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Dolgellau

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Gwynedd : Dolgellau
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Eldon Square at the centre of Dolgellau

Dolgellau [1] is a picturesque little town in Gwynedd, North Wales, UK. It is located within the Snowdonia National Park and is an important centre for Welsh traditional music.

Get in

By Bus

Dolgellau is served by the Traws Cambria[2] bus network from all across Wales.

By Train

The nearest station is at Barmouth on the Cambrian Coast line. Traws Cambria and Bws Gwynedd[3] services connect the towns. Machynlleth station is not much further away and is better connected to the main population centres in the English Midlands.

By Bike

Dolgellau is on National Cycle Network [4] route 8.

By Road

Dolgellau is on the main A470 Trunk road which connects north and south Wales. The A494 comes from the north-east and the A458 comes from the east, joining the A470 at nearby Dinas Mawddwy.

By Water

Yacht moorings are available at Barmouth harbour. Harbourmaster: 01341 280671

Get around

Bike Hire

  • Dolgellau Cycles, The Old Furnace, Smithfield Street, Dolgellau, 01341 423332, [5].

See

Visit the Quaker Interpretative Centre, inside the Tourist Information Centre on Eldon Square.

Take a short walk out of town to see the ruins of the 12th Century Cymer Abbey

  • Ty Siamas (The National Centre for Welsh Folk Music), Neuadd Idris, Eldon Square, Dolgellau, 01341 421800 (), [6]. This lovely old building in the centre of Dolgellau had fallen into disuse after variously being used as a town hall, assembly room, cinema, dancehall and grain store since being built in around 1870. It has been fully refurbished and re-opened as Ty Siamas in June 2007. The centre has an interactive exhibition on Welsh traditional music, as well as a shop and cafe. There is also an auditorium which hosts regular concerts - check websites or local advertising for details. It is named after Elis Siamas, from the nearby village of Llanfachreth. He lived in the late 17th and early 18th Centuries and is credited with the development of the triple harp which is synonymous with Welsh harp music. It is said that he was court harpist for Queen Anne (reigned 1702-1714).

Do

Walking on Cadair Idris

Walk to the summit of Cadair Idris (2930 feet/893 metres). Parts of the route are very steep, but once on the shoulder of the mountain, the going is easier. There are several routes, but the closest to Dolgellau takes the so-called Pony Path, and takes about two and a half to three hours to reach the summit.

In July, the town plays host to the annual Sesiwn Fawr[7] World Music Festival. With 6 stages, there's something for everyone. (It has been announced that Sesiwn Fawr will not take place in 2009 but is expected to return in 2010)

Pan for gold in the river at nearby Bontddu. Dolgellau was at the centre of a "gold rush" in the 19th Century and its mines at Clogau and Gwynfynydd were worked on and off right up until the 21st Century. You're extremely unlikely to strike it rich but it can be fun trying.

Walk or cycle along the Mawddach Trail [8], a 9 mile stretch of former railway line, that runs along the scenic estuary of the Mawddach river, through Penmaenpool and on to the sea at Morfa Mawddach. From here you can cross the toll bridge to Barmouth.

Walk the Mawddach Way [9], a 49k long distance circular footpath walk around the Mawddach Estuary.

Follow one of the 6 Mountain Bike Trails[10] in the nearby Coed y Brenin Forest. This was the first UK forest to be developed for mountain biking, and there are a range of tracks to suit everyone from families to expert mountain-bikers.

Buy

  • Rotary Club Bookshop, Smithfield Street, Dolgellau. Charity bookshop run by the local Rotary Club. Higgledy-piggledy displays well worth searching through as there are bargains galore to be found.
  • Guinevere, Eldon Square, Dolgellau. Gift shop with a good line in local artworks.

Eat

  • Y Sospan, Queens Square, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, LL40 1AR, Tel: 01341 422269. 8:30am to 9:30pm (Sun 9:00am - 6:30pm). Home cooked local food, pleasant staff. Situated in former courthouse and gaol.
  • Cosy Takeaway, Meyrick St, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, LL40 1LN, Tel: 01341 422221. Small, friendly fish and chip shop with two very small tables if you want to eat in.
  • Lemon Grass, Cambrian House, Finsbury Square, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, LL40 1RE, Tel: 01341 421300. Popular Bengali/Indian restaurant with all the standard dishes. Also have alot of special chef dishes. Great value. Real quality, cheap & will make you want to return very often. Licensed.

Drink

Sleep

Hotels

  • More than just a listings website, Discoverdolgellau.com is a community-based website founded by local people that includes comprehensive and accurate information about hotels and accommodation in Dolgellau and the immediate area.

Hostels

  • YHA Kings[11] 0870 770 5900. Located about 3 miles out of town, close to the village of Penmaenpool. 42 beds across 7 rooms. Out of season, it's possible for groups to reserve the entire hostel.

Bed and Breakfast

  • Tyddynmawr Farmhouse, Cader Road, Islawrdref, Dolgellau, 01341 422331. Award-winning B&B in an 18th Century stone farmhouse on the slopes of Cadair Idris.
  • Coed Cae B&B, Taicynhaeaf, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, Wales, LL40 2TU, B01341 430628 (), [12]. AA 4 Star Bed and Breakfast: .

Get out

Tucked away on the idyllic southern shore of the Mawddach estuary, the village of Penmaenpool is only three miles west of Dolgellau. Penmaenpool can be reached by road (A493) or via the disused railway line footpath and cycle route which starts near the main car park in Dolgellau. The railway path "calls" first at Penmaenpool, but extends another three miles or so to Morfa Mawddach and the Barmouth railway bridge which can be crossed for a modest toll.

Continuing westwards from Penmaenpool, the main road turns to the south at Fairbourne. From here it twists and turns along the cliff tops through the pretty village of Llwyngwril to Rhoslefain. Just a few miles to the south lies the town of Tywyn, with miles of sandy beach. Tywyn is also home to the famous Talyllyn Railway.

If you fancy a day at the seaside, then Barmouth is easily reached by local buses or by walking or cycling along the Mawddach Trail.

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