Snowdonia Safari

wildlife

Code: DGWWS

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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Rural peace
  • Wildlife

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays
  • Leisurely walks with regular stops to watch wildlife
  • Our expert leader will guide you around the best sites
  • Share enthusiasm and improve your wildlife ID skills
  • Flexible itineraries will take into account prevailing weather conditions and any reported sightings

Holiday highlights:

Bring your binoculars for a safari with a difference. Explore the mammals, birds and habitats of southern Snowdonia with experienced wildlife guide Mike Phillips. We'll walk up to 6 miles (9.5km) each day. Suitable for any level of experience, with no prior knowledge required.

Great reasons to join us:

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, guidance from our expert leader, transport and any entrance fees 
  • Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses
  • Expert leaders: all 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 relaxed and friendly 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

Arrival day Saturday:
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: RSPB Ynys-hir reserve
For our first day in the field we shall visit the RSPB’s flagship reserve at Ynys-hir, just south of Machynlleth. Here the habitats include oak woodland, bog, estuary and saltmarsh and we can expect to see a wide variety of birds, as well as the year’s last butterflies and dragonflies.

Monday: Dolgellau Precipice Walk
The Precipice Walk is one of Dolgellau’s famous attractions and includes woodland, meadows and a lake. Not as fearsome as it sounds, it offers wonderful views and will be a chance to seek out autumn birds and other wildlife in the hills. This is a 3-mile circular walk. 

Tuesday: Maentwrog Woodlands
The vast network of paths in the Maentwrog woodlands overlooking the River Dwyryd will take us through broadleaved and conifer woods to see not only birds and insects but also the ferns and fungi of this scheduled Special Area for Conservation.

Wednesday: a free day to relax and enjoy the facilities at Dolserau Hall or explore the lovely local area independently 

Thursday: Ynys-las and Cors Fochno
The Dyfi National Nature Reserve includes the vast dune system of Ynys-las and the raised bog of Cors Fochno. Together they offer an opportunity to see a wide variety of late season flowers, fungi and insects as well as raptors and other birds. 

Friday: The Mawddach Trail
Staying close to home for our final walk, we follow the Mawddach Trail alongside the beautiful Mawddach Estuary, including the RSPB reserve at Arthog Bog, for another great mix of birds, plants and insects. This is a 5-mile linear walk.

Departure day: depart after a leisurely breakfast

What to bring

  • Outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs
  • Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread is essential
  • A telescope (if you have one) and binoculars
  • Thermos flask (optional)
  • Recommended field guide (optional) – Collins Bird Guide for the birds, or Collins Complete Guide to British Wildlife will cover the majority of the species we are likely to encounter.

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

Mike Phillips

Mike Phillips is a countryman born and bred. After a rural upbringing, his adult life has (apart from a few years in commerce) been devoted to enthusing and informing people about the fascinating wildlife of the British countryside, both as a tour guide and an adult education tutor. Mike’s expertise extends to most branches of natural history and he is a passionate believer in an holistic approach to the interdependency of the natural world, from the underlying geology through the vegetation to the creatures which depend on it. He now brings his long experience to leading for HF Holidays.

 

 

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

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