Dog friendly pub a few minutes walk from the cottage
Penmaenpool at night
A few minutes walk from the cottage. A great spot to launch canoes or for dogs to swim
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 & Estuary
A great spot to enjoy the views, just below the cottage
The Mawddach trail and estruary
The Mawddach trail
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.
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 - 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.
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.
Dolgellaus a lovely market town, just 2 miles from Pen Glan - and a pleasant walk or cycle along the Mawddach trail. There are several pubs and restaurants, 2 supermarkets and lots of small independant shops. Dolgellau also has a vibrant cultural scene, hosting the annual Sesiwn Fawr music festival, which attracts local and international artists. You can also discover the town's heritage, such as the 16th-century Cymer Abbey, the 17th-century Quaker meeting house, and the 18th-century woollen mills. T H Roberts coffee shop is a great place to while away an hour or so enjoying their fabulous cakes.
Barmouth with it's picturesque harbour and stunning views
Paddleboarding in the harbour and esturary
The 150+ year old Barmouth Bridge
Barmouth, where the Mountains meet the Sea has been welcoming visitors for over 150 years is a lovely holiday town with a wide range of independent shops, cafes, pubs, and restaurants, so a day can be spent browsing, dipping in and out of shops with regular coffee stops, and maybe an ice cream on the harbour watching the boats and seagulls.
The sunsets are amazing. The town is on the west coast of Wales, looking out onto Cardigan Bay, in the southern part of Snowdonia and is a great place for walking cycling paddleboarding, kayaking, paddling in the sea, building sandcastles or walking the dog.
A fabulous walk is from Pen Glan along the Mawwdach trail and over the 150+ year old Barmouth Bridge - then catch the bus back.
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
Coed Y Brenin
for great Mountain Biking and Walking
Coed-y-Brenin Visitors Centre
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.
Coed y Brenin - Waterfall and Goldmine trail
A spectacular circular walk following the Mawddach River to the stunning Mawddach & Pistyll Cain Waterfalls and the remains of the Gwynfynydd Goldmine and gunpowder works.
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)
At 893 m (2,930 ft), Cader (or Cadair) Idris is one of the highest mountains in southern Eryri (Snowdonia) - and can be a great place to get away from the crowds on Snowdon.
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.
There are three recommended routes to climb Cader. The Minffordd path to the mountain begins on the southern side near the Tal-y-llyn lake. The Pony path begins in the north, from the car park at Tŷ Nant. www.visitwales.com/things-do/adventure-and-activities/walking/guide-to-walking-up-cader-idris
The closest beach to Pen Glan. At high tide the beach is mainly composed of sloping pebbled banks backed by grassy dunes but when the tide is out a two mile stretch of golden sand is exposed.There is a train that runs from Fairbourne to the peninsular where you can you get a ferry, in season, across to Barmouth or you can walk over Barmouth Bridge.
Barmouth is southern Snowdonia's most popular seaside resort. The town's beach, Abermaw, is west facing so it gets the most amazing sunsets. It has mixture of sand and some fine shingle and is ideal for bathing and watersports. There are some breathtaking views of Cardigan Bay and the picturesque harbour. The town can get busy and there are traditional donkey rides, swing boats and amusement arcades, but the beach itself is vast and easily big enough to get away from it all. There is good disabled access to the beach and all leisure amenities,a with a great beach (that has dog friendly sections all year round)
Benar Beach and Morfa Dyffryn National Nature Reserve
Benar or Bennar Beach with it’s miles of sand and sand dunes is part of the Morfa Dyffryn National Nature Reserve that stretches up to Shell Island and is one of the most beautiful beaches in Wales. The sands of Morfa Dyffryn are clean and soft and extend into the sea at a gentle slope so that you can easily swim here, even if you have children as there are no sudden ledges to avoid. The beach between Dyffryn and Shell Island is dog friendly all year round
Behind the beach you will also be able to take in views over majestic Snowdonia as well as the mighty Rhinog Mountains. As you look out across the sea you will find Tremadog Bay and the wider Llyn Peninsula. And if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the local dolphins.
The beach here is perhaps best known as an officially recognised naturist beach. The nudist section of the beach is separate from the main area but still stretches for around a mile. Dyffryn Beach has been used as a naturist beach since the 1920s although in recent years clear signage has been added to make clear where this area begins and ends. It is usually used by a mixture of visitors including families, but it is worth noting the naturist area is around 30 minutes walk from the nearest car park.
To get to the beach there is a new boardwalk that stretches from the Snowdonia National Car Park through the dunes which offers disabled access.
Along, with Benar Beach, 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.
The Mach Loop
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
Other sites and things to do
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/
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.
Llechwedd Slate Quarry
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/
King Arthur's Labyrinth
White Water Rafting
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.
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
Porthmadog Golf Club
Porthmadog is another favourite course; 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;
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