Southern Snowdonia Discovery Tour

Wales

Code: DGHCR

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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • History
  • Rural peace
From £365.00 - 3 to 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

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.

Holiday Highlights:

  • Harlech castle
  • Beautiful woodland waterfall of Dolgoch and the famous Tallyllyn Railway
  • Snowdonia and the fantasy village of Portmeirion
  • Welshpool and Powis Castle

Great reasons to join us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus five full-day mini-coach tours, with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 1½ miles
  • Knowledgeable leader: learn more about the history and landscapes of Wales from your knowlegeable leader
  • Accommodation: extensive views stretch over the surrounding hills, and a real focus on food at Dolserau Hall
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - explore together, eat together and relax together

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

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.

Saturday: Arrival day

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.

Sunday: 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. 

Monday: Mawddach Estuary and Harlech

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.

Tuesday: Powis Castle and 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.

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

Thursday: Aberdovey and Talyllyn

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 and the visit to remote, ruined Castell y Bere is in marked contrast to Harlech Castle. 

Friday: High Mountains of Snowdonia

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.

Saturday: 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 £80 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.

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. www.talyllyn.co.uk

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. www.greatlittletrainsofwales.co.uk

 

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. 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

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. www.portmeirion-village.com

 

 

 

 

Harlech Castle image © Crown copyright (2016) Welsh Government

Travel

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 www.nationalrail.co.uk 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.

 

Bus

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 www.traveline.info

 

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.

 

Leaders

Audrey Salter

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 Lounds

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.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
13 Nov 2016, 9:09 a.m.

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Service review:

I had some specific issues 1. On the first evening a waitress served my fruit salad with her thumb inside the bowl touching the juice. I mentioned this to the supervisor who said they had new staff. However, on the second day the supervisor served the fruit salad in the same way. Later I mentioned this to the manageress. This is not acceptable for a high hygiene rating. 2. There was a couple celebrating their golden wedding and I asked the restaurant supervisor if it would be possible to do something special like a cake on the last night. She said they had done if for a birthday the previous week, checked with the kitchen and said it would be done. However, on the last night, nothing appeared. 3. Most of the guests were senior citizens, some of whom have a very traditional idea of menus and food preparation. I like to eat in a more modern style but even I thought the food too pretentious. This is HF not "Master Chef". One or two people commented on this at the tables I shared. 4. Although I am a member of HF I had a charge of £5 on the final invoice as a non-member. I had offered to give my membership number when first booking but was told it was not necessary as it would be picked up from my post-code.

Product review:

This hotel is in a good location for touring the area and our leader was very knowledgeable.
22 Sep 2015, 8:48 a.m.

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The level of staffing made it difficult to maintain the usual standard but all the staff were helpful and cheerful.

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This holiday was of excellent standard due in no small part to the leader who was one of the very best.
2 Sep 2014, 8:45 a.m.

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There is the opportunity of meeting people with the same interests, the accommodation is usually excellent, also the food and organisation of activities and sight seeing.

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Dolgellau Hall is of an exceptional standard - comfortable, even luxurious bedroom, lovely food of local produce, great hospitality of the staff and interesting company of the group. I cannot fault the holiday.
30 Aug 2014, 7:29 p.m.

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Generally good with interesting tours.

Product review:

Well run house, pleasant staff, clean room and bathroom and very nice food. The tour could have been better organised. There was too much driving around on an old, uncomfortable coach, wasted time at uninteresting places and not enough time at the really worthwhile places like Harlech and Powys Castles, having to choose between visiting the castle and the garden. Barely taken to the lakes, but not driven round or allowed to walk round or even given time for photo stops.
28 Aug 2014, 10:12 a.m.

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Well organised company.

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A very relaxing holiday setting.
27 Aug 2014, 9:24 a.m.

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Always a friendly atmosphere and with a good variety of activities.

Product review:

Could have made better use of the time - highlights for me were Portmeirion and Powis Castle & gardens - lots to see at both - and the scenery. Some of the coffee/lunch stops were in rather boring small Welsh towns with not much to see. We could have spent a bit longer at Betwys y Coed and we didn't stop at Aberdyfi or Barmouth at all. I also wonder whether we need a free day on the discovery tours because without a car it's difficult to get around. I can see that walkers might need a day off to explore further afield or to have a rest but I would have preferred another outing.
27 Aug 2014, 9:14 a.m.

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The holidays are an excellent way of meeting people, especially for those who travel alone. Accommodation is comfortable and well cared for, with wide menu choices. The provision of evening events is welcome, and the choice of whether to participate is sensible.

Product review:

It was good to be able to cover much ground and to enjoy mountain scenery without having to navigate or drive. The time spent in towns was not usually enjoyable, since there was often little to see or do. Those who join in these holidays are usually those who have previously been keen walkers, so enjoy country rather than town. However, an occasional visit to a local museum or information centre is often appreciated.

The holiday in Dolgellau was under the banner of Discovery Tours, not quite to same as Leisure Activities; they are separated in the brochure.
4 Aug 2014, 7:40 a.m.

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Very welcoming and helpful throughout this holiday.

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Very warm, friendly leader and group of people.
25 Jul 2014, 7:28 p.m.

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Certainly the most disappointing Discovery holiday we have had but service from HF is good.

Product review:

Itinerary requires some serious re thinking. Very long days, 9-10 hours, with far too many road miles covered. Long periods of time also spent in 'towns'. Far too much travel on major roads with not a great deal of rural content.
House however was good.
Thank you for your holiday feedback. We’re sorry you didn’t enjoy the Discovery itinerary on your recent holiday, we are currently looking at how this can be improved for next year.

All the best,
Harriet Holland, PR & Communications Executive, HF Holidays Ltd.
24 Jul 2014, 8:37 a.m.

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The service at the hotel was very good.

Product review:

I enjoyed the holiday and the hotel was excellent. The content of the holiday was good, but the travel time to the destinations needed sorting on some of the days. For example it was not a good idea on one day to spend a long time travelling west of the house to spend an hour at a place and then spend a long time travelling east of the house to spend an hour again at that place.

I liked the house and I was lucky enough to have a room with a beautiful view.

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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
3 Jun 2017 DGHCR - Discovery Tour - Dolgellau 4 £505.00 £505.00 Book Now
3 Jun 2017 DGHCR - Discovery Tour - Dolgellau 7 £855.00 £805.00 Special Early Booking offer - £50.00 off pp Book Now
7 Jun 2017 DGHCR - Discovery Tour - Dolgellau 3 £365.00 £365.00 Book Now
12 Aug 2017 DGHCR - Discovery Tour - Dolgellau 4 £505.00 £505.00 Book Now
12 Aug 2017 DGHCR - Discovery Tour - Dolgellau 7 £855.00 £805.00 Special Early Booking offer - £50.00 off pp Book Now
16 Aug 2017 DGHCR - Discovery Tour - Dolgellau 3 £365.00 £365.00 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

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