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Things To Do In Dolgellau

Published on 26 Nov 2018 by Gwion Llwyd

Dolgellau is a beautiful market town based in the south of Snowdonia. Set at the foot of Cadr Idris, its natural landscape makes it a perfect place to enjoy the many outdoor activities available. Mountain biking and cycling is also particularly popular here being the home to the Coed Y Brenin centre. The town has wonderful cobbled streets with a good choice of independent shops and cafes.


SNOWDONIA ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES.  Snowdonia Adventure Activities offer a great variety of outdoor adventures including gorge walking, canyoning, kayaking, climbing etc. George and his team always provide a top class service and the reviews speak for themselves.

CLIMB CADR IDRIS.  The Pony Path is the easiest and shortest route up Cadr Idris. It is 9km in distance and will take you approx 5-6 hour up and down. This mountain is steeped in legend and a fab one to climb for a family looking for a ‘challenge’ to do together.

GOLF.  This 9 hole golf course is overlooked by Cadr Idris, one of the highest mountains in Wales. Greens start at £30 for 18 holes and a restaurant offering a traditional menu is available.

COED-Y-BRENIN.  Coed Y Brenin is probably the biggest attraction for the area is this mountain biking haven. The first dedicated trail centre in the UK, it offers 7 mountain biking trails which run from a blue to black runs, covering all ages and abilities. There are also walking and running trails on the site and other seasonal activities offered throughout the year – a really beautiful place offering a wide range of activities – a must to visit if in the area.

KING ARTHUR’S LABYRINTH.  10 miles south is Corris where you’ll find King Arthur’s labyrinth. An underground journey which starts on a boat and takes you through a waterfall into the ancient labyrinth where myths and legends are revealed – it is a great and informative adventure for all ages.

FAIRBOURNE RAILWAY.  9 miles along the estuary in the village of Fairborn where there is a 2 miles narrow gauge train that will take you from the beach to the Barmouth ferry. A great way to entertain smaller kids if you are looking for something a little different to do.

Climbing on Craig Y Fron, near Bala


BARMOUTH.  Barmouth is the nearest beach to Dolgellau (9 miles). The promenade is 2 miles long with a number of beach front cafes, a little train running up and down throughout the day and a harbour at the south end with great seafood restaurants  / cafes and of course ice cream. The amusement park is a stone’s throw away from the promenade itself. Part of the beach is blue flag status and so needless to say, swimming is good. The town is only a 5min walk from the beach and so you have everything you will need close by.

FAIRBOURNE.  Fairourne beach is 10 miles west along the estuary. It has good facilities, including a promenade with a cafe and restaurant. There are plenty of water activities on offer and the public toilets near by too.


There are 600 castles in Wales, the closest being CRICCIETH. The other close ones include: HARLECH, CAERNARFON, BEAUMARIS, on Anglesey, PENRHYN CASTLE in Bangor and, DOLWYDDELAN in Betws-y-Coed.

THE FFESTINIOG AND WELSH HIGHLANDS STEAM TRAIN starts in Porthmadog or Caernarfon, taking you through the mountains to Blaenau Ffestiniog offering glorious views and giving you an insight into the past.

PORTMEIRION VILLAGE is a little piece of the ‘Italian riviera’ in Wales was created by Clough Williams-Ellis during the earlier part of the 1900’s. A visit here transports you to a fantasy world of beautiful buildings and gardens. Famous for its filming of the Prisoner in the 60’s it now welcomes visitors from all over the world. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the village along with gift shops and a shop for their famous Portmeirion dinner service. There is a private beach that visitors can enjoy.

ZIP WORLD has offers 10 incredible activities in North Wales…

SURF SNOWDONIA is an artificial surf lagoon where they create continuous and perfect waves. Perfect for beginners and those who are looking to improve. No waiting around for the next set of waves. At the centre, there is also a total wipeout waterwall, the ‘blob’ which will see you flying in the air, a soft play centre, a skate ramp and a couple of onsite restaurants/cafes

THE NATIONAL WHITEWATER CENTRE on the river Tryweryn in Bala offers one of the best places in the country to white water raft. The water levels are dam-controlled meaning its rapids still thunder down the river during the summer months so you will never be disappointed by the conditions.


