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Mawddach-Ardudwy Trail


122 km / 76 miles
A long distance walk around the beautiful Mawddach Estuary and the ancient upland and coastal areas of Ardudwy, linking Barmouth, Dolgellau, Porthmadog and Harlech. There is a 26-mile extension of the main route to Portmadog from Llandecwyn station, see path varinats (linked routes).

From Barmouth the Trail explores both sides of the Mawddach estuary, with a route often in common with the Mawddach Way, before following the waymarked Ardudwy Way north through the foothills of the Rhinogs. It then follows the new Wales Coast Path around the lower Dwyryd valley to Porthmadog, then returns via Harlech, with its famous castle, now a World Heritage Site, and Shell Island to Barmouth.

The western edge of Snowdonia National Park in Meirionnydd, lying between the Mawddach and Dwyryd estuaries, contains some of the most beautiful upland and coastal scenery in Wales. Most falls within the large ancient district of Ardudwy, which formed part of the traditional Welsh Princes' heartland of Gwynedd and became absorbed into the new county of Merionethshire in 1284. The area offers a stunningly diverse landscape of mountains, foothills, woodland, valleys, lakes, estuaries, impressive sand dunes and long sandy beaches. Its upland landscape is crossed by important ancient trackways and is renowned for its extensive archaeological remains. These include ancient hut settlements and field systems, Neolithic chambered tombs, Iron Age hillforts, Bronze Age stone circles and standing stones. It extended north from the northern side of the Mawddach estuary past Harlech to beyond the Afon Dwyryd and Vale of Ffestiniog. The Rhinog mountains and Trawsfynydd formed its main border in the east and the coast its boundary in the west.

UPDATE October 2020 - Work to start upgrading the 150 year old Barmouth Viaduct starts in September 2020. It will affect the route of the path as it goes over the viaduct across the Mawddawch Estuary. During this upgrade the bridge will be closed temporarily on certain dates.
An alternative route is being looked into for walkers on the path and will be posted on this page. If you are planning to walk in this area, we suggest you also follow Network Rail social media for updates.


Path Type: Other Paths
Attributes: Challenging
National Park
Start and Finish: SH612158 - Barmouth, Gwynedd View on StreetMap

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Guidebook Mawddach-Ardudwy Trail  (Kittiwake Press  - 2013 )


You can use the interactive controls to zoom in and out and to move around the map, or click on a path or a marker for more info.(interactive map help)

Show Connected Path Outlines
Path Variants
Paths Marked on OS mapping
Other Paths
Anytime Challenges

Show Accommodation
Hostel Accommodation
Bunk House

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger 124
OS Landranger Active 124
OS Explorer 18, 23
OS Explorer Active 18, 23

Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

Hostel Accommodation
< 1 km
12 km
Hostel Accommodation
< 1 km
21 km
Bunk House
< 1 km
39 km
Bunk House
< 1 km
71 km
Bunk House
2 km
82 km

Click to show 3 more Accommodations

Connected Paths:


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Route Profile:

122.4 km (76.1 miles)
3,491 m (11,453 ft) ascent
461 m (1,512 ft)  maximum height

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