7 NIght Southern Snowdonia Members’ Guided Walking Break

Barmouth Wales (UK) Looking towards Cadair Idris
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Member breaks
Walking Grade: 2, 3 & 5

Steeped in history, the landscapes of southern Snowdonia are one of Britain’s best-kept secrets. Discover soul-stirring solitude and spectacular mountain scenery as you explore the biggest national park in Wales with this exclusive members-only break.

What you’ll love

  • Discover the sweeping valleys and rocky peaks of Snowdonia (Eryri) National Park
  • Guided walks led by an experienced HF Holidays Leader
  • Admire incredible mountain scenery
  • Look out for wildlife and learn about Welsh history
  • Enjoy a relaxed walking pace with like-minded people

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house 
  • Cream tea on arrival day 
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning 
  • Daily packed lunches 
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee 
  • Guided walking with experienced HF Holidays Leaders 
  • Choice of up to three different-grade daily walks
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary 
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently 
  • Discount on your bar bill (UK country houses only) 

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Wnion Valley & Roman Road

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)  

Total ascent: 900 feet (260m)

In summary: Our walk climbs the lower slopes of the Wnion valley through farmland to the track of a Roman road with extensive views of the mountains of southern Snowdonia (Eryri). Crossing two ancient bridges, believed to be Roman, we reach the hamlet of Brithdir. Leaving Brithdir, we visit the Art Nouveau church of St. Marks and then descend the iconic Torrent Walk to return to the house.

Highlight: Nearly 3km of the walk is easy going on the track of a Roman road, with stunning views of the Cadair Idris and Rhinogydd ranges.

Option 2 - Rhobell Fawr Foothills

Distance: 8.5 miles (14 km)

Ascent: 1350 feet (420m)

In summary: This is a varied route in the remoter parts of southern Snowdonia (Eryri). We ascend through farmland then a forest to the slopes of Rhobell Fawr. We then follow a track through rugged, rocky terrain, with streams and sometime waterfalls, visiting a disused slate quarry.  There are far reaching views throughout.  The descent is gradual, eventually walking beside the Wnion river to return to the House.

Highlight: Wild and rugged scenery, with stunning views, away from the crowds, and always reasonable gradients.

Option 3 - Rhobell Fawr

Distance: 10.5 miles (17½km)

Total ascent: 2,300 feet (700m)

In summary: Ascend steeply to the local summit of Rhobell Fawr. Descending to the southwest, with great views of Coed y Brenin forest, we follow an old drovers’ road then walk back through park land to Dolserau Hall.

Highlight: Rhobell Fawr is another outstanding viewpoint, with a sweeping panorama across all the peaks of north Wales.


Option 1 - Castell-y-Bere & Abergynolwyn

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Total ascent: 1000 feet (300m)

In summary: Walk to Castell y Bere, a 13th century castle - the last stronghold of the Welsh Princes, and Mary Jones’ chapel, before the Dysynni valley takes us to Abergynolwyn village.

Highlight: The views from the Dysynni Valley and Castell-y-Bere are stunning.

Option 2 - Minffordd Path to Cader Idris

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 3,125 feet (950m)

In summary: A classic mountain day. From the car park we follow the Minffordd Path up through woods and into an impressive corrie.  After pausing at the lake, we climb to the ridge and follow it to the summit of Cadair Idris. We retrace our steps back down to Craig Cwm Amarch, and then continue our descent to Tal y Llyn.

Highlights: Wild mountain scenery, a beautiful corrie lake, superb views of Eryri (Snowdonia) from summit ridge.

To note when choosing your walk: This walk has significant ascent and descent over rough terrain.

Option 3 - Cader Idris Ridge

Distance: 8½ miles (13½km)

Total ascent: 3,150 feet (960m)

In summary: Ascend to the top of Cader Idris via the Minffordd path. This outstanding mountain walk continues along this wonderful ridge, taking in two more summits, before descending gradually to Dolgellau.

