Guided Walking for Solos at Dolgellau
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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 use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Country walking is a great way to meet new friends, and the convivial atmosphere of our Country Houses will make sure you have an enjoyable time.
Dolserau Hall is surrounded by beautiful countryside and the relaxing ambience makes it a particularly attractive place to stay. With numerous attractions, and an excellent variety of walks available, this is a great base from which to enjoy Southern Snowdonia.
- High quality 4-star Country House in the beautiful setting of Snowdonia National Park
- Walk on the spectacular mountains of Cadair Idris and the Rhinogs
- Discover the historic town of Harlech and the charming coastal town of Barmouth
Great reasons to join us
- For Solos: no single room charge and double rooms are available at no extra cost. Twin rooms are also available for sole occupancy at a special reduced price of £10 per night
- Exclusivity: we welcome individual travellers on all of our holidays, but on Guided Walking for Solos the entire holiday is especially for single guests
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, and light-hearted evening activities
- Choice: choose from up to 3 guided walks each walking day, with expert guides
- Accommodation: extensive views stretch over the surrounding hills, and a real focus on food
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - walk together, eat together and relax together
Dolserau Hall offers an unparalleled level of comfort and quality. The location, a couple of miles from the attractive market town of Dolgellau, is a real delight. Extensive views stretch over the surrounding hills, with the summit of Cadair Idris in the background.
Dolserau Hall has 24 en-suite bedrooms, all of a good size and furnished to a high standard. Rooms are either located in the main building or the tastefully converted coach house.
Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.
You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.
All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.
Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full Welsh breakfast, or select something in between.
Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.
Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).
The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.
All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on local history from a visiting speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.
Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.
Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.
Dolserau Hall is a Victorian mansion, 150 years old, built in the grand style with large rooms, large doors and wide corridors which are well lit. The building remains essentially the same layout as when it was built, except that a lift has been installed to the 2nd floor of the main house. The original Coach House was converted several years ago to provide 5 individual bedrooms, each with independent access to the Coach House driveway.
The house is reached via a tarmac road. From this road, the house is approached via a gravel driveway.
Cars can pull up to the front door of the house or to each of the individual access doors in the Coach House to disembark passengers and luggage. There is a single step through the main house front door. A ramp is provided at the front door when required. The main car park, which has 20 parking spaces, is adjacent to, and on the same level as, the house.
The reception area has seating for guests to wait. Assistance with luggage is available on request.
The whole of the ground floor of the main house is accessible to wheelchairs including the restaurant & bar - there are no steps.
The house does not have public toilets fully equipped for wheelchair access.
The main house bedrooms are situated: on the 1st floor, reached by a grand Victorian staircase with a banister; on the 2nd floor which is reached either by a further staircase from the 1st floor or by lift from the main hall. In the Coach House, each bedroom has its own individual access from the yard, 3 of these at ground floor level with parking adjacent to the door, one of which is especially suitable for wheelchair access.
All the bedrooms have en-suite bathroom facilities, seven having a separate walk-in shower, the remainder have a shower over the bath.
Guests who have problems with mobility can be accommodated in a range of different rooms depending on the nature of their special needs. Other disabilities such as hearing or sight problems can generally be accommodated on request.
Although we have tried to be as accurate & include as much detail as possible, we are always willing to give information on any aspect of the house if this statement does not answer your particular query.
Our experienced guides offer the choice of up to three different walks each day – you can choose an easier walk one day and switch to a harder walk the next.
We’ve a fantastic selection of walks for 2016 - see below. Please check back here in November for any variations for our 2017 holidays.
Group A: Abergynolwyn and The Tarren Hills
Easier Walk: Starting our walk at Abergynolwyn, near the end of the preserved Talyllyn railway line, we take a lovely circular route via Mary Jones’ chapel and Castell y Bere – once the impressive fortress of Llewelyn the Great. 6 miles (9.5km) with 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: 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. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,400 feet (420m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: From the Dolgoch waterfalls, inland from the coast at Tywyn, we experience 360° views of the mountains and sea from the top of Tarren Hendre, before we descend to Abergynolwyn. 9 miles (14.5km) with 2,700 feet (810m) of ascent.
