If you’re looking for a day out in the wilderness and to feel like you’re a million miles away from civilisation but without having to put in the type of climbing that usually comes with that, then a trip to find the mythical Dulyn Bothy is the one for you.
Indeed, even the drive itself to the car park provides a sense of solitude and wonder that makes you feel that there is a very special walk ahead.
I must admit that doing this particular route felt rather intimidating as it was not one I’d done before but I found it to be a really accessible walk that provided a sense of space, adventure and moments of real awe that I usually only find on higher ground. To say that this walk is a gem of Snowdonia is an understatement.
Getting to Dulyn Bothy
The drive up from the main road takes you up some steep and winding lanes and if you’re traveling alone, prepare to have to leap out to open the three gates that are along the way. These intermittent stops allow you take in the questioning glances of the wild rams and the expansive landscape. The carpark (Carnedd Llewelyn parking on Google Maps) lies a couple of miles along the road, near Llyn Eigiau Reservoir. The walk begins at the edge of the carpark, taking you in a straight line upwards towards old settlements and this is where you can choose the direction of your walk.
I opted for the clockwise route that has the steeper start and having done the walk, I really think this is the best and most dramatic way to get to the Bothy. The path is really a track and once you have tackled the first incline, the route is straightforward and fairly level.
Finding Dulyn Bothy
As Dulyn Reservoir came into view in the distance, I found myself scanning the landscape for the Bothy and once I saw it I was filled with an urgency to get to it. Not just because I’d promised myself that it would be here that the bacon sandwich that lay squashed in my bag would be eaten but because I’d brought some split logs with me to make a fire.
On the final turn before Melynllyn Reservoir, I stopped at the remnants of an old mill with its doorway framing the mountains to shield from the wind and take a final swig of tea.
The final undulating ascent and descent down to Dulyn Reservoir make for a simple but dramatic final journey down to the Bothy and gives you a sense how remote you are.
The Bothy itself is a wonderfully honest and simple building and the saucepans, spent candles and chairs placed around the fireplace tell their own individual stories of previous guests. Whether your stay is a short one like mine to have and sandwich and a flask of tea around the fire or an overnight trip to shelter from the elements, Dulyn Bothy leaves an indelible impression on you.
To complete the walk back to the car, I took a left out of the front door and followed the trail along the scrubland.
Need to know:
Accessibility: Although an easy path to walk, it’s a feint one at times and, depending on the weather, can be particularly boggy in places.
Time – The route should take around 3hrs to complete but a stop off at the Bothy is essential therefore I’d suggest it should take around 4.5hrs.
Access: The first half of the loop is virtually a track and aside for a small incline at the start it’s a simple and very accessible walk. I would not really advise buggies as the final descent to the Dulyn reservoir is fairly rocky in places. Baby carriers would be perfect for this route as it’s fairly flat but the distance may be prohibitive.
SatNav Postcode for Dulyn Bothy: Google Maps start point – ‘Carnedd Llewelyn Carpark’. LL32 8SH
Dogs: It’s an ideal route for dogs but owners should be mindful as there are livestock and ponies roaming in this area.
Facilities: It’s very remote and there are no facilities. Make sure you have plenty of food and water with you. For somewhere to refuel post walk, the nearest pub called Tal Y Cafn bistro pub is about a 6 mile drive away from the car park.
Tips: Bring some firewood, a thermos and a book and sit in front of the fire. Your attention span may well be interrupted by the swooping hawks and the ponies grazing outside. If you bring supplies with you to the Bothy, feel free to leave any you haven’t used. There may some stranded walker who may be very grateful for them on a stormy night.
Despite it being a simple route, it’s always an idea to have a map. There are also some useful downloadable route maps for the Bothy on ViewRanger.
For further information about Bothies please head over to the Mountain Bothies website.
Get inspired by viewing our guides to other walks in Snowdonia National Park here.