Railways of Wales
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Explore the rugged mountains and winding waterways of North Wales. Enjoy picturesque journeys aboard historic steam trains and admire delightful towns and ancient history on this Welsh adventure.
Today you arrive in the town of Llandudno, where you meet your Tour Manager at your hotel for the next five nights, the family run Kensington Hotel. This classically-styled Victorian Hotel enjoys a superb position on Llandudno's central promenade and enjoys fantastic views of Llandudno Bay.
A township since the thirteenth century, Llandudno, like many British coastal resorts, rose to prominence in the Victorian era. By 1848 Llandudno had become an established fishing and copper-mining town with a population of around a thousand when it was proposed that the town might achieve further prosperity as a holiday resort. Significant development followed, including the construction of a new pier, seafront promenade, a pavilion, plus new hotels and guest houses.
Modern Llandudno retains its Victorian splendour and natural beauty but also offers a host of entertainments for visitors including both a tramway and a cable car to the summit of Great Orme as well as museums, public gardens and traditional seaside amusements.
You have some time at leisure to explore the surrounding area before you enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel this evening.
Today, enjoy an excursion on the steam-hauled* Ffestiniog Railway, a narrow-gauge heritage railway in the Snowdonia National Park. The Ffestiniog Railway was originally founded in 1832 as a means of transporting slate, and miners, from the quarries at Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog, and claims to be the oldest independent railway company in the world.
You travel through the scenery of Snowdonia National Park to Porthmadog. From here it's on to Portmeirion, famous for its lovely location.
Visitors arriving in Portmeirion for the first time could be forgiven for thinking that they had arrived in a typically colourful Italian- Mediterranean village. In fact, that was the intention of Portmeirion's designer; the renowned Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. You may wish to visit the central piazza or Battery Square, and its quaint souvenir shops.
*Steam-hauled if possible.
Board the Llangollen Railway* travelling through some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK. The Llangollen Railway was formed in 1975 by a group of railway enthusiasts who wanted to open and run a heritage railway on the disused line.
You travel along the banks of the River Dee to Corwen. After some free time for lunch, enjoy a horse-drawn boat trip along the Llangollen canal.
*Steam-hauled if possible.
Your day is free, perhaps to explore Llandudno or take the Great Orme cable-hauled tramway for breathtaking views of Snowdonia and Anglesey.
Llandudno's historic highlights can be easily explored on foot and a dedicated Town Trail provides a recommended route which begins at the town's library and takes in notable features including several of Llandudno's churches, the promenade, the railway station, the pier and two of the town's public gardens.
A full-day excursion by coach takes you through some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in Britain to Caernarfon for a guided tour of Caenarfon Castle. Continue with a journey on the Welsh Highland Railway*, a narrow-gauge line running along the foothills of the Snowdonia Mountain range, to Beddgelert where there is time to explore this pretty village before returning to Llandudno.
Located where the rivers Glaslyn and Colwyn meet within the Snowdonia National Park in north Wales, the picturesque stone village of Beddgelert is surrounded by beautiful wooded valleys, rolling hills and mountain lakes. Snowdon itself, Wales' highest mountain, is fewer than five miles north of the village.
*Steam-hauled if possible.
After breakfast, you are free to depart at your leisure. Alternatively, why not explore more of this wonderful area before heading home? You could take a final walk around the beautiful town of Llandudno. Traversing the crescent-shaped bay between Great Orme and its smaller twin Little Orme, Llandudno's wide promenade is backed by grand, white-washed Victorian hotels and is a delightful spot to sit back on one of the many benches provided and watch the world go by.
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. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 50 verified reviews
For price and location it could not be bettered
Tours were very good, lovely scenery and we were lucky with the weather
We had great journeys on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highlanl restored steam railways, with their great locos & friendly staff, along with the Llangollen Raiway and a horse-drawn canal boat trip on the Llangollen Canal,were highlights of the 6 day Rail Discoveries Tour based at the Kensington Hotel, Llandudno. As well as our kind & caring Tour Manager, we had a knowledgeable and entertaining guide in our coach driver from Alpine coaches. All the transport trips and the visits to Portmeirion and Caernarfon Castle were thoroughly worthwhile, and the views throughout Snowdonia truly stunning. A bonus was crossing the Menai Strait to Anglesey and visiting Llanfairpwll,... At the Kensington Hotel, Llandudno, we had a comfortable bedroom , with a sea view. The bathroom was good & the bath wasn't too high-sided to get in for a shower. The owner is also the chef and the food, especially at dinner, was delicious: always a choice of 3 mains, including a veggie option. The cooking was imaginative & tasty. Breakfasts were good, with porridge & kippers among the options, tho' there could have been a little more fresh fruit choice. The staff, reception, room & restaurant, were without exception charming, efficient and helpful. I gave it also a 5 on Trip Advisor. On our day off (the one wet day!) we went on the Great Orme Tramway & the hop on hop off bus (downstairs unfortunately!). With others from the group I also went to the Fflint male voice choir concert at St John's Methodist Church, with amazing piano & harp interludes.
Excellent tour manager. Well organised outings. Only hiccup was have to get prescription tabs - recommended pharmacy "Lloyds" were most unhelpful - nearby Boots were excellent.
Hotel room had a cracked wash basin and some of the Hotel food had a lot of salt in it (as stated in our feedback to the Tour Manager). Llandudno was a lovely place to stay.
Overall it was very good but I did find the noise in the dining room meant it was very difficult to have a conversation.
We had a very good holiday
Very well organised. Excellent accommodation
great itinery in a beautiful landscape
It should be 4.5 but there's no way to show that. Everything about the tour was excellent - BUT there were a few problems with the hotel. It was clean, w friendly staff & very convenient but their food questionable, from the inconvenience, downright rudeness of having to book your dinner at breakfast - a penny pinching effort which was not appreciated by not only us, mains w poor choice & tinned veggies, even potatoes! The room: A bathroom door which was almost impossible to open by one person - if you were out you couldn't get in . . .&c. &c., It was fixed. furniture with pealing or stripped veneer and worse, a mattress with more humps than the Alps only solution by the hotel was to insert a thick quilt between us & the mattress - needles to say less than adequate. We thought their limited supply of alcoholic drinks were priced a little on the heavy side and service for drinks v v bad. We were finished our mains one night before the drinks arrived, they were refused and the waiter seemed un-surprised. All this is poor, but seemed more so because the Railways of the Isle of Man we took earlier this year were just as enjoyable but all the more so because the hotel in Douglas was superb. We are hoping to take a Railway tour in Scotland next year and seek some re-assurance that the hotel(s) will be more A than K. Don't forget that underneath all the hotel carping we said the tour & manager were excellent.
Mountains, castles, canals and mountain railways