Explore Snowdonia on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways
Snowdonia, situated in the north of Wales, is an area of great natural beauty and rich history and culture. Home to the beautiful Snowdonia National Park which covers 823 square miles, Eryri, as the region is called in the Welsh language, contains the highest mountain of England and Wales.
Home to the beautiful Snowdonia National Park which covers 823 square miles, Eryri, as the region is called in the Welsh language, contains the highest mountain of England and Wales. One of the most enjoyable ways to explore and appreciate this marvellous area is by taking a trip on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways.
With over 40-miles of restored narrow gauge tracks, you can sit back and take in the scenery while being transported back to the golden days of train travel on the Welsh railways. The comfortable carriages are pulled by lovingly-restored steam engines, some built in the railway’s own workshops. Prince and Palmerston, two of the oldest steam engines in the world, which have been working tirelessly for over 150-years, still sometimes get the chance to haul the railway’s unrivalled collection of Victorian carriages. If you are a train buff, the chance to appreciate one of these beautiful machines in action is a thrilling experience, but there is something on the trip for everyone. Viewing the regions spectacular scenery and picturesque villages make a ride on these trains an experience never to be forgotten and it’s definitely one of the essential things to do in Snowdonia.
The world’s oldest railway company is centred in the ancient port town of Porthmadog. The town and the surrounding area offer many things to do, and the Tan y Bwlch café is the perfect place to grab a delicious hot or cold meal before setting out on a woodland walk. Another favourite spot is the beer garden of the railway’s award winning Spooner’s pub and restaurant where you can watch the trains pass by.
From Porthmadog, the Ffestiniog Railway train climbs from sea level, twisting and turning around sharp bends up the side of the mountain to 700-feet. You will pass by ancient forests and peaceful pastures, travel beside streams, waterfalls and lakes and go through tunnels and over bridges. The 13½- mile journey through the National Park takes an hour and ends at the historic town of Blaenau Ffestiniog which was the slate production capital of Wales. “The town that roofed the world” now houses various unique adventure attractions and some of the most exciting things to do in Wales including deep mine tours and underground trampolines.
The journey on the Welsh Highland Railway begins beneath the shadow of the walls of the impressive Caernarfon castle in the historic city of Caernarfon. This two-hour adventure covers 26-miles and takes in some spectacular natural scenery including the stunning Aberglaslyn Pass, the picturesque village of Beddgelert, and comes to an end in Porthmadog.
On both routes, you will be treated to impressive views and delightful scenery as you travel in the comfort of the newly built Pullman carriages. There has never been a better moment to enjoy the beauty of Snowdonia as these beautifully crafted new carriages offer excellent all round visibility with shaped glass, double glazing and a modern heating system. You can also enjoy in-seat refreshments including delicious locally brewed beers.
A trip on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways is an excellent option for families as all children under three travel free and one youngster up to 16 years of age can travel without charge with each adult paying passenger. The train timetables are designed to make the most of your trip allowing time for you to explore the destinations before returning or continuing your journey. Find out more at www.festrail.co.uk and if you’re looking for Accommodation in the Welsh capital during your Wales adventure, book online with Future Inns Cardiff for a great stay near the city’s vibrant centre.