Local Area Information
There are lots have many beautiful places to visit and things to do nearby including the stunning Cardigan Bay beaches, the incredible mountains of Snowdonia, crystalline Bala Lake and more. The area is great for cycling, walking, fishing, pony trekking, boating & golf to name but a few. Snowdonia offers something for everyone ...
- Walk or cycle the famous Mawddach Trail
- Discover the market town of Dolgellau
- Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park offers walking and running trails as well as mountain biking for all abilities
- Get away from the crowds of Snowdon and hike up Cader Idris
- Explore the area on foot, some walks begin straight from the cottage
- Walk a section of the Wales Coastal Path
- Take the sea air on one of North Wales' sandy beaches
- Take a boat ride on the Mawddach estuary or go sea fishing from Barmouth
- See the ospreys at the Dyfi or Glaslyn sites
- Go paddle boarding in Barmouth Harbour and the stunning Mawddach Estuary
- Enjoy the scenery from one of North Wales' narrow gauge railways
- Visit Portmeirion village
- Discover local crafts at Corris Craft Centre and Dolgellau's Ty Siamas
- Visit the beautiful Bodnant gardens
- Brush up your history on a tour of Welsh castles
- Play a round of golf at Aberdyfi or Royal St David's at Harlech
- Take a tour round the Llechwedd slate caverns
- Have a Zip World adventure on the zip lines, in the tree tops or Bounce Below in the slate caverns
- Go white water rafting at the National White Water Rafting Centre near Bala
- Spend a day surfing at Surf Snowdonia's world first inland surf lagoon
- Take a tour of Llanberis' hydroelectric station visitor centre, Electric Mountain
Mawddach Trail - www.mawddachtrail.co.uk
The Mawddach Trail footpath walk and cycle route winds for 9.5 miles (15km) along the disused railway track on the southern edge of the spectacular Mawddach estuary. Whilst the trail can be joined at several points it starts at the picturesque market town of Dolgellau and finishes by crossing the iconic railway bridge over the mouth of the estuary into Barmouth.
Mawddach Trail – Cycling - www.mawddachestuary.co.uk/cycling/
As a base for your cycling holiday, the Mawddach estuary has it all: epic bike rides along quiet country lanes through to full-on mountain bike routes.
The principal points on the estuary, Dolgellau, Penmaenpool, Arthog and Barmouth, are linked by the Mawddach Trail, a way-marked and largely traffic free cycleway. Other cycling arteries, National Cycling Network Route-8 and Route-82, connect Dolgellau with the mountain bike trails at Coed y Brenin, and further afield the Cli-Machx and Mach trails. These routes also connect either end of the estuary to the principal towns of Porthmadog and Trawsfynydd to the north, and Tywyn, Corris and Machynlleth to the south. Route-8, also known as the Lôn Las Cymru, runs over 400 km (250 miles) between Holyhead on Anglesey and Cardiff or Chepstow.
Mawddach Valley - Coed Garth Gell - www.rspb.org.uk
Nestled in the spectacular Mawddach Valley, Coed Garth Gell is a woodland and heathland nature reserve and one of the best places for wildlife in the UK. The visitor trails weave through beautiful oak woodland with a fast-flowing river in the valley bottom. In the spring and summer, pied flycatchers, redstarts and wood warblers are prominent, with bluebells in flower and gorgeous fritillary butterflies on the wing. Go for a walk in winter and you could see siskins, lesser redpolls and, occasionally, hawfinches and lesser spotted woodpeckers.
The Mawddach Way - www.mawddachway.co.uk
The Mawddach Way is a 50km walk which uses existing footpaths and permissive paths to make a circuit of the hills either side of the estuary, passing through woodland, pasture and open country. It can be done in sections over several different weekends.
Mawddach Valley - Arthog Bog - www.rspb.org.uk
Arthog Bog is a small wetland and a wonderful place to see weird and wonderful plants, flowers, butterflies and birds. It's one of the remaining fragments of raised bog which once would have covered much of the adjacent Mawddach Estuary. With more than 130 species of plants recorded, there are colourful displays through the year such as marsh marigold and yellow flag in the spring and hemp agrimony, meadowsweet and ragged robin through the summer. There are also many specialised ditch plants such as bog bean and greater spearwort.
As the UK’s first and largest dedicated mountain bike trail centre, Coed-y-Brenin, just north of Dolgellau, not only has miles of exceptional single-track for experienced and expert riders, but also great family and intermediate trails for all abilities. The Bike Centre - www.beicsbrenin.co.uk - stocks a wide range of accessories and bikes, to ensure that you get the most out of your visit to Coed y Brenin and, right next door, the visitor center café serves a great range of drinks and home cooked cakes and meals. There are showers and 24hr toilets on site and all trails are way-marked and clearly graded.
