Capturing Water on Camera - Dolgellau
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Capturing water on camera can never be easier than at Dolgellau; there is water everywhere in this beautiful part of South Snowdonia – from splendid waterfalls to a varied coastline and wonderful rivers. We will visit a variety of stunning falls at a variety of locations and explore the wild and wonderful coast. There are also two magnificent rivers to discover – the Mawddach and the Dyfi – thought to be the most beautiful scenery in Britain. What with waterfalls, rivers and the coast there is a fabulous variety and moods of water in all its glory to explore and discover.
Suitable for all levels of photographic experience.
- Find out how to get the best results from your own camera
- Our professional photography leader will guide and encourage you in small groups of up to 12 guests
- Daily image review sessions offer constructive feedback throughout your holiday
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- Guidance and tuition from a knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
- All transport to photography locations, via mini-coach or other mode of transport e.g. boat
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.
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (premium rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll welcome you to your holiday and introduce your leader who'll be able to chat to you about the many beautiful places we're visiting this week. Your leader hopes we'll enjoy a slideshow with some handy technical tips for photographing water in all its moods.
On our photography holidays we spend most of the day outdoors, exploring by mini-coach or on foot, walking up to 3 miles (5km) each day. Each evening your leader will hold review sessions, providing constructive feedback on your images.
River Gamlan and Rhaeadr Duu (The Black Falls)
First we visit the old stone bridge across the River Mawddach with views of Cader Idris and then starting from the village of Ganllwyd, we’ll walk up alongside the beautiful River Gamlan through an ancient wooded gorge and then up to the magnificent Rhaeadr Ddu Waterfall, taking photographs on the way. During the day we’ll explore techniques for capturing moving water in all its moods. After lunch we’ll explore the River Mawddach where its meets the River Gamlan
One of Ruskin’s quotes is that this estuary is the most scenic in Britain - and he should know! After being dropped off at Abermawddach Station, we’ll walk over Barmouth Bridge crossing the River Mawddach from where there are magnificent views up and down the estuary and out towards the sea. We finish up exploring the harbour and the beaches of lovely Barmouth. A lovely day full of photo opportunities!
Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.
Bala Lake and River Tryweryn
Today begins at Bala Lake, one of the largest in North Wales and with the amazing Aran Mountain in the distance. We’ll explore the River Tryweryn where it exits the lake and visit the White Water Centre on the Tryweryn to see if there are any brave canoeists on the river. After a tasty picnic lunch we head on to Llyn Celyn, situated below the Arenig Mountains. Here an ancient village was controversially flooded in 1957 to create this reservoir to supply water for Liverpool. We’ll take a short walk along the disused Bala Railway to view the high viaduct over the River Prysor at Blaen y Cwm on our way back to Dolserau Hall.
Off to the Seaside!
We follow the coastline north and visit the River Dwyryd at Llechollwyn, where we can see views of Portmeirion and the Moelwyn Mountains across the river. Afterwards we walk along the River Cwmnantcol Estuary and seashore, visiting an ancient church almost buried in the sand.
Cregenen Lakes and the waterfalls of Dolgoch
After a delicious breakfast we drive up to Cregenen Lakes, nestling below the slopes of the magnificent Cader Idris mountain where we take a short walk around the main lake. We’ll stop by the beautiful Tal y Llyn Lake en route to explore the River Gonolwen (Dolgoch Falls) as it flows down through a series of falls through a beautiful wooded gorge. A photographer’s paradise to round off our brilliant holiday.
This evening our leader hopes to put together a slideshow for all house guests to see the images we’ve taken during our holiday. It’s an informal but fun way to round off this brilliant holiday.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
What to bring
- Your camera and other essential accessories
- Memory card
- Battery and charger
- Your camera’s instruction manual
- Waterproof clothing and outdoor footwear, ideally walking boots
- Bag for your camera equipment, spare clothing, lunch, water, etc
- Notebook and pencil (pencils work better in the rain!)
- A laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images (whilst it’s not absolutely essential, bringing your own laptop will mean you get more from your photography holiday if you shoot digital)
Optional (remember you will have to carry some of these)
- Spare memory cards
- A spare camera battery
- A spare camera (you never know)
- A small selection of lenses: wide angle, telephoto, macro, for example filters: neutral density and graduated, polarising
- Memory stick or CD for storing images
- A tripod or monopod if you feel more comfortable with one
- Camera rain-protector—a shower cap or plastic bag, or something more expensive if you prefer
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).
Jean is a professional landscape photographer based in the Snowdonia National Park and an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. She has an MA in Fine Art Photographic Studies, has four books published to date on the rivers of North Wales and is fascinated by man’s marks left in the landscape over the centuries. Jean believes that having a passion for the subject is the way to make great images.