Railways of Wales 2014
The mountains, castles, canals and mountain railways of Wales
Explore one of the most scenic regions of the United Kingdom with a holiday amongst the rugged mountains and winding waterways of North Wales. On our Railways of Wales tour, customers enjoy picturesque journeys aboard historic steam trains that take you through the mountains of Snowdonia, stopping at some delightful towns and villages along the way. Pretty villages like Portmeirion are just some of the places we visit where you can explore the history of the location through the architecture and the museums. On the Railways of Wales tour we have also included a guided tour of Caernarfon Castle, where you can walk upon the battlements of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 1 - Llandudno
Our tour begins in Llandudno where you meet your Tour Manager at the Kensington Hotel, our base for the next five nights. Tonight, we dine together in the hotel.
Day 2 - Ffestiniog Mountain Railway
This morning we travel by coach to the striking Llechwedd Slate Caverns. Here you may choose to explore further with a deep mine or tramway tour (options payable locally). Later we visit Blaenau, where we join the Ffestiniog Mountain Railway for a steam-hauled* journey through the glorious mountain scenery of Snowdonia to Porthmadog. From here we take a coach to Portmeirion**, a pretty Italianate village on the coast, for a guided tour. Portmeirion is famous for its lovely location, mock Italian architectural influences, pottery, and has been used to film many productions including the series 'The Prisoner'. We then return by coach to Llandudno.
*Excursions are steam-hauled where possible.
**Please see the note at the end of the itinerary regarding tour 4LLS18
Day 3 - Llangollen Steam Railway*
We travel to Llangollen by coach today, where we board the Llangollen Steam Railway** for a journey along the banks of the River Dee to Carrog. Our journey takes us through some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK - a landscape of undulating hills, gushing steams and lush valleys. After some free time for lunch, we take a wonderful horse-drawn boat trip along the beautiful Llangollen canal. Later we return to Llandudno by coach.
* Please see the note at the end of the itinerary regarding tour 4LLS20 and 4LLS21.
**Excursions are steam-hauled where possible.
Day 4 - A day at leisure
Your day is free, perhaps to explore Llandudno or take the Great Orme cable-hauled tramway to enjoy the breathtaking views of Snowdonia and Anglesey. You may like to take a leisurely wander along the seafront or visit the nearby Bronze Age copper mines. Uncovered in 1987, they are the largest prehistoric mine in the world.
Day 5 - Caernarfon and Welsh Highland Line
Our full-day excursion by coach takes us through some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in Britain to Caernarfon. Here we take a guided tour of Caernarfon Castle, where you can walk along the battlements between the castle's unique polygon towers. Built in 1283 and towering over the Menai Straits, the castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and houses the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, Wales' oldest regiment. We continue with a journey on the Welsh Highland Railway,* a charming narrow-gauge line that runs along the foothills of the Snowdon Mountain range, to Beddgelert. We have time to explore this pretty town, with its neat string of stone cottages overlooking the River Colwyn, before returning to Llandudno.
Day 6 - Homeward bound
You are free to return home at your leisure. Alternatively, why not explore this wonderful area further before heading home?
These meals, where shown, are included in the price of your holiday.
Tour 4LLS18 departing 7 September will feature an excursion to Plas Brodanw instead of Portmeirion on Day 2, as the No. 6 Music festival has booked out the village on the day we are due to visit. Plas Brodanw is the wonderful estate and gardens of Portmeirion's creator, William-Ellis Clough. Although not as famous as Portmeirion, the gardens here are often considered to be his best work and proved to be very popular with guests in the past.
Tours 4LLS20 departing 28 September and 4LLS21 departing 19 October are unable to visit the Llangollen Railway on Day 3, as planned. Instead, tour 4LLS20 will visit Bodnant Garden on the morning of Day 3 before travelling to Llangollen for a horse-drawn boat excursion in the afternoon. Tour 4LLS21 will travel to Llangollen on the morning of Day 3 for some free time before the horse-drawn boat ride, then will transfer to Llanuwchllyn for a return journey on the Bala Lake Railway.
Please note that with the exception of the above, every departure of Railways of Wales will feature the same excursions, however the order of the itinerary may vary.
Availability & Booking
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
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Escorted Holidays - Railways in Wales
As well as breathtaking mountain scenery, customers on this tour can also enjoy fascinating trips by rail along the River Dee or by a unique horse drawn boat trip along the beautiful Llangollen Canal. Wales has an abundance of remarkable natural scenery, along with historic monuments and interesting architecture. Our Railways of Wales tours include a Tour Manager who accompanies the holiday to ensure everything goes to plan, as well as excursions to explore the local highlights and free days to enjoy the destination at your leisure. There are so many natural beauty spots, areas of historical interest and railways in Wales to discover.