Southern Snowdonia Outdoor Escapes holidays

Exhilarating weekends - as adventurous or relaxing as you choose


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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • High Mountains
  • Rural peace


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  • 4
  • 5
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 £345.00 - 3 to 6 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Get away from work for a long weekend’s walking (or stay for the week) and be surprised!

  • By the range of guided walks, from spectacular strolls through the woods and waterfalls around our country house and walks on the Wales Coast Path, to a fantastic ridge walk on the Dragon’s Back with cracking views of the coast and estuary or a circuit of the Southern Rhinogs to earn a pint in the Queen Victoria pub, or  harder climbs on Cadair Idris, one of the most impressive mountains in Southern Snowdonia.
  • By how much you can do in a weekend when your guides know their stuff, from potting otters and other wildlife when you walk through the woods to discovering the magnificent medieval castle at Harlech and hopping a ride on the Talyllyn steam railway.
  • By the camaraderie and craic that comes from making discoveries and having adventures in a small group of like-minded people.

Moment of the weekend

When you find the secret tidal island on the edge of Snowdonia. Overlooked by the Moelwyn Mountains, the small island of Ynys Gifftan in the Dwyryd Estuary is a seemingly isolated, insignificant, unbridged granite outcrop. Roll up your trousers and step onto the rippled sands at low tide though for an adventure unlike any other. Explore the temporary pools, shallow channels and exposed sandflats as you splash to the island, watching for wildfowl, otters and water voles. If you’re lucky you might even catch sight of an osprey diving for fish. Climb up to find the island’s only house, an abandoned stone-built farm cottage and imagine living in splendid seclusion!

In pictures...


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


Experience the very best of Southern Snowdonia on our walks. Each day we'll offer three options, ranging from relaxing shorter strolls, to more challenging longer walks. Our flexible programme allows you to choose the option that suits your mood.

For those of you staying for 6 nights, there will be a free day in the middle of the holiday - the perfect chance to head off and explore independently, or just kick back and relax.

Select the date of your holiday to see which walks are running during your stay.

Outdoor Escapes in Southern Snowdonia - 3 night weekend break

Available on: 14 Sep 2019

Dolserau Hall in DolgellauDay 1: Arrival Day

Join us at Dolserau Hall, our Country House, for an action-packed short break. If the weather is fine we can take a short pre-dinner stroll along the Torrent Walk to help get your bearings. After a delicious 3-course evening meal, there's time to relax with the rest of the group and look forward to the adventures to come.


Day 2: The Mawddach & the Dragon's Back

Enjoy the choice of 3 guided walks, ranging from a leisurely exploration of the beautiful Mawddach Estuary, to a scrambly ascent and the Dragon's Back.

Option 1: Panorama Walk

Barmouth railway bridge over the Mawddach Estuary

Distance: 9 miles (14km). This walk can be split into two if you're looking for a shorter half day walk.

Total ascent: 650 feet (200m)

The walk in a nutshell: After the Panorama viewpoint, we cross the estuary at Barmouth to pick-up the Mawddach Trail, all the way to Penmaenpool.

Don’t miss: Watch for birdlife on the way, then relax with a pint in the George III at the end of the day.

Option 2: The Dragon's Back

Barmouth and the Mawddach estuary

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 1,750 feet (540m)

The walk in a nutshell: From Dolgellau we've a gradual climb up to Gwernan Lake. Its then an ancient trackway and the Dragon's Back, before we finish on the Mawddach Trail to Penmaenpool.

Don’t miss: Fantastic ridge walking with cracking views of the coast and estuary, and beyond to the Snowdonian mountains.

Option 3: Cregennan Lakes

Cregennan Lake

Distance: 11 miles (18km)

Total ascent: 2,850 feet (880m)

The walk in a nutshell: We climb up beside waterfalls to Cregennen Lakes. We've then the option of a scrambly ridge, before we continue to the Dragon’s Back and then Penmaenpool.                      

Don’t miss: this chance to get off the beaten track and appreciate superb mountain scenery and solitude.

Day 3: Dolgoch, Bird Rock & Tarren Hendre

Today's 3 guided walks focus on the area around the stunning Dolgoch Falls and the Talyllyn steam railway.

Option 1: Castell y Bere

Dolgoch Falls waterfalls

Distance: 5 miles (8½km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m)

The walk in a nutshell: Walk to Castell y Bere, a 13th century castle - the last stronghold of the Welsh Princes, and Mary Jones’ chapel, before the Dysynni valley takes us to Abergynolwyn village for trip on the Talyllyn steam railway.

Don’t miss: the beauty of Dolgoch Falls, after a trip on the steam train.

Option 2: Bird Rock

Walkers on Bird Rock

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 1,400 feet (420m)

The walk in a nutshell: Starting near Abergynolwyn we climb up onto Bird Rock, the most inland nesting site for sea birds. We then follow the beautiful Dysynni valley, along the river to Abergynolwyn.

Don’t miss: The chance to visit Castell y Bere and Mary Jones' chapel, and to end the day with a pint in the Railway Inn.