The Visitor Centre is the starting point for 6 mountain bike trails including Red Bull trail (7.5 miles), Karrimor trail (20 miles) and other technical trails. All waymarked, with guides available. 4 way-marked walk trails ranging from 1 to 5 miles..
Zip World - https://www.zipworld.co.uk/
Zip World won international acclaim when it opened Zip World Velocity at Bethesda in March 2013. It includes a pair of zip lines a mile long, where riders can exceed 100mph, 500ft high and experience the nearest thing to flying.
Zip World Titan opened in June 2014 at Llechwedd Slate Caverns, near the historic slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. This is the first 4-person zip line in Europe and the combination of Velocity and Titan makes North Wales the zip line capital of the world. Bounce Below and Zip World Caverns, are incredible underground adventures and are also located at Llechwedd Slate Caverns.
Zip World acquired Zip World Fforest in February 2016. With adventures for almost any age, it is the perfect family day out. Zip Line through the trees on Zip Safari, bounce on Treetop Nets, soar on Skyride or ride the new Fforest Coaster. Young adventurers can also explore
Cader Idris (Cadair Idris)
Cader Idris is an impressive, culturally significant upland landscape. The massif itself comprises of corries, summit ridges, steep scree slopes and cliffs. Towards the south, there is a large U-shaped glaciated valley. Cader Idris is one of the most southerly high mountains in the UK with many upland species reaching their southerly limit here, including the diminutive Dwarf Willow on the summit ridge. The area supports an extensive range of upland habitats including blanket bog, upland heath, broadleaved woodland and a variety of grassland types. Dwarf shrub heath is plentiful with Heather, Bilberry and Cross-leaved Heath common. Purple Moor-grass, Sheep’s Fescue and Common Bent are widespread in the grasslands. Llyn Cau is a nutrient-poor acid lake typical of upland Britain with few species but interestingly, Quillwort remains abundant. The crags and screes sustain clumps of bright green Parsley Fern. Mammals include Otter, Brown Hare, Water Vole and Lesser Horseshoe Bat. Breeding upland birds include Wheatear and Ring Ouzel (summer visitors), Peregrine, Raven, Skylark and Meadow Pipit. The name ‘Cader Idris’, which translates as “the chair of Idris”, is widely believed to originate from Welsh mythology referring to ‘Idris the giant’, who used the mountain as an enormous armchair to stargaze. Alternatively, it may refer to Idris ap Gwyddno, a 7th-century Meirionnydd prince who defeated the Irish in battle on the mountain. Cader Idris is also said to be the hunting grounds of Gwyn ap Nudd and his Cŵn Annwn. The howling of these dogs foretold death to the listener with the pack herding that person's soul into the underworld. The Minffordd path to the mountain begins on the southern side near the Tal-y-llyn lake. A car park located behind the Minffordd hotel. The Pony path begins in the north, from the car park at Tŷ Nant.
National White Water Rafting Centre
The National White Water Centre offer fantastic white water adventures on natural rapids on the River Tryweryn, located in Snowdonia National Park. Set in stunning Welsh hills, the dam controlled River Tryweryn has high flows ideal for exhilarating white water activities throughout the year.
The Mach Loop
For anyone interested in aviation and the Royal Air Force, some of the most exciting aircraft training routes are within easy reach of Pen Glan.
Jet over to Corris, Bwlch, Cader East and West and get a close-up view of all manner of planes from Hawk training aircraft to Typhoons and heavy propeller planes. The low-level, aerobatic manoeuvres are beyond belief.
Even if the planes are not training, some of the viewing points offer spectacular panoramas in their own right.
More information can be found on Machloop.co.uk
Barmouth Boat Trips
Take a sea fishing trip from Barmouth www.facebook.com/Barmouth-boat-trips-380389005488568
Mawdach Boat Rides
See the beautiful Mawddach estuary by boat. www.facebook.com/Mawddach-Boat-Rides-108476737397295
Paddle boarding in Barmouth and the Mawddach estuary
Stand Up Paddle board Lessons and Tours in Barmouth Harbour and the stunning Mawddach Estuary. www.facebook.com/supbarmouth
Harlech Beach is undoubtedly one of the most stunning beaches in Britain. It is also the holder of a coveted Green Flag Award indicating that it is one of the cleanest beaches in Britain.
