Top Gun in Dinas

Jaguar-pulling-G-s-HotelLow Flying at The Bwlch, Pictures By Joe Belmaati

Location: 5 miles east of Dolgellau on the A470 road to Dinas

Mawddwy, hence the name of the pass being called Dinas. This was probably the first place used for low level photography, and when looking down the valley from the main viewing location you get a fantastic view of the aircraft as they snake their way through the twists and turns of this very narrow valley. From this location you can see aircraft as they zip over the countryside from Bala down to the Cad pass and then wait in anticipation for 4 minutes until they hopefully make a full circuit of the loop and fly past your location.

Local Amenities. Dolgellau a small town with a host of National banks and a couple of supermarkets and some small shops is around 6 miles from the Bwlch and the nearest petrol station is just outside Dolgellau 5 miles, and to the south of Dinas village at Mallwyd there is a petrol station combined cafe and Post Office.
We (The Buckley Arms) at the edge of the Village of Dinas Mawddwy in a small area called Minllyn

The location at the Bwlch is probably as good a location as you could ever wish for, the sun is pretty much behind you nearly all day except during the long summer hours where the early morning light can be a little hazy to your right. It has 3 main ledges were you have plenty of flat space, the first 2 ledges are quite big and flat and can accommodate quite a few people with chairs. At this location you can usually shelter from the wind unless it is blowing from the north. Even in the summer it is windy at this location, it seems to blow all year round. The aircraft usually travel from east to west and either exit to the left and to Cad pass, straight on to Dolgellau or a right turn to Bala.

Directions: From The Buckley Arms head west along the A470 as if heading for the Tally Llyn pass and you will come across a lay-by on the left hand side just beyond the hairpin bend. This is the last lay-by on the leftside  so you can’t go wrong, park here and prepare yourself for a steep climb. Stand with your back to the road and you will see a stile on the right side, step over it and follow the path to the foot of the hill. In your 1 o’clock you will see the path winding up the side of the hill, head up here. After about 150 feet up you can turn off the path and you can head left towards the first shelf, which is a flat ledge from which to view. This location is ok but for the best backdrops and a better view down the valley you need to be on the top shelf.
To reach this position you need to be back on the path and follow it up and around the hill until you reach a wire fence, climb over and head left towards the road.

You should be able to see the car park from this position. From here the view is stunning. Although this is the main location you should watch the aircraft winding their way through the pass and pick out locations where you think great shots can be had, this goes for all locations. Don’t make do with the same shots all the time, try and get different angles, etc. There is actually another shelf just below the top shelf and can be reached by turning off the path a little further up past the first shelf turn off. From the car park it is about a 30 minute walk to the top shelf and it is best to arrive around 8am, it has been known for aircraft to come through from 7.45am so don’t hang around too long. During the longer summer days aircraft can still be coming through at 6pm although 5pm is a reasonable time to make your way down. A word of warning, it can get dark very quickly in the winter months so its advisable to start your descent at around 3.45 at the latest. Also in winter the valley is often in partial shade.

All information supplied from Lowfly
Lowfly Gallery link from

Minllyn, dinas Mawddwy,Gwynedd. sy20 9lp