Magnificent peaks, marvellous walking and mythical Wales...
DurationMultiple durations available
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple options available
2 - 3
It’s easy to see why Cadair Idris, one of the iconic peaks in the Snowdonia National Park, is steeped in myths and legends as you survey the dramatic scenery and watch as clouds toy with the lofty summits.
Even the name relates to a giant who is said to have created a seat on the top of the mountain. Then there are lakes that are reputed to be bottomless and otherworldly hunting dogs that once prowled the mountain slopes.
So beautiful views together with legend-packed landscape make a weekend’s walking even more special.
For this trip we’re staying in a bunkhouse that is close to the village of Ffestiniog but holds ring-side seats across to the majestic Moelwyn mountains.
Then for two days we venture into the heart of all this loveliness with a hike to the summit of Cadair Idris, gentler strolls that include woodland, waterfalls and wild moorland, and even a chance to hop on the famous Ffestiniog railway.
In a nutshell
- Immerse yourself in some of the best walking country in Wales
- Indulge your inner Giddy Kipper by enjoying the heady combination of fresh mountain air, lovely company, the prospect of a pint in a cosy pub, and good tucker to boot.
- Inject a different element into the weekend by stepping aboard the historic Ffestiniog steam train.
Cadair Idris Dates 2020
- Friday 26th – Sunday 28th June
When you arrive at the bunkhouse you’ll be immediately drawn to the views and then the cup of tea that our Large Outdoors host will be handing to you pretty much as soon as you walk through the door.
After the meet and greet with the other guests there’s plenty of time to simply relax and let the magic of the Welsh air wash over you or you can wander down to the welcoming pub in Ffestiniog for a pre-dinner drink.
However don’t dawdle too long in the pub otherwise you’ll miss the home cooked evening meal back at the bunkhouse and our host explaining more about the Giant’s Chair (Cadair Idris) before leading into the plans for the weekend.
Breakfast is at 8am and you’ll need a hearty one as we’re climbing Cadair Idris mountain today, whose summit, which is called Penygadair, stands a lofty 893 metres high.
The good thing is that after breakfast we lay out enough packed lunch ingredients that we could actually open up a sandwich shop so fill your boots so-to-speak and make sure you have enough fuel for the day ahead.
And so to the main event. We head south and climb Cadair Idris via the Minffordd path, which begins in a beautiful woodland before rising and skirting the crags looking over the majestic Llyn Cau.
After reaching the summit and admiring the views north over the rest of Snowdonia, we head along the wide ridge to a second summit of Mynydd Moel, before descending back into the valley in a circuit that is easily one of the best mountain days in North Wales.
After our walk, there may be time to look round the ancient market town of Dolgellau, which boasts several excellent pubs and over 200 listed buildings.
Late afternoon onwards
Once back at the hostel, the time is yours to shower, get changed, and perhaps head down to the pub in Ffestiniog for a cheeky celebratory pint.
We’ll be serving a feast of a dinner at around 7.30pm, when we’ll also go over plans for the next day and then afterwards you can relax in the lounge.
Options, so many options! To cut through any dithering our guide will look at the weather and judge the level of walk according to the aching limbs count! We all head out for the same yomp while for those who want a non-walking day there are attractions such as slate caverns and the famous Ffestiniog steam railway to visit.
Here’s a sprinkling of choices:
Moelwyn Mawr – We could head up into the plateau of the Moelwyns and summit Moelwyn Mawr, a hill that stands proud over the Vale of Ffestiniog. There is quite a bit of ascent on this walk but the hill is close to the road and the views over Tremadoc Bay and the Llyn Peninsula are breathtaking.
Vale of Ffestiniog – If the consensus is for a valley walk, there are plenty of options close to the hostel to walk through woodlands and alongside streams in the Vale of Ffestiniog where there are a number of waterfalls. Or we could head further down the valley to the estuary and take in some of the seaside villages in a walk that includes both woodland and the beach.
