Tales, travels

No. 2 place to visit post-lockdown

No. 2 place to visit – the Mawddach Estuary, North Wales

Victorian artist and writer John Ruskin had a home in Barmouth, North Wales during the nineteenth century and was inspired by the Mawddach Estuary’s isolation and beauty. He said ‘there is no better walk than from Barmouth to Dolgellau other than from Dolgellau to Barmouth’.

I love this part of the world. I first came here when I was 6 weeks old, a babe in arms. Just as my mother’s parents had brought her, and her parents before her. In fact my maternal grandfather was half Welsh and lived along the North Wales coast at Aberdovey.

The slopes of Cadair Idris
Family time on the slopes of Cadair Idris, 1960

I can’t wait to introduce this part of North Wales to Dolly the VW Caddy Camper. With its mountain peaks, forest-lined green valleys, long sandy beaches, and isolated roads, the Mawddach Estuary landscape brings back so many wonderful childhood (and adult) memories for me. And what better way to re-visit than in a home-on-wheels. I’ve walked the Mawddach Trail many a time. It follows the disused course of the old railway line along the south bank of the river from Dolgellau to Morfa Mawddach. With the river on one side and the craggy slopes of majestic Cadair Idris on the other, as the landscape widens to the mouth of the estuary at Barmouth Bridge the views back upstream are stunning.

Barmouth Bridge at the mouth of the Mawddach Estuary

I’ve found two idyllic campsites with views overlooking the Mawddach estuary that will be perfect for me and Dolly. The Bwlchgwyn Farm campsite and The Craig Wen campsite (featured in the Cool Camping guide).

No. 2 place to visit – why? Hidden beauty.

No. 2 place to visit - North Wales
View from the George III pub of the Old Toll Bridge & slopes of Cadair Idris beyond

Just as the estuary begins to widen, there’s the 17th century George Inn. A favourite stop off way back when my grandparents used to bring me and my brother down to the estuary to swim. It’s still a popular pub/dining stop off today for walkers, bathers, families, and visitors who can relax with a drink taking in views of the estuary and watch the cars as they rumble across the old toll bridge

There’s so much hidden beauty in this part of the UK. I will leave you with a pic of what I think conjures up this favourite part of the world for me…mountain peaks, rolling green hills, dry stone walls, farm animals roaming free, and low misty clouds that are often quick to burst open for sunny blue skies behind.

No. 2 place to visit - North Wales
The Green Valleys of North Wales


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