Mawddach Trail from Dolgellau to Barmouth

Mawddach Trail from Dolgellau to Barmouth

Forming part of Lôn Las Cymru (National Cycle Network Route 8) which runs from Holyhead to Cardiff, the Mawddach Trail is one of the most scenic railway paths in the country, running along the spectacular and atmospheric Mawddach Estuary.

The trail starts right from the heart of the handsome grey stone town of Dolgellau, from the corner of the main car park by the bridge over the river. There are views across to the hills to the north rising to over 2000ft. There are two atmospheric wooden bridges, the first a toll bridge at Penmaenpool carrying road traffic and the other at the mouth of the estuary carrying the railway line, pedestrians and cyclists into Barmouth.

The area is abundant in birdlife and if you are lucky you may even see a seal. There is an RSPB reserve at Penmaenpool and the old signal box is used as an observation centre.

The George III Hotel at Penmaenpool is superbly located and very popular with cyclists for coffees, lunches and teas. The Mawddach estuary was once a shipbuilding centre and between 1770 and 1827 over 100 boats were made from the local oak to be found along the estuary. The Mawddach Trail follows the course of the old line from Barmouth to Ruabon which opened in 1869 and became popular with Victorian holiday makers, particularly those from Northwest England visiting the fashionable resort of Barmouth. The line was closed in 1965.

Natural attractions:

  • Mawddach Estuary

Visitor attractions:

  • Seaside resort of Barmouth
  • Handsome old buildings of Dolgellau

Route submitted by: Sustrans


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Route map

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Key route details


North West Wales


9 miles

Time needed:

1.5 hours




Traffic-free as far as the wooden railway bridge near Barmouth then on road into town.



NCN Route:

National Route 8


Main car park in Dolgellau



Cycle hire:

Dolgellau Cycles, Dolgellau. Tel: 01341 423332


Train station at Barmouth

Maps and guides:

nn4bLôn Las Cymru North Map NN8B £6.99
ctguideLôn Las Cymru Guidebook – £6.99

Links with:

There are plenty of mountain bike trails in Coed y Brenin Forest to the north of Dolgellau

Choose another route