Southern Snowdonia Gentle Walking Holiday

Explore Snowdonia on foot


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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • High Mountains
  • Rural peace


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More information

Choosing the level of your walks

Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £360.00 - 3 to 7 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

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 half-day 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.


Dolgellau 4 stars country house

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.


'Good' Rooms 

These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:

  • Check in from 2:30pm
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities
  • 23 inch TV
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Free WiFi

'Better' Rooms 

These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:

  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £15 per person per night

Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.

At the house

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


An example of Dolgellau breakfast mealAll 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

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the barJust 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.


More details on Dolgellau accessibility


Coed y Brenin and the Precipice Walk

Available on: 30 Jun 2019


Option 1: Llyn Cynwch

Narrow path on the Precipice Walk

 Distance: 4 miles (6½km)

Total ascent: 330 feet (100m)

The walk in a nutshell: A circular walk around the
beautiful Llyn Cynwch, which is just a couple of miles from Dolserau Hall. Our route is partially along the famous Precipice Walk, then we’ll take our time and walk back to the house, past the deer park at the foot of Foel Offrwm.

Don’t miss: Legend has it that there is a marble fairy castle at the bottom of this lovely lake. The beautiful lake is an absolute must-see and Nannau Deer Park has some really fascinating history.

Option 2: Precipice Walk

Hills and forests at Coed y Brenin


Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m)

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 nowhere near 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.

Option 3: Coed y Brenin

Walkers on the summit of Rhobell Fawr

Distance: 9 miles (14km)

Total ascent: 2,100 feet (640m)

The walk in a nutshell: Walk from the Coed y Brenin Forest to Dolserau Hall, passing the Rhaeadr Du waterfall, ruins of the Glasdir Copper mine, and following the famous Precipice Walk.

Don’t miss: The 60 foot cascade of Rhaeadr Du (Black Waterfall), is one of the most spectacular in Snowdonia.

Harlech and the Surrounding Area

Available on: 1 Jul 2019

Option 1: The Ardudwy Coast & Harlech

View along Harlech beach

Distance: 4 miles (6½km)

Total ascent: 750 feet (240m)

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

Don’t miss: Harlech's impressive castle, built by Edward I.


Option 2: Along the coast to Harlech

View along Harlech beach

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m)

The walk in a nutshell: Follow the coast from Llanbedr to Harlech. Our walk takes in the delightful beach at Llandanwg, and the rolling hills above the coast.

Don’t miss: 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

Harlech Castle with the mountains of Snowdonia behind

Distance: 8½ miles (13½km)

Total ascent: 1,850 feet (540m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

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


Abergynolwyn and Castell y Bere

Available on: 3 Jul 2019

Option 1: Castell y Bere & Abergynolwyn

Red KiteDistance: 3½ miles (5½km)

Total ascent: 650 feet (200m)

The walk in a nutshell: Today’s walk takes us into the Dysynni valley to visit Castell Y Bere and Mary Jones’ chapel. The 13th century Castle Y Bere was the last stronghold of the Welsh princes.

Don’t miss: Incredible views in the Dysynni valley and from the castle.

Option 2: Abergynolwyn Loop

Steam locomotive on the Talyllyn RailwayDistance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 1,100 feet (330m)

The walk in a nutshell: Starting our walk at
Abergynolwyn, near the end of the preserved
Talyllyn railway line, we take a lovely circular route via Castell y Bere, Mary Jones’ Chapel and the waterfalls of Nant yr Eira.

Don’t miss: Castell y Bere was once the impressive fortress of Llewelyn the Great.

Option 3: Bird Rock

Walkers on Bird RockDistance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 1,400 feet (420m)

The walk in a nutshell: Starting near Abergynolwyn we ascend Bird Rock, the most inland nesting site for sea birds. We then follow the beautiful Dysynni valley, visiting Mary Jones’ chapel and Castell y Bere, returning beside the river to Abergynolwyn.

Don’t miss: Bird Rock is a stunning viewpoint.

Walks Around Bala

Available on: 4 Jul 2019

Option 1: Llyn Tegid and Bala

Bala lake

Distance: 3½ miles (5½km)

Total ascent: 650 feet (200m)

The walk in a nutshell: We ascend through woodland for lovely views across Llyn Tegid, the largest natural lake in Wales. We’ll descend with the same, stunning views of the lake, to arrive at the historic town of Bala.

Don’t miss: There’s a chance to see some extreme sports in action at the water sports centre in Bala. If you’ve still got some energy walk a little further to discover Mary Jones’ World.