Highlight: A fabulous ridge walk atop one of Britain's most loved mountains, with great views down the Mawddach Estuary to the sea.


Discover more about Dolserau Hall and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day.


Option 1 - The Old Precipice Walk

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 1,150 ft (360m)

In summary: We walk up through a former medieval deer park to the Precipice walk, visiting Llyn Cynwch, to a viewpoint overlooking the upper Mawddach valley, returning to the House by farm track and quiet lanes

Highlight: Historic medieval deer park, historic mansion, stunning views of south Snowdonia (Eryri)

Option 2 - Foel Offrwm and The Old Precipice Walk

Distance: 9 miles (15 km)

Ascent: 2,000 ft (620m)

In summaryWe walk up through a former medieval deer park, then ascend to the summit of Foel Offrwm (Hill of Sacrifice). Retracing our steps, we descend to the Old Precipice Walk, perched high above the Afon Mawddach before returning to the House by farm track and quiet lanes.

Highlight: Historic medieval deerpark, historic mansion, iron age fort, stunning views of south Snowdonia (Eryri).

Option 3 - Waun Oer

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Ascent: 1,900 feet (580m)

In summaryWe explore the seldom visited Dyfi Hills at the southern extremity of the Snowdonia (Eryri) National Park. Leaving our transport at the top of a pass, we climb up to the ridge, passing through a remote abandoned slate quarry to the summits of Waun Oer and Mynydd Ceiswyn.  Descending from the ridge we stop at a rocky knoll giving superb views of Cadair Idris and the Tal y Llyn valley before continuing our descent through a SSSI noted for its orchids, and the Torrent Walk back to the house.

Highlight: Exploring the less visited  wilds of Eryri (Snowdonia), stunning views of Cader Idris, the Dyfi Hills and Dyfi Forest, and (in season) possibly finding orchids.


Option 1 - Along the Coast to Harlech

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)

Total ascent: 900 feet (280m)

In summary: Follow the coast from Llanbedr to Harlech. Our walk takes in the delightful beach at Llandanwg, and the rolling hills above the coast.

Highlight: Visit Harlech Castle which commands a wonderful position overlooking the sweeping sands of Cardigan Bay with the mountains of Snowdonia (Eryri) behind.

Option 2 - Bryn Cader Faner

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 1,700 feet (520m)

In summary: Walk on the lower slopes of the Rhinogs above the Ardudwy coast. Our walk passes a beautiful lake, and an ancient stone circle before we descend gradually to Harlech.

Highlight: There are great views along the coast, and of Harlech castle on the final leg.

Option 3 - Rhinog Fawr

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Total ascent: 1,850 feet (560m)

In summary: Don't be misled by the ascent - this is a tough walk in the wild and rugged Rhinog mountains. We ascend over rough, rocky terrain, which is difficult underfoot, to Rhinog Fawr. We then continue along a grassy ridge with great coastal views ahead.

Highlight: The Rhinogs are one of Snowdonia's (Eryri's) lesser-known gems, with rugged shapely peaks and fabulous sea views.


Option 1 - Llyn Tegid & Craig yr Allor

Distance: 6½ miles (11km)

Ascent: 1250 feet (380m)

In summary: A gradual ascent from south of Bala through woodland and on field paths taking us east of the Lake to Craig yr Allor.  Enjoy great views before returning to finish in Bala.

Highlight: Impressive views over the largest natural lake in Wales and a visit to the historic town of Bala. 

Option 2 - Arenig Fawr

Distance: 8½ miles (14km)

Ascent: 2000 feet (600m)

In summary:  From near Llyn Celyn, we ascend gradually to the llyn then follow a delightful curving ridge, sometimes rocky, up to the summit.  The descent is never too steep then we follow a track and minor road passing the disused Arenig quarry to finish beside the lake. 

Highlight: Arenig Fawr is a fine mountain rising above miles of wild heather moorland.  Being so remote, it is largely ignored by the crowds, but deserves to be better known.

