Easy Snowdonia Photography Locations (All “Park & Shoot”)

Our photographer recommends the best “zero hiking” Snowdonia photography locations.
By David Griffiths – subscribe to David’s YouTube channel

In a previous article about my love of landscape photography in Snowdonia, North Wales, I made a point about the region’s compact size and accessibility.

Even many of the classic, more obscure locations can be reached with a short car journey, albeit some will also require an arduous climb.

So, it’s easy to assume that all Snowdonia’s finest locations involve challenging hikes. Not so…

It’s fair to say that you’ll get the most of the region by exploring the remote areas. However, those who are less mobile can still enjoy some of the finest Snowdonia landscape photography locations within a few yards of a parking spot.

Spectacular Landscape Locations Along 12 Miles of Road

On my YouTube channel I publish a series of videos which I call “Park & Shoot”. I set a notional criterion of requiring no more than an easy walk, a maximum of 50m from your parked car.

These videos have proven to be extremely popular, not only with those whose mobility is challenged, but also landscape photographers who have limited time or are just passing through the region.

So, allow me to share some of the very best of my Park & Shoot landscape photography locations, all in 12 miles. If ever there was a handy “introduction to Snowdonia” for the landscape photographer, this is it.

Early morning winter light on Snowdon, from the roadside

Start With Breakfast at Capel Curig

Perhaps set out after a hearty breakfast at a hikers’ favourite pit-stop, Caffi Siabod. In addition to the excellent food, there’s also the superb “Soul of Snowdonia” gallery of printed images from a local landscape photography collective. This will put you in the mood for the day’s shooting!

Leaving the café head north to the junction in Capel and take a left onto the A4086 signposted for Beddgelert / Llanberis.

Sunset over the Snowdon horseshoe from Llynnau Mymbyr

Llynnau Mymbyr – Lakes, a Causeway, Forests and a Mountain

This Llynnau Mymbyr location consists of a pair of small lakes separated by a narrow causeway. It is backed by pine forests under the shadow of Moel Siabod, a mountain which dominates this part of the region.

The lakes are well-known as an early-morning location when dawn light is projected down the valley onto the famous Snowdon horseshoe. It’s also a dramatic evening location with the sunset behind the iconic mountain skyline.

Parking is in a substantial layby alongside the lakes, just a few yards from the shore.

Another Restaurant and the Nant Cynnyd Viewpoint

Heading towards the Horseshoe, after about 3 or 4 miles you will come upon the historic Pen y Gwryd Hotel. In the early 1950s, this is where Sir Edmund Hillary’s group based themselves for mountain training for their successful Mount Everest summit. The hotel is highly recommended for excellent food and drink!

Ignore the turn to your right  and carry on towards Beddgelert on the A498. After about a mile, you will see a large parking area on the right with panoramic views from the top of the valley.

Set up here for fabulous layered images across Llyn Gwynant all the way down to Moel Hebog. And if there is no low cloud cover, you’ll find that you’re right underneath the Snowdon horseshoe. That gives you fabulous views up to its summit. You also have great angles of the surrounding ridges of Crib Goch and Y Lliwedd.

Morning light layers of Nant Gwynant from the Nant Cynnyd viewpoint

Rugged Rocky Landscapes at Llyn Gwynant

Continue down the valley and you’ll find that the road runs alongside the lake you had been photographing from the previous viewpoint. There are various pull-ins along the lake shore.

The backdrop to this lake is the flank of the Snowdon massif, and looks across to the south-west of the lower reaches of the Watkin Path. These areas are quite rugged and rocky, providing for dramatic imagery when conditions are favourable.

Morning mist on Llyn Gwynant, from the roadside

Llyn Dinas Gives You Lakes, Boat Houses and Woodland

Another couple of miles down the valley on the road to Beddgelert, you’ll find the slightly smaller lake of Llyn Dinas on the left side.

This lake has a slightly softer characteristics than those of Llyn Gwynant, with deciduous woodland on one side and traditional boat houses along the shore.

You also have the opportunity of photographing the river of Afon Glaslyn, with mountain streams, waterfalls and cascades which run into the lake.

Perhaps this location slightly stretches the definition of Park & Shoot. To get the best from it you will have to walk two to three hundred metres. But it’s all on flat gravel paths with very easy access.

Autumn reflections and the boat sheds at Llyn Dinas

Make the Mountain Village of Beddgelert Your Final Destination

By now, you’re likely hungry again so it’s worth ending your photography trip at this delightful mountain village. It offers a wide choice of hostelries and cafés to enjoy.

But your landscape photography day isn’t quite over yet. The rivers running through the village under steep mountain backdrops with traditional stone bridges will provide at least one or two additional images!

I hope this has whetted your appetite for an easy form of photography, requiring no long-distance hiking or lugging heavy equipment bags.

There are many more Park & Shoot locations discussed on my YouTube channel and website. Keep an eye out for new locations in the future.

David Griffiths

David has been a creative landscape photographer for over 40 years. He lives and works on the island of Anglesey in Wales, with the high ridges of Snowdonia on his doorstep.

David is an experienced hill-walker and wild-camper, which combined with an encyclopaedic knowledge of his locality, often puts him in the most spectacular locations when the light is just perfect to capture the scene.

He has been fortunate enough to travel the globe and now focuses on the virtually unknown landscape photography locations of north Wales. His photography reflects the ever-changing light, weather, tides and seasons of this spectacular region.

David is an advocate of lightweight equipment to facilitate his hiking, camping and photography passion. As a mountain and coastal guide to this region, he's among the best. He’s never happier than when he's guiding and coaching photographers to make the most of his region!

David also takes you along on many of his location shoots through his weekly landscape photography vlogs on YouTube at D Griff Gallery.

David Griffiths


David has been a creative landscape photographer for over 40 years. He lives and works on the island of Anglesey in Wales, with the high ridges of Snowdonia on his doorstep.

David is an experienced hill-walker and wild-camper, which combined with an encyclopaedic knowledge of his locality, often puts him in the most spectacular locations when the light is just perfect to capture the scene.

He has been fortunate enough to travel the globe and now focuses on the virtually unknown landscape photography locations of north Wales. His photography reflects the ever-changing light, weather, tides and seasons of this spectacular region.

David is an advocate of lightweight equipment to facilitate his hiking, camping and photography passion. As a mountain and coastal guide to this region, he's among the best. He’s never happier than when he's guiding and coaching photographers to make the most of his region!

David also takes you along on many of his location shoots through his weekly landscape photography vlogs on YouTube at D Griff Gallery.

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