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Water is gently lapping the pebble-strewn Barmouth beach, Gwynedd, with the town of Barmouth in the background and the gorse-covered cliffs of Dinas Oleu beyond.
Dinas Oleu from Barmouth beach | © National Trust Images/Joe Cornish

Dinas Oleu walk, Barmouth

This circular walk takes you from Barmouth town centre through the steep winding streets of the Old Town and to the top of the gorse-covered hill known as Dinas Oleu (Citadel of Light). As you ascend, dramatic views over the Mawddach Estuary and Cardigan Bay - stretching towards the Llyn Peninsula - unfold. The walk is rich in history, taking in the first area of land donated to the National Trust in 1895.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

Barmouth train station, LL42 1LS

Step 1

Proceed along Station Road opposite the station entrance into Talbot Square (also called Talbot Place).

Step 2

Turn right down the main high street and after some 100 yards you will notice a brown National Trust sign to your right pointing the way up to Dinas Oleu. Cross the road and turn up a narrow side street (Dinas Oleu Road). Walk uphill, bearing right at first, following the small National Trust indicator arrows at each junction until you reach a viewing point overlooking the town.

Step 3

Take the steep path past the National Trust sign. Continue straight uphill, ignoring the path to the right at the first fork. The path narrows and there is a steep drop to the left so take care. A little further on you will come to the 'open air sitting room' recessed into the rock on your right.

Step 4

Continue upwards following the zig-zag path and take the left fork where the path next divides. After a while you will come to some steps going quite steeply downwards for a short distance and then beneath some trees the path splits again. Take the sharp right fork and now follow the path steeply uphill again until you come to the National Trust centennial memorial at the top.

Step 5

From the memorial carry on along the path you came up on. The path at first levels off and then descends quite steeply. Bear left at a fork, continuing downwards until you come to some steps, at the bottom turn left through the gate. Proceed for some 100 yards following a wall on your right until you come to a gate signposted 'Frenchman's Grave Only'. Go through the gate and follow the path for a short distance, passing through another gate until you see the grave directly in front of you.

Step 6

Retrace your steps back to the first gate you came through and this time follow the path downhill, descending steeply, until you arrive at the first viewpoint you came to (see Step 2 above). Now take the lane to the left of the path you ascended. This takes you past Ty'n Ffynnon (House of the Spring) where Fanny Talbot lived until her death in 1917. Note the commemorative plaque carved in slate in the wall past her house.

Step 7

You will now find a number of narrow, steep paths and alleyways descending through the higgledy-piggledy cottages of Barmouth Old Town. There are a number of routes you can take but if you keep bearing left you will pass the more prominent of the Ruskin cottages.

Step 8

Continue descending through the narrow passageways until you reach the main High Street through the town. Turn right along the street and walk back to Talbot Square and the Station entrance where the walk began.

End point

Barmouth train station, LL42 1LS

Trail map

Map of Dinas Oleu walk, Barmouth, Wales
Map of Dinas Oleu walk, Barmouth | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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