The Mawddach Trail, Barmouth (nearly) and Fairbourne

We wake up to a lovely day.  After a slow start and cereal for breakfast, we get kitted up to ride our bikes.

In Dolgellau we make our way to cycle route 8 and the start  of what we hope is a fab cycle ride. It’s called The Mawddach Trail and is 8.9 miles to Barmouth, alongside the Mawddach Estuary to the bridge that crosses the estuary.

It’s wonderfully flat and quiet with the occasional cyclist and dog walker. We meet a couple of dog walkers that tell us the bridge is probably not open due to repairs. They kindly give us a tip for how we can get a cuppa and also see the beach at the end of our ride. Good to know in advance!

A couple of miles in we pass a toll bridge. It costs 30p to cross on a bike! There’s two pubs here almost side by side, George II and George III so we promise ourselves a pint on the way back. The cycle trail is built on an old railway line and some of the infrastructure remains including a signal post and telegraph poles.

The Toll bridge

Cycling along the estuary provides fantastic views but it’s hard going into a really strong headwind. I’ve got my e-power turned up but T is having to work very hard. At times we are almost blown sideways into the Estuary as gusts of wind also blow across the path!

We stop regularly to take loads of photos. After a while everything warms up except my ears so I have to put my hood up over my cycle helmet. Not a good look.

8 miles in, the access to the bridge is blocked as we were warned, just past Fairbourne railway station. We cycle 1.5miles across the dunes to Fairbourne golf club where we enjoy a lovely cuppa and a snickers bar.. Lunch will have to wait.

Bridge to Barmouth closed
Bridge in the distance! From Fairbourne

The sea wall is literally across the road from Fairbourne golf club with a narrow guage railway line running alongside the other side of the road. The beach is huge pebbles and very quiet on this chilly and blustery day.

It’s time to get back on our bikes and make the return journey. The difference in the wind is instantly noticeable. It’s a much easier ride back. We are probably going at least three miles an hour quicker. The sun comes out for a bit too.

We stop at the first of the two pubs George III and enjoy a late lunch of sandwiches, with a well earned pint of course. It arrives much bigger than expected with three butties each, salad and fries so we are stuffed at the end.

In Dolgellau we stop at the Co-op before heading back to the van for a well earned rest. We’ve cycled almost 21 miles today. It’s the furthest I’ve cycled since we managed 25 miles on Ile de Re back in 2018. A lot warmer in France though!

Much lolling around when we get back to the van for a couple of hours. We were originally planning to eat out but are still quite full after our late lunch. We have a bit of pate on toast instead before we go out.

This time we visit The Stag for our first pint. It wasn’t open yesterday. It’s obviously darts night. Onto the Unicorn where it’s also darts night where we end our evening. Bit of cheese and crackers back in the van to end a great day.

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