A view of the Mawddach Estuary on a clear spring day with woodland lining the shores.
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Yr Wyddfa is the Welsh-language name for Snowdon. Welsh names may seem tricky to pronounce at first, but breaking the words down to smaller, more manageable pieces can make things a lot easier.

Graphic showing how to pronounce Yr Wyddfa

How to pronounce Yr Wyddfa, Snowdon’s Welsh name

To break it down, here is a guide on how to pronounce Yr Wyddfa:

  • “Yr” is pronounced “Uhr
  • “Wydd” is pronounced “With”
  • “Fa” is pronounced, “Va.”

Pronouncing Welsh names can be a tricky task to master if you’re new or unfamiliar with the language. However, giving it a go is always better than worrying too much about the perfect pronunciation. Welsh is spoken by 58% of Eryri’s population and it’s highly likely that you will come across the language somewhere in the National Park. Asking a Welsh-language speaker for pronunciation tips can be a great start.

Graphic with white text on blue background saying 'Rhita's Tomb'.

What does ‘Yr Wyddfa’ mean?

Welsh place names are often steeped in mythology and folklore and Yr Wyddfa is no different. Legend has it that Yr Wyddfa is the final resting place of Rhita Gawr.

Rhita Gawr was a fearsome giant who wore a cloak made of men’s beards. He challenged King Arthur to combat, but Arthur defeated him and cut off his head. According to legend, the cairn on the summit of Yr Wyddfa marks the final resting place of Rhita Gawr’s head. Yr Wyddfa roughly translates to ‘tomb’ or ‘cairn’.

Protecting Welsh-language place names

The Welsh language is one of the many qualities that make Eryri special and it’s a language that is spoken daily in many communities across the National Park.

Welsh-language place names often hold significant cultural and historical meanings. They tell stories about Eryri and connect the present day with the people who lived in the area centuries ago.

In 2022, Eryri’s National Park Authority decided to only use ‘Yr Wyddfa’ when referring to Wales’ highest summit—protecting the name for future generations.

Discover Eryri’s place names
Snowdonia National Park Authority