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Cadair Idris


Cadair Idris (Idris's Chair) stands at the very south of the Snowdonia National Park, it is the 2nd highest outside of the main Snowdonia Mountain Range, and the 18th highest in Wales but because it stands alone, it looks and feels a lot bigger than that of the peaks further north. Cadair Idris, like Snowdon,is a classic horseshoe with Llyn Cau in the center of the mountain, and Llyn-y-Gadair to the north.

There are 4 main walking routes up the mountain, from the south, The Minfordd and Mynydd moel Paths and from the North the Pony and Foxes Paths, the Pony Path being the easiest way up,and from the South a walk up the Minfordd Path and down the Mynydd Moel path offers the Walker a more strenuous day, but well rewarded with the stunning views of Craig Cwm  and the Llyn Cau, allow around 4-5 hrs for this circuit

Views from the Top of Cadir Idris

On the North side of Cadair there are some fine rock climbing, ranging from the popular Welsh classic, Cyfrwy Arete (vdiff) to Obsession (vs) and other routes in the higher E grades. There is also Shelter at the Summit if the weather outside isn't so good. 

Cadair has been a much-loved mountain over 200 years when tourism began, its been a favorite for many famous people that visit the area.  It was a favorite of Charles Darwin who visited the area regularly just to take in the views. and who could blame him?

Cadair Idris is regarded by locals as the Great seat of Poetry, as Legend has it that anyone who chooses to spend a night on Cadair peak will wake either a mad man or a poet. Another Legend is that Arthur made his Kingdom here, hence the name 'seat of Arthur'.  Cadair Idris features in many Welsh Legends, I am not sure of how much truth lies in these stories, but one thing is clear to me, and anyone who has visited Cadair will tell you the same.  That there is something truly Magical and Mysterious about this Great Mountain.

If you are interested in walking this mountain we would recommended starting from Minffordd, although we believe that its a Mountain worth more than one visit as there is far too much to see in one day.


For more information on this walk and many others click on the link below

Walkibng Britain - Official Site




Originally, two paths were made, one on each side of the ravine but only one remains due to natural growth and erosion. The Walk was commissioned as an extension to the gardens of Caerynwch mansion during the lifetime of Baron Richards (1752-1823), Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and has been open to the public ever since.

St Mark's Church was built in 1895-98 by the widow of the founder of St Mark's Church,Florence, on land she inherited from her first husband who was a member of the Richards family of Caerynwch. It is in the style of a North Italian country church, built of locally quarried and dressed stone. The churchyard in late spring is ablaze with rhododendrons, many being specimen shrubs planted under the direction of Mrs Mary Richards, M.B.E. (1885-1977) of Caerynwch. She was a world-travelled botanist who also treasured the wealth at her feet, for she contributed vastly to a definitive record of the flora of Meirionnydd.

The waters of the Clywedog were harnessed for industry at various times, notably the woollen industry. Furthermore, between Pont Clywedog and the A470 is the site of an early eighteenth century blast furnace, the iron ore being quarried and brought down by tramway from near Cross Foxes Inn. The ruins are on private land and access is by courtesy of the landowner, so please respect the area. Site excavation was under the supervision of the staff of Plas Tan-y-bwich, the Snowdonia National Park Study Centre.


The Dolgellau to Barmouth Mawddach Trail as featured in Julia Bradbury's Railway Walks

Follow the Mawddach Trail with Jacky and Graham O'Hanlon's 22 page guide detailing the history and points of interest that you will encounter along the beautiful 'Railway Walk' along the Mawddach Estuary.

Explore The Mawddach Trail

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 Map - Railway Walk from Dollgellau to Barmouth in Wales

OS Landranger Active Map 124 Porthmadog and Dolgellau

The Mawddach Trail is a stunning multi-use path following the old disused railway line along the edge of the beautiful Mawddach estuary in Southern Snowdonia.  The almost exclusively traffic–free route, which is owned by the Snowdonia National Park, is clearly marked, and can be easily followed.  It is essentially flat, has a fairly even surface and for most of its length is at least 3 metres wide, and as such it is suitable for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users. The North Wales Society for the Blind has produced an audio guide to the Mawddach Trail which is available to download as a zip file - Click here for more details.

The trail stretches for fifteen kilometres (nine and a half miles) between Dolgellau (starting at the car park besides the bridge) and Barmouth and can be joined at several points, including Pont y Wernddu, Penmaenpool/Taicynhaeaf, Arthog and Morfa Mawddach.  

Bus services run on either side of the estuary, and there are train stations at Morfa Mawddach and Barmouth.  It is not, however, without its challenges, albeit small ones.  There is a narrow footbridge with a steep up-ramp between Dolgellau and Pont y Wernddu, which may present a hazard for wheelchair and trike users, and the National Park suggests that such users join the trail at the Pont y Wernddu car park.  Equally, the exit from Barmouth Toll Bridge to the busy A496 is very steep and joins the road on a blind corner with no footpath. Everyone needs to take care here. A series of ill-conceived bike gates present krypton factor challenges for anyone towing a bike trailer or tag-along; will YOU work out the best way to get through before the day is over?

In return for these small inconveniences, you get access to one of the most spectacular Railway Walks that Britain has to offer. There are stunning views across to Diffwys and the Rhinogs, and up the estuary to Y Garn and the Arans beyond Dolgellau.  Pretty much the whole of the estuary is listed as a site of special scientific interest, there are two RSPB reserves (Taicynhaeaf and Arthog), and a whole host of historical sites to ponder over as you make your way through this beautiful landscape.








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Telephone: 01341 422269

FAX: +44(0)1341422481

Address: Dolgun Uchaf, Nr Dolgellau,
Snowdonia, Gwynedd LL40 2AB



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