Option 3: Tarren Hendre

Steam locomotive on the Talyllyn Railway

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)

Total ascent: 2,150 feet (660m)

The walk in a nutshell: From the pretty village of Pennal, on the Dovey estuary, gentle hills treat us to 360 degree views of the mountains and coast from the top of Tarren Hendre. We then had down to beautiful Dolgoch Falls.    

Don’t miss:  if we're in good form, there should be time to ride the Talyllyn steam railway to Abergynolwyn at the end of the day.

Day 4: Departure Day and the Torrent walk

Make the most of your final morning with the opportunity to join us on a local classic - the Torrent Walk.

Option 1: Torrent Walk

Bridge and waterfalls on the Torrent Walk

Distance: 2½ miles (4km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (150m)

The walk in a nutshell: This is the signature walk for the area around Dolserau Hall. It includes a nice mix of woodland, waterfalls, a pretty church and open fields - a bit of everything. We'll arrive back at Dolserau in time for lunch before your journey home.

Don’t miss: Take some time and see what wildlife you can spot. The gorge is an SSSI, and otters amongst other wildlife have been spotted here.


Outdor Escapes in Southern Snowdonia - 3 night midweek break

Available on: 17 Sep 2019

Dolserau Hall in DolgellauDay 1: Arrival Day

Join us at Dolserau Hall, our Country House, for an action-packed short break. If the weather is fine we can take a short pre-dinner stroll along the Torrent Walk to help get your bearings. After a delicious 3-course evening meal, there's time to relax with the rest of the group and look forward to the adventures to come.


Day 2: The Rhinogs, Llandanwg & Harlech

Enjoy the choice of 3 guided walks, ranging from a leisurely exploration of the Ardudwy coast, to the highest point in the Rhinogs.

Option 1: Llandanwg & Harlech

View along Harlech beach

Distance: 5 miles (8½km)

Total ascent: 750 feet (240m)

The walk in a nutshell: Explore the Ardudwy Coast and stroll along the stunning beach at Llandanwg. On route we’ll visit a slate cavern then continue to Harlech with its impressive 13th century castle.

Don’t miss: Harlech Castle - this magnificent medieval castle was built by Edward I to control the Welsh. Not into castles? - kick back and relax in one of the local cafes.

Option 2: Over the Hills to Harlech

Harlech Castle

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.

Option 3: The Southern Rhinogs


Distance: 11 miles (18km)

Total ascent: 2,400 feet (720m)

The walk in a nutshell: This circuit of the southern Rhinog peaks sets off from near Bontddu, ascending to Diffwys, then north along a stunning ridge to Llethr, the highest point in the Rhinogs. It's then downhill to the coast and Llanbedr.

Don’t miss: A well deserved pint in the Queen Victoria at the end of a fantastic day's walking.

Day 3: Cadair Idris & the Wales Coast Path

Today's 3 guided walks offer the chance to explore beautiful coastline, or to tackle the mighty Cadair Idris.

Option 1: Wales Coast Path

Fairbourne Beach

Distance: 5 miles (8½km)

Total ascent: 1,080 feet (330m)

The walk in a nutshell: From Llwyngwril village, the Wales Coast path treats us to great views down to the sea. We visit the Blue Lake then head down to walk along the beach to the seaside resort of Fairbourne in time for ice cream.

Don’t miss: A trip on the scenic coastal railway from Tywyn to Llwyngwril, where we begin our walk - a fantastic start to the day.

Option 2: Cadair Idris

Mountain lake on Cadair Idris

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)

Total ascent: 2,900 feet (880m)

The walk in a nutshell: We tackle Cader Idris, climbing along the Minffordd path above the corrie basin of Llyn Cau on a dramatic ridge to reach the summit. The Pony path then leads us down to Gwernan Lake, and (if you're still feeling fresh) Dolgellau.

Don’t miss: Cadair Idris - one of our favourites and arguably the most impressive mountain in Southern Snowdonia.

Option 3: Cadair Idris ridge

View from the top of Cadair Idris

Distance: 12½ miles (20½km)

Total ascent: 3,900 feet (1,200m)

The walk in a nutshell: Not to be missed! We follow the route of the option 2 walk to Pen y Gadair summit, walk on the Pony path, then continue along the mountain’s west ridge, with stunning views to the coast, before descending to Fairbourne.

Don’t miss: A superb ridge walk on top of one of Britain's most loved mountains, with great views down the Mawddach Estuary to the sea.

Day 4: Departure Day

Time to head home. If you've still time or energy to explore further then why not borrow one of our self-guided route cards from our Discovery Point, and enjoy a further walk independently.

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
14 Sep 2019 DGBOE - Guided Walking - Outdoor Escapes - Dolgellau 3 £375.00 £345.00 Save £30 Per Person Book Now
14 Sep 2019 DGBOE - Guided Walking - Outdoor Escapes - Dolgellau 6 £739.00 £679.00 6 night special - Save £60 per person Book Now
17 Sep 2019 DGBOE - Guided Walking - Outdoor Escapes - Dolgellau 3 £375.00 £345.00 Save £30 Per Person Book Now

Prices are per person

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