Wales: From North to South

Aerial View of the Italianate Village of Portmeirion
Aqueduct cruise, Llangollen
Bala Lake Railway - © Roy Broomhill
Caerphilly Castle - © CADW, Welsh Government
Cardiff Castle - © Cardiff County Council
Constitution Hill, near Aberystwyth - © Tony Brindley
Criccieth - © Travelight
Ffestiniog Railway
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Llanberis Lake Railway
St Fagans: National History Museum - © St Fagans
Talyllyn Railway
Welsh Highland Railway

Holiday Highlights

  • Journey on many of the ‘Great Little Trains of Wales’
  • Explore some of Wales' most iconic and interesting castles - Powis, Caerphilly and Cardiff
  • Time to enjoy the two pretty seaside towns of Criccieth and Aberystwyth
  • Discover Welsh heritage at the National Slate Museum, Big Pit National Coal Museum and St Fagans
  • Aqueduct Cruise through a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Ascend to the top of Snowdon on board the Snowdon Mountain Railway
  • 13 Days From £1,810pp
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Tour Dates:
Thursday 13 September to Tuesday 25 September 2018

Travel from Caernarfon to Cardiff, through the stunning Snowdonia National Park and down the west coast of Wales. We visit many of Wales' famous heritage railways, castles and museums along the way. A tour that delivers a real taste of Welsh culture.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Welcome to Caernarfon

We meet at the Celtic Royal Hotel for a welcome dinner and a 2-night stay in this historic port town. Why not arrive early and independently visit Edward I's famous castle with its polygonal towers?

Day 2 – Snowdon Mountain Railway

We travel by coach to Llanberis this morning to take the diesel service to the summit of Snowdon (weather permitting). After a buffet lunch at the National Slate Museum, we round off the day with some narrow gauge steam on the Llanberis Lake Railway.

Day 3 – Welsh Highland Railway (WHR)

We ride the full length of the WHR line from Caernarfon to Porthmadog. On arrival, we take the short walk down the High Street to visit the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway. Here we have a buffet lunch, train ride and shed visit before transferring to Criccieth for a 2-night stay. This pretty seaside town boasts not one but two beaches and the ruins of a medieval fortress.

Day 4 – Ffestiniog Railway (FR)

By road to Porthmadog to take the FR to Boston Lodge Halt for a tour of the Engineering Workshops, the world's oldest railway workshop complex. We continue our journey on the FR to Blaenau Ffestiniog where we have lunch (included). On our return to Porthmadog we travel by coach to Criccieth and enjoy some time at leisure.

Day 5 – Portmeirion and Bala Lake Railway

Morning transfer to the Italianate village of Portmeirion. Famous as the setting for the 1960s series 'The Prisoner', the village was the life-work of architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. A packed lunch will be provided by a local delicatessen. Later we travel by coach to Llangollen for a 2-night stay, stopping en route at the Bala Lake Railway. Evening meal at the hotel (included).

Day 6 – Aqueduct Cruise and Llangollen Railway

Enjoy a trip on the Thomas Telford motor boat along a five mile stretch of the Llangollen Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site, which runs along the picturesque Dee Valley and crosses the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Lunch will be served on board. This afternoon, we board the Llangollen Railway which runs to Corwen. Once again, dinner is at the hotel (included).

Day 7 – Powis Castle and Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway (WLLR)

Today we visit Powis Castle & Gardens where lunch will be provided. Later we ride the WLLR through the Powis Estate before continuing by road to Aberystwyth, our home for the next 2 nights. We stay on the seafront within walking distance of the mainline railway station and the Cliff Railway - the longest electric funicular railway in Britain.

Day 8 – Tywyn for the Talyllyn

Travel by mainline rail to Tywyn for a return journey on the Talyllyn Railway. Lunch is included and there will be a little free time to visit the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum before we return to Aberystwyth for an afternoon at leisure.

Day 9 – Vale of Rheidol Railway and Gwili Railway

Ride the Vale of Rheidol Railway from Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge this morning, reaching a height of over 600ft. Later on, we drive South to Cardiff, stopping on the way to travel on the Gwili Railway, have lunch (included) and tour the workshops and engine yard.

Day 10 – Brecon Mountain Railway and Caerphilly Castle

Morning transfer to the Brecon Mountain Railway where we travel behind a vintage steam locomotive following part of the route of the original Brecon & Merthyr Railway. The journey takes us into the Brecon Beacons National Park and along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservior before climbing to Torpantau, the summit of the original line. On our return to the capital, we visit Caerphilly Castle. Lunch is included again today.

Day 11 – Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway and Cardiff Castle

This morning we visit our last heritage railway, the Pontypool & Blaenavon, which runs to Big Pit Halt, Coed Avon and Blaenavon. We will have lunch (included) and visit the Big Pit National Coal Museum before returning to Cardiff for a guided tour of the city's impressive castle.

Day 12 – St Fagans National Museum of History

Today we visit St Fagans which is one of Europe's leading open-air museums. There is plenty to see here, from the castle and gardens, to over 40 historic buildings, which have been re-erected in the 100-acre parkland, and workshops where craftsmen demonstrate their traditional skills. We anticipate there will be some free time to explore Cardiff Bay before returning to the hotel for a farewell dinner (included).

Day 13 – Homeward Bound

After breakfast we say our goodbyes before departing for the journey home. Why not book your adjoining travel through us?

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon

The Lion Hotel, Criccieth

White Waters Hotel, Llangollen

Marine Hotel, Aberystwyth

Clayton Hotel, Cardiff

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 4 dinners, 11 lunches
  • All rail travel (mainline and heritage) as stated in standard class
  • All transfers as stated
  • All excursions as stated
  • Services of a tour leader from Caernarfon and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £1,810
Single room supplement: £325
Deposit for this holiday: £100

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