Photographing Snowdonia’s Historical Trackways & Mines

Dolgellau

Code: DGETM

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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Rural peace
From £894.00 - 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Explore and capture the old drovers’ roads and historical remains of gold and slate mining in Snowdonia. We will walk along the former London to Harlech Stagecoach Route that winds over the passes and visit the evocative ruins of Cefn Coch and Clogau gold mines. During the course of each day we will walk up to 6 miles (9.5km) carrying our equipment.

Holiday Highlights:

  • Explore the evocative remains of Snowdonia’s mining history with a local photographer
  • Get off the beaten track with your walking boots and camera
  • Spend most of the day outdoors seeking out the best light and the best images

Great Reasons to Join Us

  • Great value: price includes Full Board en-suite accommodation, guidance from our expert leader and transport to photography locations
  • Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at Dolserau Hall
  • Expert leaders: our leaders are expert in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
  • Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a fun and relaxed environment

Accommodation

Visit Wales 4 star guest accommodation logo at HF Holidays

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.

 

Bedrooms

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.    

 

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Facilities

All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

The main public space is a large lounge bar, which sits at the heart of the house. This is a very comfortable and flexible space, ideal for relaxing after your walks or activities. Leading from the main lounge is the smaller 'bistro'. This room can also be used for activities in the evening and for leisure activity holidays. The attractive dining room can be divided into three sections, either creating one large space, or smaller and more intimate dining rooms. Free WiFi is available in the public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.

Dolserau Hall sits amidst attractive gardens in a beautiful peaceful location. There are extensive views from the front of the house across the valley, with the summit of Cadair Idris in the background.

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Food

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.

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Evening

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.

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Accessibility

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.

Itinerary

Saturday: Arrival day

You can check in to your room for 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: London to Harlech Stagecoach Route

We ascend the amazing uphill route taken by the stagecoach where the marks of the wheel can still be seen on the bedrock. We then follow along a hilltop ridge overlooking Snowdonia and the sea and descend via an ancient Drovers’ track visiting the remains of inns and an old well on the way. 

The evening will be devoted to reviewing images taken during the day and discussing the quarry visit tomorrow.

Monday: Rhosydd Slate Quarry Area

We walk past the beautiful Llyn Cwmorthin and visit the Manager’s House, old chapel and barracks en route to the high Rhosydd quarry. The quarry overlooks the wild Cwm Croesor and has the Moelwyn mountains as a backdrop. The evening is an opportunity to review images or to take part in the other evening activities on offer.

Tuesday: “Gold in them there Hills!”

We explore the ruins of two of the most profitable gold mines in Britain, both situated high up in the hills above the Mawddach River. Clogau Gold Mine, that overlooks Diffwys mountain, supplied gold for the Royal Family’s wedding rings. Cefn Coch is located high above Coed y Brenin forest. The evening is an opportunity to review images or to take part in the other evening activities on offer.

Wednesday: Free day

A free day for you to explore the local area or relax in the Country House.

Thursday: The Stagecoach Route and Drovers’ Roads

We walk into a very remote part of Snowdonia, following the stagecoach and drovers’ roads via Pont Scethin - a very ancient packhorse bridge. On our walk back we visit a magnificent Bronze Age fort and cromlech dating from 5,000BC. In the evening enjoy an illustrated talk on “The Old Ways” about the stagecoach route, the drovers’ roads and goldmines.

Friday: Gold Mines Waterfalls

We will walk through the wildly beautiful Coed y Brenin to explore the Glynfynydd Gold Mine hidden deep in the forest. It is situated at the junction of two rivers where there are two magnificent waterfalls, the Rhaeadr Mawddach and Pistyll Cain. We will follow the gorge of the Mawddach River on our return to our pickup point. The final evening is an opportunity for guests to display the images captured during their walks and we will have a final discussion about the holiday.

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. 

What to bring

  • Your camera and other essential accessories
  • Memory card
  • Battery and charger
  • Your camera’s instruction manual
  • Camera rain protector – a shower cap or big, strong plastic bag
  • Bag for camera equipment, spare clothing, lunch water, etc.
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Walking boots (it is rough terrain)

 

Optional:

  • Flask for hot drink
  • Tripod
  • A laptop (if you want to download your images for viewing, editing and sharing images)

Local area

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. 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

Harlech 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. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk/harlechcastle

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

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.

Portmeirion
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

Travel

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

Leaders

Jean Napier

Jean is a professional landscape photographer based in the Snowdonia National Park and an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. She has an MA in Fine Art Photographic Studies, has four books published to date on the rivers of North Wales and is fascinated by man’s marks left in the landscape over the centuries. Jean believes that having a passion for the subject is the way to make great images.

 

 

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
1 Jul 2017 DGETM - Photographing Snowdonia's Historical Trackways & Mines - Dolgellau 7 £969.00 £894.00 Special Early Booking offer - £75.00 off pp Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • 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