A short, accessible path to one of the best views of the Mawddach Estuary
Foel Ispri starts high on the hills over the hamlet of Pen-y-Bryn, near Dolgellau. It is one of the many fantastic routes on offer along the magical Mawddach Estuary.
Warden’s Walk of the Month
This months ‘Warden’s Walk of the Month’ is introduced by Myfyr Tomos, the National Park Authority warden for Dolgellau.
“This is a short, easy walk, but with the best views within the boundaries of the Park! A smooth path, suitable for everyone, which follows the old tramway of the Foel Ispri Gold Works along the steep slopes of the ‘foel’. Far below, the Mawddach River meanders leisurely, past Llyn Penmaen and its famous bridge and across to Barmouth and the sea. The backdrop to it all is the impressive northern face of the Cadair Idris ridge, from Cau Graig in the east to Craig Cwm Llwyd in the west. Wooden benches are dotted along the route and encourage you to pause and appreciate the magnificent panorama. Late in the day, there is nowhere than Foel Ispri better if you want a picture of the Fawddach estuary and the sun setting on the horizon. Enjoy!”
Guided Walk with National Park Warden
Join Myfyr Tomos, the National Park Authority Warden for Dolgellau, on a guided walk of Foel Ispri.
You must book your place on the guided walk beforehand.
Why this path?
The defining feature of Foel Ispri is its incredible vantage point overlooking the Mawddach Estuary. It is by far the best view of the estuary within the National Park.
The view is accessible to pushchairs and wheelchair users. Foel Ispri does continue further east towards the village of Llanelltyd. However, this part of the path is not suitable for wheelchairs.
Snowdonia National Park Authority has categorised this route as an Easy Access for All route. It is suitable for people of all abilities, including people with conventional wheelchairs and pushchairs. The terrain consists of largely flat, even surfaces with no steps or steep sections. Comfortable shoes or trainers are suitable for this route.
Start / Finish
Foel Ispri Car Park near Llanelltyd, Dolgellau (SH 698 200)
Relevant OS Map
OS Explorer OL23 (Cader Idris and Llyn Tegid)
Always park in designated parking areas and never in places where you block entrances to fields or residential areas.
Please note that the road up towards the car park is steep and narrow with many sharp turns. Additionally, there is only space for 4-5 vehicles in the car park itself.
Foel Ispri Car Park near Llanelltyd, Dolgellau
There is approximately 300 metres of path suitable for wheelchairs or Tramper style scooters.
The end of the accessible path is signposted.
Stay safe and help protect the countryside by reading the information about safety and following the Countryside Code.
The Mawddach estuary
The vast and sandy Mawddach estuary is one of the National Park’s most remarkable areas.
The area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation due to its salt marsh and lowland peat habitats.
Nearby Arthog bog is home to an RSPB nature reserve full of incredible wildlife such as rare flowers, grass snakes, butterflies and all manner of birds.
The area was also the centre point to some of Snowdonia’s rich industrial past. On the estuary’s northern shore, the historic Clogau gold mine sits high above the village of Bontddu. Mining for gold was a popular activity in this area. Gold panning also took place in the Mawddach river itself.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Mawddach was home to a busy shipbuilding industry. A total of 318 vessels were built along the Mawddach between 1750 and 1865.