Corris – A Centre for Alternative Hostelry

Corris Aberangell hill

I arrived at Corris Hostel wet and somewhat weary

I arrived at Corris Hostel wet and somewhat weary after an afternoon hillwalking around nearby Machynlleth. It was a Friday, mid October; this was now my third time staying here but I still had plenty left in the area to occupy myself with for the rest of the weekend. The place was just as I recalled it, decorated with intriguing artefacts and backed up with a sizable library of revealing books on mind and spirit. I shared a hearty meal with Kevin the warden and another guest, warmed my bones beside the very effective heat retaining fire and then retired to bed at a respectable hour.

A considerable amount of rain fell overnight but it was dry in the morning when I set out for my big Saturday walk. Firstly I headed to Aberllefenni and then made my way up into the large hills lying just beyond. At 676 metres, Maesglase was the highpoint of the day. Though still within the national park, it has a very different character to the popular hills of northern Snowdonia. Just ideal for some peace and relaxation off the beaten track. As I rose from my lunch break a heavy shower caught up with me and on the descent to Bwlch Siglen I was soon dripping wet. As a result though the Craig Maesglase waterfall sure looked spectacular and I could still hear its roar over half a mile away!

Saturday night at Corris Hostel
Saturday night at Corris Hostel

On my return to Corris I passed through the peaceful village of Aberangell, before venturing mile after mile through the depths of the Dyfi Forest, moonlight guiding my way for the final hour. There was a university group just finishing their evening meal when I got back. They’d also been out walking and had gotten just as wet as myself but it wasn’t long before everybody was snug and cosy once again.  Sunday was a more chilled out day. When I eventually emerged the weather was much improved and I enjoyed some really beautiful views over Tal-y-llyn Lake on my walk up Graig Goch. It rained on the way back but I had my umbrella with me and the mile on the traffic-free lane along the unspoilt north side of the lake was a definite highlight of the afternoon. I was the only guest in the hostel so managed to dry out all my wet kit nicely in front of the fire.

Monday morning dawned in Corris with rain set in again

Monday morning dawned with rain set in again, though I refused to let it dampen my spirits. Soon Kevin was up and about and I got chatting to him whilst he went about his jobs. His attitude on running a caring and friendly hostel is highly commendable. ‘A hostel should be different to a hotel, different to a guest house. There should always be someone on site … to welcome guests, make sure they are warm, comfortable, well fed.’ He told me with sincerity shortly before I left.

There is another hostel in Corris and plenty in the hills around south Snowdonia.  However  I can say from experience that there certainly is a special atmosphere about Corris Hostel and I’m sure that this visit will not be my last.

Tal-y-llyn Lake by Corris
Tal-y-llyn Lake by Corris

About Alex Cameron

Alex travels in the UK, runs the "Those who visit YHA England and Wales" facebook group and blogs for the Independent Hostel Guide.