Visiting Snowdonia

Cader Idris from Foel Caerynwch


Where Can You Go?

Most land in the Snowdonia National Park is privately owned and farmed. By showing respect and consideration for the countryside and wildlife and for the people who live and work in Snowdonia, you can help to make sure that the National Park will be here for future generations to enjoy.

Access over privately owned land is by Public Rights of Way:

Public Footpaths Logo Public footpaths
Bridleways Logo Bridleways
 Permissive Paths

You also have a legal right of access, on foot, to land which has been mapped as Open Country and Registered Common Land.

These areas are shown on Ordnance Survey Explorer OL Maps. Numbers 17, 18 and 23 cover the Park on scale 1:25,000.

Open Countryside Logo Stiles and gates leading to Open Country are signed with the brown and white logo.
Leaving Open Countryside Logo Signifies that you are leaving Open Country. Access is on rights of way only.
Foel Caerynwch Path, Dolgellau

Foel Caerynwch Path, Dolgellau (© SNPA)

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW 2000)

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW 2000) requires that the maps showing open country - mountain, moor, heath, down land and registered commons must be reviewed by Natural Resources Wales every ten years. This process started in July 2012. The second stage of the review is currently underway with the publication of the All Wales Provision Map.

Full copies of these Provisional Maps covering the Snowdonia National Park are available for the public to view in our offices in Penrhyndeudraeth. If you require further information then please contact our SNPA Access Officer Peter Rutherford. 01766 772258 – or follow the link to the Natural resources Wales website.

From time to time, areas of Open Country may be closed to the public or certain conditions may be imposed. This may be to avoid danger to the public, to benefit wildlife, or to allow farmers to carry out essential work. Details of any closures or restrictions in force are available on the Countryside Council for Wales website:

Outside Open Country, please keep to rights of way. You will minimise disturbance to farmers and their livestock, wild animals, birds and plants.

Dog Advice

Our general advice to all dog owners is to ensure that your dog is on a lead at all times when in the vicinity of livestock.

The countryside is a great place to exercise your dog but this should be done responsibly and where your dog does not become a nuisance or danger to livestock, wildlife or other people (or other dogs). It is an offence to allow your dog to attack or chase livestock under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 and a farmer may legally shoot any dog that is behaving in this way without notice or any form compensation to the owner.

There are principally two types of access provision available to the public within the National Park which have slightly differing rules on dogs. One is `access land` as designated by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW)2000 and is marked on the OS maps in a cream wash which is encompassed within a brown line. This states that you must put your dog on a lead whilst on access land between 1st March and 31st July. This is to avoid disturbance to stock – mainly sheep and cattle but other local restrictions may also apply for ground nesting birds or plant communities or certain colonies of insects (such as rare butterflies).

The second type of access to the countryside is using the Public Rights of Way network such as Public Footpaths. This legislation differs slightly in that your dog needs to be only under `close control` and not specifically on a lead. However, the same rules apply. That is - do not allow your dog to chase or attack livestock or be a nuisance to others.

Dog owners may not be aware of the particular danger that cattle potentially pose, especially when they have young calves at foot. Dogs can arouse very protective instincts in cattle and we strongly advise members of the public, when accompanied by dogs, to avoid them or give them a wide berth whenever possible. If pursued, you should immediately release the dog’s lead and concentrate on your own safety. Your dog will very likely run away only to return to you later when you have safely removed yourself from harm.

Dog mess!

Everybody knows how unpleasant this can be and it can be a source of serious infections. So never leave this where people walk, play or picnic and always clear up after your dog, get rid of it responsibly by taking it away and place it in dedicated bins. In the countryside it is an option to flick it away into long grass but make sure this is well away from any drains or watercourses and do not leave it in plastic bags on the side of footpaths or anywhere else.


To camp anywhere in the National Park, you must have the permission of the landowner or the farmer. Unfenced hill land is no exception. The National Park Authority cannot give you permission; neither can we let the public have the names and addresses of landowners.

A list of licensed camp sites, many of which are small and off the beaten track, is available from the National Park Authority.

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Header image - Morfa Harlech (© Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales)