The River Runs Through It: Afon Mawddach Between Land And Sea


I’m on the last lap of Ailsa’s current challenge with this post. These photos were taken last September when we were staying near Dolgellau in Gwynedd, mid Wales. The Mawddach (roughly pronounced Mouthack) Estuary is a glorious place -for mountains, birds and all round peacefulness. You can walk or cycle beside much of it, too, following the Mawddach Trail that was once the railway line from Dolgellau to the holiday town of Barmouth.


The old toll bridge at Penmaenpool


We followed the route to the most southerly point where the Mawddach meets the sea, at the bleak little town of Fairbourne. You could call this place a failed resort. In the late 1800s, and after the arrival of the railway, baking flour magnate, Sir Arthur McDougall developed it into a holiday destination for English East Midlands workers. These days, though, it has a desolate air, although it does have a magnificent beach. We bought an ice cream at the dingy seaside caf,  but when we broached the sea wall to see the sea, it was so windy it blew our ice creams away and all over us. That’s not supposed to happen when you go to the seaside. Nor did we have Mummy to wipe us down. What a pickle.100_6564

Fairbourne Beach looking towards Barmouth




Now that summer’s done, we take the Dol Idris path

Thursday’s Special: Manscape to Landscape


Where’s My Backpack: Where Land Meets Water

29 thoughts on “The River Runs Through It: Afon Mawddach Between Land And Sea

  1. Wonderful post with a smile at the end:) I need to take a trip to Wales….there’s no question it is such a wondrous country. Thank you, Tish have a lovely weekend. Janet. 🙂

  2. Make me miss Wales, it have been a while since I latest visit – when I’m in Liverpool so Wales not far away – fascinating area… 🙂

    Wonderful captures… 🙂

      1. Yeah I know – often take across the Wirral when I’m in Liverpool – so it’s mostly the north and northwestern Wales I know… 🙂

    1. Hm. If you mean Ynys Mon, Anglesey, then it’s quite some distance away. But you may have gone by train this way. The main line to Barmouth, on the other side of estuary, still works.

  3. I think there’s something more desolate about places that attempt to have warmth and be an attraction but are not, than ones in which it’s just desolate on its own. Its desolation takes on more charm then, I think.

    1. Yes, man-made desolation, is beyond despair somehow. But nothing like some good ol’ natural desolation, the sort that takes you outside yourself. The former just makes for a rapid inward cringe.

      1. Rapid inward cringe alert, caution, slow down and stow your cameras, you won’t be needing them.

      2. I’m busy agreeing with you. But then suddenly my yen to find something photogenic even in the downwardly dispiriting is kicking in. Perverse indeed.

  4. Very moody photos with a grin at the end 🙂
    I must have driven through this place on the way to Aberdovey, some years ago, but thank goodness we didn’t stop for an ice-cream.

  5. Reminds me of several bike riding adventures from Barmouth as a base including cycling ( bum pity- bump) across the railway bridge and waved-by, by the toll collector who said we had suffered enough without paying for it.
    Beautiful endless open sky and the mesmeric estuary.

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