7-Night Southern Snowdonia Christmas & New Year Walking Holiday

Lake At Capel Curig With Snowdon Behind
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 2, 3 & 5
from £1,029pp

Snowdonia is simply stunning in the winter, especially when there's something to celebrate. There’s something magical about walking in winter. Whether it’s the frosty footsteps, the clear crisp air, or the breathtaking views, it’s a wonderful time to go walking. Join our festive breaks and choose from a guided walking holiday in the company of one of our knowledgeable leaders. We pull out all the stops on our festive holidays, with fabulous food, lots of seasonal entertainment and great walks and activities. The walks are tailored to the time of year and will remain flexible to suit the weather conditions. Each day three grades of walk will be offered. So wrap up warm, lace up your boots and go for an invigorating walk.

Holiday Highlights

  • Head out on full day walks to discover the varied beauty of Snowdonia on foot
  • Plenty of exercise to walk off the festive excesses
  • A choice of guided walks in spectacular winter scenery
  • Let a local leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life
  • Enjoy magnificent Snowdonia mountainscape scenery
  • Look out for wildlife, find secret corners and learn about Welsh history
  • A relaxed pace of discovery in a sociable group keen to get some fresh air in one of Britain’s most beautiful walking areas
  • Just relax, soak up the party atmosphere, enjoy wonderful festive fare and leave all the organising to us
  • Discover what makes the Snowdonia so special from the sweeping valleys to the rocky peaks
  • Evenings in our country house where you share a drink, celebrate and re-live the day’s adventures

What’s included

  • Wonderful meals – full selection at breakfast, your choice of picnic lunch, an excellent evening meal and plenty of festive treats
  • A programme of organised walks and activities
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays’ guides
  • A packed programme of evening activities offering something festive for everyone, including some old HF favourites
  • Any transport to and from the walks

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

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.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Panorama Viewpoint & Barmouth

Distance: 3½ miles (5½km)

Total ascent: 750 feet (240m)

In Summary: Starting just outside Barmouth, we ascend gradually to the Panorama viewpoint above the town, arguably one of the best in Wales. We then descend beside a stream to the estuary and can walk out onto the famous trestle bridge for some sea air and wildlife spotting, before finishing our walk in Barmouth town

Highlight: The Trestle Bridge across the Mawddach is a great experience looking right up the middle of the estuary.

Option 2 - Over the hills to Barmouth

Distance: 5 miles (8km) 

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (460m) 

In Summary: Follow the stunning panorama walk above the Mawddach Estuary, heading over the hills to Barmouth.

Highlight: This walk combines spectacular ridge walking with wonderful views of the coast and estuary, and beyond to the Snowdonian mountains.

 

Option 3 - Bwlch-y-Rhiwgyr Pass

Distance: 8½ miles (13½km)

Ascent: 2,400 ft (720m) 

In Summary: We ascend from Caerdeon to the Bwlch-y-Rhiwgyr pass, then follow the crest of a wide grassy ridge, with wonderful estuary and coastal views, descending gradually to finish along the beach to Barmouth

Highlight: Superb views over The Mawddach estuary from the Bwlch-y-Rhiwgyr pass.

 


Option 1 - Brithdir & Torrent Walk

Distance: 4.5 miles (7km)

Ascent: 490 feet (150m)

In Summary: An easy circular walk from Dolserau Hall to visit the remains of the Roman fortlet and St Mark's Church in Brithdir. We then walk on one of the most popular paths in the Dolgellau area, Torrent Walk.

Highlight: Enjoy an easy calming walk from the house visiting ancient forts and walking along the river.

Option 2 - Foel Caerynwch and Torrent Walk

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Ascent: 1,200 feet (360m)

In Summary: A circular walk from the house, we start by walking through the tranquil woods behind the house crossing streams and fields reaching Brithdir. We then ascend up to the summit of Foel Caerynwch where you can take some time to enjoy the views. Following that, we will descend to reach the very interesting St Mark's Church before walking along the river back to the house.

Highlight: Short and easy summit walk with great views at the top and a visit to St Mark's Church.

