The Town of Dolgellau
Dolgellau is a distinctive stone built town in the southern section of the Snowdonia National Park, dominated by the beautiful peak of Cader Idris, and situated near the confluence of the Rivers Wnion and Mawddach. The town's architecture, winding streets and wonderful natural setting ensures that memories of the visitors' stay will remain with them, and will serve to lure them back time and again. The town is steeped in history, from Roman times, through the rebellious years of Owain Glyndwr's parliament held here in the 15th century to the present day, when Dolgellau remains the attractive centre for this part of mid-Wales.
Some of the world's largest slate mines, a short journey from Dolgellau are open to the public at Blaenau Ffestiniog, as is the Hydro Electric Scheme at Stwlan Dam. Within an hour's drive of Dolgellau the enthusiast can enjoy wonderful scenery on no fewer than five miniature steam railways, each starting and ending their journeys at such places as quiet beaches, or busy little market towns or seaside resorts.
The Precipice Walk, the Torrent Walk and numerous other walks up the Glen of Arran deserve special mention. It was in these wonderful peaceful areas the Quaker movement took hold in mid Wales. Many farms and restaurants maintain these historical contacts with the Quaker movement, which is now marked by the recent opening of the Quaker Interpretative Centre in the town centre.
Just 10 minutes drive north of Dolgellau is the Coed Y Brenin forest. The Visitor Centre specially caters for cyclists with some outstanding facilities. From here you can enjoy the thrill and the challenge of the well marked cycle trails including the famous Red Bull route. Other routs are graded to suite individuals needs, topped by another famous route - the Karrimor trail which is 23½ miles long and climbs a total of 3,600ft.
WARNING: Trails are exposed and mainly off road. Surfaces vary but predominantly loose stone or flint. Carry a first aid kit!
Eryri or the Snowdonia National Park was designated a National park in 1951, the third National Park to be created in England and Wales under the 1949 National Parks and Access to the countryside Act. It is the second largest National park in England and Wales, covering some 2,171 square kilometres (838 square miles) of north west Wales, and including the Carneddau, and Glyderau mountain ranges as well as the Highest mountain in England and Wales (1085m/3560ft)- Yr Wyddfa (the Tomb in Welsh), or Snowdon from which the Park takes its (English) name. The
Snowdonia contains not only some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain but also contains a variety of landscapes, and habitats for animals, birds and plants; from 23 miles (37km) of coastline with sand dunes, estuaries; to glacial valleys, the remnants of broad - leafed woodlands of oak, ash, rowan and hazel that once covered the mountain slopes, lakes, streams and open mountains. There are more National Nature reserves in Eryri than any other National Park in Britain and it is home to many nationally and internationally rare species such as the Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, and the Snowdon Lily (Lloydia Serotina) an arctic/alpine plant only present in the park, and the beautiful rainbow coloured Snowdon Beetle (chrysolina cerealis)found only around Yr Wyddfa.