Mawddach Estuary on Barmouth travel guide
Travel Guide for Wales and England >  Coastal Features in Wales and England >  Mawddach Estuary
The Mawddach Estuary is located on the west coast of Wales between the town of Barmouth to the north and Fairbourne to the south. The great beauty of the Mawddach estuary is in no doubt. Indeed the famous Victorian John Ruskin said that there is "no better walk than from Barmouth through to Dolgellau other than from Dolgellau to Barmouth" and I have to agree, the views of the Snowdonia mountains sweeping down to the Mawddach estuary are phenomenal.

Walkers, cyclists and nature lovers appreciate the Mawddach estuary and indeed the southern bank of the Mawddach estuary, along which used to run a section of the GWR branch line from Ruabon to Barmouth, has now been designated the Mawddach Trail, an 8 mile path running from Dolgellau to Morfa Mawddach, at the southern side of the Barmouth railway bridge. It is managed by the Snowdonia National Park Authority as a leisure route for walkers and cyclists, and is part of the Sustrans Cross-Wales Cycling Route.
The River Mawddach rises to the north of Rhobell Fawr (734m) and Ddualt (657m) and flows south west through Ganllwyd, Llanelltyd and Penmaenpool before spilling into Cardigan Bay. Given good water levels the Mawddach can be a superb angling river with good fishing for salmon, sea trout and eels. Worm, fly, spinner and shrimp are effective methods depending on water levels. From mid season onwards salmon can be seen in the Mawddach and the Mawddach's largest tributary the Wnion is a very fine sea trout river, while the smaller River Eden is also a valuable game fishery. The confluence of the Eden and the Mawddach is a particularly good section.

It is heartening to know that the river has recovered from major pollution in 1984, when 2000 adult salmon and sea trout were killed along with many thousands of juvenile fish. I was camping close to Barmouth at the time and I remember the beauty of the estuary on that day as I took a ten mile run alongside the river on the very day the pollution was discovered (the pollution was from a Gold Mine). The Mawddach Trust was formed and the Trust has successfully restocked the river from a purpose-built hatchery.





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