Other Options – For those not wanting to walk on Sunday, there is the nearby attraction of the Llechwedd Slate Caverns, which you can tour through and find out about Wales’ industrial past. Running down the valley is also the narrow-gauge Ffestiniog Railway, a great way of seeing the hills and relaxing as the steam train takes you down to the coast and back.
After the walk we’ll gather in a nearby pub for Sunday lunch at around 12:30pm and then aim to leave by 2pm to give people plenty of time to get back home.
About the Area
The National Park of Snowdonia is far bigger than Snowdon itself, and stretches far to the south to include several more mountain ranges, including the Moelwyns, Rhinogs, Arans, and of course the stunning massif of Cadair Idris. This is an area of vast forests and pathless miles of moorland, where the great valleys of the Dwyryd, Mawddach and Dysynni form wide expanses of sand as the rivers drain the land into the Irish Sea.
Southern Snowdonia is just as famous for its coast as for its hills, and the many miles of beaches and coastal towns make for excellent walking when the hills are wreathed in cloud. Further inland, good paths make discovering new places easy for curious walkers eager to get off the beaten track, with plenty of waterfalls, rocky peaks and sheltered woodlands to explore.
Good to know:
Treks Bunkhouse lies at the head of the Vale of Ffestiniog, near the village of Ffestiniog itself. Nestled in the hills, it is a cosy and isolated refuge, with a lounge, drying rooms, and hot showers. You are welcome to arrive from 5pm on the Friday.
The address for the bunkhouse is:
Day Walkers Meeting Location:
Please meet the guide for 9:15am, we meet outside the toilet block in the Dol Idris Car Park, LL36 9AJ.
A few answers to our most common questions and a few tips to help you enjoy your time on our Cadair Idris weekend.
- This venue supplies bedding but you will need a towel.
- You are welcome to bring your own alcohol to drink on this trip.
- Please bring a lunch box with you, as part of attempt to reduce single use plastic we do not supply sandwich bags.
- Some driving is required during the trip, with the start of the Cadair Idris walk approximately 40 mins from the accommodation.
Travelling by road:
The postcode will not be completely accurate for some Sat navs. The bunkhouse is in the old golf course building, so from Ffestiniog please follow the signs to the golf course, and you’ll see Treks Bunkhouse signposted down a track off the B4391.
Car shares / taxi share or travel buddy: If you are attending this trip then please use the Large Outdoors Facebook Members page to request or look for travel buddies.
Travelling by public transport:
Nearest Station: Blaenau Ffestiniog, this is the nearest station and taxi’s can be found at the station, a taxi should be around £10. If travelling by train feel free to post in our members Facebook page as you may want to arrive together and shares taxi’s etc.
Alternative: Minffordd Station, this station may be served by more direct trains however it is a little further away and so may cost more in a taxi. However there is an hourly bus service which stops at the end of the hostel drive.
- 2 nights hostel accommodation.
- 2 days of guided day walks – please note any excursions or other extra activities may incur an additional charge.
- Welcome meal on the Friday plus Saturday night evening meal. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and then a packed lunch for Saturday.
- As well as meals, we also provide a variety of complimentary soft drinks and beverages – tea & coffee which includes herbal, fruit and decaffeinated options and fruit squashes.
Age Limit: You must be over 18 to attend this trip, there is no upper age limit.
Dogs: I am afraid dogs are not allowed on this trip, unless they are registered assistance dogs.
Arrival Time: You are welcome to arrive any time from 5pm onwards and settle in before we serve an evening meal at about 8pm. Please let us know if you intend arriving after 10pm.
Solo Travellers: This trip is perfect for solo travellers and although couples and small groups of friends are always welcome the majority of people do attend on their own.
Rooms: This venue has a mix of single, twin and bunk rooms and we only ever offer these on a same sex basis. Please note bedding is provided but you will need to bring a towel.
Alcoholic Drinks: We do not supply any alcohol for this trip but you are welcome to bring your own drinks to enjoy over the weekend.
Kit lists – You can view our kit lists here…
FAQ’s – For important information on what’s included with our standard trips, such as what food we supply, arrival times and answer to our most commonly asked questions please visit out our FAQ’s page
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What our members have to say...
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016