Dolwyddelan translates to “the Meadow of Gwyddelan” in English, with Gwyddelan being a 5thcentury saint who set up his preaching cross by the hill, close to where the parish church is currently situated. According to Welsh legend, Saint Gwyddelan travelled across from Ireland, and helped to restore Christianity to the area after the Romans left.
The village is a tiny one, with around 400 people living in the community, tucked away into the rolling hills of Conwy County. Quaint, peaceful and lovely, it is its surroundings that make it something special.
You will find Dolwyddelan nestled into the beautiful and verdant Lledr Valley, right in the very centre of the Snowdonia National Park. This means that even its immediate surroundings are eye-catching, never mind the areas just a short journey away.
It’s a tranquil place, light years away from the hubbub of the city, and you are sure to receive a traditionally warm Welsh welcome. It is a walker’s paradise – plenty of beautiful natural sights are just a short hike away, though there’s also a wide variety of more challenging treks available as well!
The mountain of Moel Siabod (“Shapely Hill”) stands just to the north of Dolwyddelan, looking down upon the village from 872 metres high. The climb is relatively gentle, as long as you’re not approaching from the south, and it offers an arresting view over Snowdonia. On a clear day, you can see 13 of Wales’ 14 highest peaks from the summit.
At the foot of this shapely hill, you will find the towering edifice that is Dolwyddelan Castle. Surprisingly, its solitary presence here does not detract in any way from the natural beauty of its surroundings; instead, it seems to complement them, adding to the cragginess of the mountains. Built in the early 1200s by Llywelyn Fawr (the Great), the main keep is surprisingly intact. It is perhaps fitting, then, that the second tower – later added by Edward I during his conquest of Wales – lies in ruins. Head to the top of the keep to get a feel of the commanding view over the land that Llywelyn would have been privy to.
Due to Dolwyddelan’s convenient location in the heart of beautiful Snowdonia, visitors to the village have a great many options of where to go next, with most of the possible destinations being very close by indeed. For example, Mount Snowdon itself is a mere ten miles to the west. Even if you’re not such a keen climber, it is worth heading to the summit just for the spectacular vistas. Don’t worry about the steep slope – simply take the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the top!
Dolwyddelan sits between the two towns of Betws-y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog, both of which warrant a visit on their own merits, and the lovely North Wales coast is only a short drive away, too. Click here to find out about your accommodation options in this wonderfully central area, then book a week or two off work and get away for a while.
Dolwyddelan can be reached by train, bus or car on the A470 which runs between Betws-y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog. The town has a shop, pub and space to park which makes it an excellent base for walking in the area.
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A roughly hewn edifice of stone, standing alone on a mound overlooking the surrounding countryside and mountains – this is Dolwyddelan Castle. It offers up the best of both worlds: the man-made impressiveness of this defensive installation, as well as the natural beauty of the Snowdonian peaks.
A huge cavern lit in spectacular bright colours, completely decked out with giant trampoline nets. It’s the first attraction of its kind on the planet, set in a cavern that is more than twice the area of St Paul’s Cathedral, and is an experience like no other. The trampolines are all inter-linked, with tunnels, walkways and slides, with the highest net allowing you to bounce at almost 200 feet above the cavern floor.
Mount Snowdon is known in its native Welsh as Yr Wyddfa, and it is the highest mountain in Wales. It is known as the busiest mountain in Britain, because it is so popular with hikers and climbers.
Take in the beauty of Snowdonia by staying in Dolwyddelan. Surrounded by the Welsh mountains this charming village is a great place to relax and enjoy the area. Easy access to the neighbouring towns of Betws-y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog which offer a wide range of attractions and activities. Choose a cottage in Dolwyddelan.
Lovely cottages in and around the historic town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Surrounded by the Snowdonia National Park and close to numerous attractions such as Bounce below, Zip World Titan and Caverns, Ffestiniog Railway and Antur Stiniog.
Choose a cottage in the Snowdonia area for qucik access into the Snowdonia National Park. From remote cottages overlooked by soaring mountains to cottages in small villages you can find the right level of "countryside" for you.