Below the rolling south Snowdonia hills that gradually grow eastwards towards Cadair Idris, between the grasslands littered with fluffy sheep and only a small drive from the coastline, you will find a fairly spacious but unassuming car park next to a lightly babbling stream at the entrance to a handful of small traditional Welsh houses. Beyond the boundaries of the car park, under the canopy that lines the hillside, you will find Dolgoch Falls, a collection of exquisite waterfalls in perfect surroundings that rank high on our list of favourite falls. Anyone familiar with Love Our Adventures will know that we love waterfalls, not just the super tall single-drop falls or the huge bounding falls that cascade down the side of mountains, but falls of all shapes and sizes! We love the flows that range from the smallest drops to deep plunges, all surrounded by glorious walks that can lead to an awe-inspiring adventure. Somewhat akin to the Torrent Walk or Rhaeadr Ddu, this is not just one attraction but a collection of viewpoints and beauty spots, linked together by a snaking walk all around the hillside - take some time to explore Dolgoch falls next time you're in the area and it will surely impress.
Arriving at Dolgoch falls is done via the B4405, either a short drive inland from Tywyn or towards the coast from Tal-y-Llyn lake - if you approach from inland you will turn from the A470 at Cross Foxes Inn, not far from Dolgellau, onto the A487; follow the scenic road, one of the prettiest roads in Wales in my opinion, down to the valley floor then take the right which will lead you to the lake. The roads here are pretty easy going, with only a few moderately narrow sections around both Tal-y-Llyn lake and short sprints of narrowing lanes towards the coast that should prove no problems. The car park is expansive by Welsh tourist attraction standards and even features a porta-john for those in need, this surprised me as at the time of our visit it was quite possibly the cleanest toilet of its kind on the planet (as is always the case with these chemical bogs, your mileage may vary). Regardless of your water closet needs, get yourself a parking space on the car park and get yourself prepped for an adventure.
To begin, follow the road that runs alongside the car park that heads into the hills. Pass by the tea rooms and B&B, under the train viaduct while following the Nant Dolgoch against the flow as it gently descends into the hillside. You may pass a few points to cross but keep heading forwards to reach the first viewpoint, centred on the first noteworthy fall. Without breaking away from this route you will eventually reach the end of the path, which continues into a small cave at the end that leads nowhere; instead, head down to the concrete viewpoint that will give you the perfect platform for picture-snapping of this little waterfall. The first fall is a nice little drop into a sizable plunge pool and as you advance onwards you will be seeing a mish-mash of different sizes and styles of waterfalls as you make your way to the highest point at Dolgoch Falls. You will have your choice of routes, we opted to remain on one side of the river, while wandering the different paths to see what we could find on our climb up and then we circled back via the other side; there are a handful of viewpoints littered all around so whatever route you opt to take you are pretty guaranteed to see something epic.
As you progress through the walk you find an assortment of varied terrain, some of the paths are well maintained and most of the bridges are smooth and sturdy, but as you continue upwards and into the hills, some of the routes may become a little muddy and the bridges spanning the cascades eventually look more like haphazardly dropped stones and logs - of course, they are all perfectly sturdy and safe for walkers. It may sound a little daunting, but at least the difficulty will increase naturally as you ascend so you can see the first few viewpoints and if things start to get a little dicey, you can trace your route back without any problems. No matter where you are in this spectacular scenery stuffed with streams and similar sights, you will be able to enjoy a variety of sounds with the roar of the water becoming a backdrop to the birds singing with the smells of wildflowers and damp moss hanging in the air; standing at the foot of these falls you get struck by the gentle but chilling over-spray as the water collides with the plunge pools and jagged stones, everything here doing its part to engage the senses. We ascended all the way to the top and considered continuing along the narrow path, it appeared to go beyond the boundary of Dolgoch Falls and onto a greater journey, but a combination of wanting to finish exploring the streams and falls in the area, and that particular path being overwhelmed by bees, saw us turning back - possibly an adventure for another day. We hardly felt like we were missing out, with plenty more routes to explore and things to see at Dolgoch Falls.
We snaked our way back down the hillside, admiring the alternative views out over Dolgoch falls before crossing back over via a bridge near the entrance, having loved the day and excited to return in the future. Plus, Dolgoch Falls is in a great location to combine it with other walks in the area, such as Tal-y-Llyn lake and the Cadair Idris car park at Penygader for those looking to climb a stunning mountain. Not only that but towns like Twyn and Aberdyfi are perfect for people who want to escape to the coast; Aberdyfi is a personal favourite of mine, with its colourful seafront buildings and rustic lanes around the backstreets giving that quintessential small coast town vibe that I just adore. Dolgoch Falls can absolutely be used as part of a greater day, or somewhere you can take a more relaxing stroll through while you enjoy a day in gorgeous surroundings. Whatever reason you may have to visit, Dolgoch Falls is sure to satisfy for your lust nature with its cascades and beautiful woodlands.