Local Area Information

Cefn Cam is situated near the small village of Bontddu just off the A496 between Dolgellau and Barmouth. Dolgellau is the nearest town, about four miles away, with a choice of two supermarkets and good local shops. There is an internet cafe in the centre of town serving good coffee. Barmouth is six miles away in the opposite direction. It has a long beach that can get crowded in summer, but there is always somewhere to park and it is safe to swim there. Other beaches further up the coast are Benar beach, with good sand dunes, and Harlech, a superb stretch of sand that is perfect for beach cricket and beach barbecues. The water isn't as cold as the south coast of England as it is warmed by the Gulf Stream. Further round the coast is the well known Portmeirion Village, which is worth a visit, and Porthmadog, where you can catch a steam train up into the mountains on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway. Even further north you are within an hour's drive of the Lleyn Peninsula and the well-known Abersoch resort. We always find the weather is better there than anywhere else! Travelling the other way down the coast you will find old-fashioned Aberdovey, which also has a great beach.

There is a wealth of outdoor activities in the local area, from hiking and mountain biking to zip-wire rides and slate-mine adventures in the mountains. Coed-y-Brenin forest park is a mountain biker's heaven, with a fantastic selection of trails from the kid-friendly Minotaur to the terrifying Beast. You can also walk or round the forest on marked trails and have coffee or lunch afterwards at the cafe. Bikes are available to hire here. Bala Lake is half an hour away, with its watersports centre for sailing and kayaking. For the adventurous there is also white water rafting. Cadair Idris is 20 minutes away, a good, challenging mountain to climb with a magnificent view from the top. It's not as busy as Snowdon itself, which is about 45 minutes' drive away. For those unable to walk, there is a railway service up to the top from Portmadog. Surfing or bodyboarding is fun on the local beaches, or try Surf Snowdonia, a huge freshwater lagoon in the Conwy valley with artificial surfing waves!

For rainy days, there are mines to explore, including the Llechwed Slate Mines, which offer great tours down into the mines as well as zip wire adventures and the strange experience of Bounce Below, a series of trampolines in a mountain cavern! For garden lovers there are several National Trust properties within striking distance, including Bodnant and Powys Castle. The Centre for Alternative Technology is 45 minutes down the coast near Machynlleth, and for kids, the excellent King Arthur's Labyrinth. There is also a good climbing wall at Harlech, as well as the well known Harlech Castle, with its magnficent setting overlooking the bay. 

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in nearby Dolgellau and Barmouth, but to pick out a couple, the George III Inn at Penmaenpool at the bottom part of the estuary is always a good bet for sunny evening drinks after a walk or bike ride. The food is good basic pub fare and the service is excellent. If you are after a more gourmet experience there's an excellent restaurant only minutes away. The Mawddach Restaurant is a modern airy building with views of the estuary, and has an imaginative menu and delicious food.