The Area

Isfryn is on the southern border of the Eryri/Snowdonia National Park in the village of Aberangell, right in the heart of the Dyfi Valley. ‘Aberangell’ translates as ‘The Mouth of the Angel’ and the village is where the River Angell merges with the Dyfi.

UNESCO awarded the Dyfi Valley Biosphere Status in 2009 in recognition of the unique and wonderful combination of its environment, wildlife, people, language, history and culture.

What to do nearby

It is the perfect area for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, with the beautiful Aran and Cambrian Mountains just down the road, and Pumlumon and Cadair Idris within easy reach. The spectacular high peaks of Northern Eryri/Snowdonia are just over an hour’s drive away. The beautiful coast also offers some delightful days out. There are miles of walks that you can take straight out of the door, or if you’d like some guidance in exploring nearby or further afield, Steve will be able to suggest walks that suit your wishes and stamina levels!


If you love bird watching, there is plenty to see in this area, with Red Kites and Buzzards frequently seen overhead and a multitude of smaller birds. The The Red Kite Feeding Centre at Bwlch Nant Yr Arian (around 45 minutes' drive) offers a spectacular feeding session for hundreds of wild Red Kite every afternoon. The RSPB Nature Reserve of Ynys Hir  and the award-winning Dyfi Osprey Project are just around twenty minutes down the road. If you fancy getting away from it all try visiting Glaslyn reserve. There is a huge variety of wildlife in the area and more ideas on where and how to see it can be found at North Wales Wildlife Trust and Natural Resources Wales, Mid Wales Days Out.


There is a huge choice of stunning walks out of the door or a short drive away from Isfryn. Cadair Idris, at 893m, is the most well known of the local mountains, about 25 minutes' drive away. Less well known is the Aran range, which is actually slightly taller than Cadair; an ascent of Aran Fawddwy or a traverse of the entire Aran ridge from Cwm Cywarch (about 15 minutes drive away) is a fantastic day out and has the benefit of a great pub at beginning and end (though if you walk the ridge you'll need transport home from the village of Llanuwchllyn unless you want to take the long walk back!).

About 30 minutes North of Isfryn, the Rhinogs are a little known gem of an area with a huge number of hills and waterfalls to explore, and to the South is the Plynlimon range (or Pumlumon as we'd have it here). Snowdon itself is just over an hour away.

Directly from the cottage there are options for anything from pre-dinner strolls along the lane or up Pen y Clipiau to take in some views of the Dyfi valley, half day rambles beside the local rivers or exploring abandoned slate mines, to full days out in the local hills. We're also on the long-distance Dyfi Valley Way.

Isfryn is well supplied with walking guides for people interested in walking at all levels, and a local OS map which you're welcome to borrow. If it would be helpful, we will be happy to spend as much time with you as you like providing suggestions.

Mountain Biking & Cycling

Mountain biking is a favourite local pastime and there are miles of forest tracks in the hills behind Aberangell that you can access from our front door. Dyfi Bike Park, designed and run by the legendary local Atherton family is the latest attraction in the area. The famous Coed Y Brenin trails are within easy reach, as are the Machynlleth Bike trails. You can check out an overview of the area's biking here. We can store your bikes in our garage and we have an outside tap so you can clean them up!

If you'd like a flatter ride, you can hire bikes from Dolgellau Cycles in Dolgellau and ride the flat Mawddach Trail to Barmouth and beyond.

And more things to do...

For keen anglers, the Dyfi is famous for its salmon, brown trout and sea trout. Day tickets and season tickets are available.

For golfers, the historic and scenic courses available at Welshpool and Machynlleth as among the best in the region. There are also championship links courses at Borth, Harlech and Aberdovey.

If rock climbing is your passion Snowdonia is possibly the best location in Britain. If you fancy giving it a try, Steve is a qualified instructor and can recommend the best places nearby.

You can combine a break in the countryside with the thrill of the alps at the Llandudno Snowsports Centre, where you can ski, snowboard, toboggan and sno-tube to your heart’s content!

If you fancy something to get the adrenaline flowing, you could try one of the zip wires at Zip World , including the fastest in the world and the longest in Europe. If you'd like to be closer to the ground, but still feel the need for speed, how about the FForest Coaster? A woodland adventure somewhere between roller coaster and bob sleigh! Both are very popular destinations for our guests. We've tried them both and can recommend them!

For lots more adventure ideas, see Show Me Wales

For a more relaxed day

For those seeking a more chilled approach to life, the beaches in this area are beautiful. From the classic seaside towns of Aberdyfi and Aberystwyth to the vast beach at Barmouth or the National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest that is Harlech beach, with its dunes overlooked by the fourteenth century castle, there is something to suit everyone’s taste and much to discover. There is an excellent guide to the beaches of Snowdonia here.

The market towns of Machynlleth and Dolgellau are both around 10 miles from Aberangell and both have much to offer. Machynlleth has a vibrant street market every Wednesday and is home to the national , Museum of Modern Art ,situated at Y Tabernacl, and to the Owain Glyndwr Museum. The drive to Dolgellau from Isfryn is beautiful. It is a quaint, stone town with the Afon Wnion river running through it. Both towns have a wide range of individual shops, cafes and pubs to discover as well as having supermarkets and pharmacies.

Only a short drive away from Aberangell, you will find the Corris Craft Centre offering 8 studios of locally made craft items as well as the Dyfi Gin Distillery, a Welsh food and drink shop and a café. The site is also home to King Arthur's Labyrinth and the highly recommended Corris Mine Explorers . Let your excellent guide take you on a fascinating tour of the vast slate mine that lies inside the Corris hills. This attraction is in very high demand in the summer months, so booking well ahead is essential.

The Centre for Alternative Technology can be found less than 15 minutes’ drive away.

To watch the world go by in relaxing style, take one of the Great Little Trains of Wales , many of which are within easy reach of Isfryn. The mainline Arriva train services also have many scenic routes and can be a lovely and relaxed way to access local attractions. A mainline day return ticket from Machynlleth station up the coastline towards Pwllheli is also a great bargain (around £18 per head). The ride is wonderful, taking in sea and mountain views. We recommend getting off for a bite to eat and a short explore at Criccieth rather than going all the way to Pwllheli, but the choice is yours. If you stop at Criccieth, we'd recommend a walk across town to Dylan's restaurant, right down on the shore in a wonderful Art Deco building. You can find out more about exploring Wales by train here .

If you would like to visit the summit of Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, but don't fancy the walk, the Snowdon Mountain Railway operates from May to November (weather permitting) and provides a spectacular journey with wonderful views on clear days. Booking ahead is essential, especially during the summer months. Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon will be very crowded in the summer, but a little quieter out of season. Local parking is in very high demand in the summer months so if you'd like a day out on Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon, it's vital to make a very early start!