7-Night Southern Snowdonia Gentle Guided Walking Holiday

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Duration: 7 nights
Type: Gentle Walks
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3

This easier variation of our best-selling Guided Walking holidays is the perfect way to enjoy a gentle exploration of Southern Snowdonia. The choice of three guided walks includes a very short walk of 3 or 4 miles. Steeped in history, the landscapes of southern Snowdonia unfold to reveal one of Wales’ best-kept secrets. Tucked away from the honeypot hotspots to the north of the National Park, the solitude and stunning scenery await discovery.

Holiday Highlights

  • Head out on gentle day walks to discover the varied beauty of Snowdonia on foot
  • Admire panoramic valley, lake and river views from slopes and peaks
  • 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
  • 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 and re-live the day’s adventures

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 5 days guided walking and 1 free day
  • Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point
  • Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
  • The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders

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.

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

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


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 - Roman Road, Foel Caerynwch and Torrent Walk

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,500 feet (480m)

In Summary: Leaving the House, we climb gradually through woods to reach a Roman road, then across open moorland to the summit of Foel Caerynwch. We then descend to the road, passing St Marks Church, and descending the Torrent Walk to the House.

Highlight: Roman road, views of the Mawddach Valley and Cader Idris, the Art Nouveau St Marks Church


Option 1 - Fairbourne & Barmouth

Distance: 3½ miles (5.5km) 

Total ascent: 130 feet (40m) 

Total descent: 100 feet (30m)

In SummaryThis walk offers a few options along the way (weather and tide dependent). We'll start in Fairbourne beside the miniature railway and follow the railway tracks by the sea wall. Here we'll have an option to walk out to Penrhyn Point where there is a foot ferry to Barmouth - this is weather and tide dependent. If that option isn't viable we'll follow the Welsh Coast path along to the Railway Bridge which we'll use to cross the estuary into Barmouth.

Highlight: Stunning views of the estuary throughout our walk and a chance to look around the lovely seaside town of Barmouth. 

 

Option 2 - Mawddach Estuary and Barmouth

Distance: 5½ miles (9km) 

Total ascent: 200 feet (60m) 

In SummaryThe Mawddach trail is the classic easy trail in the area – so while the distance is a little longer than average, this is more than made up for by the minimal ascent and smooth walking. Following the shores of the spectacular Mawddach estuary, the walk gives us superb estuary views throughout. Our route then takes us across the mile-long pedestrian bridge to the Victorian seaside resort of Barmouth, where we’ve time to explore. There may be the possibility of a boat trip out into the estuary, weather and tide permitting. 

Highlight: Stunning views of the estuary throughout our walk and a chance to look around the lovely seaside town of Barmouth. 

 

Option 3 - Arthog Waterfalls, Blue Lake and Fairbourne

Distance: miles (15km) 

Total ascent: 1,260 feet (380m) 

In SummaryWe'll start this walk in Arthog village and will soon come to the delightful Arthog Waterfalls. We'll have some superb views of the Mawddach Estuary as we walk towards Fairbourne and once there, we'll cross the famous bridge leading into Barmouth where we'll finish our walk.

Highlight: Impressive views of Barmouth estuary as well as the beaches on descent. 

 


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


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 Summary: Walk 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.

Highlight: There are great views along the coast and of Harlech castle on the final leg.


Option 1 - Nannau Deer Park

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km)

Ascent: 650 feet (200m)

In Summary: An easy circular walk from Dolserau Hall to visit the Nannau Estate passing through the Deer Park.

Highlight: Good views over Dolellau to Cader Idris.

Option 2 - Precipice Walk

 Distance: 6 miles (10km) 

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m) 

In SummaryThe Precipice Walk is a real classic - a contouring path with amazing views over the Mawddach Estuary and the surrounding mountains (and it’s nowhere near as scary as the name suggests!). 

HighlightThis panoramic trail enjoys wonderful views of Coed-y-Brenin Forest, the Mawddach Estuary and Cadair Idris. 

 

Option 3 - Foel Offrwm and The Old Precipice Walk

Distance: 9 miles (15 km)

Ascent: 2,000 ft (600m)

In Summary: We walk up through a former medieval deer park, then ascend to the summit of Foel Offrwm (Hill of Sacrifice). Retracing our steps, we descend to the Old Precipice Walk, perched high above the Afon Mawddach before returning to the House by farm track and quiet lanes.

Highlight: Historic medieval deerpark, historic mansion, iron age fort, stunning views of south Snowdonia.


Option 1 - The Mawddach Trail & Penmaenpool

Distance: miles (6.5km) 

Total ascent: 450 feet (140m) 

Total descent: 550 feet (160m)

In SummaryWe'll spend  our walk today on the Mawddach Trail, which we'll take all the way to Penmaenpool. We then have the option to stay in Penmaenpool or, if feeling energetic, we can extend our walk back to Dolserau Hall.

HighlightAmazing views of the Mawddach Estuary and the Rhinog Mountains.

 

Option 2 - New Precipice Walk

Distance: 7 miles (12km)

Total ascent: 1,200 feet (380m)

In Summary: Enjoy the New Precipice Walk with its spectacular views of the Mawddach Estuary. We take this classic trail to Penmaenpool, returning on the Mawddach Trail to the lovely market town of Dolgellau.

Highlight: Another classic trail that contours around the hillside; the view down the Mawddach Estuary is stunning.

 

Option 3 - New Precipice Walk, Dolgellau & the Torrent Walk

Distance: 11 miles (18km) 

Total ascent: 2,100 feet (640m) 

In Summary: Starting from the Dolserau Hall, we will follow the Mawddach Trail to cross the Mawddach Estuary before reaching the New Precipice Walk. We will pass Llyn Tan-y-Graig before finishing our walk at Llanelltyd, beside the church.

Highlight: The views from the New Precipice Walk are breathtaking. 

 


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

  • Waterproof 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)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

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

Guest Reviews

Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Gentle Walks
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

Fully Booked

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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