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Snowdon's summit cafe celebrates 10 years

Credit: CAMERA DRONE UK

Snowdon's summit cafe and shop is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Tickets for trips to the summit yesterday sold out in advance as long queues of hundreds of visitors came to enjoy the record Easter temperatures.

Hafod Eryri, which loosely translates as 'high summer dwelling on Snowdon', opened in June 2009 by then-First-Minister Rhodri Morgan.

Credit: CAMERA DRONE UK

It replaced the ageing building once dubbed the 'highest slum in Wales' by Prince Charles, that had stood there since 1935.

At 3,507ft above sea level it is Wales' highest inhabited building and the last stop on the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

It offers shelter, refreshments and views to around half-a-million visitors a year.

There's always a sense of real excitement as we reopen the summit building for the summer season on Snowdon, but this 10th anniversary year feels even more special.

It's testament to the work of the team who built Hafod Eryri that it still looks as good and stands as proud as it did when it opened a decade ago.

– Vince Hughes, Snowdon Mountain Railway's Commercial Manager
Prince Charles once labelled the old building the Credit: ITV News
1820
Believed to be the year the first structures were built on Snowdon.
1896
Snowdon Mountain Railway has run uninterrupted since 1896.

Designed by architect Ray Hole, the structure was designed to withstand the extreme mountain weather conditions.

The building is clad in oak and granite, with panoramic windows revealing views across the valleys below. The Isle-of-Man and Ireland are visible on a clear day from the iconic spot.

Hafod Eryri was part of a more than £8 million project, with half the money funded by the European Union. It opened a year later than planned after harsh weather conditions delayed construction.

It is estimated that hundreds of building days were lost to bad weather before the project was completed. Credit: ITV Wales

The original concrete building was built by Clough Williams-Ellis who created nearby Portmeirion. However, it was not the first building on the summit and it’s thought there was a building there from 1820.

With the exception of two World Wars, Snowdon Mountain Railway has run uninterrupted since 1896.

During World War Two, the building was taken over by the UK Government to develop radar and radio work. It has even been used to help mountain rescue teams working on Mount Snowdon.