Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel

button-theme-evacLink to French translationbutton_lang_welshPen-y-Gwryd Hotel, Nant Gwynant

This building was erected c.1810 as a farmhouse. By the middle of that century it had become an inn, catering for the growing numbers of tourists attracted to Snowdonia. The location is at the junction of the roads from Llanberis and Beddgelert towards Betws-y-coed. Both roads were a gruelling climb for horses pulling tourist coaches, and a break at Pen-y-Gwryd was a necessity as well as a pleasure.

Pen-y-Gwryd’s location near the Snowdon massif and the Glyderau has long made it a popular base for mountaineers and climbers. In the early 1950s it was used as the base for training the mountaineers who, in 1953, became the first people to climb to the summit of Everest. A collection of memorabilia from that pioneering Everest team is displayed inside the hotel. The signatures of many mountaineers, including Edmund Hillary and Chris Bonnington, are visible on the ceiling of the bar room.

This location was important for another strategic reason in the first century AD. A camp was created here for Roman soldiers to rest as they marched through northern Snowdonia. Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel and its grounds occupy part of the camp site, as does the road junction outside.

During the Second World War the hotel accommodated 35 pupils from Lake House Preparatory School with headmaster Alan Hugh Williams and other teachers. The pupils had moved to the safety of Snowdonia after their school was commandeered by the army. Initially they were at the Royal Victoria Hotel, Llanberis. They occupied the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel from 1940 to 1943.

At the junction where the Llanberis Pass meets the Nant Gwynant Pass and close to where the Pen-y-Gwyrd Hotel stands, the Royal Artillery manned four heavily fortified pillboxes. The military hierarchy felt that the German army might invade Britain by landing on the beaches of West Wales, and Pen-y-Gwryd would have been an important strategic point to slow down or stop a German advance.

With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front museum, Llandudno

Postcode: LL55 4NT    View Location Map

Website of Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel