Great Little Trains of Wales
Code: DGHRHPrint page
Our Country House in North Wales offers an outstanding base from which to visit the celebrated narrow-gauge railways of Wales.
- Ride on the Talyllyn railway, the world’s first preserved railway, and enjoy its vintage locomotives and rolling stock
- Visit the Vale of Rheidol and Ffestiniog railways, with dramatic scenery
- A journey on the Welsh Highland Railway is a stunning highlight of this enjoyable week
Great reasons to join us:
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus five full-day excursions with all train journeys included
- Knowledgeable leader: learn more about each railway from your knowledgeable leader
- Accommodation: enjoy high-quality accommodation and excellent food at the Dolserau Hall Hotel
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - explore 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 at no extra charge.
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 £10 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.
Saturday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
Sunday: Corris, Talyllyn and Fairbourn Railways
Three narrow-gauge lines today. First, the section of the Corris Railway that has been relatively recently re-opened. On to the Talyllyn Railway which has managed to keep running since 1865. Finally we go to the Fairbourne Railway for a journey to the Barmouth estuary and return.
Monday: Aberystwyth Cliff Railway & the Vale of Rheidol Railway
We go south to Aberystwyth for a visit to the Cliff Railway which should give excellent views if the weather is favourable. Then to the Vale of Rheidol Railway which opened in 1902 for the transportation of lead ore and was operated by British Rail until 1989. We take a trip through beautiful scenery to Devil’s Bridge and return.
Tuesday: Snowdon Mountain Railway & Llanberis Lake Railway
Today, weather permitting, we will ascend Snowdon by the unique rack Snowdon Mountain Railway which dates from 1896. Then we visit the narrow-gauge Llanberis Lake railway along the shores of Llyn Padarn, with the opportunity to visit the National Slate Museum
Wednesday: Free day
A free day for you to explore the local area or relax in the Country House
Thursday: Welshpool and Llanfair Railway & Bala Lake Railway
We head almost back to England to the charming Welshpool and Llanfair Railway, travelling through delightful pastoral scenery. Then it’s on to the Bala Lake Railway - a narrow-gauge line re-opened on the former Great Western main line from Ruabon to Barmouth.
Friday: Ffestiniog Railway & the Welsh Highland Railway
We take a journey on the two lines centred on Porthmadog. First, the Ffestiniog from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog, which includes dramatic scenery and a spinal curve at Dduallt. Then on the Welsh Highland Railway, which passes through picturesque country with views of Snowdon (hopefully!) on its way to Caernarfon.
Saturday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
This itinerary is also subject to final confirmation of the railways’ timetables.
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
Travel to Dolgellau
Our address is: Dolserau Hall, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 2AG
The most convenient railway station is at 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).
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.
From Machynlleth take the X32 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 www.traveline.info
From the north travel via Chester then the A550, A5104, 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 travel via Shrewsbury and the A458 to Welshpool. Continue on the A458 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.
Travelling from overseas
Birmingham Airport has the quickest onward connections to Machynlleth. Direct trains from Birmingham International station take 2 hours 35 minutes. See www.nationalrail.co.uk 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 www.nationalrail.co.uk 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 www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
In each case complete your journey from Machynlleth to Dolgellau by taxi or bus (see above).
After 30 years as a Transport Planner, Graham successfully retrained as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide. He is a geographer by qualification and an explorer by instinct, and frequently has a map in his hand. Graham's travels have taken him to many parts of the country, where he enjoys discovering out-of-the-way places as well as an area's better known towns and buildings. He has a particular interest in the countryside, waterways, industrial heritage and places where history happened. Graham is also an HF Holidays' walking leader and has led at more than half of the UK's Country Houses.
Rob studied geography and then town planning which has given him a lifelong interest in people and places. He has travelled widely in Europe and worldwide and has visited many of Europe's major cities. Rob likes to research historical and architectural history in relation to the cities he visits, as well as enjoying their present day attributes such as outdoor areas, markets, cafes and restaurants! Cities have distinctive characteristics which range from the musical and artistic to architectural icons and Rob endeavours to identify and explore them.
Dates & Prices
|3 Jun 2017||DGHRH - Great Little Trains of Wales - Dolgellau||7||£1,095.00||Book Now|
|2 Sep 2017||DGHRH - Great Little Trains of Wales - Dolgellau||7||£1,095.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person