Scenic tours through the Welsh countryside
Enjoy a fantastic tour of North Wales, based in charming Llandudno. From here we explore the historic steam railways and impressive castles found along the coastline of this beautiful and mountainous region of Wales.
Our tour begins as you meet your Tour Manager in Llandudno, where we stay at the Dunoon Hotel. This fabulous seaside resort, sometimes referred to as the 'Queen of the Welsh Resorts', is the ideal base from which to enjoy our explorations of Wales, thanks in part to its marvellous history in welcoming travellers and guests to its delightful sandy beaches.
Tonight we meet for a drinks reception ahead of our first dinner together in the hotel's award-winning restaurant.
Today we head along the coast to Caernarfon, and join the narrow-gauge Welsh Highland Railway* into the foothills of the Snowdon Mountains to Porthmadog. Here we coach to Portmeirion. This excellent line was opened in what is considered to be the 'Golden Age of rail travel', the roaring 20's. Although it closed only 15 years later, a marvellous effort has come to restore the line, and in 1980 it began running again, to the great pleasure of anyone that has had the fortune of travelling on it.
The particular stretch of line that we are travelling on today was restored and re-opened in 2011, and takes us through the spectacular rolling hills and dipping valleys that are so synonymous with Wales. The windows in the marvellously restored carriages are large, perfect for watching the breathtaking views that sail past just outside them, and the seats are extremely comfortable, giving you no better way to see the countryside as it is meant to be seen.
On arrival in Porthmadog, we transfer to Portmeirion, which we get acquainted with on a short guided tour. This tiny tourist village started construction in 1925, after being designed by architect Clough Williams-Ellis in a rather successful attempt to re-create a village the likes of which you would see in the Italian Riviera: something that has been achieved to a marvellous effect. Portmeirion finished construction 52 years later, and now enjoys numerous visitors who come to enjoy the calming sea views, the lovely architecture, and verdant greenery.
After some time here at leisure, perhaps perusing the quaint souvenir shops, we return to Porthmadog to join the narrow-gauge Ffestiniog Railway* to Blaenau Ffestiniog. The second heritage railway that we travel on today is owned by the same company as the Welsh Highland Railway, and it boasts the title of being the oldest railway company in the world.
This particular line is short but sweet, and has a history dating back nearly 200 years. There are a number of locomotives that operate on this line, some of them steam, but the oldest of the locomotives is over 150 years old, and has been impeccably maintained to guarantee a marvellous train riding experience.
* Steam hauled where possible
Please note: For Departures WDS1902, WDS1914 & WDS1916 Day 2 and Day 5 are swapped over. For Departure WDS1901, WDS1907 & WDS1903 you will visit the National Slate Museum then the Snowden Mountain Railway.
We begin our day with a guided tour of the impressive Caernarfon Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the iconic polygonal towers of this famed attraction. As we wander through the sprawling ancient complex, it is easy to imagine what life must have been like for the soldiers that lived here - from the legions of Rome to the armies of Edward I.
After the tour of the castle, we then travel over the rather dramatic scenery of the Llanberis Pass to Llanberis, where we visit the National Slate Museum which outlines the history of quarrying and slate in Wales since the original quarry was opened in 1870. Later, we board the Snowdon Mountain Railway's diesel service†, which climbs to the summit of Snowdon at 3,494 feet.
Enjoy travelling up the rugged sides of Wales' highest mountain in the comfortable, and rather modern, carriages of this wonderful service. Mingled with the everunchanging scenery of Snowdonia National Park, it can be all to easy to lose yourself in the amazing and immersive experience of this fantastic mountain railway. Hopefully, if the weather is good, you are able to reach the summit† and marvel at the spectacular panorama that is laid out before you, as you enjoy a scene that was just this year voted 'the best view in Britain'.
This evening, we return to our hotel and enjoy a talk on the history of Llandudno ahead of dinner by special guests from the Llandudno Museum.
