Landscape photography guide to Snowdonia, North Wales – Capel Curing to Llanberis

The route along the A4086, particularly between the two villages of Capel Curig and Llanberis has an abundance of opportunities for the landscape photographer, it is also the route most first time visitors to Snowdonia take as it passes through some stunning scenery. Capel Curig, surrounded on all sides by impressive scenery, is a popular place from which to climb the many mountains in the area and provides an excellent base if wishing to spend some time discovering the mountain summits. The Afon Llugwy river also runs through the centre, providing the spectacle of the Pont Cyfyng falls, particularly photogenic after a period of rainfall.

On leaving Capel Curing via the A4086 towards Llanberis, the valley widens and the lakes of “Llynnau Mymbyr” appear in view surrounded on one side by the solitary Moel Siabod and the Glyderau mountains on the other. More distant can be seen the highest mountain in Wales, Snowdon. These lakes provide a good subject, particularly with the surrounding mountain backdrop and a short walk will produce several vantage points. Moel Siabod too provides the perfect vantage point, either for an aerial shot of the impressive valley or more likely the unbroken view across to Snowdon. It’s also a relatively gentle mountain to climb so requires a little less energy than most in the area.

Continuing along the A4080, passing the lakes of Llynnau Mymbyr, several abandoned barns are easily located and with a little effort can create a very effective foreground to the distant Snowdon. The Glyderau mountain range towers above the road all the way to the junction of the A498 and the A4086, the start of the ‘not-to-be-missed’ Llanberis Pass. Parking near the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel, allows access to several hiking routes which climb the Glyderau – in my view the most distinct and feature rich mountains around Snowdonia – don’t miss the rock formations of Yr Wyddfa and Castell y Gwynt on Glyder Fach, essential photography subjects. One word of warning though, this area is extremely busy during peak holidays so to capture a landscape shot devoid of people requires a very early start, alternatively winter is much quieter and the weather often more conducive to photography.