Celebrating National Walking Month
Our favourite five walks
If you’re a serious hilltop hiker or just a simple stroller, the Trefeddian Hotel, at the southern end of Snowdonia National Park, is the ideal base for a walking holiday.
The hotel has 31 recommended walks in the vicinity but this really is just the tip of perambulation paradise if you’re looking to explore the area on foot.
Here are our favourite walks…
Trefeddian to Tywyn along the beach
Difficulty – one for the strollers
Distance – 3 miles
It’s just a 5 minute walk from the hotel to the beach. Just head down to the road, cross the golf course and sand dunes before the glorious wide expanses of Aberdovey Beach open up before you. Once on the beach, turn right and keep walking, sea on your left, dunes on your right. Time the tides right and the waves will be rolling in at your feet as the extensive tidal flow of the Dyfi Estuary takes effect. After about an hour or so of walking on flat sands, Tywyn will come into sight, move to the top of the beach and onto the raised pathway above the beach. This will lead you directly onto Tywyn Promenade and the opportunity to grab an ice cream before waking to the far end of the prom. To return to the hotel, either retrace your steps or head for Tywyn Train Station in the town centre and enjoy the short scenic train ride back into Aberdovey.
Watch out for…grey seals, the petrified forest and curlews along the way
Dolgoch Waterfalls hopping off the Talyllyn Railway
Difficulty – low falls easy or high falls moderate
Distance – 1 to 3 miles
This is one for families with young children, hopping off the Talyllyn Railway to the beautiful Dolgoch Falls. The old narrow gauge railway runs through the beautiful Fathew Valley to Nant Gwernol, a journey of approximately 12 miles taking around 1 hour. Dolgoch is the halfway point. Having alighted the train take the downhill path to the lower falls where you will also see an old miners cave that extends into the slate rock face. From here you can head further downhill, alongside the river to the Dolgoch Falls Cafe, serving afternoon teas and ice creams. Alternatively follow the signposts for the middle and upper falls. The path is very uneven in parts and slippery when wet, so tread carefully, it’s well worth the effort to witness the high falls and to rest and recover at the lovely picnic area. Retrace your steps to the railway platform for the return train journey to Tywyn.
Discover…hidden caves and secret paths
The Torrent Walk
Difficulty – moderate to hard
Distance – 2 miles
If you like a waterfall or two and a bit of strenuous up and down, this is the one for you. Just outside Dolgellau, close to the tiny hamlet of Brithdir is The Torrent Walk, about a 30 minute drive from the hotel. Approaching on the B4416 off the main A487 you will see various signs to access the walk. Park in the first layby on your left having crossed the narrow bridge. The walk takes you up and down either side of a ravine, often on slippery, stony ground, so not really suitable for very young children. The sounds and sights are delightful and when alone very relaxing just to sit and listen to the rushing gulleys and falls. The walk also brings the opportunity for some bird and wildlife spotting amongst the dense surrounding woodland.
The Torrent Walk was commissioned by the Baron of the mansion Plas Caerynwych and subsequently designed and engineered by Thomas Payne. The walk was opened to the public in the early 19th Century.
Look out for…Otters, unique lichens and ferns
Craig Yr Arderyn (Bird Rock)
Difficulty – Moderate
Distance – 5.5 miles
As the name suggests, this walk is a combination for the lovers of hiking and ornithology. The start of the walk is from the Talyllyn Railway Car Park at Abergynolwyn so can be accessed by car or train. Turn left out of the car park and continue to a signpost by the third gate. Go through the gate and follow the track uphill until you reach Rhiwerfa Farm buildings. Continue on ensuring the trees are on your left. After you go through the next gate stick to the left hand path and follow the contour around the hill. Keep following the signed path going through two more gates until you reach wall with a gateway. Follow the path downhill now going through another two gates. After the second of these turn left onto a steep uphill path that leads to the summit of Bird Rock.
The rock is so called because of the large amount of bird life nesting on it. This site attracts many sea birds as historically the land around it was covered by sea and salt marshes. The views from the top are magnificent giving a full panorama of the Dysynni Valley.
Keep your eyes peeled for… Cormorants, this is the only site in Europe where these birds nest inland
Morfa Mawddacch Trail
Difficulty – Easy Terrain
Distance – up to 9 miles
This trail guides you along nine miles of disused railway line from Barmouth to Dolgellau, following the beautiful Mawddach Estuary. It’s a perfect walk for all ages and abilities and can be joined at several points by taking advantage of the Cambrian Coast Railway. You will also find cyclists using the trail, so a consideration for younger members of your party. Or just do a short section such as Morfa Mawddach Station (a request stop) to Barmouth or Penmaenpool. These sections have plenty of lovely picnic areas with benches so don’t forget your packed lunch from the hotel!
Look out for…Barmouth Railway Bridge, an ancient toll bridge at Penmaenpool and an old signal box now and RSPB observatory
We hope you get the opportunity to try one or two of our recommended walks during your stay and please let us know how you get on. More details on each the five walks is available from Reception or head over to our walks page.