To many, Dolgellau is one of the most beautiful places in Snowdonia. It doesn’t always pop up as a top candidate when people think of an excellent place for a vacation, but that could work to your advantage.
Here you can get a bit of everything, including magnificent trails for walking, hiking and mountain biking. And because this destination is often left out, that means you don’t have to deal with the crowds of people that flock to other equally stunning and diverse locations in Snowdonia.
Some of the best walk that this town steeped in history has to offer include:
The New Precipice Walk
This is a full circular route that starts at Llanelltyd. It rises through the woodland and the lakeside, opening up to the goldmine workings of Foel Ispri. The ascent requires a decent effort, but it’s worth the trouble.
You can reach the upper section by car through the steep winding lane uphill. Once you overcome the steep ascent, the upper level of the walk is on a level footpath and is fairly easy. There are stunning views above the Mawddach Estuary. Along the way, you will pass via the tranquil lakeshore of Llyn Tan-y-Graig and the ruined goldmine buildings, among other notable monuments. You return on the same path.
The Mawddach Trail
The Mawddach Trail is a mixed-use track. It is easy to walk or to cycle between Barmouth and Dolgellau. The route is 15km long and will take you about 3 hours to complete. Most of the path is on relatively flat ground with plenty of exciting views and landmarks that will keep you interested.
Barmouth to Penmaenpool Walk
Over the cause of this walk, you will gain about 700m, cover a distance of 17km and take about 5 hours to complete this walk. It is often considered the meaner alternative of the Mawddach Trail. The walk from Barmouth to Penmaenpool bags height and views. The best way to make the most out of this trail is when it is covered as a loop with the Mawddach Trail as the return route.
The Wales Coast Path (Barmouth – Llywyngwril)
This Wales Coast Path is very similar to the Barmouth to Machynlleth section. The only difference is that this part takes a detour inland and upwards, avoiding the narrow coastal road. Using this route, you get to enjoy the high viewpoint back over the Mawddach and Cardigan Bay.
On the return, you can use the Cambrian Line Railway. It’s a much easier route on the descent that could save you some time.
The Precipice Walk
The Precipice Walk shouldn’t be confused for the New Precipice Walk. These are two distinct walking routes offering unique experiences. This Precipice walk is 5.5km long, takes two hours to complete, and will elevate you 240 metres.
It is a classic walk that starts just outside of Dolgellau. Along the way, you get to see the scenic Llyn Cynwch as well as a contouring path that sits high on the minor peak of Moel Cynwch, which is where this walk gets its name from.
Despite the imposing name, the experience of walking on this precipice is not close to that of walking along the Crib Goch, so don’t let the name scare you.
These are just a few of the highlight walks that you should consider. There are other impressive walks in Dolgellau like the Panorama Walk, the Torrent Walk, the Mynydd Clogau Walk, Cader Idris from Dolgellau and the walk up Cader Idris through the Pony Path, just to name a few.
Taking in everything that Dolgellau has to offer requires several visits. Since the town offers accommodation and various restaurant and pub options, you could hang around for a few days and try to take in as much as possible out of the current trip.