Under 18s GO FREE

Southern Snowdonia Family Walking Adventure

Two hikers walking on Snowdonia, Wales, UK
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade: 1, 2, 3 & 5

Children Aged 5 and Under Go FREE! Tucked away from the honeypot hotspots to the north, there's something for everyone in southern Snowdonia; the rolling green hills of the lowlands to conquering the high peaks of Cadair Idris, the Rhinogs and the Arans. Dolserau Hall sits in Dolgellau within the National Park and boasts spectacular views from every room. Snowdonia has all the ingredients for a great family holiday. Active teenagers will love the high mountains, while the whole family will love the coastal walks that end on the glorious sandy beach at Barmouth, or the iconic Harlech Castle.

Holiday Highlights

  • Choice of up to 3 walks per day
  • Discover the wild Welsh hillsides alive with legends of giants, monsters and heroes
  • Visit Barmouth Beach
  • Explore waterfalls & a goldmine
  • Conquer Cadair Idris
  • Discover the great little trains of Wales

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.

Arrive at Dolserau Hall

Option 1 - Option 1: Talyllyn Railway

The walk in a nutshell: Explore the area around Abergynolwyn, before taking a ride on the Talyllyn railway, a historic narrow-gauge railway set in beautiful Welsh scenery.

Don’t miss: The Talyllyn railway was the first preserved line in Britain, and was the inspiration for the Skarloey Railway in the Thomas the Tank Engine books.

Distance: 5 miles (8km) Total ascent: 1,000 feet (320m)

Option 2 - Option 2: Bird Rock

The walk in a nutshell: Burn off some energy: a more challenging walk around the Abergynolwyn area taking in the impressive outcrop of Bird Rock.

Don’t miss: Admire the views down to the sea from the top of Bird Rock. Our day concludes with a ride on the Talyllyn Railway.

Distance: 8½ miles (14km) Total ascent: 1,100 feet (335m)

Option 1 - Option 1: Harlech Beach

The walk in a nutshell: We’ll start the day exploring Llanfair Farm Park before making our way to Harlech to play on the beach.

Don’t miss: Visit Harlech Castle which commands a wonderful position overlooking the sweeping sands of Cardigan Bay with the mountains of Snowdonia behind

Distance: 5 miles (8km) Total ascent: 750 feet (240m)

Option 2 - Option 2: Harlech coastline

The walk in a nutshell: We’ll be walking from Llanbedr on to Llandanwg and then on to Harlech and time on the stunning beach.

Don’t miss: There are great views along the coast, and of Harlech castle on the final leg.

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km) Total ascent: 850 feet (260m)

Option 3 - Option 3: Over the hills to Harlech

The walk in a nutshell: Walk in the rolling foothills of the Rhinog mountains. We’ll finish in Harlech for a well deserved ice-cream.

Don’t miss: This is a real 'away from it all' walk, passing through unspoilt scenery, with views down to the sea.

Distance: 9 miles (14½km) Total ascent: 1,400 feet (420m)

Option 1 - Option 1: Gruffalo Trail

The walk in a nutshell: Follow the Gruffalo Trail through the Coed y Brenin forest, discovering more about the woodland creatures mentioned in the story.

Don’t miss: There's also a great woodland playground at the end of the walk.

Distance: 6 miles (10½km) Total ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

Option 2 - Option 2: Coed y Brenin

The walk in a nutshell: Our woodland journey will take us to view waterfalls and a goldmine!

Don’t miss: There's plenty of interest on this walk, with time for games in the woods.

Distance: 8 miles (13km) Total ascent: 2,050 feet (620m)

Option 3 - Option 3: Rhinog Fawr

The walk in a nutshell: Don't be misled by the ascent, this is a tough walk in the wild and rugged Rhinog mountains. We ascend to the head of the Roman steps then on rough terrain to Rhinog Fawr summit.

Don’t miss: The Rhinogs are one of Snowdonia's lesser-known gems, with rugged shapely peaks and fabulous sea views.

Distance: 8½ miles (14km) Total ascent: 2,250 feet (680m)

Option 1 - Option 1: Barmouth Bridge

The walk in a nutshell: Walk from Barmouth across the River Mawddach estuary on the Grade II* listed Barmouth bridge. We'll head to Fairbourne then take a boat back to Barmouth.

Don’t miss: We'll have plenty of time to enjoy Barmouth; a classic seaside town with lots of sand, donkeys, ice cream and fun.

