Bardol one
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By a Slow Ways Volunteer on 07 Apr 2021







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This is a Slow Ways route connecting Barmouth and Dolgellau.

Know of a better route? Share it here.

This is a Slow Ways route connecting Barmouth and Dolgellau.

Know of a better route? Share it here.


This route has been reviewed by 6 people.

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Verified route

Route status - Live

Reviews - 6

Average rating -

Is this route good enough? -  Yes (6)

There are currently no problems reported with this route.

Downloads - 8


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Geography information system (GIS) data

Total length

Maximum elevation

Minimum elevation

Start and end points

Grid Ref SH6125815767
Lat / Lon 52.72172° / -4.05569°
Easting / Northing 261,258E / 315,767N
What3Words scramble.nipped.townhouse
Grid Ref SH7280517760
Lat / Lon 52.74247° / -3.88560°
Easting / Northing 272,805E / 317,760N
What3Words duck.putts.homing

Bardol One's land is

Estuary 19.4%
Intertidal flats 1.5%
Marshes 15.2%
Moors 2.5%
Pasture 21.7%
Urban 10.0%
Woods 29.8%

Data: Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2018



13 Jul 2023 Summer

This doesn't really need another review, but in case you still need convincing... this is a brilliant walk. You probably don't even need a map it is so easy to follow. All the reviews above have useful info so read them first and then go do it.

NB. they are currently working on creating a more accessible exit from the bridge into Barmouth so maybe this will improve that end of the route once it is finished.

Hiking Historian

27 Jun 2023 Summer

Absolutely fantastic route, and, with the entire day free, I definitely treated it as a Slow Way, treating myself with a leisurely stroll rather than pace out the 9ish miles like I'd normally do!

The route is essentially the Mawddach Trail, a long distance route I'd always planned to do, so was able to do two birds with one stone. And there's lots of birds for those twitcherly-inclined. Lots of different gulls, oystercatchers and other waders, not to mention the cornucopia of songbirds.

The majority of the route follows the line of the old Great Western railway, and the path is a good metalled earth and stone attractively following the river Mawddach closely from the crossing at the mouth of the estuary (don't forget some change for the toll) right down into Dolgellau, with a good mix of woodland and open sections, with great views across the river and saltmarsh.

There are benches dotted along the way if you wanted to break the journey or take a rest, and I definitely recommend the George III pub in Penmaenpool for drinks and food (dogs welcome).

If there were any failings in the route, it is at either end: both Barmouth and Dolgellau are not suited for wheelchairs, lacking ramps or low kerbs and, in the case of the latter town, some pavements in places altogether.

That said, its great walk, with transport links and shops at both ends.

David Cooper

25 Jun 2023 Summer

Straightforward flat route with great views of the Mawddach estuary which follows the National Cycle Route 8 and so is well signposted. Can be busy with cyclists on a good weekend day. Mostly an old railway line, so only one short road section getting out of Barmouth. Bus between the start and end points.


24 Apr 2023 Spring

Seven long years of being a parent and I have missed my old identity as a footloose human-powered tourer so incredibly keenly - walking best of all, but cycling, kayaking, canoeing all good. Osian, my seven-yr-old, did NOT like being conveyed around in carriers etc as a baby - he likes his own considerable momentum, and so began the trying-to-be-chill-whilst-watching-him-throw-stones-in-a-puddle years. Long, long years.
But now we're back! His little sister went off stabilisers two weeks ago, and with the partner Rhys to lean down off his bike and boost her along/catch her scruff during wobbles, and the lockdown bike trailer for naps and the other eight miles, we bloody did it! Nine miles there, overnight in Dolgellau, and nine miles back to the amusement arcade and donkey rides of Barmouth the next day - not just a Slow Way, not just the pre-existing Mawddach Way (well used but not uncomfortably so on the sunny holiday Sat), not just a convenient flat neat wide well-cared-for ex-railway line, but a WHOLE NEW WORLD!
Highlights: mudlarking along the way, epic views, the brilliant bridge, lunch and shelter at the George right on the trail, the well-provisioned Dol playground in evening sunshine, the lovely massive TH Roberts cake emporium, the going on holiday without a car, packing light, picnics, giant firm cumulus, stopping at exactly low tide and walking right across to the north side of the estuary on sand expanses, eastertime green hazes of new buds, a pint of shandy, everyone's delight that it went well, and the cracking open of my long incarceration. Hallelujah.