Option 2: Above Bala


Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)

Total ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

The walk in a nutshell: A gradual ascent from south of Bala through woodland and on field paths taking us onto the hillsides above Llyn Tegid. Enjoy great views before returning to finish in Bala.

Don’t miss: Gaze down over Llyn Tegid, or Bala Lake. At 4 miles long it's the largest natural lake in Wales.

Option 3: Moel Emoel


Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 1,470 feet (450m)

The walk in a nutshell: We ascend using various tracks and footpaths to Moel Emoel, a scenic hill to the North of Bala town, visiting Llyn Maen Bras. We’ll get some spectacular views of Llyn Tegid.

Don’t miss: This little known hill is a delightful spot.


The Mawddach Estuary and Hills Around Barmouth

Available on: 5 Jul 2019

Option 1: Mawddach Estuary & Barmouth

Barmouth railway bridge over the Mawddach Estuary

Distance: 5½ miles (9km)

Total ascent: 200 feet (60m)

The walk in a nutshell: The Mawddach trail is the classic easy trail in the area – so while the distance is a little longer than average for our easier walks 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.

Don’t miss: Stunning views of the estuary throughout our walk and a chance to look around the lovely seaside town of Barmouth.

Option 2: The Hills Above Barmouth

Barmouth and the Mawddach estuaryDistance: 5½ miles (9km)

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (450m)

The walk in a nutshell: Starting near Barmouth we visit the delightful Panorama viewpoint, the
Barmouth slabs, Raven Rock, and Dinas Oleu – the first piece of land given to the National Trust. The views are amazing throughout and we descend gradually to finish in Barmouth itself.

Don’t miss: Superb views of the estuary from the Panorama Walk viewpoint. Views of the Irish sea and Barmouth’s beautiful, sandy beaches.

Option 3: Bwlch y Rhiwgyr to Barmouth

Ardudwy Way Barmouth Bridge


Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 2,400 feet (720m)

The walk in a nutshell: This walk combines spectacular ridge walking with wonderful coastal and estuary views. Ascending from Caerdeon to the Bwlch y Rhiwgyr pass, we follow the crest of the ridge and descend gradually to visit Dinas Oleu and Raven Rock, and on to finish along Barmouth’s beautiful sandy beach.

Don’t miss: Impressive views of Barmouth estuary as well as the beaches on descent.



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 half-day walk of 3 or 4 miles. 

Half-Day walks

HF Holidays walks level 1 easier

Harlech Castle with the mountains of Snowdonia behind

Easier walks

HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy

Barmouth and the Mawddach estuary

Medium walks

HF Holidays walks level 3 medium

View from the New Precipice Walk


Walks are 3 or 4 miles, with up to 750 feet of ascent. These half-day walks are taken at a gentle pace. On some days we'll visit at an interesting town or place of interest, allowing plenty of time to explore. On other days we'll return early to Dolserau Hall to relax.

Walks are 6 or 7 miles and have up to 1,300 feet of ascent. We'll include many of the area's highlights including Harlech Castle, the Mawddach Estuary and the Victorian Precipice Walk (not as scary as the name suggests!)

Walks are up to 9½ miles with up to 3,000 feet of ascent. There's an opportunity to stride out and enjoy a walks onto the area's hills. We'll also include the easiest route to the summit of Cadair Idris.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.





Harlech Castle image © Crown copyright (2016) Welsh Government


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 route planning by train visit or phone 03457 48 49 50.

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.


By bus:

From Machynlleth take the X27 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

Driving to us

By car:

From the north head to Chester then take the M53 and A55 around the south of Chester. Join the A550 then the A5104 for about 20 miles, 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 take the M54 and A5 to Shrewsbury.  Follow the A5 around the south of Shrewsbury and join the A458 towards Welshpool. Continue on the A458 through Welshpool and after a further 27 miles turn right at a roundabout onto the A470 towards Dolgellau. As you come down a steep hill beofre Dolgellau, look out for a petrol station on the right hand side.  Take the turning on the right immediately before the petrol station.  Dolserau Hall is about 1 mile along this country lane on your right.  Look for the HF Holidays sign.

 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 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 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 for train times.

In each case complete your journey from Machynlleth to Dolgellau by taxi or bus (see above).

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
29 Jun 2019 DGBEW - Gentle guided Walking - Dolgellau 7 £879.00 £839.00 Save £40 per person Book Now
29 Jun 2019 DGBEW - Gentle guided Walking - Dolgellau 3 £375.00 £360.00 Save £15 Per Person Book Now
2 Jul 2019 DGBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Dolgellau 4 £529.00 £489.00 Save £40 Per Person Book Now

Prices are per person

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