†Please note the first two departures are unlikely to reach the summit as it is too early in the season. Reaching the summit is dependent on weather conditions.
For Departures WDS1906 & WDS1911
Day 3 and Day 5 are swapped over. For Departure
WDS1901 & 1903 you will visit
the Conwy Castle and Bodnant Gardens. WDS1907 will
be a free day.
Today you are at leisure to explore Llandudno. The nostalgic Victorian pier is well worth a visit. Built in 1878, this charming attraction provides excellent views of the seafront promenade. The fantastic Great Orme Tramway is another option; this excellent transport system takes passengers up to the top of the Great Orme, an impressive headland which stands watch over Llandudno and offers some striking views across the bay. Originally opened in 1905, this is the only cable operated tramway in Britain and is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Please note: For Departure WDS1907 you will visit Portmeirion, the Welsh Highland Railway and Ffestiniog Railways.
This morning we visit Conwy Castle, a wonderfully preserved 13th century castle that stands in majestic ruins over the town of Conwy. A guided tour reveals its intriguing history. We also visit Plas Mawr, a lovely whitewashed building that holds the title of the bestpreserved Elizabethan townhouse in Britain. We then continue to Bodnant Garden, which spans 80 acres, including a beautiful wild garden. This evening we enjoy a 'Taste of Wales' farewell dinner at the hotel.
Please note: For Departures WDS1902, WDS1914 & WDS1916 Day 2 and Day 5 are swapped over.
Please note: For Departures
WDS1906 & WDS1911 Day 3 and Day 5 are swapped
over. WDS1907 will visit Conwy Castle and
The tour concludes after breakfast this morning, and you are free to depart Llandudno at your leisure.
Please note ** Diesel service in April & October Itinerary and excursions may vary on some departures.
For Departure WDS1909 the itinerary day
excursions are in a different order. Day 2 is Conway and Bodant.
Day 3 is Caernarfon, Portmeirion and Ffestiniog. Day 4 is a free
day, Day 5 is Caernarfon Castle and the National Slate
We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to and from Manchester Airport (MAN), which is approximately 76 miles from your base in Llandudno.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and travel during your tour
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 13 verified reviews
Great itinerary and accommodation. Excellent Tour Manager
An excellent tour in all respects
Full marks for a well-organised tour. The Dunoon hotel had an exceptional chef and apart from the desserts, which were unchanged and unappetising until the last night, when the chef showed what he could do in the dessert department too. Having an optional cheese course was a real bonus.I would have awarded five stars, but our room and bathroom were very small. Other guests had much larger rooms and were very happy with them. Exceptional coach driver and interesting guides.
it did everything that brochure said but probably tried to cover too much. having a full free day could have been utilised better
Very good but bathroom was very small. Hardly room to turn round.
Everything was as specified.
Excellent itinerary, hotel, and mostly good weather.
Very enthusiastic guide who thought of everything to please the group. Amazing weather for our trip to the top of Snowdon! Loved the train journeys and obvious enjoyment of all the staff involved. Lovely hotel carefully treasuring a sense of yesteryear elegance. The chefs surpassed themselves each day, with good healthy varieties of local specialties. Excellent staff who were always available to help. Definitely would return to explore more. Thank you so much.
An interesting tour in an unfamiliar area; a good hotel, an excellent Coach Driver and Tour manager; and a brilliant trip up Snowdon on the train.
Well organised. Great itinerary. Excellent tour manager. Lovely hotel. Great coach driver also.
This very popular tour offers such a variety of excursions from our comfortable family run hotel in carefully preserved Llandudno sea side resort. There are three heritage railway journeys, a horse drawn canal ride, Portmeirion Italian style village and Caernarfon Castle to explore. Llandudno has lots of things to do on a free day. The Great Orme tramway has to be a must for all our passengers. Tip: sit backwards going up for the best view of Llandudno Bay. The coach journeys involve lovely scenery.
Scenic tours through the Welsh countryside