Group B: The Mawddach Trail or into the Rhinogs
Easier Walk: After visiting the Panorama viewpoint above Barmouth we cross the trestle bridge over the estuary with its salt marsh, tidal flats, bird life and wonderful views. We pick up the Mawddach Trail, which follows the disused railway line beside the estuary, finishing at the Penmaenpool bridge. 8 miles (13km) with 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Starting near Barmouth, we head north into the hills above the estuary, with highlights including a stone circle, gold mines and fabulous views, before finishing at the lovely Penmaenpool bridge. 7 miles (11km) with 1,600 feet (480m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Heading to the southern end of the magnificent Rhinog mountain ridge we ascend the summit of Diffwys, the second highest of the Rhinog peaks, with its views out into Cardigan Bay and to Cadair Idris. We then follow an old quarry track down to the Cwm Mynach valley, to finish at Penmaenpool. 11 miles (17.5km) with 2,700 feet (810m) of ascent.
Group C: The Dovey Hills or the New Precipice Walk
Easier Walk: Enjoy the New Precipice Walk from the village of Llanelltyd, 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. 6 miles (9.5km) with 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: From the top of the Bwlch Oerddrws Pass we zigzag steeply up to the summit of Waun Oer and walk along the grassy ridge enjoying views of Cadair Idris and the Rhinogs. We descend to the south to the Cross Foxes Hotel. 7 miles (11 km) with 2,500 feet (750m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: We zigzag steeply up to the summit of Waun Oer from the top of the Bwlch Oerddrws Pass and then head across the quiet Dovey Hills above the atmospheric cwm below Craig Portas. We descend into the Maes-glase valley to finish in Dinas Mawddwy. 10 miles (16km) with 2,700 feet (810m) of ascent.
Group D: Above Bala and the Aran Ridge
Easier Walk: A gradual ascent from south of Bala through woodland and on field paths taking us east of the lake to Craig yr Allor. Enjoy great views before returning to finish in Bala. 6 miles (9.5km) with 1,300 feet (390m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: We tackle the iconic Aran Ridge, starting from the remote farming community of Talardd to ascend to Llyn Lliwbran. After a short sharp section we reach the ridge and head south to the summit of Aran Benllyn, before descending to finish at Pont y Pandy, at the southern end of Bala Lake. A fabulous mountain walk. 7 miles (11km) with 1,700 feet (510m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: A big day out starting midway between Dolgellau and Bala, we cross to the Aran Ridge, in part grassy, in part rocky, but with stunning views. We take in the summits of Aran Fawddwy and Benllyn before descending to Pont y Pandy. 9 miles (14.5km) with 2,900 feet (870m) of ascent.
Group E: Cadair Idris and Dolgellau
Easier Walk: Starting from Ty Nant we walk beside Llyn Gwernan then follow footpaths into Dolgellau. After spending time there, we explore the countryside to the southeast, including the lovely wooded Arran valley and the hamlet of Tabor, then follow the Torrent Walk to Dolserau Hall. 7 miles (11km) with 1,200 feet (360m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: We take the Victorian pony path from Ty Nant to the summit of Cadair Idris, and return to finish at Llyn Gwernan. 6 miles (9.5km) with 2,200 feet (660m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: After following the pony path to the top of Cadair Idris we then continue along this wonderful ridge to another two summits and then follow bridleways down to Dolgellau. 8 miles (13km) with 2,800 feet (840m) of ascent.