The walks in the surrounding area are both incredible and numerous. Mud and Routes is a great resource to use if you are looking for inspiration as to where to go. If you are looking to tackle Snowdon, you might find this blog post useful: Our very own ‘REALLY SIMPLE WALKING GUIDE UP SNOWDON

GEOCACHING. If you love a treasure hunt, you’ll be pleased to know that there are lots of geocaches hidden around the area. Children love these nd so if you’re having trouble convincing them that a walk is good fun, this could be your answer!


COED-Y-BRENIN Coed Y Brenin is based just north of Dolgellau, this forest (Coed) offers mountain biking heaven. Ranging from routes for beginners to the more advanced, it is fantastic. Free to get in, you can either rent a bike there or take your own. If not all the party are up for cycling, there are also wonderful walks. Take a picnic as there are lots of picnic tables or a cafe that serves both hot and cold food is on site.

MAWDDACH TRAIL This trail follows the old train tracks. If you leave from Barmouth and cycle across the bridge, turn left at the end and follow the trail all the way down to Dolgellau. A good day trip is to cycle to the George III pub and have lunch or a drink and then cycle the 7 miles back – it’s flat all the way and so a good family route as well as for those looking for a leisurely day.

ANTUR STINIOG There are 4 trails, its costs £31.00 for the day as it is an uplift service and more suited to advanced riders. You will need to pre-book a space and you can hire bikes there. Again there is a cafe and other activities on offer.

This recent post we did on mountain biking will give you more information: SNOWDONIA STYLE ADVENTURE | MOUNTAIN BIKING

Mountain Biking Coed y Brenin Snowdonia Gwynedd Mid Activities and Sports



THE GEORGE III just on the outskirts of Dolgellau offers amazing views
as well as a good pub food – esp on a Sunday with the carver.
THE ROYAL SHIP is an old coaching inn based in the centre
 of town and offers good pub food in an environment full of character.
THE STAG INN nestled in the back street of the town is more
 traditional pub in terms of its menu and atmosphere.


Y MEIRIONNYDD is based in the old county jail! A lovely atmosphere
and great for local food. Make sure you book as it has limited covers.
 Y GADER is a great place for tapas and very popular with locals
THE GATEHOUSE STEAKHOUSE is where you’ll get good burgers and
BWTY MAWDDACH offers a modern menu from locally sourced
produce, with stunning views of the estuary.


T H Roberts is a place to visit if in the area – set in the old ironmongery,
the setting is fabulous as are the cakes. It has a good lunch menu.
Y Sospan offers a traditional cafe menu; both hot and cold and in he
evening turns into a bistro.
CRASDY’R GADER is a traditional sandwich and coffee shop based in
the town centre.


Lemon Grass is the Indian offering
The Chinese Cottage is the Chinese.
FISH AND CHIPS – Cosy Take away is  local fish and chip shop. 


There is a minor injuries based in Dolgellau itself:
Hospital Drive,
LL40 1NT.
Tel: 01341 422479

Many places locally only accept cash and so make sure you have
enough on hand.
Barclays – Queen’s Square, Dolgellau
NATWEST –  Bridge St, Dolgellau
HSBC – Eldon Square, Dolgellau

There is no train station in Dolgellau, the  nearest stations are located
in Fairborne and Barmouth

There is a bus service that runs from Dolgellau  and through the
surrounding villages. The times are not that often so you really need
to plan ahead: ARRIVA BUS

Look for the following routes:

Local taxi firms include:  
DEREKS (Dolgellau) –  01341 422409
WEST COAST CARS (Barmouth) – 0752 7111760 / 0770 4492876

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