Dolgellau.Wales
Tan y Fedw & Gwernan Lake
Gwernan Lake
This walk is taken from the 2015 book ‘Walks In & Around Dolgellau Town’ by Michael Burnett and published by Kittiwake. The cover is shown at the bottom of this page, along with a summary of the other routes. The book is priced at £4.95 and can be bought directly from the Kittiwake Website together with other books of the area (plus the previous one based around Dolgellau).
You can print this walk by clicking the red print icon at the bottom of the walk section that is highlighted with a red border.
DESCRIPTION: A 4½-mile walk which takes you up into the foothills of Cadair Idris. The walk provides wonderful views over Dolgellau and the upper Mawddach estuary, and skirts Llyn Gwernan, a lake in the most spectacular of settings. Allow 4½ hours.

START: Eldon Square bus-stop (SH 728178). From the Marian car-park walk past Yr Hên Efail tea-rooms to a road. Turn RIGHT, then LEFT and pass Y Sospan restaurant. Go RIGHT, then LEFT to reach Eldon Square bus-stop.

DIRECTIONS: Dolgellau can be reached from Porthmadog via the A487/A470, from Barmouth via the A496/A470, from Bala via the A494, from Machynlleth via the A487/A470, and from Tywyn via the A493. Park in the Marian Mawr car-park (SH 728179, post-code LL40 1UU) near the town-centre.

BUS SERVICES: Buses 35 (from Blaenau Ffestiniog), 38 (from Barmouth), T2 (from Porthmadog and Machynlleth) and T3 (from Barmouth and Bala) serve Dolgellau. All buses stop in Eldon Square.
WELSH TRANSLATION:
Llyn = Lake / Gwernan = Alder Tree.
Tan = Until, Below or Beneath / Y = The (or in this case ‘of the’) and Fedw (or Bedw) is Birch, so Tan y Fedw means ‘Beneath the Birch’.
The photos have been added by Ian King and the map has been coloured for this website.
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Gwernan Lake Walk Map
Tan y Fedw & Gwernan Lake Map

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Eldon Square in Dolgellau
Eldon Square in Dolgellau
Eldon Square in Dolgellau
With your back to the bus-stop turn RIGHT then go RIGHT through an arcade. Take the first road on the LEFT (Heol Plas Uchaf/Springfield Street) and follow this uphill.

Continue AHEAD at a cross-roads, ignore a road going left and, when the road divides, go to the RIGHT. Soon turn RIGHT at a bridleway sign and walk uphill. Turn LEFT at a footpath sign and continue to a road.
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Dolgellau from the Bridleway.
Dolgellau from the Bridleway.
Dolgellau from the Bridleway.
Turn LEFT at a bridleway sign. At a junction go RIGHT (following the bridleway) and continue uphill. Go through a metal gate and follow a grassy track RIGHT, then, after a short distance, LEFT across a stream. Soon, there is a good view of the eastern summit of Cadair Idris ahead.

The track, now stony, descends (ignore a minor track going right) and then continues alongside a stream. Go through a metal gate and cross a road to a bridleway sign. Follow the path beyond, walking HALF-RIGHT across rough ground.
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Pentacota
Pentacota
Looking Back (North) at the House “Pentacota”.
Pass a waymark and cross a bridge over a stream. Walk uphill, making for another waymark. The next waymark points left; ignore this and continue AHEAD here, passing another waymark. Soon, cross a wooden stile over a wall. Walk alongside the wall to a gate and another stile, alongside a waymark.

Go over and walk beside a wall on your left. Look for a waymark AHEAD by a gap in a wall. Go through, turn RIGHT and then bear RIGHT again to walk to the right of a ruined house. This is Tan y Fedw, a settlement sheltered by Cadair Idris and with views of the Rhinog mountains to the north.
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The Ruins of Tan y Fedw.
The Ruins of Tan y Fedw
The Ruins of Tan y Fedw.
Continue past the house and bear RIGHT onto a track coming from the left. Go over a stile alongside a metal gate and continue towards a house. Go through a wooden gate with waymark, then to the left of a barn and through a metal gate. Continue uphill alongside a wall towards another house. Walk through a metal gate, cross a stream, then go over a stile adjoining another metal gate.

Pass Brynrhug and go RIGHT past a waymark and Hendy house. When the track goes right, continue AHEAD past another waymark, through a metal gate and across a stream. (If this is in flood return to the track and follow it LEFT to a road. Turn LEFT then LEFT again, and walk to the entrance to Llyn Gwernan. Resume the walk at Stage 7).
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Entrance to Gwernan Lake
Gwernan Lake Entrance
The Entrance to Gwernan Lake (Llyn Gwernan), Beside Cader Road.
Ignore a path going right just after the stream and continue AHEAD then through a metal gate next to a footpath sign. Bear HALF-RIGHT, making for another metal gate and waymarks. Go through and AHEAD, passing Tan y Gader farm. Go through another metal gate with waymarks and past a barn. Then bear HALF-LEFT to a gateway and waymark.

Cross a stream and walk AHEAD towards another gate and waymark. There is a good view to the right from here of four of the Rhinog mountain peaks (from left to right): Diffwys, Y Lethr, Rhinog Fach and Y Garn.
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A seat beside Gwernan Lake.
Gwernan Lake Path
A seat beside Gwernan Lake.
Go through, cross a stream and continue to a stile and waymark. Continue AHEAD then bear HALF-RIGHT towards a house. Cross a stile next to a waymark and bear HALF-RIGHT alongside a fence and the house (Gilfachwydd). Pass a waymark and go RIGHT down steps and through a wooden gate.

Turn RIGHT onto a track, pass a waymark and go through a gate to a road. Go LEFT onto the road. Ignore a path going left and continue to a metal gate and Llyn Gwernan sign (on the right).
NOT IN THE BOOK: If you carry on this road for around 70 meters and look into the undergrowth on your right (between the road and the lake) you will be able to glimpse at least six tank traps which were one of a series of fortifications built during World War II (see photo section at the foot of the page).
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Gellilwyd Fawr
Gellilwyd Fawr
Gellilwyd Fawr (on your left as you enter the quiet country road).
Go through the gate and walk past the end of the lake. Go through a gate into trees and LEFT, passing a seat. You can see the Gwernan Lake Hotel across the lake from here. Turn RIGHT at a waymark and walk uphill.

Cross a stile next to a gate at the forest edge and go RIGHT onto the track beyond. Follow this past a ruined barn and over a stile to a road. Turn RIGHT and follow this to a road junction.
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Tai Newyddion on Cader Road
Tai Newyddion
Tai Newyddion on Cader Road.
Turn LEFT and follow the road you've joined downhill into Dolgellau. At a main road junction, turn RIGHT then go LEFT onto a road going downhill.

Follow this road, Y Lawnt/Lombard Street, until you reach Y Sospan restaurant (on the left). From here go RIGHT to Eldon Square bus-stop and LEFT to the Marian Car-park.
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