Downsides: main road out of Barmouth to the bridge is hairy - sheer rock, pavement narrower than the bike trailer in places, cars and caravans and lorries and buses taking the bends too fast and one or two having to mount the pavement. Take good care if you have a greenhorn seven-yr-old with no sense of self-preservation, on his own wheels.
Whistling persistent bitter winter wind that goes right through you - with a headwind this route can be a bit of a slog, if you're not high as a newly freed mother.

Rhys Jones

23 Apr 2023 Spring

In summary:

1. A beautiful, scenery stunning easy to find route
2. Well connected with train or buses in Barmouth or Dolgellau

It’s the best part of 10miles and good for cycles or walking.

Just head for a large estuary crossing railway bridge either at the beginning or end of your journey in Barmouth.


26 Jan 2023 Winter

The walk begins at the bus stop / train station making this a great one way walk. Barmouth has good bus services from Dolgellau. At time of writing there there is a T3 bus service every 1-2 hours to / from Dolgellau.

The whole route is very flat with good paths throughout. There are no major obsticles and is very accessible. I walked the route on a sunny but frosty morning in early January, a few days after some very heavy rain.

Once you have left Barmouth, there are public toilets near Morfa Mawddach station (although at time of writing these were closed for repairs) and at Penmaenpool Bridge - almost 10km apart!
Whilst there is wooden picnic seating along the way, there were no refreshments available between Barmouth and Penmaenpool Bridge (The George Inn).

The start of the walk leads out of Barmouth on usual paved pathways with safe road crossings. The footpath does have a steepish ascent which can become narrow leading up to a point you cross the busy road to join the decent towards the very impressive Barmouth rail bridge. As you begin the crossing, consider that this section once rotated around a central pivot to allow tall ships to pass underneath!

The wooden pathway over the bridge was very treacherous underfoot with ice - especially on the Barmouth side where the path was in the shade. Real care is needed in these conditions.
Also note, the Bridge is due for more repairs in Autumn 2023 possibly causing some closure to the path. Best to check. There is a seasonal ferry that takes you over to Fairbourne and a path could be followed to Morfa Mawddach Station.

Over the bridge, the path bears North East to follow the Mawddach Trail following the old train line (closed in 1965) towards Dolgellau. The surface from here to Dolgellau is an excellent compacted gravel. Even after some heavy rain it was pretty dry with few puddles.

Along the way the views of the estuary, woods and distant mountains are exceptional. There's plenty of keep the interest including old WW2 artifacts, remnants of the old railway and even old areas of boat building. There are a number of useful signs along the way filling you in on the local history.

The nature is stunning, especially the bird life. The path passes through a small RSPB reserve at Arthog and beside old woodland, reed beds and mud flats. Even in Winter there was lots to see including Little Egrets, Heron, Oyster Catchers, Dippers, long tailed tits as well as the usual suspects! As you approach Dolgellau you walk beside the river giving even more opportunity to spot even more riverside birds. On the day after the walk I spotted a kingfisher flying low over the river under the bridge in the town!

There is plenty of opportunity to take some minor deviations through beautiful woodland to the South (although these are not fully accessible). Signs give good routes, some history of the area and the ongoing environmental improvements.

The final approach into Dolgellau brings you to main car park and on to the main square. There are plenty of excellent tea places, bakeries and a wonderful lack of chains!.

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