Photographing Snowdonia’s Historical Trackways & Mines


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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Rural peace

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


HF Holidays' Dolserau Hotel Hall in Southern Snowdonia

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.

Our bedrooms are either located in the main building or the tastefully converted coach house.

 Choose your room

Classic Rooms
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• TV
• Hairdryer
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
Premium Rooms
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe Complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms 
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night


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


All holidays at our Country Houses are full board with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal. 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

An example of Dolgellau breakfast meal

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the bar

Just 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.


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: There's 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 & 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)  
  • notebook and pencil (pencils work better in the rain!)
  • a laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images (whilst it’s not absolutely essential, bringing your own laptop will mean you get more from your photography holiday if you shoot digital)

 Optional camera accessories (remember you will have to carry some of these)

  • Flask for hot drink
  • spare memory cards
  • a spare camera battery
  • a spare camera (you never know)
  • a small selection of lenses if you have them: wide angle, telephoto, macro
  • a few filters if you have them: neutral density and graduated, polarising
  • memory stick, portable hard drive or CD for storing images if necessary
  • a tripod (or monopod if you feel more comfortable with one) 
  • camera rain-protector—a shower cap or plastic bag, or something more expensive if you prefer

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 general rail enquiries visit or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

Train heading to Wales 

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 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


Driving to us

By car:

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.


 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).

 Quantas Boeing 747


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

We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.

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

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