m sure the air is much fresher too!

  14. I am amazed at the possible view from train. Snowdonia seems magical to me. Thanks for the hiking tips. The MINI cooper too is interesting especially with the heated up seats. I hope to get to Wales some day.

    1. I have never caught the train, I have always hiked up to the top though I would like to try it one day. Maybe hike up and then catch the train down. We really had a lot of fun with the Mini driving it around

  15. Snowdonia looks so beautiful and green. What an amazing place to hike and camp. Wales is a place the hubby and I have on the bucket list. Now I see even more reason to visit. Was it easy to get out onto the Cannon for that photo?

    1. Snowdoinia is one of my favourite places to go in the UK and if I ever win the lotto, I would buy a holiday house there. To get to the Cannon you have to do some scrambling up the mountain. If you do that kind of thing then it won’t be a problem to get up but I wouldn’t suggest it if you don’t, as it is dangerous.

  16. This looks absolutely beautiful! I love the fact that you made this trip through Wales with a Mini Cooper, this is really cool. Based on the experiences that you share, I think it is an amazing way to explore a place like Wales such a way. You are flexible, independent and very close to everything. I would do it probably exactly the same.

    1. I love Wales and a good road trip through the country. The only problem is the traffic coming back to London afterwards it is a lot of stopping and starting and not a straight drive right through.

  17. This looks like such a gorgeous place! How fun that you got to explore it in a Mini Cooper! I hadn’t really thought to travel here but I know my kids would get a kick out of the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

  18. We are waiting for our UK tourist visa, can’t wait to explore the beautiful country. Snowdonia is on our itinerary for sure. I love Mini Cooper , it is stylish as well as cute

  19. Snowdonia National Park is so grand , did you mention 100 lakes, just wow. I am so jealous to know about the Mini car trip because I always dreamt of doing the same. I am also happy that through your pictures I have actually done it virtually lol. Loved the description and detailing you have shared even about the Mini.

  20. This is such a lovely post! Snowdonia looks stunningly beautiful with all that greenery, lakes and mountains. Mount Snowdown is worth the climb considering the breathtaking view from the top. Love the amazing features of ‘Mini Countryman’. Thanks for sharing the helpful camping tips. A beautiful place with over 100 lakes is definitely a worth visit. Hope to explore the place soon! 🙂

  21. I am an outdoors enthusiast and this excites me. Hike to Mt Snowdon looks scenic. I have done some high altitude trekking such as Everest base camp (18,000 plus feet), so 3,560 ft seems very easy to me. I loved the picture which shows the bird’s eye view from Mount Snowdon.

  22. This is absolutely my kind of thing and each trail is quite beautiful. My favorite possibly would be Snowdonia. Loved that picture with you perching on that branch. Cheers

  23. Snowdonia looks stunning! I would love to camp in Snowdonia National Park and take in all the gorgeous greenery. I love how you also included tips – the one on charging everything in your car or bringing a spare battery is especially useful, as I tend to hike everywhere with my camera.

  24. Wales looks stunning Mel. Nice Yankees hat too 😉 Big fan of finding a hike matching my abilities; love that note. Some overdo it and get sick or injured. I am in pretty good shape but know my limits. I recall pushing it in Cusco back 2012 way and definitely paid the piper.

    Ryan

    1. I love that hat and people always think I am american 🙂 Then they hear the Aussie accent. Wales is definitely great for all abilities. I will have to check out the Cusco one 🙂

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