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Cader Idris

Cader Idris - Overview

The mountain of Cader Idris is situated just south of the river Mawddwy near Dolgellau in Gwynedd and the highest point at 893 metres, is called Penygader. The name Cader Idris can be translated as ‘chair of Idris’ and a folktale recorded in the late sixteenth century has it that anyone who spent a night on the summit of the mountain would either wake up a poet or demented. Reverend Evan Evans, also known under his bardic names Ieuan Fardd or Ieuan Brydydd Hir, spent a night on the summit as an experiment in order to discover whether there was any truth to this legend. He did not go mad, but life’s happiness eluded him thereafter.

Ever since the Romantic period, tourists have flocked to the mountains of Snowdonia and as Cader Idris is accessible from both Dolgellau and Barmouth, it has long been a popular destination for day excursions. In the late 1880s, Friedrich Althaus from Germany described how tourists climbed the summit from nearby Barmouth with the help of a local guide and his donkeys. It remains highly popular with mountain walkers and offers paths of varying difficulty along its northern and southern flanks.

Accounts of Travel

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