Scenic Railways of North Wales

Visiting: Wales, Caernarfon, Snowdonia National Park, Porthmadog

Duration: 3 Nights

Physical rating: Gentle

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans, Meat, Please contact Brightwater with any specific dietary requirements

Tour code: BSRW

Tour operator: Brightwater Holidays

Group size: 6 - 25

Age range: 1-99

Tour operated in: English

Prices From: $1105

Tour Overview

When the extension of the Welsh Highland Railway from Rhyd-Ddu to Porthmadog was completed it became possible to travel by narrow-gauge railway all the way from Caernarfon to Blaenau-Ffestiniog, a journey of some 40 miles, hauled by the most powerful 2-foot gauge steam locomotives in the world. We start under the walls of an ancient castle, run past streams, lakes and woodlands, swing around tight curves and hug the side of the magnificent Aberglaslyn Pass on the way to Porthmadog. There we join up with the historic Ffestiniog Railway and its famously scenic route up to the dramatic slate quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog. There are two more wonderfully scenic train journeys to enjoy in this steam-filled tour, a short but atmospheric run along the Dee Valley from Llangollen and a leisurely puff to the top of Snowdon to the newly rebuilt summit restaurant with its breathtaking views. Rail travel between London and North Wales is included, letting the train take the strain and providing a modern day contrast with these venerable steam engines.


  • iconJourney on the Ffestiniog Railway, the oldest independent railway company in the World, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832
  • iconSpend an afternoon at leisure in the town of Caernarfon
  • iconClick here to see route map
  • iconTake a trip on the Welsh Highland Railway and travel through Snowdonia National Park

Places You'll See


icon Day 1

Accommodation Name: The Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon

Meals: Dinner

We depart by train on an early afternoon departure from London Euston to Crewe, where we change trains and continue on the scenic North Wales line as far as Bangor. Please note connecting rail travel to Crewe is available on request. There is an £85 reduction for no rail travel (i.e. joining the tour at Bangor and leaving at Crewe). We continue by coach to our hotel.

icon Day 2

Accommodation Name: The Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Following breakfast, we will transfer the short distance to the station in Caernarfon, the starting point for our journey on the Welsh Highland Railway. The most powerful 2' gauge steam locomotives in the world takes us through the fabulous scenery of the Snowdonia National Park, snaking around seemingly impossible bends, up hard gradients and around the foothills of Snowdon to arrive at Rhyd Ddu, about 12 miles from Caernarfon and high up in the Snowdonian mountains. As the line ‘zig-zags’ down the steep hillside new and unexpected vistas of the surrounding mountains are revealed at every turn. We continue on the recently completed section that will take us all the way through to Porthmadog. After a break here we continue our narrow-gauge journey on the Ffestiniog Railway, the oldest independent railway company in the World, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832. The railway was built as a gravity and horse drawn line to transport slate from the quarries in the mountains around Blaenau Ffestiniog. As the slate industry flourished, so did the railway, which was extremely successful and introduced many innovative engineering solutions to cope with the rapid increase in output from the quarries and in the number of passengers it carried. Following a decline in the slate industry the railway closed for a period after the second world war but fortunately was taken over by a group of enthusiasts and is now one of Wales’ top tourist attractions. The little narrow-gauge steam engines have great character and are perfectly suited to the task of hauling their trains of colourfully liveried carriages through the peaceful Welsh countryside. We alight at the terminus in Blaenau Ffestiniog and return to our hotel by coach, travelling via the Snowdonia National Park.

icon Day 3

Accommodation Name: The Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast we return to the heart of Snowdownia and a unique railway journey up the slopes of Snowdon itself, the highest mountain in England and Wales (1085m). Since 1896, visitors from around the world have travelled on the Snowdon Mountain Railway, appreciating the truly spectacular views they have experienced while claiming the ascent of Snowdon as a lifetime adventure. As the train climbs through the atmospheric landscape of Snowdon (at a stately 5 mile per hour) we will absorb ourselves in the rich myth, legend and history Snowdonia has to offer. Based on Victorian engineering Snowdon Mountain Railway is the only public rack and pinion railway in the United Kingdom and a true majestic mountain adventure. Arriving at the summit there will be an opportunity for refreshments in the critically-acclaimed new café and visitor centre which in 2009 replaced the building previously described by Prince Charles as the ‘highest slum in Wales’ After our round trip there will be an opportunity for lunch at Llanberis (not included). In the afternoon we will return to Caernarfon where the remainder of the afternoon is free to explore our host town. Recommended is a visit to the impressive Caernarfon Castle (entrance not included), where in 1969 HRH Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales on a specially created dais of Welsh slate which remains in situ.

icon Day 4

Meals: Breakfast

Sadly today we must head for home after breakfast. We will travel along the A5 to Carrog, the terminus of the Llangollen Railway. We will then take a heritage train ride (normally steam-hauled) along the scenic Dee Valley which runs along a re-laid stretch of the former Ruabon to Barmouth main line. Alighting at Llangollen we continue by coach to Crewe in time for our train back to London (or other onward connections).

What's Included

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    Services of a professional tour manager

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    Train travel

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    Meals - as per the itinerary

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    Comfortable coach travel throughout

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    All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

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    Entrance Fees

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    Drinks with Meals

Book with Confidence

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    Low Deposit

    Brightwater Holidays requires a deposit of 15% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 70 days before departure..

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    Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Brightwater Holidays allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform Brightwater Holidays, 25 days before departure.

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.

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Dates & Availability

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday Sep 01, 2021