June 12, 2009 / 1:09 PM / 10 years ago

Mount Snowdon's high tables back in business

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A new visitor center has been opened at the top of Mount Snowdon in Wales on Friday, replacing an old cafe once dubbed “Britain’s highest slum” by Prince Charles.

Perched 3,500 ft up, the imposing granite building offers spectacular views from the peak of the highest mountain in England and Wales.

It was declared formally open by Rhodri Morgan, First Minister of Wales.

The old cafe was built 74 years ago and gradually became a sorry sight as the extreme weather conditions on the mountain took their toll. It eventually had to be demolished.

Construction of the new 8.5 million pound ($14 million) center took three years.

“All the materials and the labor had to be carried on the train and the train only operated in certain times of the year, between Easter and October,” said Llinos Angharad, Communications Manager at the Snowdonian National Park Authority.

“Even then the train could not (travel) every day because of high winds,” Angharad said.

Winds on Snowdon blow up to 150 miles per hour and temperatures range from minus 20 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees.

Over 350,000 people visit the area every year.

Reporting by Phakamisa Ndzamela; Editing by Steve Addison

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