Wales – Steam, Castles & Slate

Aqueduct Cruise, Llangollen
Caernafon Castle - © Panglossian/Shutterstock
Criccieth - © Travelight
Elidir on the Llanberis Lake Railway looking over to Snowdon
Great Orme Mine Entrance
Halfway station on the Great Orme Tramway - © Great Orme
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Penrhyn Castle
Roofing slates - © National Slate Museum
Pant Du Vineyard and Orchard - © Pant Du
Pant Du Vineyard and Orchard - © Pant Du
Welsh Highland Railway

Holiday Highlights

  • Walking tour of Chester
  • Criccieth, Penrhyn, Caernarfon & Conwy Castles
  • Time to explore Betws-Y-Coed, Bala, Criccieth, Beddgelert, Llandudno
  • Great Orme Bronze Age & Llechwedd Slate Mines
  • Pant Du Vineyard & Purple Moose brewery tours
  • Four heritage steam railways
  • Rail journey to the summit of Snowdon
  • Story of slate from mining to shipping finished products around the world
  • Relaxing cruises on River Dee and Llangollen Canal
  • 10 days from £1,990pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Wednesday 11 May to Friday 20 May 2022

We visit North Wales to ride its famous narrow gauge steam railways. Along the way enjoy Welsh food, beer, wine and lots of history with visits to several castles and discover more about the slate mining industry that shaped this area.

Wales' Slate Landscape now a UNESCO World Heritage Site

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Chester

Meet at our hotel in Chester before a relaxing cruise on the River Dee late afternoon. We have a welcome dinner at our hotel.

Day 2 – City Tour & North Wales Coast

We take a walking tour through 2000 years of history, taking in all the main sites of Chester, including the Rows, the Walls, the River and the Cathedral. Enjoy an afternoon tea followed by a train journey along the North Wales coast to Llandudno for a 2-night stay.

Day 3 – Penrhyn & Conwy Castles

By coach to Swallow Falls before enjoying some free time in Betws-Y-Coed and a chance to visit the Conwy Valley Railway Museum. We continue to Penrhyn Castle, a 19th Century fantasy castle, built by a local quarry owner, before a visit to medieval Conwy Castle.

Day 4 – The Great Orme

Travel to the summit on the Great Orme Tramway. Enjoy the wonderful views before visiting the Bronze Age Mines. Continue to Pant Du for a tour of the vineyard, orchard and the mineral water source before a tasting session and afternoon tea. End the day with a visit to Caernarfon Castle before checking into our hotel for a 2-night stay in the town.

Day 5 – Slate in Llanberis

By coach to Llanberis this morning to take the diesel service to the summit of Snowdon (weather permitting). After lunch and a visit to the National Slate Museum we round off the day with a narrow gauge steam journey on the Llanberis Lake Railway.

Day 6 – Mountains to Coast

Journey on the Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog and enjoy lunch at The Australia, brewery tap for the town's very own Purple Moose Brewery. Later we take a brewery tour and visit the Maritime Museum, situated in the last remaining slate shed on the harbour. We stay 2 nights in Porthmadog and dinner is included this evening.

Day 7 – Slate to Porthmadog & Criccieth Castle

Travel on the Ffestiniog Railway to Blaenau Ffestiniog and visit the nearby slate mine before lunch (included). Return to Porthmadog, tracing the journey slate took from the mine to the sea. Transfer to Criccieth to visit the Castle, and free time to stroll along the beach, sample fish & chips or enjoy a seaside ice cream.

Day 8 – Beddgelert & Bala Lake Railway

A visit to the Snowdonian village of Beddgelert includes a short walk to the legendary Gelert’s Grave. This is followed by a scenic return trip on the Bala Lake Railway, before we transfer to our hotel in Llangollen for a 2-night stay. Dinner is included this evening.

Day 9 – Llangollen

Today we visit Plas Newydd House and Gardens which was home to the famous ‘Ladies of Llangollen’ who captured the imagination of Regency society and played host to the likes of Wordsworth, Sir Walter Scott and the Duke of Wellington. We also take a canal boat trip across the impressive Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We have a farewell dinner at the hotel this evening.

Day 10 – Valle Crucis Abbey & Erddig Country House

We head to Valle Crucis Abbey, one of the best preserved Cistercian abbeys in Wales. On our way back to Chester we visit Erddig, a much-loved 18th Century home, garden and estate filled with the stories of a family and their servants.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

The Queen Hotel, Chester

St Georges Hotel, Llandudno

Premier Inn, Caernarfon

Royal Sportsman Hotel, Porthmadog

The Wild Pheasant Hotel & Spa, Llangollen

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • All rail travel as stated in standard class
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Services of a tour leader from Chester and throughout the tour
  • 6 dinners, 3 lunches and 2 afternoon teas
  • All excursions as stated
  • Heritage railways as stated
  • River and canal cruises as stated

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £1,990
Single room supplement: £405
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Booking form

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Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service

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