This path was named after Sir Edward Watkin, Liberal Member of Parliament and railway entrepreneur who retired to a chalet in Cwm Llan on the foothills of Snowdon.
A track to the South Snowdon Slate Quarry through Cwm Llan already existed, so to enable visitors to walk all the way up Snowdon, Edward Watkin created a path from the quarry to the summit. This was the first designated footpath in Britain, and the first step towards opening the countryside to walkers. The path was officially opened in 1892 by the Prime Minister William Gladstone, who was 83 years old at the time. He addressed a crowd of over 2000 people from a rock on the side of the path, which is known today as the Gladstone Rock.
This is thought to be one of the most hard going walking paths up Snowdon, as it starts only a little above sea level. The path starts off wide and quite even, but becomes rocky towards the second half, and then crosses loose scree.
Book recommendations for this region:
Recommended maps for this region: