Published 22 October 2014

Steam train and a diesel about to pass

Llanberis had the feeling of a place of faded fortunes. Several of the shops on the high street were empty, and the colours on many of the “gaily” painted buildings were looking distinctly faded. The dusty windows on the Prince of Wales pub gave the impression that it had been closed for several years, despite it being firmly open for business. All this from a place which sees hundreds of thousands of people descend on it ever year.

Of course those people don’t come for Llanberis itself, but for the sizeable object which sits nearby. Snowdon: the highest mountain in Wales, and the joint third highest mountain in the whole of the UK. It’s also one of the most accessible. Scores of people head up on foot, and even more take the easier route to the summit via the mountain railway. It seems that what they don’t do, is head down Llanberis’s high street and spend huge amounts of cash in the local shops.

One place on the high street was bustling though. Pete’s Eats is an institution with walkers and climbers as purveyors of large mugs of tea and enormous chewy flapjacks, amongst other things. Painted in a rather intense shade of blue, it was the perfect place to meet the minicab that would take us up to Pen-y-Pass so we could join the merry throng in a quest to reach the very top of Wales.

Mike storms on