Llanberis (/lænˈbɛrɪs/; Welsh: [ɬanˈbɛrɪs] (About this soundlisten)) is a village, community and electoral ward in Gwynedd, northwest Wales, on the southern bank of the lake Llyn Padarn and at the foot of Snowdon,[2] the highest mountain in Wales. It is a centre for outdoor activities in Snowdonia, including walking, mountaineering, climbing, mountain biking and pony trekking, as well as water sports such as scuba diving. The community includes Nant Peris.

Llanberis from above.JPG
Llanberis seen from the bottom of Llanberis Path at the base of Snowdon
Llanberis is located in Gwynedd
Location within Gwynedd
Population2,026 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSH572602
  • Llanberis
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLL55
Dialling code01286
PoliceNorth Wales
FireNorth Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
53°07′08″N 4°07′52″W / 53.119°N 4.131°W / 53.119; -4.131Coordinates: 53°07′08″N 4°07′52″W / 53.119°N 4.131°W / 53.119; -4.131

Llanberis takes its name from Saint Peris, an early Welsh saint.[3] It is twinned with the Italian town of Morbegno in Lombardy.


Llanberris, c. 1850

The ruins of Dolbadarn Castle, which were painted by Richard Wilson and J. M. W. Turner, stand above the village. The 13th century fortress was built by Llywelyn the Great and is a grade I listed building.[4]

The church of St Padarn is grade II* listed, as is the chapel of Capel Coch.[5]

In the 18th century Llanberis was the home of the legendary strong woman Marged ferch Ifan.[6]


According to the United Kingdom Census 2011, the population of Llanberis was 1,844,[7] with 74.7% of those aged 3 years and over able to speak Welsh,[citation needed] compared to 61.6% across Anglesey according to the Annual Population Survey.[8]

Local attractionsEdit

Llanberis Station forecourt

Places of interest in and near the village include the Snowdon Mountain Railway, the National Slate Museum, the Llanberis Lake Railway, Llyn Padarn country park and Electric Mountain. Tours of Dinorwig Power Station are also available from a purpose-built visitor centre.[9]

The village is a common starting point for ascents of Snowdon along the Llanberis Path. Although it is the longest route, it is the least strenuous ascent, largely following the line of the Snowdon Mountain Railway.[10] This makes it the most popular walking route on the mountain.[11]

Dolbadarn Castle, a fortification built by the Welsh prince Llywelyn the Great during the early 13th century, is located at the base of the Llanberis Pass. The castle was important militarily and as a symbol of Llywelyn's power and authority. It features a large stone keep, which historian Richard Avent considers "the finest surviving example of a Welsh round tower".[12] In 1284 Dolbadarn was taken by Edward I of England, who removed some of its timbers to build his new castle at Caernarfon. Dolbadarn was used as a manor house for some years, before falling into ruin. In the 18th and 19th century it was a popular destination for painters interested in Sublime and Picturesque landscapes. It is now owned by Cadw and managed as a tourist attraction, and is protected as a grade I listed building.

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team deals with 150–200 incidents a year[13] and is one of the busiest mountain rescue teams in the country.[citation needed] The team is run entirely by volunteers who rely solely on donations from the public for funding.

Llanberis Mountain Film Festival, which is held in annually in February, began in 2004.[14] It was placed on hiatus in 2019 due to a lack of funding.[15]

It is the home of the Slateman Triathlon which runs in early summer each year. It attracts over 2,000 triathletes and many more spectators over two days. It is a mountain triathlon which begins in Llyn Padarn, follows on the bike up to Capel Curig, and finishes with a run in the Snowdonian mountains.[16] It is also the start and finish of the Snowdonia Marathon[17]


Llanberis Lake Railway
Cei Llydan
Gilfach Ddu
Gilfach Ddu

Bus services to Llanberis are provided by Arriva Buses Wales and Gwynfor Coaches.[18] Former operator Padarn Bus, which went into receivership in 2014, was based in the town and ran several routes to it,[19] including a number of open-top routes.[20] Another local bus company, Express Motors, based in Penygroes, ran services to Llanberis but had its bus licence revoked in 2017.[21]

The village used to be served by Llanberis railway station on a branch line of the Carnarvonshire Railway. Passenger services ceased in 1932; freight continued until closure in 1964.[22] The heritage Snowdon Mountain Railway and Llanberis Lake Railway both have stations in the town, but serve primarily as tourist attractions rather than local transport links.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ward/Community population 2011". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Llanberis" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 827.
  3. ^ Parker, Mike; Whitfield, Paul (2003). The Rough Guide To Wales. Rough Guides. p. 501.
  4. ^ Llanberis Pass, North Wales. Tate Collection.
  5. ^ "Listed Buildings in Llanberis, Gwynedd, Wales". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Marged Ferch Ifan". Cary B. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  7. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Llanberis BUA Built-up area sub division (1119885272)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Annual Population Survey estimates of persons aged 3 and over who say they can speak Welsh by local authority and measure". StatsWales. Archived from the original on 18 August 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  9. ^ Lewis, Tim (11 April 2009). "Things to do this Easter". WalesOnline.
  10. ^ Barnes, David (2005). "Caernarfonshire: Eifionydd; Llŷn; Arfon". The Companion Guide to Wales. Companion Guides. pp. 279–315. ISBN 978-1-900639-43-9.
  11. ^ Snowdonia National Park website[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Avent, Richard (2010). Dolwyddelan Castle, Dolbadarn Castle, Castel y Bere. Cardiff: Cadw. ISBN 978-1-85760-205-0.
  13. ^ "About Llanberis MRT". Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  14. ^ Crump, Eryl (11 February 2008). "Fifth film festival set for Llanberis". Daily Post. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Best Things to do in Llanberis in 2019". Walk Up Snowdon.co.uk. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  16. ^ Powell, David (9 May 2016). "Snowdonia Slateman Triathlon set to attract huge crowds to Gwynedd". Daily Post. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Snowdonia Marathon Eryri". Marathon Eryri Cyf. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Bus timetables". Gwynedd County Council. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Clark, Rhodri (July 2009). "Welsh takeover with a difference". Buses. No. 652. pp. 34–36.
  21. ^ Gedge, Antony (24 August 2017). "Two family-run companies have bus licences revoked". Cambrian News. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  22. ^ Baughan, Peter E. (1980). North and mid Wales. David & Charles. p. 105.

External linksEdit