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Valleys and Railways of Mid Wales

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4.2 stars(33 reviews)
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Small Group

Explore the very heart of the renowned Welsh countryside

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
5 days From £595 per person

2021 Tour code: MWS21

About the tour

From picturesque coastline to rolling hills, explore the very heart of the renowned Welsh countryside on this holiday. Enjoy classic heritage railway journeys aboard the Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway and the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway as well as a private tour with a ranger in the Welsh Lake District.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Llandrindod Wells

Today meet with your Tour Manager and fellow travellers and check into the 4-Star Metropole Hotel & Spa in Llandrindod Wells, where we enjoy a welcome dinner together this evening.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - The Rheilfford Talyllyn Railway

This morning we board the steam-hauled* Rheilfford Talyllyn Railway. Tucked away in the wildflower meadows of southern Snowdonia, the beautiful Talyllyn Railway paints its merry red trail over the bridges and through the forests of North Wales. This was the first heritage railway in the world - originally opened in 1865, and the society created for the upkeep was established in 1951.We enjoy the 7-mile journey which takes us past waterfalls and streams and through the delightful Merioneth mountains.

You have free time here, where you may wish to take a look around the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum and discover the world of locomotives through the delights of video, sound and plenty of displays. See how the Welsh slate industry was transformed by narrow gauge railways. There is also a recreation of Reverend Wilbert Awdry, author of the much-loved Thomas the Tank Engine book series. Awdry was also a volunteer on the Talyllyn Railway.

*Steam-hauled where possible

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Elan Valley & Vale of Rheidol

Today we enjoy an excursion to Elan Valley, location of the mighty, and incredibly photogenic 6 dams. A particularly beautiful dam is Craig Goch, which is built in the 'Birmingham Baroque' style, a style which can be seen echoed slightly in the other 5 dams due to the water that it supplies to Birmingham, and the tower on the top of the dam.

Here we enjoy a guided tour by a local ranger and view the stunning architecture on display at the dam sites. Afterwards, we continue to Devil's Bridge, where we join the steam-hauled* Vale of Rheidol Railway for a scenic journey through Welsh valleys to Aberystwyth.

One of the many wonderful Welsh railway journeys which criss-cross this mystical nation, the Vale of Rheidol Railway is a heritage, narrow-gauge railway which runs between the Devil's Bridge and Aberystwyth. Winding through the verdant green Welsh countryside, the Vale of Rheidol Railway makes its way on a historical journey in restored carriages to give a true taste of the Wales of the past. You have free time in Aberystwyth to explore and you may like to take a journey on the Aberystwyth Cliff Railway.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Powis Castle and Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway

Today we explore medieval Powis Castle and its attractive formal gardens. The castle dates back to the 13th century, and was built by Prince Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn, who wanted to establish independence from his enemies, the princes of Gwynedd. The gardens are a paradise steeped in history. They look truly marvellous all year round with something to see in every season. As the days become warmer, the gardens offer a fantasic burst of spring colours. Drawing into autumn, there is a glow about the gardens with the hazy, golden sunshine.

Later, we travel by coach to Welshpool, where we board the steam-hauled* Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway for a heritage journey through the heart of Wales.

Making the most of the wild and dramatic Mid-Welsh countryside, a green canvas of deep forests and impressive mountains, the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway was first opened in 1903. Its route, taking passengers from Welshpool to Llanfair, is one of the British Isles' most historic rail journeys, having been in operation for over 100 years. The charming old carriages and green steam engine run on a narrow gauge railway, recalling the halcyon days of train travel.

*Steam-hauled where possible

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Homeward bound

After breakfast, your tour concludes and you are free to depart in your own time.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.

Departure times

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.

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

Metropole Hotel Llandrindod Wells

Metropole Hotel Llandrindod Wells

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Trains

Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway
Vale of Rheidol Railway
Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway

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Reviews

4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 33 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (12)
  2. 4 stars
    (15)
  3. 3 stars
    (6)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Peter Scragg

4 stars

Submitted 18/Jun

Civid restrictions apart, a very pleasant few days. Martin Jones a very good Tour manager

Collected by Trustpilot

David Hackett

3 stars

Submitted 16/Jun

Very difficult to judge a holiday with covid restrictions in place. We spent, probably, too much time in a coach, wearing masks. The tour destinations involved coach journeys of between 1.25 and nearly 2 hours each way.. Holiday very dependent on weather, which was wet one day, but fine on the others. Beautiful scenery when it can be seen ( this part of Wales not noted for being dry) The Tallyllyn railway journey involved sitting knee to knee with those opposite, which was hardly conducive to covid distancing. Elam valley dams and reservoirs spectacular. We were accompanied by a knowledgeable Ranger/guide here. Powis castle impressive with beautiful gardens. Other two railway journeys much better. Not worth the stop in Aberdovey as there is pretty much nothing there and we saw little of Aberwrystwyth as we had only had just over an hour there. The hotel has 4 stars, but probably only merits 3.5. Rooms that we were given was small, to the extent that we had to leave some clothes in the cases, which had to be placed on top of the wardrobe to be out of the way. This was probably, originally, a single room. Others had the same complaint. Bathroom clean but in need of updating. Food very good and staff helpful. Altogether reasonable value for money. Would we have been staying longer an upgrade to a bigger room (which we did not know about, but some did) would have been desirable.

Collected by Trustpilot

Lucy Richardson

4 stars

Submitted 16/Jun

A very good tour with lots of interesting places visited. My only comment would be that we spent a lot of time travelling in coaches to get to the venues. Perhaps a different hotel more central to the trains would be preferable. The Metropole hotel was good in particular the food which was excellent.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mike Stamper

4 stars

Submitted 15/Jun

We were able to see some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK. The guided drive round the dams was the highlight. I understand the necessity of long coach rides but perhaps a little too long on the bright side it gave me the chance for a bit of a sleep. The hotel was fine, the service and food was excellent but the bed room was a bit of a shame - where did they find the designer!!! Also a big thank you to Martin.

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M Fagan

3 stars

Submitted 15/Jun

Overall we enjoyed our break away in Mid Wales. Martin our Tour Manager was very good. The coach travel, totalling around 4 hours daily, to and from the heritage railways and other destinations was, I think, a bit to much despite the superb scenery. Some public areas in the hotel need a bit of a refurb but the rooms were comfortable, food was very good and staff very hard working and welcoming.

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Tony O'Connor

3 stars

Submitted 15/Jun

All three railways good, albeit, short only could go halfway and then return on the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway as Welshpool would not open their station due to Covid. Elan Valley tour informative and interesting well worth the visit. Unfortunately, limited time in Aberystwyth (1 hr) precluded doing much more than getting a snack. There was insufficient time to do much else such as visit the seafront, or, shopping. Not sure why we visited Aberdovey nothing there of interest. Powis Castle and gardens of interest. Hotel room very small, stuffy and tired looking. Shower did not work properly only got scolding water no adjustment. However, staff helpful and welcoming, food excellent. Coach drivers very good . As always good and interesting company. Martin Jones was pleasant and approachable. He did not provide mush commentary whilst travelling on the coach rather left it to the daily handout; believe this was his first time on this tour. In summary the three days felt more like a coach tour with railway trips thrown in hence the 3 stars. However, all in all an enjoyable short break especially as it was 21months since we had our last holiday. Tony O'Connor.

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Europe & UK by Rail 2021

Europe & UK by Rail 2021

The definitive guide to our 2021 summer & winter rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe. When ordering for postal delivery, you will only receive our collection of European holidays. If you are interested in UK holidays, please download an ebrochure below.

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