|The early part of the walk to Nant Gwernol|
Some of the best natural sights of this area - other than Cader Idris itself which remained hidden in rain clouds today - are the Nant Gwernol Ravine and the Dolgoch Falls. Both are set in deep natural woodland that could be described as temperate rainforest, and are easily accessible from Abergynolwyn village and the car park at Dolgoch respectively. Forget the car though - far and away the best way to experience this area is on the Talyllyn Railway
|My three fellow adventurers at the falls|
We began at Abergynolwyn with a walk of about a mile to Nant Gwernol - simply follow the path signposted from just below the station - this follows the railway alongside fields until it crosses the line to reach a wide forest track. Turn right up the hill and follow the track as it curves back around again to head roughly north east through the forest. Presently the track heads more to the right and downhill into a spectacular wooded ravine leading to the railway station of Nant Gwernol. The station can also be reached over the bridge if coming up from the village but you would still have to walk the last bit. If you don't like or are unable to walk then simply take the train up here first. The station in its spectacular setting is well worth seeing instead of just going straight to Tywyn.
Our train arrived to the excitement of the children and some of the adults present - there is something special about a steam train - and we boarded to journey back to Abergynolwyn and on via Dolgoch to
|The fascinating valley above the main fall|
On our return when the weather was a little better, we left the train at Dolgoch to walk to the falls - a trip of about ten minutes each way. The path is easy but there is a steepish climb up to the upper part of the falls that people unused to outdoor activities may find harder than my six, nine and nineteen year olds did; sprinting up the slope like mountain goats. The falls themselves - especially after the rain - were more than worth the walk plunging from steep wooded slopes into a deep shadowy pool with a
|Viaduct over the ravine by Dolgoch Station|
Please note that there are some steep drop offs which are protected by fencing so while the path is suitable for older children and sensible dogs, toddlers and more impetuous canines should be kept on a lead! There is also a play area at Abergynolwyn by the car park and below the station building. Here's some more information on the Talyllyn Railway and below is a short video of the trip.