Today's destination is one of those great little stop-offs that you can drop into as part of a grand day out, tucked away in a quiet Welsh town on a major A-road, this historic parcel of land has some stunning surroundings and intriguing history. I am talking about Dyffryn Ardudwy's Burial Chamber - Wales is littered with these burial chambers but I always find them a charming mini-adventure into our nation's history, and these take you back further than just about any standing structure around. This one is perhaps one of the better-preserved examples of a burial chamber, and even though you may be able to walk a full lap of the site in a few minutes I still think this is well worth a quick stop if you find yourself nearby.
Getting to the burial chamber is fairly straightforward, with it being right in the heart of the town of Dyffryn Ardudwy which is a stop along the A496 between Barmouth and Harlech. Parking is a little limited in the town, mostly restricted to roadside spaces, so it may be preferable to connect via the walking or public transport options: Dyffryn Ardudwy train station is just a stone's throw away, busses run along the A-road through town and with the beach not too far away I have often walked to local attractions like this instead of fighting to find a parking spot. If you are driving and want somewhere convenient to stop, consider parking at the pay and display near the beach here - it will put you a little over a mile away, but you can visit the beach too or even walk a little loop via the neighbouring Dyffryn Seaside Estate.
Dyffryn Ardudwy Burial Chamber is marked by a small brown sign jutting out from the hedgerows and tucked away up a path beside the local school - it is certainly easy to overlook, even if you are walking by, but if you find your way in then you are just a short stroll up the paved path that gives way to dirt. It is a really short stroll and once you reach the kissing gate you have arrived at the burial chamber. The area is entirely grass so it may be a little damp in the wetter months but it generally does not turn into a bog, the whole area is a little sloped but nothing too drastic so hopefully, you should be able to make your way all the way around without too much stress. From the top edge of the walled-in area, you get some great views out to sea making a perfect backdrop to the burial chambers and a nice place to just spend some time - if you find yourself on a long walk and need somewhere to take a load off then this could be perfect for you.
So what are you looking at? Dyffryn Ardudwy Burial Chamber is a variety of dolmen, or portal tomb, covered initially by a small circular cairn - a manmade stack of earth and rocks to cover the tombs, the remnants can be seen in the form of the stones littered around the dolmens which would have been the original cairns. There are actually two tombs on site, built within a few generations of one another, and were likely constructed between 3000 and 1900 BC by a neolithic early-agricultural community; the larger of the two dolmens (pictured above), the most westwardly one, is the newer of the two, with the original smaller one behind it.
So you've seen the burial chamber and got some more time on your hands, where else? Well, if you fancy another burial chamber, the Ysgethin walk to Cors-y-Gedol is just up the road from Dyffryn Ardudwy and is another favourite of ours. Up in the hills behind Dyffryn Ardudwy is Llyn Bodlyn reservoir, a beauty spot that you can even connect to the aforementioned Ysgethin walk if you want a more involved day out amongst the mountains and woods in this beautiful section of Snowdonia. Further south is Barmouth and all of our favourite destinations including the bridge and Dinas Oleu, and if you head north you can check out Rhaeader Nantcol waterfall or even check out some more amazing history in the form of Harlech castle. It is a great section of the country to be in, with some wonderful options for all tastes, so whatever reason brings you here you can always tack on a quick stop to this burial chamber as you pass through.