The beautiful sand dunes here are a prized feature and the reason behind the area’s designation as a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest. The beach is an ideal place for children to play and an even better spot for adults to sit back and relax. Near the beach there’s a shop, café and the internationally famous Royal St David’s Golf Club, one of Britain’s finest links courses.
Harlech Castle - Heritage Site
Harlech itself was a fortified post of the ancient Britons. In 1986, it was added to the list of World Heritage Sites. The castle is opens daily at 09.30 (10.00 Nov, Dec, Jan & Feb) and offers commanding views of the Cambrian Coast.
One of the most popular attractions in Wales. A day out for all the family. http://www.portmeirion-village.com/
Located on the outskirts of Llanberis, Electric Mountain is a "must see" attraction http://www.electricmountain.co.uk/
Llechwedd Slate Quarry http://www.llechwedd.co.uk/
Llanfair Slate Caverns and Children's Farm A brilliant day out, whatever the weather. The film location of 'First Knight' http://www.llanfairslatecaverns.co.uk/
Centre for Alternative Technology http://www.cat.org.uk/
King Arthur's Labyrinth http://www.kingarthurslabyrinth.com/
There is plenty of coarse fishing in the area including carp, tench, chubb and catfish. Brynmelin Pools has two small pools near Machynlleth, containing carp to around 16lbs plus tench, bream and roach. Llyn y Gro at Sarnau near Bala, is described as the epitomy of scenic, peaceful and enjoyable coarse fishing.
And of course there is also a large number of beaches, castles and other places of interest for your to explore!
Aberdovey Golf Club
Take a scenic run down the Mawddach Estuary to Aberdovey, and you will discover a classic links golf course tucked between the sand dunes and the rolling hills. Reputedly, Aberdovey golf course started off in the 1880s with nine flower pots sunk into the turf.
No of Holes: 18; Course Type: Links
Station Road, Aberdovey, LL35 0RT; Phone:01654 767493
Royals St David's Golf Club at Harlech
Not many golf courses can claim to be in the shadow of an ancient castle, but that much is true of Royal St David's at Harlech where the bent and fescue fairways are watched over by this historical stone bastion built by Edward I. Royal St David's is a traditional championship links course with a succession of long testing par fours and five short holes which seldom head in the same direction.
No of Holes: 18; Course Type -Links
Phone: 01766 780361
Porthmadog Golf Club
Porthmadog is another favourite course with hotel guests; half links, half parkland and while the front nine holes are generally away from the sea, as players go around Samson's Bay on the 12th, the bracing frets can turn the fate of many a game. The 14th has been dubbed the "Himalayas" where golfers must keep their faith whilst driving over a huge natural bunker to the fairway hidden from the tee.
No of Holes: 18; Course Type -Links;
Morfa Bychan, Porthmadog, LL49 9UU; Phone - 01766 514124
Dolgellau Golf Club
Set amidst spectacular mountain backdrops Dolgellau Golf Club is considered to be one of the most beautiful courses in Wales. Do not be fooled by its lack of length, this 9-hole course with alternating tees for the second nine provides a true test of golf for all standards of golfer.
The golf course's small and well protected greens will reward a good straight shot and the free-draining land means suberb playing conditions can be maintained even in wet weather ensuring year-round play. The course is overlooked by Cader Idris, one of the highest mountains in Wales and the top six holes provide stunning views of the Mawddach estuary and beyond. A really idyllic setting for a relaxing game or two.
No of Holes – 9; C - Course Type -Parkland / downland
Pen Cefn Road, Dolgellau, LL40 2ES. Phone: 01341 422603
Fairbourne Golf Course
Located near Fairbourne beach, the golf course is a 1,000 yard par three, nine hole links course also playable as 18 holes (2,697 yards). Green fees from £ 3, suitable for beginners or those wishing to practice their short game.
Leave mundane troubles far behind when you go angling in the tranquillity of Snowdonia's most breath-taking surroundings. Cast a line, relax, unwind on one of the many nearby lakes. Or, if you're an angler set on catching a salmon for dinner, you will find mile after mile of sea trout and salmon beats on the river Wnion and the beautiful Mawddach estuary. Just a short run up the estuary from Penmaenpool, where the Mawddach reaches Barmouth, sea fishing enthusiasts will delight in the harbours and jetties from which to lure the bass and mackerel.
For a day to remember, boat trips from Barmouth harbour can be organised. Fishing parties of up to twelve guests can be arranged with Barmouth Viking II charter boat.
Land lubbers might prefer to fish from the strand or the harbours and jetties in the mouth of the Mawddach estuary. Shoals of bass top the bill and other sea fish that can be caught depending on season include tope, bream, mackerel, whiting, conger eels and ray.