Southern Snowdonia Discovery Tour
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Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.
High mountains, glaciated valleys, pleasant villages and spectacular coastal scenery are all in abundance on this holiday in Southern Snowdonia.
- Harlech castle
- Beautiful woodland waterfall of Dolgoch and the famous Tallyllyn Railway
- Snowdonia and the fantasy village of Portmeirion
- Welshpool and Powis Castle
- Optional short strolls of up to 1½ miles
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- The services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- Full-day excursions with all transport on touring days in a good-quality, comfortable mini-coach with a PA system
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
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Check-in from 1:30pm
• 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
• Dining room
• Free WiFi in public rooms
|• Range of board games and books
• Attractive gardens
|All 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.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
During your Discovery Tour you will have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places of interest. The following is a suggested programme, but your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times or the wishes of the group.
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. We invite everyone to afternoon tea at 4pm. This is the first occasion when everyone meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
Coastal Aberystwyth and Red Kites
On our journey today, we spend time at the coastal resort town of Aberystwyth, with its castle, cliff railway and promenade, and locations in the remote Cambrian Mountains. Our views include a beautiful estuary, fascinating small market towns and spectacular mountain scenery. A highlight is the fascinating Red Kite feeding station.
Mawddach Estuary and Harlech castle
A day of contrasts. We can take a scenic estuary walk then immerse ourselves in two periods of history with a visit to a Neolithic burial chamber followed by the spectacularly sited Edward I castle at Harlech. Later we can discover some more of what makes Snowdonia what it is at the National Park’s impressive study centre.
Powis Castle and Lake Bala
We get a sense of the historical and recent strategic importance of Wales with a visit to the spectacular Powis Castle and the reservoir at Lake Vyrnwy. Garden lovers will enjoy the extensive castle gardens, and bird lovers will enjoy the RSPB reserve at Lake Vyrnwy. Bala is one of those mid-Wales market towns that deserve a leisurely exploration.
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.
Aberdovey and the Talyllyn Railway
A day of views, an estuary village, a railway and some walking. The village, Aberdyfi, merits a leisurely inspection. The railway, the Talyllyn, is one of the Great Little Trains of Wales. The walk at Dolgoch gives close up views of delightful waterfalls. See the remote, ruined Castell y Bere is in marked contrast to Harlech Castle.
Snowdonia & Portmeirion
We venture into the northern part of the iconic Snowdonia National Park, with visits to Llechwedd Slate Caverns and the famous Italianate village of Portmeirion. Our route through the centre of rugged Snowdonia includes the inland resort villages of Betws-y-Coed and Beddgelert and, if we are lucky, a view of the summit of Snowdon itself.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; please remember to bring your National Trust or English Heritage cards if you have them. Otherwise please allow up to £10 per day for entrances; (there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price).
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.
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).
Paul obtained a degree in Geology from Aberystwyth University and practised as a professional exploration geologist in the international oil industry for nearly 40 years and, as a result, has been privileged to live and work in many parts of the world, mainly in Eastern Europe, North Africa, South Africa, the Middle East and Far East.
Paul has also travelled extensively in the UK, where he has much experience in walking and touring holidays with geological, landscape appreciation and archaeological themes including the Yorkshire Coast, the Dorset Coast, North Wales, the English Weald and the Isle of Wight.
John Parkinson has led many Touring holidays, City Breaks, Discovery Tours, Walking holidays, long distance trails, skiing and winter holidays for HF Holidays since 1997. John’s interests include walking, history, art and literature, and he enjoys visiting new areas. He welcomes the opportunity to pass on his enthusiasm for life and these shared interests.
Audrey is widely travelled, both in the UK and worldwide, and is an experienced HF Holidays’ leader and National Trust volunteer. Living close to the New Forest, her local knowledge ranges from butterflies to badgers.
Audrey appreciates the many opportunities to explore our history, architecture, culture and customs HF Holidays’ Discovery Tours provide. She enjoys seeking out local stories, historical personalities, unusual buildings and legends that enhance the experience on a holiday.
Audrey has a range of interests including gardening, reading, walking, art, history, opera and wild flowers.
Heather has a background in heritage conservation from both a professional and personal perspective. She has a passion for historic places and likes to find the unusual and extraordinary facts that will help to bring a visit alive. She enjoys sharing her love of historic places and her respect for contemporary architecture and always tries to cater for everyone by including a variety of places, spaces and building types to enrich the experience. She has a good knowledge of architecture and social history and a great enthusiasm for the setting of buildings.
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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