Our holiday cottage in North Wales, Dolmurgoch, is approximately 1 mile from the charming village of Dolwyddelan, and 4 miles from the popular inland resort of Betws y Coed.
The village of Dolwyddelan in the beautiful Lledr Valley, North Wales
The village of Dolwyddelan nestles on the banks of the River Lledr in the shadow of Moel Siabod, which at 2,861 ft (872m) is the highest peak in the Moelwynion mountain range. The village stands in a beautiful location and is a popular base for hill walkers, climbers, canoeists, mountain bikers, anglers, and horse riding enthusiasts.
Dolwyddelan straddles the Afon Lledr, and the stone bridge of Pentre-Bont connects the two communities. The village boasts a non-conformist chapel, an historic church, a medieval castle, a general store, a public house, and an hotel with bar and restaurant.
The Gwydyr, a traditional pub and restaurant, stands in the village square, and the Ellen’s Castle Hotel, again with both a public bar and restaurant stands close by. Both cater for locals and tourists alike, including climbers, and mountain walkers.
The village is in the heart of North Wales and the Welsh language is the first language for many. Bore Dda! But don’t worry everybody can also speak English. (The Welsh are cleverer than us monoglot English speakers.)
The general store, a Spar Shop (Tel: 01690 750237), has a wide selection of groceries, household goods, drinks, newspapers, maps, logs and souvenirs – indeed all the provisions you need for a self catering holiday.
Dolwyddelan Castle :
Dolwyddelan Castle stands on a rocky ridge commanding the Lledr Valley, one of the principal passes through Snowdonia. It was built between c.1210 and 1240, under the command of Prince Llywelyn the Great of Gwynedd, to guard the road into the core of his kingdom to watch over his vital upland cattle-pastures.
The strategically sited castle became a prime target for English attack during Edward I’s conquest of Wales and it fell to the English in January 1283.
Today the monument is managed by Cadw the Welsh heritage organisation. Entrance to the grounds is free, however to enter the castle keep there is a small fee, payable at the farmhouse adjacent to the castle.
St Gwyddelan’s Church :
The historic church of St Gwyddelan’s dates from circa 1500, and there is much of interest in this atmospheric old church: in the East window there are fragments of glass from 1512; on one front pew is carved in Welsh “A bench for the hard of hearing”; the “Dolwyddelan Dragon” is carved on a beam in the North side; the Clock Bell, “Cloch Wyddelan”, is 7th century and is thought to have belonged to Saint Gwyddelan and brought by him from Ireland.
Conwy Valley Railway :
Although the Conwy Valley Railway Line might be taken for granted by the locals it offers guests staying at Dolmurgoch the option to leave the car at home and discover the attractions of the Lledr and Conwy Valleys – from Blaenau Ffestiniog in the mountains to Llandudno on the North Wales coast.
With the cottage being just five minutes walk from Pont-y-pant Station guests also have the option to catch the train for the one-mile trip to Dolwyddelan, or the five-mile trip to Betws y Coed.
Several walks radiate out from the centre of the village, walks to Dolwyddelan Castle, the Hidden Valley (Cwm Penamnen), the Wybrnant Valley, and longer walks over the hills to Pont Cyfyng near Capel Curig, or the Machno Valley near Penmachno.
Snowdonia Adventures :
There are a number of Mountain Bike Trails throughout the area. Purpose built trails through the Gwydir Forest close to the village of Penmachno, and the new Antur Stiniog Bike Trails at Blaenau
Extreme sports enthusiasts ride the rapids down the falls at Pont-y-pant …..hmm definitely not recommended! Alternatively and just as crazy from my viewpoint is to paraglide from the summit of Moel Siabod onto the meadowland of the Lledr Valley.
Pony trekkers are well catered for with the horse riding trails through the Gwydir Forest. One of the trails ventures through the beautiful Wybrnant Valley and along the forest trails to Pont-y-pant before passing the cottage en-route to the village of Dolwyddelan.