Group F: Dinas Mawddwy, Foel Dinas and Aran Fawddwy
Easier Walk: Starting our walk at Mallwyd, our route follows contouring paths through the lovely valleys to the south and east of Dinas Mawddwy. 6 miles (9.5km) with 1,500 feet (450m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: From Dinas Mawddwy we ascend the Maes-glase valley to a stunning waterfall, continue over Bwlch Siglen and on to the summit of Foel Dinas. We then descend to the east passing through the Minllyn slate quarry, and down through woodland to Dinas Mawddwy. 7 miles (11km) with 2,500 feet (600m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Starting from the remote Cwm Cywarch valley we ascend the head of the valley and on to the summit of Aran Fawddwy, Wales’ highest peak south of Snowdon. We follow a ridge to the subsidiary peak of Drysgol then gradually descend down the Hengwm valley. 7 miles (11km) with 2,700 feet (810m) of ascent.
Group G: Dolgellau and Cadair Idris
Easier Walk: From in or near Dolgellau we walk beside Llyn Gwernan then follow the beautiful Gwynant valley to the Mawddach Estuary and finish at Penmaenpool. 6 miles (9.5km) with 300 feet (90m) of ascent or 7 miles (11km) with 800 feet (240m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: We tackle Cadair Idris, arguably the most impressive mountain in Southern Snowdonia. Following the Minffordd path we ascend above the corrie basin of Llyn Cau on a dramatic ridge to reach the Pen y Gadair summit. We continue to the subsiduary summit of Mynydd Moel and descend to the south. 6 miles (9.5km) with 2,100 feet (630m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Starting on the Minffordd path we bear to the northeast to the subsidiary summit of Mynydd Moel. We then follow the great ridge to Pen y Gadair and descend over Craig Cau, finishing at Tal y Llyn lake. 7 miles (11km) with 2,400 feet (720m) of ascent.
Group H: Harlech, Bryn Cader Faner or a circuit of the southern Rhinog Peaks
Easier Walk: Exploring the Ardudwy coast, we start near Llanbedr then follow the Afon Artro to its estuary, and walk along the delightful beach at Llandanwg. We then turn inland to ascend to the historic town of Harlech, with great views of its castle on the final leg. 6 miles (9.5km) with 900 feet (270m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Again in the Ardudwy coast area, we walk from Llandecwyn uphill passing a beautiful lake, continuing on to the stone circle, Bryn Cader Faner. We then head southwest with lovely coastal views, gradually descending to finish in Harlech town. 9 miles(14.5 km) with 1,700 feet (510m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: This circuit of the southern Rhinog peaks sets off from near Bontddu, ascending to Diffwys, then north to Llethr, the highest of the Rhinog mountains. We descend gradually to the northwest to finish in the delightful village of Llanbedr. 11 miles (18 km) with 2,400 feet (720m) of ascent.
Group I: The Precipice Walk, Coed Y Brenin and Rhobell Fawr
Easier Walk: We follow the scenic loop of the famous Precipice Walk, with wonderful views of Coed y Brenin Forest, the Mawddach Estuary and Cadair Idris. This beautiful walk is not as precipitous as it sounds, and we continue through parkland back to Dolserau Hall. 6 miles (9.5km) with 700 feet (210m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Starting in Coed y Brenin Forest we visit the Rhaeadr Du waterfall, walking through a former gold mining area to the ruins of the Glasdir Copper mine. We join the Precipice Walk, and follow the route of the Easier Walk back to Dolserau Hall. 8 miles (13km) with 3,100 feet (930m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: From the village of Rhydymain we head north through a forestry area before ascending steeply to the summit of Rhobell Fawr. Descending to the southwest, we follow an old drovers’ road to Llanfachreth village and back to Dolserau Hall through park land. 10 miles (16km) with 3,200 feet (960m) of ascent.
Group J: The hills above Barmouth and Rhinog Fawr
Easier Walk: 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. 5 miles (8km) with 1,500 feet (450m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: 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. 8 miles (13km) with 2,400 feet (720m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Walking in the wild and rugged Rhinogs, we set off from woodland near Trawsfynydd to walk to the head of the Roman steps, then ascend on rough terrain to Rhinog Fawr. We descend into Cwm Nantcol and follow the Bwlch Drws Ardudwy pass back to our starting point. 9 miles (14.5km) with 2,200 feet (660m) of ascent.
