Living in Snowdonia
"Seek to foster the economic and social well being of local communities within the National Park"
The Snowdonia National Park covers 823 square miles and stretches from Cardigan Bay in the west to Bala in the east and from the River Dyfi in the south to Conwy in the north. Within the Park boundaries, there are 24 small villages and 43 towns of which Bala and Dolgellau are the two principal centers. These towns serve as a centre for the local residents to carry out their daily shopping tasks and access public services. Because of the area’s geography, the towns and villages within the National Park are scattered far and wide with some of the villages having no service facilities at all.
Dolgellau (© SNPA)
From round houses to castles, Neolithic chambers to burial sites, people have made their mark on Snowdonia’s landscape for thousands of years and it is now part of our heritage. The Welsh culture is very strong in Snowdonia with around 62% of the population speaking Welsh. Our cultural heritage is thriving with local eisteddfodau, societies and Welsh literature groups contributing to the success and keeping alive the Welsh traditions. This is an integral part of the National Park’s purpose.
Snowdonia’s archaeological finds can be seen at a number of museums with copies of the most important discoveries on display at Plas Tan y Bwlch. These include the Trawsfynydd Tankard, discovered buried in peat in the early nineteenth century. It dates back to the Late Iron Age. Our Archaeology Officer is busy unveiling more of our archaeological history with recent digs at Abergwyngregyn revealing round houses from the Iron Age.
Snowdonia’s towns and villages are living places where changes have occurred over many years making them unique settlements. Many are situated within areas of conservation with some of the buildings protected because of their architecture and historical importance.
Maen y Bardd, Rowen (© Kevin Richardson)