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The local area guide to living in Dolwyddelan

Dolwyddelan is a pretty village in North Wales, with a population of around 474 according to the 2011 census. It is situated in the Conwy county borough, on the main A470 road.

The village is a scene of spectacular natural beauty, lying in the Lledr valley in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. It’s peaceful, quiet and classically Welsh, and only a few miles from the more bustling settlement of Betws-y-Coed. The local area is filled with beautiful walking trails and cycle paths, and is popular with fans of the outdoors.

Dolwyddelan is famous for the beautiful 13th century castle, which is thought to have been built by Prince Llywelyn the Great. It was originally used as a guard post, sitting beside one of the main routes through North Wales. By the early 14th century it was in English hands and functioned as a military base to keep an eye on the locals. It is now looked after by Cadw, the Welsh Assembly’s historic environment service.

The village is surrounded by mountains, including Moel Siabod, Moel Penamnen, and Y Ro Wen. Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, is just 10 miles to the west. The attracts a lot of climbers and hikers for this reason. Famously, the village and castle were used to film extensive sections of the Disney film Dragonslayer.

Information about the local residents

The population of the village is very small, so there is not a lot of meaningful demographic data available. However, we do know that 50% of the population are Welsh speakers, and the community has a very traditionally rural Welsh outlook.

The average age for Conwy, Dolwyddelan’s county, is 44.6, which is higher than the average for Wales at 40.6. Around 54% of the locals are over 45 years of age. Despite this, they generally report their health as ‘very good’ or ‘good’.

The county has a slightly higher proportion of households in the ABC1 social grades than the rest of Wales, meaning there are more people with jobs classified as Higher or Intermediate administrative, managerial or professional roles. Conwy’s population are also, on average, better educated than elsewhere in Wales – nearly a third have studied to undergraduate level or higher. 70% own their own home outright or have a mortgage.

Notable residents have included the poet Angharad James, playwright and critic Paul Griffiths, and writer Eigra Lewis Roberts. The village has a tight-knit, friendly community and has a wide range of social clubs and events.

Nearby schools

Within the village is a community school – Dolwyddelan Primary School. Around 25 children attend the school at any one time, and the school focuses on engaging them in a broad range of activities to give them the best possible start in life.

There are plenty more small schools in the other villages in the area, but for larger schools or secondary schools, parents should look north to Conwy, or south west to the coastal towns such as Porthmadog

Getting around

Despite its small size, Dolwyddelan has its own unmanned railway station a few hundred yards from the middle of the village. It sits on the Conwy Valley Line, from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Llandudno Junction, and is operated by Arriva Trains. From Monday to Saturday 5 southbound and 6 northbound trains call at the station.

However, the easiest way to get around is by car and for that the village is well located on the A470, which can take travelers north to Conwy in about 40 minutes – a manageable commute.

Local shops

Dolwyddelan has some small essentials, including a Spar, but not much beyond that for shopping enthusiasts. However, Conwy and Llandudno, 25 miles away on the A470, have all a shopper could hope for. They have a perfect combination of large, modern shopping malls and independent specialty shops. There is a wide range of craft shops, galleries, boutiques, cafes and tearooms to spend a day or more exploring.


Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.