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Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
The Ardudwy Way between the Dwyryd and the Mawddach estuaries may not be familiar to many walkers, but is a spectacular three days trail. With the rocky Rhinog ridge on one side and the coast on the other, en route to Barmouth, it has outstanding views and much wildlife and historical interest.
Located just a couple of miles away from the attractive market of Dolgellau, this town is a pleasure to explore with fascinating history surrounded in and out of the local area. Enjoy highly scenic journeys on old traditional trains through Snowdonia, or explore the area on foot.
Our bedrooms are either located in the main building or the tastefully converted coach house.
Choose your room
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• 23 inch TV
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Double or two single beds
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Same facilities as our classic rooms plus...
• Check in from 1pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Larger beds
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Ultradown pillows
• Smalls drying rack
• Small welcome gift
• Luxury tea tray
• Enhanced toiletries
• Available from an extra £15 per person per night
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Lounge bar
• Dining room
• Free WiFi in public rooms
|• Range of board games and books
• Attractive gardens
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Day 1: Arrival Day
Day 2: Llandecwyn to Harlech
From Llandecwyn on the Dwyryd estuary we head to Llyn Decwyn Uchaf, the upper lake. From our first viewpoint we get a glimpse of Harlech Castle, then from a small church we get ‘the best views in Wales’, before decending to Llyn Decwyn Isaf, the lower lake. Walking /hiking in wild open country we reach our highest point of the day; the ancient burial cairn of Bryn Cader Faner. We continue with views of the Dwyryd Estuary and Portmeirion, (The Italian style village designed by Clough Williams-Ellis). With Criccieth Castle and Porthmadog before us we walk towards Harlech with perhaps time to visit the castle. Distance: 12 miles (19km) with 1,900 feet (570m) of ascent.
Day 3: Harlech to Tal y Bont
From Harlech we continue south on a challenging path to the River Artro. We cross the Cwmnantcol valley with a super viewpoint above the coastline. We can see Shell Island with some of the highest sand dunes in the UK. We contour the lower slopes of Moelfre and the Rhinog ridge looms in front of us. In the middle of nowhere lies the 16th century stone bridge of Pont Scethin, which carried the mail coaches across the river on their way to Harlech from London. We pass Llyn Erddyn and then down from Pont Fadog with its ancient stone bridge and tree lined valley to Tal y Bont. Distance: 13 miles (21km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.
Day 4: Tal y Bont to Barmouth
From Tal y Bont we ascend the valley to Pont Fadog and up to Bwlch y Rhiwgyr, our highest point of the whole walk at 1,500 feet (450m). Going down towards Cerrig Arthur (Arthur's Stones), we get superb views of the wide Mawddach Estuary and Cader Idris ahead. We can glimpse the Llyn Peninsula in the distance, with the island of Bardsey at its tip (where it is said there are 20,000 saints buried). As we zigzag our way down, a panoramic view of our destination, the seaside town of Barmouth, lies below us. Distance: 8 miles (13km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors
During your stay at Dolserau Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Snowdonia:
This narrow guage railway was the first in the world to be taken over and run by volunteers. The line runs from the coast at Tywyn to the former slate quarries at Nant Gwernol. Historic locomotives and carriages, some dating back to the line's opening in 1864 add to the unique atmosphere. The nearest station is at Abergynolwyn, about 25 minutes' drive from Dolserau Hall. www.talyllyn.co.uk
Great Little Trains of Wales
Snowdonia is noted for its concentration of narrow guage steam railways, all of which offer highly scenic journeys. The Ffestiniog Railway, Vale of Rheidol and the Welshpool & Llanfair railways are all within reach. You may also want to experience the newly rebuilt Welsh Highland Railway which runs from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. www.greatlittletrainsofwales.co.uk
Built by King Edward I after his conquest of Wales, Harlech Castle is one of the most historically important and well preserved fortifications in the principality. Along with neighbouring castles at Caernarfon, Beaumaris and Conwy it now has World Heritage status. Around 45 minutes' drive from Dolserau Hall. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk
Centre for Alternative Technology
Situated near Machynlleth, around 20 minutes' from Dolserau Hall, the Centre for Alternative Technology is at the forefront of researching and teaching sustainable living. Displays focus on green technology, energy efficiency and organic farming. www.cat.org.uk
The nearby RSPB reserves at Arthog Bog, Coed Garth Gell and Ynis-hir offer a wide variety of habitats including oak woodland, heathland and salt-marsh that attracts an equally diverse range of birds.
This quaint Italianate village was the brainchild of the architect Clough Williams-Ellis. It is also well-known as the setting for the cult 1960’s TV series The Prisoner. Portmeirion is around 35 minutes' drive from Dolserau Hall. www.portmeirion-village.com
Harlech Castle image © Crown copyright (2016) Welsh Government
Travel to Dolgellau
Our address is: Dolserau Hall, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 2AG
The most convenient railway station is at Machynlleth. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The 16 mile journey from Machynlleth railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £30 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Dolserau Hall Manager.
From Machynlleth take the X32 bus to Dolgellau. The 2 mile journey to Dolserau Hall from Dolgellau can be completed in a taxi. Alternatively alight at Dolgellau Little Chef, from where it is a 1 mile walk along a quiet country lane to the hotel. For bus times see www.traveline.info
From the north travel via Chester then the A550, A5104, then finally the A494 to Bala. Stay on the A494 heading towards Dolgellau. A mile after the junction for the B4416 to Brithdir, take the next turning on the left, after the campsite. Follow the country lane for ½ mile to Dolserau Hall.
From the south travel via Shrewsbury and the A458 to Welshpool. Continue on the A458 and after a further 27 miles turn right at a roundabout onto the A470 towards Dolgellau. Look out for the garage and Little Chef on the right as you come down the hill before Dolgellau. Turn right immediately before the garage and drive along a country lane for approx 1 mile to Dolserau Hall.
Travelling from overseas
Birmingham Airport has the quickest onward connections to Machynlleth. Direct trains from Birmingham International station take 2 hours 35 minutes. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Manchester Airport has a better range of long-haul flights. Trains from here take around 3½ hours with changes at Crewe and Shrewsbury. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 5½ hours to reach Machynlleth by train. You'll need to head to Euston station in the centre of London. Take a train from here to Birmingham, then change for the onward connection to Machynlleth. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
In each case complete your journey from Machynlleth to Dolgellau by taxi or bus (see above).
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Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £15 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person
We like to reward early bookers with our best rooms so book early to avoid disappointment.
Please note that we aren't able to take room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them.