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Railroads & Castles of Wales

6 Days from $1,015per
person
A great vacation, great hotel, great trips out and a fantastic tour manager.
Mr P Lawrence
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You are viewing the 2020 itinerary

Itineraries and pricing may vary by departure year

(Tour code: WDS20)

Scenic tours through the Welsh countryside

Enjoy a fantastic tour of North Wales from our base in charming Llandudno. Ride aboard historic steam railroads and visit the impressive castles found along the coastline of this beautiful and mountainous region of Wales.

Highlights
  • Llandudno
  • Snowdon Mountain Railroad
  • National Slate Museum
  • Caernarfon Castle
  • Conwy Castle
  • Bodnant Gardens
  • Welsh Highland Railroad
  • Portmeirion
  • Ffestiniog Railroad
What’s Included
  • Heritage Rail Excursions
  • Breakfast Every Day
    Evening Meals
    5 Nights' hotel accommodation
  • Selected Departures Guaranteed

Railroads & Castles of Wales 2020Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Day 1 Llandudno
Llandudno

Meet in Llandudno

Our vacation 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 travelers 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.

Includes:
  • Dinner
Day 2 Welsh Highland Railroad
Welsh Highland Railroad

Portmeirion and Ffestiniog Railroad

Today we head along the coast to Caernarfon, joining the narrow-gauge Welsh Highland Railroad* for a journey into the foothills of the Snowdon Mountain Range to Beddgelert. This excellent line was opened in what is considered to be the 'Golden Age of rail travel', the roaring 20s. Although it closed only 15 years later, a marvellous effort has brought the line back to life, and in 1980 it began running again.

On arrival in Beddgelert, we transfer to Portmeirion by coach for a short guided tour. This tiny tourist village was designed by architect Clough Williams-Ellis, in 1925, who wanted to create a town that wouldn't look out of place on the Italian Riviera: something that has been achieved to a marvellous effect. Construction of Portmeririon was finished 52 years later, and now enjoys numerous visitors, who come to enjoy the calming sea views, the lovely architecture, and abundant greenery.

After some time at leisure, perhaps perusing the quaint souvenir shops, we travel to Porthmadog to join the narrow-gauge Ffestiniog Railroad* to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The second heritage railroad that we travel on today is owned by the same company as the Welsh Highland Railroad, and it boasts the title of being the oldest railroad 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 among them are over 150 years old, and has been impeccably maintained to guarantee a marvellous experience.

*Steam-hauled where possible

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle & Snowdon

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 Railroad's diesel service, which climbs to the summit* of Snowdon at 3,494 feet (weather dependent).

Enjoy traveling 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 railroad. 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.

*April departures will not travel to the summit

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 Llandudno
Llandudno

At leisure in Llandudno

Today is 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. It also has the lovely title of being the longest pier in Wales, taking you out into the sea and giving a delightful view of Llandudno behind you.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 Conwy Castle
Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle and Bodnant Garden

This morning we visit Conwy Castle, a wonderfully preserved 13th-century castle. A guided tour reveals its intriguing history, from its initial and somewhat humble beginnings as a Cistercian monastery and its part played in the War of the Roses, to its eventual ruin in the 17th century. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, a title which it shares with many of the castles built on the borders of King Edward that are scattered throughout Wales.

We also visit Plas Mawr, the best preserved Elizabethan townhouse in Britain. Constructed over the course of 9 years, what is perhaps most striking about this white-washed house is its lovely crow-stepped gables and the heraldry that stands out above the door. It has stood unchanged since the 16th century, and is therefore an incredible insight into how life was in the 1500s. We then continue to Bodnant Garden, which spans 80 acres and includes a beautiful wild garden, an explosion of color and scents. This evening we enjoy a 'Taste of Wales' farewell dinner at the hotel with a harpist.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 Llandudno
Llandudno

Homeward bound

The tour concludes after breakfast this morning, and you are free to depart Llandudno at your leisure.

Includes:
  • Breakfast

Please note

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

Recommended airport

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. 

Visa Requirements

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.

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.

What’s included

An escorted experience and travel during your tour

  • The services of a professional Tour Manager
  • Rail and coach travel throughout your tour

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 5 nights' hotel accommodation at the Dunoon Hotel in Llandudno

Delicious meals included

  • 10 meals including 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners with a farewell 'Taste of Wales' gala dinner accompanied by a local harpist

 

Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Snowdon Mountain Railroad
  • Scenic rail journeys on the Welsh Highland Railroad and Ffestiniog Railroad
  • Tours of Caernarfon Castle and Conwy Castle
  • Visits to Plas Mawr and Bodnant Gardens,
  • Excursion to Portmeirion
  • Visit to the National Slate Museum

Not Included

  • Flights and airport transfers

 

What our customers think
96%

of travelers would recommend this tour

Tour Rating

based on 12 verified reviews

Tour Manager recommendation

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 railroad 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.

Kenneth Owen - Tour Manager
Vaugnel Fletcher
Vaugnel
Yung-Mei Choi
Yung-Mei
Dimitri Zgonis
Dimitri
Railroads & Castles of Wales

Scenic tours through the Welsh countryside

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