2016 Walking Programmes
7 night holidays: 5 days of walking and a free day as shown
Walks A-E: Sat 30 July (free day - Wednesday)
Walks F-J: Fri 15 April (free day – Monday)
6 night holiday: 4 days of walking and a free day on the Tuesday
Walks A, B, D, E: Sat 1 Oct
4 night holidays: 3 days of walking
Walks H, I, J: Mon 18 April
Walks A, B, D: Tues 2 August
3 night holidays: 2 days of walking
Walks F, G: Fri 15 April
Walks C, E: Sat 30 July
Terrain and transport
Easier Walks are on good tracks and paths. Medium Walks are on mainly good paths across mountain and moorland. Harder Walks are on a mixture of good and rough paths, and trackless terrain over sometimes marshy moorland.
On some days the walks start or finish at Dolserau Hall; on other days we use hired transport at the start and/or end of the walks. The cost of all transport to and from the walks is included in the price of your holiday.
The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. There is normally a good mix of ages, of new guests and 'regulars' from Britain and overseas. On our Guided Walking for Solos holidays, the holiday is especially for single guests.
In the evenings
Your leaders will inform you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have. After a sociable evening meal you could join in an organised activity such as a quiz or a talk about the local area, relax in the bar or use the Country House facilities.
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
Dolserau Hall, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 2AG
By train: The most convenient railway station is 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).
By taxi: The 16 mile journey from Machynlleth railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Taxis cost approx £30 per taxi. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Dolserau Hall Manager.
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 signposted to Bala. Stay on the A494 through Bala 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. Look out for the sign.
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. 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. Look out for the sign.
A large car park is available in the grounds with free parking.
To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info
|Date & Rating||Customer Review||HF Holidays says|
9 Aug 2016, 9:56 p.m.
The booking process was easy - my only query ws that it was not clear which walks were on the week I was on holiday.
This was my first HF holiday. The house was lovely, the food outstanding and the walking great.
9 Aug 2016, 2:22 p.m.
Could be excellent if you sorted out the website.
9 Aug 2016, 9:31 a.m.
Excellent all round, as I expect fromHF Holidays.
Weather was cooler and wetter than hoped for, so Boot and Drying room was not warm enough to dry boots overnight. bedroom in Coach House was cold and smelled damp until heating was turned on by staff after complaint raised. Everything else was excellent, especially food.
9 Aug 2016, 6:57 a.m.
My first Solo holiday with HF so no single room supplement and a double room with all modern conveniences. Even the screen of the tv was bigger. Very good food at this house and very good service from management and staff.
This house was very well positioned for a variety of walks and offered very good views from the house.
5 Aug 2016, 7:20 a.m.
A great holiday loved the walsk and the house.
5 May 2016, 1:16 p.m.
Arrangements worked perfectly, good accurate information provided in advance.
An excellent range of walks, good company, very helpful guides, good food and very comfortable accommodation. I am new to HF holidays but will certainly use them again.
25 Apr 2016, 7:17 p.m.
Usual high standard
As it was a solos holiday, it was good not be penalised as usual with a single supplement
25 Apr 2016, 7:12 p.m.
No review provided
Guided walking, a good way to explore the wilder parts of the UK
25 Apr 2016, 9:49 a.m.
Not the cheapest holiday, but consistently offer good food ,service and
a friendly welcoming atmosphere
Excellent food both tasty and beautifully presented.
Very large spacious rooms for most customers, but single rooms very small,
old fashioned and not worth the money
23 Apr 2016, 9:59 a.m.
The staff were excellent and the food wonderful.
I think when arriving back early at the end of the walk(45 minutes), the leader should offer walkers options rather than unilaterally adding extra walking on to the day.
Read more reviews from feefo
Dates & Prices
|6 May 2017||DGBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Dolgellau||4||£499.00||Book Now|
|6 May 2017||DGBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Dolgellau||7||£819.00||Book Now|
|10 May 2017||DGBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Dolgellau||3||£359.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
- Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
- Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person