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Mawddach Ardudwy Trail

This is a long distance walk around the beautiful Mawddach Estuary and the ancient upland and coastal areas of Ardudwy, linking Barmouth, Dolgellau, Porthmadog and Harlech. The Trail provides a continuous 94 mile route exploring both sides of the Mawddach Estuary, the foothills of the Rhinogs, the lower Dwyryd valley to Pothmadog, then returning along the Wales Coast Path to Barmouth with a choice of routes on some sections.

The route incorporates diverse landscape features, classic viewpoints, historic towns and villages, ancient highways, prehistoric monuments and other sites of historical interest. Both end points are on the national rail network and there are good public transport links at a number of intermediate points making the Trail suitable for individual day walks at different times.

From Barmouth the Trail begins by crossing the estuary on the Victorian bridge and following the southern side to Dolgellau exploring the stunning landscape of foothills and valleys beneath the Cadair Idris mountain range. From Dolgellau the Trail returns to Barmouth along the northern side of the Mawddach Estuary following an undulating route through a beautiful and historic landscape of foothills, wooded river valleys and the estuary shore.

From Barmouth the Trail now joins the waymarked Ardudwy Way northwards crossing some of the oldest rock strata in Wales known as the Harlech Dome featuring two mountain passes and extensive views. The route continues to follow upland paths past Llyn Erddyn and beneath Moelfre before finally descending to Llanbedr. The Trail then continues northwards past famous Capel Salem across a wild upland landscape and visits the stunning Bronze Age burial site of Bryn Cader Faner. Then begins a long steady descent to LlynTecwyn Isaf and Llandecwyn. The Trail then follows the Coast Path around the wooded Cwm Dwyryd to Penrhyndeudraeth and on to Pothmadog. After returning by train to Llandecwyn the Mawddach Ardudwy Trail follows the Coast Path south back to Barmouth via Harlech and Shell Island.

The route has been devised by David Berry and is fully described in his guide book. The guide breaks the route down into 14 linear sections, some of which can be combined to create longer day walks.


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Start: Barmouth

Grid Ref: SH 610158

End: Barmouth

Grid Ref: SH 610158

Distance: 150km

Walking Time: 8 days

Counties Traversed
Gwynedd, Wales

Explorer™ Maps
OL18; OL23

Mawddach Ardudwy Trail

To purchase the guidebook from our bookshop please click on the image above