Option 3 - Llanfechreth & Old Precipice Walk

Distance: 12 miles (19.5km)

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In Summary: The Old Precipice Walk is one of the most famous attractions of the Dolgellau area, and affords wonderful views down the Mawddach estuary and over to Cadair Idris. We'll walk from Dolserau Hall to the village of Llanfachreth picking up the Precipice Walk and enjoying views of the reservoir before heading back down to the house.

Highlight: Legend has it that there is a marble fairy castle at the bottom of Llyn Cynwch. 

 


Option 1 - Old Precipice Walk

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m) 

In Summary: 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!).

Highlight: This panoramic trail enjoys wonderful views of Coed y Brenin Forest, the Mawddach Estuary and Cadair Idris. 

 

Option 2 - Coed y Brenin & Old Precipice Walk

Distance: 9 miles (14km)

Total ascent: 2,100 feet (640m)

In Summary: Walk from the Coed y Brenin Forest to Dolserau Hall, passing the Rhaeadr Ddu waterfall, ruins of the Glasdir Copper mine, and following the famous Precipice Walk.

Highlight: The 60 foot cascade of Rhaeadr Ddu (Black Waterfall), is one of the most spectacular in Snowdonia.

 

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.

 


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.


Option 1 - Dolgellau and Glyn Arran

Distance: 7 miles (11½km)

Ascent: 1,100 ft (340m)

In Summary: Leaving the House, we walk up the Afon Clywedog , then on quiet lanes and footpaths to descend the Arran valley to Dolgellau.  We return to the house on quiet lanes on the other side of the valley.

Highlight: The beautiful Torrent Walk alongside the Afon Clywedog, and an opportunity to explore the historic town of Dolgellau.

Option 2 - Cymer Abbey, Dolgellau and Glyn Arran

Distance: 10 miles (16½km)

Ascent: 1,450 ft (440m)

In Summary: We walk west along quiet lanes to the site of Cymer Abbey, and into Dolgellau. Leaving Dolgellau, we climb up the Arran valley, and on footpaths and quiet lanes to descend the Clywedog valley to the House

Highlight: A visit to Cymer Abbey, an opportunity to explore historic Dolgellau, and the beautiful Torrent Walk alongside the Afon Clywedog

Option 3 - New Precipice Walk and Dolgellau

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Ascent: 1,950 feet (580m)

In Summary: We walk on quiet lanes down the Mawddach valley to the village of Llanelltyd then climb through woods to the balcony New Precipice Walk, passing abandoned gold mines. Descending through woods, we cross the Afon Mawddach to follow the Mawddach Trail to Dolgellau, then by quiet lanes back to the House.

Highlight: Remains of gold mines, stunning views of Cader Idris and the Mawddach estuary, and a chance to explore historic Dolgellau.


Exploring the Ardudwy coast, the easier walk starts at Pensarn to follow the Afon Artro to its estuary, then we stroll on the delightful pebbly beach at Llandanwg. We then turn inland to Llanfair for great views, before enjoying the perfect golden sands of Harlech beach. There’s a short ascent to finish in the historic town and a chance to visit the castle. The medium walk starts near Llanbedr village, following much of the same route, but ascending a little higher above Harlech for great views of its castle on the final leg. The harder walk explores the wild area to the north of Harlech, ascending to the stone circle of Bryn Cader Faner. We then head southwest with lovely coastal views, gradually descending to finish in Harlech town.

Option 1 - The Ardudwy Coast & Harlech

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km) 

Total ascent: 750 feet (240m) 

In SummaryToday we’ll explore the Ardudwy Coast, visiting the Artro estuary and walking on the delightful beach at Llandanwg. En route we might visit a slate cavern and then continue to Harlech with its impressive castle, built by Edward I in 1283 to control the Welsh. 

Highlight: Harlech's impressive castle, built by Edward I. 

 

Option 2 - Along the coast to Harlech

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km) 

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m) 

In SummaryFollow 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 behind. 

 

Option 3 - Over the hills to Harlech

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km) 

Total ascent: 1,850 feet (540m) 

In SummaryWalk 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. 

HighlightThere are great views along the coast, and of Harlech castle on the final leg. 

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Dolgellau and Glyn Arran

Distance: 7 miles (11½km)

Ascent: 1,100 ft (340m)

In Summary: Leaving the House, we walk up the Afon Clywedog , then on quiet lanes and footpaths to descend the Arran valley to Dolgellau.  We return to the house on quiet lanes on the other side of the valley.

