Snowdonia’s national park is the rural heartland of North Wales — think mountains, glacial valleys, and sparkling waterfalls. But there’s also plenty here for families, history buffs and Sunday strollers.
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Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)|www.festrail.co.uk|
A must for train lovers, the Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway. But even for non-train buffs, it’s an enjoyable and atmospheric way extraordinary way to see and appreciate some of Wales most beautiful landscapes.
The 13.5-mile journey from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog snakes past lakes, waterfalls and the forests of Snowdonia National Park as it climbs 700ft into the mountains.
Getting there & doing it
Driving to Porthmadog or Caernarfon from London takes around six hours. Trains from London Euston to Porthmadog take around six hours, changing at Birmingham International.
Porthmadog mainline station is a 10-minute walk from the terminus at Porthmadog Harbour station. It’s a 3-hour round trip (Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog), though you can hop on hop off. Tan-y-Bwlch (the fourth station) is a good stop-off point for a short nature walk to Llyn Mair and a cuppa at the platform-side tearoom. Book tickets in advance on the website.
There is also the option to connect with the Welsh Highland Line at Porthmadog, travelling a further 2 hours on to Caernarfon, home to the impressive Caernarfon Castle.
When to do it
Trains run spring to autumn with some winter services according to maintenance works. Times and dates vary, so check the exact timetable and schedules on the website.
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