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!
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- There are no power outlets at the campsite, so either bring a spare battery or charge everything in the car.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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).
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
- 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
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.
If you are interested in discovering more about Wales or hiking adventures, then 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
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.