Distance: 5½ miles (9km) Total ascent: 750 feet (220m)

Option 2 - Option 2: Panorama Walk

The walk in a nutshell: Follow the stunning panorama walk above the Mawddach Estuary, heading over the hills to Barmouth.

Don’t miss: This walk combines spectacular ridge walking with wonderful views of the coast and estuary, and beyond to the Snowdonian mountains.

Distance: 5½ miles (8½km) Total ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)

Option 3 - Option 3: The Southern Rhinogs

The walk in a nutshell: Heading to the southern end of the magnificent Rhinog mountain ridge we ascend the summit of Diffwys, before descending to the coast at Barmouth.

Don’t miss: Diffwys, the second highest of the Rhinog peaks, commands a wonderful view out into Cardigan Bay and to Cadair Idris.

Distance: 10 miles (16m) Total ascent: 2,450 (740m)

Option 1 - Option 1: Llyn Cynwch

The walk in a nutshell: A circular walk around the beautiful Llyn Cynwch, which is just a couple of miles from Dolserau Hall.

Don’t miss: Legend has it that there is a marble fairy castle at the bottom of this lovely lake.

Distance: 5 miles (8km) Total ascent: 450 feet (140m)

Option 2 - Option 2: Old Precipice Walk

The walk in a nutshell: The Precipice Walk is a real classic - a contouring path with amazing views over the Mawddach Estuary and the surrounding mountains (and it's nothing like as scary as the name suggests!).

Don’t miss: This panoramic trail enjoys wonderful views of Coed y Brenin Forest, the Mawddach Estuary and Cadair Idris.

Distance: 6 miles (10km) Total ascent: 850 feet (250m)

Option 3 - Option 3: Aran Fawddwy

The walk in a nutshell: A big day out traversing the Aran Ridge, in part grassy, in part rocky, but with stunning views. Our highest point is the summit of Aran Fawddwy.

Don’t miss: Choose a clear day and you'll be rewarded with a stunning panorama across the Snowdonian mountains.

Distance: 7½ miles (12km) Total ascent: 2,750 feet (840m)

Depart after breakfast

Dolserau Hall

Walkers in the know head to southern Snowdonia to uncover one of Wales’ best-kept secrets. Stood in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, just a couple of miles from the attractive market town of Dolgellau, Dolserau Hall makes a superb base for getting off the beaten path.  The tranquillity of the location wraps around you. A smart country house with breathtaking views from every room, attractive gardens and vistas that stretch across the valley to the summit of Cadair Idris, you’re surrounded by rural inspiration. Depending on what mood strikes, explore the Rhinogs, take on a classic ridge walk with great views, set foot on the Mawddach Trail or follow the coast to Harlech, where the eponymous medieval castle stands on a wonderful position overlooking the sweeping sands of Cardigan Bay. Croeso I Cymru, as they say around here.


Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.


Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in the smartly presented rooms in the main house or in one of the handful of bedrooms in the converted coach house close by. With 23 rooms, Dolserau Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good and Better Rooms to choose from. Enjoy the extra space of Room 1 and soak luxuriously in the tub that comes with the room, or watch the light change outside from the comfort and privacy of the sofa in front of the large picture window in Room 5.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.


Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, lounge bar, library and board games to borrow

After a day rambling over the slopes of the Rhinogs or summiting a cracking peak, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Wander through the Coach House garden and admire the far-reaching views. Settle into the lounge bar and sink into the comfy leather sofas here. Grab a book or a board game and make yourself comfortable.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Dolserau Hall is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a six-course feast of regional flavours. Look out for highlights including Cawl Cennin, a leek and potato broth, smoked haddock with Welsh rarebit and lava bread and Welsh lamb Wellington. If you’ve space, tuck into a slice of Monmouth Pudding, a great old-fashioned desert of breadcrumbs, fruit, cream and meringue


For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10666_0048 - Dolserau Hall - Exterior

Getting to Dolserau Hall

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

More Information

Essential Information

Suggested Kit List

  • a rucksack,
  • a waterproof jacket
  • waterproof over trousers,
  • a spare jumper or fleece,
  • sun protection cream,
  • a water bottle (at least 1 litre),
  • some spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • a small torch
  • first aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).

    (in spring, autumn and winter)

  • a hat and gloves (Britainis famous for its changeable weather after all!)
  • You might find walking poles useful, particularly for descents (the kids usually find their own big stick en route!).
  • thermos flask for a hot drink
  • sun hat
  • towel for paddling on hot days

Guest Reviews

7 nights
Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade:
1, 2 & 3

7 nights from 0pp

Under 18s GO FREE

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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