Birdwatching - Snowdonia's Autumn Birds

Wales

Code: DGWBW

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Free WiFi
  • High Mountains
  • Wildlife

Holiday overview

Look for migrant and non-migrant species amongst the myriad of habitats of southern Snowdonia, including riverbanks, oak woodland, meadow, bog, estuary and saltmarsh. We'll explore the Ynys-hir reserve in search of waders, spot riverine species along the Mawddach Estuary and soak up the rich diversity of birdlife in the Maentwrog woodlands. During the course of each day we'll walk up to 3 miles (5km).

Holiday highlights:

  • Walk up to 3 miles each day seeking out a variety of species
  • Flexible itineraries to take advantage of prevailing weather conditions and current sightings
  • Experienced and knowledgeable leader

Great reasons to join us:

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, guidance from an expert leader, transport and entrance fees where applicable
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the sociable atmosphere of our holidays; eat together, relax together and enjoy days out together
  • Expert leaders: our leaders are experts in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
  • Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at all our Country Houses

In pictures...

Accommodation

HF Holidays' Dolserau Hotel Hall in Southern Snowdonia

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.

Our bedrooms are either located in the main building or the tastefully converted coach house.

Choose your room

Classic Rooms
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• TV
• Hairdryer
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
Premium Rooms
• Check-in from 1:30pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe Complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms 
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night

Facilities

• Excellent boot and drying rooms 
• Lounge bar 
• Bistro
• Dining room 
• Free WiFi in public rooms
• Range of board games and books
• Attractive gardens

Dining

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.
 Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

An example of Dolgellau breakfast meal

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the bar


Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.

All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.

Accessibility

More details on Dolgellau accessibility

Itinerary

Saturday: Arrival day 
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.

Sunday: On our first day we’ll explore the oak woodland surrounding Dolgellau. Through these woods we’ll have chances to spot deciduous species such as nuthatches, treecreepers and woodpeckers. We’ll then head for the Mawddach Estuary and the RSPB reserve of Arthog Bog were herons, dippers and redpoll are on our list. 

Monday: Today we will focus on the Rhinogydd hills in search of upland bird species such as Merlins. They share the territory with Peregrine Falcons, Hen Harriers and Kestrels. Interestingly, the heath is home to small populations of increasingly rare Black and Red Grouse. A herd of feral goats also inhabit the area and are often spotted meandering across the less accessible parts of the range.

Tuesday: We will start our third day at the Abercorris Nature Reserve, looking for freshwater species such as kingfishers, dippers and grey wagtails. We will then head to the coniferous forest of Dyfnant, where the goshawk resides amongst other species. We will finish the day at the fantastic bird hide at RSPB Lake Vyrnwy were close views of Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Siskins can provide great photography opportunities.

Wednesday: Today we will head North towards the woodland of Coedydd Maentwrog and the water of Llyn Mair where we hope to spot the Yellow Wagtail amongst others. We will the head to the marshes of Glaslyn to look for waders and waterfowl such as Curlew, Redshank and Teal.

Thursday: Will conclude this holiday with one of the very best reserves in the area – RSPB Ynys-Hir. With a great mixture of woodland, marshland and estuary, Ynys-Hir offers great chances of seeing species such as Barnacle Geese, Stonechat and potentially White-Fronted Geese. Golden Plover may also be spotted amongst the lapwings.

Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast

What to bring

  • Outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs
  • Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread is essential
  • A telescope (if you have one) and binoculars (essential)
  • Thermos flask (optional)
  • Bird guide (optional) - Collins Nature Guides: Birds of Britain and Europe (small) or Readers Digest: The Book of British Birds (large)

Local area

Discover Snowdonia

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:

Talyllyn Railway
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

Red steam locomotive on the Ffestiniog railwayGreat 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

 

Impressive entrance to Harlech CastleHarlech Castle
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

RSPB Reserves
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.

Coloured houses at PortmeironPortmeirion
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

Travel to Dolgellau

Our address is: Dolserau Hall, Dolgellau, Gwynedd  LL40 2AG

How to get to us by train

By train:

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).

Get to us by Taxi

By taxi:

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.

Bus

By bus:

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

Driving to us

By car:

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.

 Travel by plane

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).

Leaders

Russell Hedley

Russell is an experienced nature tour guide and has a great passion for all sorts of wildlife. After studying Animal Conservation at University, he was keen to offer relaxed and informative outdoor experiences that would bring people closer to the natural world. Following work as an Education Officer and Head of Education at a local animal centre and Blackpool Zoo, he now works in and around the North West running nature tours in a wide range of habitats, each with a unique cast of characters to enjoy.

Reviews

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

Information

  • Premium single room: £15 per night
  • Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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