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Railways and Castles of Wales

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4.4 stars(284 reviews)
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The best of North Wales by rail

6 days From £695 per person

2023 Tour code: WDS23

About the tour

From our base in charming Llandudno, we experience the best of North Wales. Soak up the scenery as we ride aboard historic steam railways, and travel back in time to a beautiful mountainous region, with castles dotted along the coastline.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Llandudno

Our holiday begins in the 'Queen of Welsh Resorts', Llandudno, where we meet at our hotel. Nestled on Wales' rugged north coast and surrounded by the backdrop of Snowdonia National Park, this is an ideal base for our explorations. We enjoy a drinks reception before dinner in the hotel's award-winning restaurant.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - The Welsh Highland Railway & Portmeirion

Today we join the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway for an excursion to Beddelgert where you have free time for lunch, before we continue to Portmeirion. You have time to explore this unusual village, which was designed in 1925 by architect Clough Williams-Ellis who wanted to create a town that wouldn't look out of place on the Italian Riviera. Next, we transfer to Blaenau Ffestiniog where we join the narrow-gauge Ffestiniog Railway to Porthmadog. With a 200-year-old history, we enjoy a nostalgic trip back in time. We enjoy a five-course dinner at our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – Caernarfon Castle

We begin our day with a guided tour of Caernarfon Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site which dates back to 1283. One of the best examples of medieval defensive architecture in Europe, its striking polygonal towers are linked by a honeycomb of wall walks and tunnels. Next, we join the Snowdon Mountain Railway for a journey over the dramatic scenery of the Llanberis Pass to Llanberis, where we visit the National Slate Museum. This evening we dine at our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Llandudno

You're free to explore Llandudno at your own pace. The town's nostalgic Victorian pier is well worth a visit and boasts the title of the longest pier in Wales. Here you'll enjoy excellent views of the seafront promenade and Llandudno behind you, as well as a number of traditional seaside attractions, food stalls, and shops. Another option is to take a trip on the Great Orme Tramway, which takes you from Llandudno through a country park up to the summit of Great Orme, where you can enjoy outstanding views of the town and coastline. We enjoy dinner at our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Conwy Castle, Bodnant Garden, Gwydir Castle

We visit Conwy Castle, a UNESCO-protected 13th-century castle. A guided tour reveals its intriguing history, from its beginnings as a Cistercian monastery to its role in the War of the Roses. Next, we visit Bodnant Garden, an explosion of colour that spans 80 acres and includes a beautiful wild garden. Our final visit of the day is Gwydir Castle, one of the finest Tudor country houses in Wales. With a rich and illustrious history, the castle is fascinating to discover, and we're treated to an informative guided tour from the current owners. This evening, we celebrate the final evening of our holiday with a delicious 'Taste of Wales' gala dinner at the hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Home

Our holiday concludes, and you're free to make your way home or continue exploring at your own pace.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note: The itinerary order may differ dependent on departure. Please call for more details.

Departure times

On many of our UK & Ireland tours, you may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after  14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between  16:00 and  18:00. You will receive a welcome drink at 18.00 just before dinner at 18.30.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Dunoon Hotel, Llandudno

Dunoon Hotel, Llandudno

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Trains

Ffestiniog Railway
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Welsh Highland Railway

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Upgrades

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UK rail connections

Reviews

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 284 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (148)
  2. 4 stars
    (111)
  3. 3 stars
    (17)
  4. 2 stars
    (3)
  5. 1 star
    (5)

Leslie Dumbell

5 stars

Submitted 23/Oct

Very good all round but I found dinner at 6.30 was too early.

Collected by Trustpilot

Andrew Parker

4 stars

Submitted 22/Oct

Good, despite the (unavoidable) change of schedule. Hotel good (especially the dinners), though I could hear music from another hotel in my room on some evenings. Re the Welsh Highland Railway, it was a pity we couldn’t travel on all of it, including between Porthmadog and Beddgelert.

Collected by Trustpilot

John Oxley

5 stars

Submitted 19/Oct

A very enjoyable experience despite mixed weather and a rail strike which meant driving to and from Buckinghamshire to Llandudno by car. A very knowledgeable coach driver and two good guides in the two castles visited. The tour guide did a good job especially when plans had to be changed. A beautiful part of the UK.

Collected by Trustpilot

Rachel Green

4 stars

Submitted 17/Oct

I'd never taken an escorted holiday and had never been to Wales before so this was a first on both counts. I went with two friends and we enjoyed all the tours. Our group size was 23 including the tour guide and this felt about the right size. We had a good amount of time at each destination and were out from 9.15 until about 5pm. All the destinations were really interesting. The Dunoon Hotel in Llandudno was comfortable although I found the room and bathroom a little small but overall nothing to complain about. The 4 course evening meals were delicious with around 5 choices for each course and the breakfast choices were also very good. Llandudno itself was easy to get around with plenty to see and do on our free day. I would definitely recommend this trip.

Collected by Trustpilot

C Banbury

4 stars

Submitted 17/Oct

Generally good trip. Many changes of itinerary and days. Very pleased that 2 train rides were steam hauled, pity about the Snowdon railway

Collected by Trustpilot

S Williams

2 stars

Submitted 11/Oct

Poorly reorganised trip that was woefully communicated. Cramped ensuite in hotel.

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