Highlight: The beautiful Torrent Walk alongside the Afon Clywedog, and an opportunity to explore the historic town of Dolgellau.

Option 2 - Cymer Abbey, Dolgellau and Glyn Arran

Distance: 10 miles (16½km)

Ascent: 1,450 ft (440m)

In Summary: We walk west along quiet lanes to the site of Cymer Abbey, and into Dolgellau. Leaving Dolgellau, we climb up the Arran valley, and on footpaths and quiet lanes to descend the Clywedog valley to the House

Highlight: A visit to Cymer Abbey, an opportunity to explore historic Dolgellau, and the beautiful Torrent Walk alongside the Afon Clywedog

Option 3 - New Precipice Walk and Dolgellau

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Ascent: 1,950 feet (580m)

In Summary: We walk on quiet lanes down the Mawddach valley to the village of Llanelltyd then climb through woods to the balcony New Precipice Walk, passing abandoned gold mines. Descending through woods, we cross the Afon Mawddach to follow the Mawddach Trail to Dolgellau, then by quiet lanes back to the House.

Highlight: Remains of gold mines, stunning views of Cader Idris and the Mawddach estuary, and a chance to explore historic Dolgellau.


Exploring the Ardudwy coast, the easier walk starts at Pensarn to follow the Afon Artro to its estuary, then we stroll on the delightful pebbly beach at Llandanwg. We then turn inland to Llanfair for great views, before enjoying the perfect golden sands of Harlech beach. There’s a short ascent to finish in the historic town and a chance to visit the castle. The medium walk starts near Llanbedr village, following much of the same route, but ascending a little higher above Harlech for great views of its castle on the final leg. The harder walk explores the wild area to the north of Harlech, ascending to the stone circle of Bryn Cader Faner. We then head southwest with lovely coastal views, gradually descending to finish in Harlech town.

Option 1 - The Ardudwy Coast & Harlech

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km) 

Total ascent: 750 feet (240m) 

In SummaryToday we’ll explore the Ardudwy Coast, visiting the Artro estuary and walking on the delightful beach at Llandanwg. En route we might visit a slate cavern and then continue to Harlech with its impressive castle, built by Edward I in 1283 to control the Welsh. 

Highlight: Harlech's impressive castle, built by Edward I. 

 

Option 2 - Along the coast to Harlech

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km) 

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m) 

In SummaryFollow 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 behind. 

 

Option 3 - Over the hills to Harlech

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km) 

Total ascent: 1,850 feet (540m) 

In SummaryWalk 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. 

HighlightThere are great views along the coast, and of Harlech castle on the final leg. 

 


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


Option 1 - Panorama Viewpoint & Barmouth

Distance: 3½ miles (5½km)

Total ascent: 750 feet (240m)

In Summary: Starting just outside Barmouth, we ascend gradually to the Panorama viewpoint above the town, arguably one of the best in Wales. We then descend beside a stream to the estuary and can walk out onto the famous trestle bridge for some sea air and wildlife spotting, before finishing our walk in Barmouth town

Highlight: The Trestle Bridge across the Mawddach is a great experience looking right up the middle of the estuary.

Option 2 - Over the hills to Barmouth

Distance: 5 miles (8km) 

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (460m) 

In Summary: Follow the stunning panorama walk above the Mawddach Estuary, heading over the hills to Barmouth.

Highlight: This walk combines spectacular ridge walking with wonderful views of the coast and estuary, and beyond to the Snowdonian mountains.

 

Option 3 - Bwlch-y-Rhiwgyr Pass

Distance: 8½ miles (13½km)

Ascent: 2,400 ft (720m) 

In Summary: We ascend from Caerdeon to the Bwlch-y-Rhiwgyr pass, then follow the crest of a wide grassy ridge, with wonderful estuary and coastal views, descending gradually to finish along the beach to Barmouth

Highlight: Superb views over The Mawddach estuary from the Bwlch-y-Rhiwgyr pass.

 


Option 1 - Brithdir & Torrent Walk

Distance: 4.5 miles (7km)

Ascent: 490 feet (150m)

In Summary: An easy circular walk from Dolserau Hall to visit the remains of the Roman fortlet and St Mark's Church in Brithdir. We then walk on one of the most popular paths in the Dolgellau area, Torrent Walk.