Option 3 - Aran Fawddwy & Benllyn

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Ascent: 2950 feet (900m)

In summary: A big day out, starting midway between Dolgellau and Bala, we ascend to the Aran Ridge, in part grassy, in part rocky, but always with stunning views.  We take in the summits of Aran Fawddwy and Benllyn, before descending, with views of Bala lake, to Llanuwchllyn village.

Highlight: A big mountain day on the mighty Aran ridge and the highest peak of Southern Snowdonia (Eryri).


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Dolserau Hall

Arresting countryside views dominate at this characterful Victorian manor house at the southern end of Snowdonia (Eryri) National Park. The location is idyllic; think ancient woods and craggy uplands in all directions (parts of the park served as the inspiration for Middle Earth in JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings). There’s no shortage of things to do, either, including following the Mawddach Trail along the edge of the Mawddach Estuary, discovering the compact range of hills known as the Rhinogs, and climbing the rugged foothills of Cader Idris – the highest mountain in southern Snowdonia (Eryri) at 893 metres. You’ll also be close to Dolgellau, the small market town best known for its once flourishing woollen industry (ruins of the Pandy fulling mills used to remove fats and grease from the wool cloth can still be seen along the Afon Aran River). 

 

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Dolserau Hall has 23 well-appointed guest rooms available in two categories: Classic and Premium.  

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

We love: The rooms in the main house or converted coach house. Some come with standout views of Snowdonia (Eryri) National Park.  

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out 
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Dolserau Hall

10666_0048 - Dolserau Hall - Exterior

Getting to Dolserau Hall

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Address

Dolserau Hall
Dolgellau
Gwynedd LL40 2AG

Tel: +44 (0)1341 422522

By train

The nearest station is Machynlleth.  

For train times and to plan your route check National Rail. 

By taxi

The 16-mile journey from Machynlleth railway station takes about 30 minutes.

For pricing, please contact Cader Cabs* and Mach Taxis* directly.

Cader Cabs

A local, 24/7 firm, who can provide transport from nearby train stations and bus stops. No pre-booking is required.

Tel: +44 (0)7766 983 103

Email: info@cadercabs.co.uk

Mach Taxis

We recommend pre-booking your taxi at least seven days in advance.

Tel: +44 (0)1654 702048

Email: taxi@machtaxis.com

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Dolserau Hall.

*Cader Cabs and Mach Taxis are not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

By bus

From Machynlleth take the T2 bus to Dolgellau. You can complete the two-mile journey to Dolserau Hall by taxi. Or if you alight at Dolgellau Starbucks, it’s a one-mile walk along a quiet country lane to the house.

By car

It takes about 90 minutes to drive from the M56 at Chester or the M54 at Telford to Dolserau Hall. 

From the north  
Head to Chester, then take the M53 and A55 to join the A550, followed by the A5104 for about 20 miles, then finally the A494 signposted to Bala.  
 
Stay on the A494 through Bala heading towards Dolgellau. A mile after going past a junction for the B4416 to Brithdir, take the next turning on the left to follow the country lane for half a mile to Dolserau Hall.  

From the south 
Take the M54 and A5 to Shrewsbury to join the A458 towards Welshpool. Continue on the A458 through Welshpool and after 27 miles turn right at a roundabout onto the A470 towards Dolgellau. As you come down a steep hill before Dolgellau, look out for a petrol station on the right. Take a right turn immediately before it, then you’ll find Dolserau Hall is about one mile along this country lane on your left. 

By air

The nearest airport is Manchester Airport. 
 
You’ll need to allow around five hours, firstly taking the train to Chester, changing to the Sapphire bus to Wrexham, and from there taking the T3 bus to Dolgellau.

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Spotting scope and/or binoculars 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  

Recommended  

  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Dolserau Hall Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Member breaks
Walking Grade:
2, 3 & 5

Call to Enquire

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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