Highlight: Enjoy an easy calming walk from the house visiting ancient forts and walking along the river.

Option 2 - Foel Caerynwch and Torrent Walk

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Ascent: 1,200 feet (360m)

In Summary: A circular walk from the house, we start by walking through the tranquil woods behind the house crossing streams and fields reaching Brithdir. We then ascend up to the summit of Foel Caerynwch where you can take some time to enjoy the views. Following that, we will descend to reach the very interesting St Mark's Church before walking along the river back to the house.

Highlight: Short and easy summit walk with great views at the top and a visit to St Mark's Church.

Option 3 - Llanfechreth & Old Precipice Walk

Distance: 12 miles (19.5km)

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In Summary: The Old Precipice Walk is one of the most famous attractions of the Dolgellau area, and affords wonderful views down the Mawddach estuary and over to Cadair Idris. We'll walk from Dolserau Hall to the village of Llanfachreth picking up the Precipice Walk and enjoying views of the reservoir before heading back down to the house.

Highlight: Legend has it that there is a marble fairy castle at the bottom of Llyn Cynwch. 

 


Option 1 - Old Precipice Walk

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m) 

In Summary: 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!).

Highlight: This panoramic trail enjoys wonderful views of Coed y Brenin Forest, the Mawddach Estuary and Cadair Idris. 

 

Option 2 - Coed y Brenin & Old Precipice Walk

Distance: 9 miles (14km)

Total ascent: 2,100 feet (640m)

In Summary: Walk from the Coed y Brenin Forest to Dolserau Hall, passing the Rhaeadr Ddu waterfall, ruins of the Glasdir Copper mine, and following the famous Precipice Walk.

Highlight: The 60 foot cascade of Rhaeadr Ddu (Black Waterfall), is one of the most spectacular in Snowdonia.

 

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.

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


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

Following the relaxation in government guidance on 19 July, we are continuing to take extra steps to keep our guests leaders, and staff safe in our HF country houses. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not in sync, so measures in our country houses will vary between the nations. With the relaxation of social distancing in England, from 19 July we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together. However, we will still give guests space e.g. we will seat 6 people at a table where pre-pandemic we may have seated 8. We will ensure our public rooms are well ventilated by opening doors and windows wherever possible. If you have any concerns about distancing, please speak to the House Manager. The government recommendation for England is to wear face coverings in crowded areas. You must wear a face covering by law in public areas in hotels in Scotland. This is mandatory in public spaces; however, face coverings will not be required whilst eating and drinking in the restaurant and bar areas or whilst you are outside our houses. In Wales face coverings will remain a legal requirement indoors, with the exception of hospitality premises.

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 will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

Menus for the week will be available in your room on arrival. A self-service breakfast will be served from 7.45am – 9am. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. Evening meals will be table service. A dinner order form will be available in each room for completion. Dinner is served at either 7.15pm or 7.30pm. Please check at the house for details. The bar will be open. We will be offering a table service but guests can also come to the bar to order (depending on local restrictions).

Join our team after dinner on Wednesday evenings for the HF Big Pub Quiz. There will be one other evening of entertainment at the start of the week, which will vary depending on the country house that you are staying at. Our Walk Leaders will also be on hand in the bar or lounge for individual or small group walks talks briefings, which allow guests to talk through the following day’s walk options and ask any questions. All of our swimming pools are open, except for Glen Coe, which will not re-open this year. Swimming Pools will be operated in line with maximum capacities.

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

Rooms

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 Classic and Premium 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 ‘Classic’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium’ 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.

Facilities

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

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

Essential Information

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner
  • Sun hat and sunscreen (we may just get lucky and have some festive sunshine!)

Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
23 Dec - 30 Dec 2021
7 Christmas £1,099 Available Trip Notes Book Now
27 Dec - 03 Jan 2021
7 New Year £1,029 Available Trip Notes Book Now
2022
23 Dec - 30 Dec 2022
7 Christmas £1,175 Available Trip Notes Book Now
27 Dec - 03 Jan 2022
7 New Year £1,099 Available Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
2 & 3

7 nights from £1,029pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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